Avoiding fried food and Lean Cuisines

The more restrictive a diet is, the more I have dreams about the food I can’t eat. And the diet never lasts. But Every Day Health blogger Bryan Harris has simplified things, creating a list of just four items to avoid. (Notice that? “Avoid.” He knows we can’t totally disown these foods. Smart man.)

Here’s his list, abbreviated:

Avoid drinking
Alcohol contains copious amounts of carbs and empty calories. Not to mention the green light it gives my mouth to invite everything to enter into it.

Avoid fried food
I love going to a Japanese restaurant and ordering Vegetable Tempura. Why you ask? Because the word “vegetable” makes it sound so healthy. I mean, sure, an expert would know “tempura” means “deep fried,” but the word doesn’t really slap you in the face with how bad it is, right? I guess, according to Bryan, I probably shouldn’t be uttering those words anymore if I want to maintain a healthy diet. Frying anything (even vegetables) could be burning all the vitamins right out of it. And fried food at restaurants could contain trans fats, which raises your risk of heart disease.

Avoid high-calorie carb foods after six
This is an issue for me (and let’s face it, many of you guys, too). Carbs are my safety blanket, especially when I’m curled up on the couch watching Desperate Housewives or Grey’s Anatomy. Carbs eaten at night are more likely to go unused and could turn into fat. Bryan says we should stick to meats and veggies after 6 pm.

Avoid processed foods
This is all that good stuff in the center aisles at the grocery store: high-fructose corn syrup, MSG, white flour, blanched foods, processed sugar, processed sugar substitutes and soda. So all you Lean Cuisine lunch people need to Put The Box Down. I’m just as guilty of eating an energy bar instead of making a meal. This rule might take a little more work than the rest.

What are your “avoids”? How have you tweaked your diet? Has it worked?

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“Avoiding fried food and Lean Cuisines”