Many people focus on what they can't have when they're trying to lose weight, such as carbs, bread, sugar, alcohol, or dessert. "When they completely avoid foods they love, they inevitably feel deprived, which can lead to overindulging later on, sabotaging their weight-loss efforts," explained registered dietician Rachel Stahl, MS, RD, CDN, CDE, owner of Rachel Stahl Nutrition.
Registered dietitian Lauren Smith, MS, RD, LDN, founder of The Sorority Nutritionist, agreed. "Cutting out entire food groups is not how you sustainably lose weight," she said, "and in fact it sets you up for failure." She added, "That's because you always want what you can't have, and when you put a food as 'off limits' and never allow yourself to have it, when the time comes around that you do eat this food, you're more likely to overeat it and feel guilty."
There is no one "good" or "bad" food, and Rachel and Lauren agreed that moderation is key! Learn to incorporate all foods into your balanced diet. Lauren added, "You don't have to cut out sweets, carbs, or any one food to lose weight. As long as you eat in a calorie deficit, you will achieve your results."