Skip foods laden with simple sugars, also called simple carbohydrates. Sugary breakfast cereals, donuts, pastries, cookies, ice cream, cakes and soda are loaded with them. Often referred to as "empty calories," simple sugars are rapidly absorbed, spiking blood sugar levels for an initial energy high. This triggers an insulin reaction, driving levels back down and creating fatigue. You'll feel hungrier and crave even more sugar. Plus those rapidly absorbed extra calories are stored as fat, putting you at risk for obesity.
Make smart choices by selecting fiber-rich complex carbohydrates, including 100% whole grain bread, brown rice or steel-cut oats. Select whole foods such as fresh vegetables and lean meats. These all provide slow, sustained releases of energy for long-lasting fuel. If you do crave something sweet, head for the produce aisle and pick out your favorite seasonal fruits such as pears, apples, or blueberries.
Processed sweets and goodies also contain saturated and trans fats that clog arteries and stunt weight loss. Instead purchase items rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, like avocados and nuts.