5 Foods to Avoid When Building Muscle and Losing Fat

If you want to get serious about your fitness goals, make sure to avoid these foods in your diet plan when building muscle and losing fat. Lets face it, for many of us, muscle growth and losing fat at the same time is hard. Don’t make it harder by including these foods in your diet plan.


1. Avoid Vegetables with Low Calories When Building Muscle

Low calorie vegetables are first on the list of foods to avoid when building muscle because of how many people make this error. When you are trying to build muscle and lose fat, it is very easy to assume that you need to be eating as many vegetables as possible. Growing up we are taught that greens are what grows big muscles. It is an idea thrown at us year after year as we enter adulthood. Although this is not wrong, it is too much of a generalization. This is like saying all sources of protein are good protein which couldn’t be further from the truth. If muscle growth is your goal, you need to pick and choose which vegetables will bring you closer to your goal.

Vegetables with low calories are one of the main foods to avoid when building muscle. This is especially the case for skinny guys and girls with already a low caloric intake. Vegetables like asparagus which only contain 27 calories per cup. Beets only contain 59 calories per cup, broccoli with 31 calories per cup, and brussels sprouts at only 38 calories per cup.

For the purposes of muscle growth, these vegetables are not recommended. This does not mean they are bad for you at all. In fact, they are actually very healthy. But when you are trying to gain muscle exclusively, it is best to avoid these foods in your diet plan.

Alternative High Calorie Vegetables

The below vegetables make great alternatives to low calorie vegetables. These are all healthy in moderation and can help you reach your caloric intake goals.

  • Mashed Sweet Potato – 249 calories per cup
  • Taro Root – 187 calories per cup
  • Yellow Corn – 185 calories per cup
  • Boiled Green Soybeans – 254 calories per cup

2. Processed Meat Negatively Affects Fat Loss

Another food to avoid when building muscle and losing fat is processed meats. This food is mainly pertaining to losing fat. When you are trying to lose fat you probably know sugar does not help with your journey. Whether you are a man or a women, sugar affects everyone’s fat loss goals. It is difficult to avoid and extremely tempting to indulge in. But did you know that processed meat is packed with sugar? Indeed it is and is inhibiting your progress. When looking at the back of the packaging, most people look at two things. They look at the calories and the sodium levels. If the large amount of sodium does not deter you at first, then take a look at the sugar.

In fact, large amounts of sugar are used in the meat curing process. This does not mean that ample amounts of sugar are used in all cured products, but for processed meat it can be extremely prevalent. Bacon is an example of a processed meat extremely high in sugar content. If the meat you are eating tastes exceptionally sweet then you should look how much sugar is in it.

Examples of Processed Meat – High in Sodium, Calorie Dense

  • Hot Dogs
  • Pork
  • Jerky
  • Salami
  • Bacon
Foods to Avoid When Building Muscle and Losing Fat

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3. Decrease Alcohol Consumption: Muscle Growth and Fat Loss

Alcohol is a terrible “food” when trying to build muscle and lose fat. This may or may not be considered a food but for the purposes of tips to gain muscle and lose fat, I am going to include it. This may have not come as too much of a surprise but many do not realize how much of a role alcohol can play in negatively affecting weight loss and muscle growth.

Affect of Alcohol on Losing Fat

When losing fat, your diet plan takes a high priority into how you choose to lose that fat. Well, alcohol can slow or even halt any attempt you make at losing body fat. If you are eating a healthy meal while drinking alcohol, then the metabolism of alcohol takes priority over the meal you are eating. This means that carbohydrate, fat, and protein oxidation is suppressed. So why does this happen? Acetate is a compound found in the by-product of alcohol. This compound is toxic to the body, so your body prioritizes removing the acetate first.

People who drink alcohol in excess can develop something called alcoholic fatty liver. This is a condition that damages your liver, causing your body to abnormally metabolize which affects how your body stores fats and carbohydrates. Because of this change in stored energy, it can be extremely difficult to lose weight with this alcohol induced condition.

Affect of Alcohol on Building Muscle

Alcohol is considered empty calories which means there are calories but provides no nutrients to your body. So if you’re drinking beer thinking the calories are all part of your caloric intake goal, then think again. Although, I do have some good news. Moderate alcohol intake does not have any major affects on building muscle. Binge drinking does though, which is not great news for all you college students.

Excessive alcohol consumption is terrible for your sleep. Sleep is the most important recovery process for muscle gain. In fact, even moderate alcohol consumption can affect your REM cycle of sleep. REM is the deep sleep cycle most important to performance and health. There is a reason why people are often tired after a night out of drinking, despite getting their full 8 hours of sleep. It is because their quality of sleep was poor, so their body did not get the adequate amount of rest it needs to recover.


4. Reduced Fat Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter is often the go to for a bodybuilders diet plan. And when people see reduced fat on the label of their peanut butter then often they think this is a good thing. After all, reduced fat should mean less fat. Except this is deceiving. The fact is when fat is taken out of the peanut butter, preservatives and sugars take its place.

Reduced fat peanut butter may be cheaper then natural peanut butter. Although, if building muscle and losing fat is one of your top priorities then natural peanut butter is a much better alternative. Natural peanut butter is higher in protein and contains less sugar. Two attributes that are beneficial to both building muscle and losing fat.

Foods to Avoid When Building Muscle and Losing Fat

5. Bagels : Refined Carbs Ruining Your Weight Loss Goals

When trying to lose fat and build muscle, stay away from Bagels. Bagels, without any condiments, are extremely high in calories. Now you may be thinking, but you said to avoid vegetables with low calories earlier so why would this food be on the list if it is high in calories. There is a big difference between healthy and non-healthy calories. Just because something is high in calories to meet your caloric intake does not mean that these calories are beneficial to your muscle growth.

Bagels on average are 400 calories. What makes this especially terrible for you is that it is all refined carbohydrates. So what makes refined carbs bad? Refined carbs have all of their fiber and vitamins stripped out. Basically all of the nutritious parts of grains are taken out. Similar to alcohol, this makes bagels considered “empty” calories. There are also a lot of sugars in refined carbs which is the enemy to your fat loss goals.


If you have a high metabolism and struggle to gain weight, find out here how to gain weight with a fast metabolism. ! Thank you for reading and please subscribe if you would like to be notified when a new article is posted.

foods to avoid when losing weight and building muscle

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