Eating all of the right foods is all well and good for your start on weight loss, but what you put on top could make or break that scale. You can count calories until the day you die and while you may be successful for a short while, if you are sprinkling that salt shaker or pouring on the salad dressing, you could be doing a great deal of damage.

It's understandable that some people use these condiments and spices to make their food much more flavorful, but there's a fine line between what you should and shouldn't be using. What you garnish your food with is almost just as important as the food itself.

Condiments/Spices To Avoid

Spices can be seriously damage not only your waistline but also your general health. What people put on their food tends to take the back seat when it comes to dieting but it really should be right up front. If you are looking to get the absolute best results from your diet, avoid these common condiments and spices.

Salt. This is almost a no-brainer. Everybody knows that salt is bad for us yet the salt shaker is still on their kitchen table every single day. So what's the deal? Before we get to why it's not so good for the body, let's talk about why it is good. The human body needs sodium, or salt, to live. It's a very important mineral but it is only needed in small amounts. Most human beings get a substantial amount of sodium in their diet.

Consuming too much of that salty goodness can take a toll on your weight as well as your health. Salt doesn't actually make you fat. What it does is it makes you retain water, which makes you heavier. It will also make you appear to be heavier by making you bloated. If you have ever eaten a really salty meal and then tried a bathing suit on a couple hours later, you may have noticed your face looks puffy and so does your stomach. You can thank the high sodium content of your food for this.

The best way to avoid an over intake of salt is to throw out that salt shaker. Aside from cutting back on fast foods, chips and canned soups ... putting down the salt shaker is the first step.

Barbeque Sauce and Ketchup. The biggest misconception people have about these two condiments is that they are healthy. This is such a false statement. While they are not the worst foods for you to eat, they provide almost no nutritional value. Both ketchup and barbeque sauce are used on many healthy foods to give them flavor. Little did you know that these two sauces are full of sodium and sugar. Sodium and sugar are two things that can take a toll on your weight loss. They can also be detrimental to your health. If you are going to use these condiments, it is best to use the sugar free organic kind.

Syrup. Like salt, this may seem like a no-brainer but many people use syrup way more than they should. Pancakes are not the healthiest thing you should be eating but there are a ton of recipes for diet or health pancakes: Berry pancakes, protein pancakes, fiber pancakes, oatmeal pancakes, nut pancakes, whole wheat pancakes and the list goes on. If you are someone who loves pancakes, I'm sure you have given at least one of the healthy recipes a try.

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But before your reach for that Aunt Jemima bottle, think again. While the pancake may be loaded with whole grains, fiber, and protein ... you are topping it with pure, sticky, artificial sugar. Top your healthy pancakes with fresh fruit or even drizzling a little bit of honey on top to make for a healthier choice.

Condiments/Spices To Use

Not all condiments or spices are bad to use. There are actually some that you should be incorporating in to your diet to get even better results. To find out what spices and condiments you should be using, read along.

Cinnamon. Looking to give your metabolism a boost? Begin by eating cinnamon. This spice is known for its comforting properties. Many people associate cinnamon with apple pie and lattes but this spice can be used in many different dishes to really jump start your weight loss. Aside from its metabolism boosting properties, it’s also been shown to reduce inflammation such as arthritis. Other benefits of cinnamon include reducing blood sugar and your LDL cholesterol levels (your bad cholesterol.) Instead of putting a spoonful of sugar in your coffee, sprinkle some cinnamon instead.

Black Pepper. Unlike its partner, salt, black pepper has been shown to provide many benefits. It will boost your metabolism, help burn fat and aids in digestion.

Ginger. This spice provides its best benefits when used fresh. You can buy ginger in the produce section of your grocery store. The greatest benefit for weight loss that ginger can have is that it helps to suppress appetite. Unlike some of the diet pills out there, ginger is a natural appetite suppressant and only does so at a mild rate. Other benefits of ginger include aiding in digestion, removing toxins, and raising the temperature of the body which will help boost your metabolism. Ginger is great in many Asian dishes as well as in tea.

Cayenne Pepper. This mouth-burning spice has been shown to produce incredible results when it comes to weight loss and fat burning. Spicy foods have always gotten a good rep when it comes to aiding in weight loss. Cayenne also has a thermogenic property which increases the body temperature and leads to an increase in daily calorie burn. If you aren't in to this spicy spice, the benefits can be seen by also taking the capsule form.

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