3 Foods to Avoid to Lose Weight

Get Rid of the Calorie Culprits That Ruin Your Diet

salad dressing
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Diet experts often say that you should clean out your pantry, your cupboards, and your refrigerator when you start a new weight loss plan. Why? Because there are foods to avoid to lose weight and it's important to set up your kitchen for success if you're really serious about slimming down. But often, dieters don't have the time for a complete kitchen overhaul.

If you are short on time but committed to getting lean and fit, here's the quick-start plan for kitchen clean-up. Grab your trash can, open the refrigerator door and dump these three items to decrease your calorie intake and lose weight faster.

Foods to Avoid to Lose Weight

Of course, you should evaluate your entire eating plan when you start weight loss program. If you overeat any food, you may want to get rid of it in order to achieve nutritional balance.

But there are certain foods that most people think of as healthy, that can put a substantial dent in your energy balance. Sadly, these are foods that don't contribute essential micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) or important macronutrients (healthy fats, heart-friendly carbohydrates, lean protein). So which foods are they? Open your refrigerator and check for these products.

Salad Dressing

Salad sounds like the perfect diet food. Fill your lunch plate full of healthy veggies and you'll lose weight, right? Wrong! In many cases, your salad is a diet disaster. And many times, the salad dressing is what adds the most fat and calories.

In small amounts, salad dressing isn't too bad. But when is the last time you measured the amount that you poured on your salad? The calories in salad dressing can ruin your energy balance for the day. 

Even fat-free dressings have a downside. Often, these products are full of sugar and still very high in calories. A better option is to add spicy, flavorful ingredients like peppers or radishes to your greens and go dressing-free. Or dress your salad with lemon. 

Another smart option is olive oil. While olive oil is a fat, it is a source of monounsaturated fat—which is better for your heart than saturated fat. You can also use an olive oil alternative such as avocado oil or flax seed oil. Just remember to measure your dressing before adding it to your salad. A reasonable serving size is one to two tablespoons for a meal-sized salad.

Flavored Coffee Creamer

If you read the nutrition facts label, the calorie and fat content of flavored creamer doesn't look too bad. But when you read between the lines, the story isn't so pretty.

Flavored creamers are one of the most common foods we overeat. Do you know what a single serving of creamer is? A single serving of liquid coffee creamer is just one tablespoon. Most of us pour much more than that into each coffee cup. And many of us drink several cups of coffee, So, if you multiply your actual portion size times the calorie count and fat per serving, you might be surprised...or horrified.

Another problem with coffee creamer is the ingredients. You'll see that many popular brands list hydrogenated oil as the primary ingredient. Hydrogenated oils are trans fats—a type of fat that health experts recommend we avoid.

Sadly, if you think the fat-free creamers are better? Nope. Non-dairy fat free creamers are one of the most common sources of hidden fat and many of them provide substantial grams of added sugar to our daily intake.

You can use products made from real full-fat dairy (rather than oil) to get the creamy consistency that you desire. But you won't get a break on the calorie and fat grams if you use products that are more "natural." A better option is to learn to make healthier flavored coffee drinks at home. Use low fat dairy, or indulge in the full fat variety and be mindful of your portion size.

Juice 

Again, juice sounds like it should be part of a healthy diet-friendly breakfast. In fact, some dieters make juice the entire meal. But the bottom line is that when you drink fruit juice you are drinking a glass full of sugar.

Fresh juice does contain vitamins that are good for you, but why not just eat a whole piece of fruit? You might be surprised to find that when you compare the calories in an orange to the calories in a glass of orange juice the fruit fares better. And whole food is more satisfying than sipping your calories through a straw. 

A Word From Verywell

The one thing that these foods have in common is that many dieters believe they are healthy because they contain a healthy ingredient or because they have a healthy looking label. We often overeat foods that carry that "health halo" and we end up consuming excess fat, calories and ingredients that aren't good for us.

Of course, if you avoid these foods to lose weight, weight loss isn't a slam dunk. Dumping these items is just the beginning of a full kitchen clean-up. But if you can trash these three things, you'll be on your way to a healthier diet and a slimmer physique. 

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