Like 40% of Americans, you struggle with weight loss. You think you’re eating right and exercising enough, but you can’t seem to shake your excess weight.
To find out what’s preventing you from reaching your weight loss goals, take a closer look at your diet. Some foods that you think are nutritious can actually sabotage your health.
If you’re watching your waistline, you should definitely avoid eating these worst foods for weight loss:
Granola is one of those foods that’s advertised as healthy. But in reality, it’s far from it.
Granola actually contains various types of sugars along with plenty of fat. You might find yourself feeling more energetic after eating a granola bar or cereal, but it’ll likely lead you to crash.
Even worse, it’ll make you have food cravings throughout the day.
For granola bars that are less like candy bars, look for ones that have less than five grams of saturated fat and less than 15 grams of sugar. Granola bars should also include five to ten grams of fiber, along with 10-15 grams of protein to be considered healthy.
2. White Bread
You’ll want to leave white toast out of your breakfast and exclude white bread from your lunchtime sandwich. White bread has refined flour and added sugar that results in high blood sugar.
A spike in your blood sugar leads you to eat more food than you should.
A study that included 9,200 people showed that those who ate two slices of bread daily were 40% more likely to be obese.
This doesn’t mean that you have to cut bread out of your diet altogether. There are plenty of other healthy types of bread that won’t put you at high risk for weight gain.
Look for Ezekiel bread, flaxseed bread, rye bread, and almond flour bread on your next trip to the supermarket.
3. Fruit Juice
You might not expect fruit juice to be on a list of foods to avoid to lose weight. However, the naturally sweet drink is unhealthier than you think.
Drop fruit juice out of your diet, and eat the actual fruit instead. Fruit juices contain a lot of sugar and no fiber. When you eat the fruit itself, its sugar will be countered by the fiber it contains.
Drinking a lot of fruit juice won’t benefit your health, and can lead to obesity. On the other hand, eating plenty of whole fruits can help you lose weight.
Not all yogurts are bad, just the ones that contain flavoring with high amounts of sugar. Instead of consuming yogurt with artificial blueberry flavoring, make your own blueberry yogurt instead.
Simply purchase plain yogurt and mix real blueberries in to get that same sweet flavor, but without the weight gain.
If you love traditional yogurt, you might want to consider switching to Greek. Plain Greek yogurt keeps you full for longer and is super tasty when you add chia seeds, hemp seeds, or honey.
5. Potato Chips
Potato and corn chips may be comprised from a vegetable, but they don’t contain any of the health benefits. They lack protein and fiber and instead contain high amounts of calories and fats.
You may see baked potato chips as “healthier,” but they’re linked a cancer-causing chemical known as acrylamide. It’s better to avoid potato and corn chips altogether. Opt for a healthier high fiber, high protein alternative like lentil or bean-based chips.
6. Processed Cold Cuts
Deli meats are perfect for making a quick sandwich, but they make the list for the foods not to eat. Processed meats pose serious health risks ranging from obesity and even colon cancer — these meats won’t help you lower your blood pressure either.
What exactly are processed meats? Any meats that are cured, salted, smoked, or have preservatives are considered processed.
Bologna and ham are among the worst of deli meats as they have excessive amounts of salt, fat, and preservatives.
If deli meats are a staple in your diet, make sure to use fresh meat or choose meats that have reduced sodium and nitrates.
7. Coffee Creamer
A long day at work makes it tempting to go through three or four cups of coffee. Your favorite coffee coupled with cream and sugar makes a great pick-me-up, but all that added sugar is far from healthy.
Flavored coffee is a delicious drink, but it has a lot of calories.
Black coffee may be bitter, but it’s a way better alternative. Getting used to the flavor is worth it–cutting out those extra calories can make it easier for you to reach your weight loss goals.
8. Dried Fruit
The majority of people believe that dried fruit is one of the best foods for weight loss, however, that’s not always the case. Dried fruit from the grocery store often contains added sugar in addition to its natural sugar content.
Eating too much dried fruit can contribute to weight gain. It actually toys with your blood sugar and makes you crave foods high in sugar.
For a healthier option, try dehydrating your own fresh fruit instead.
9. Caesar Salad
People turn to salad to lose weight, but they don’t realize that some salads are actually considered foods that cause belly fat and weight gain. Caesar salad is one of these.
Croutons, cheese, and salad dressing all add a high amount of calories and fat to this seemingly healthy meal. Choose salads that use vinaigrette dressing, along with nutritious tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, that’ll keep you feeling full for longer.
For healthy salad ideas, check out some of these simple weight loss meals that’ll satisfy your cravings and fitness goals.
10. Diet Soda
Don’t let the word “diet” make you think that diet soda is actually good for you. In fact, it’s even worse than regular soda.
Regular soda is unhealthy because it has tons of sugar with no healthy ingredients. Diet soda may have no sugar, but that doesn’t mean it’s any better.
Swapping out real sugar for artificial sugar can make you pack on the pounds–the fake stuff tricks your body into wanting more food later on in the day.
Avoiding the Worst Foods for Weight Loss
Weight loss can be a challenge. Make it easier for yourself by cutting out these worst foods for weight loss.
Still struggling to shed the pounds? Check out our article on why you should consider hiring a health and wellness coach.