It seems any time that we try to lose weight, or maintain a healthy weight, temptations around us appear to increase. These 10 diet wrecking foods tend to be high in calories and low in nutrition. Some of them are less obvious than others if you’re trying to lose a few pounds.
1. Breakfast Cereal
Approximately 90% of U.S. Households eat cereal for breakfast, and many of them may sound healthy; but some are nearly 50% sugar by weight. While some cereals are whole grain, high in fiber and low-sugar but they are not all created equal. Some types that you may even think of as being healthy like Raisin Bran are actually loaded with sugar. When trying to find a healthy breakfast cereal be sure to look for whole grain, lower sugar options like Barbara’s Original Puffins or Ezekiel 4:9.
You may just need to avoid muffins, if you’re trying to prevent a muffin top around your middle. One average muffin can cost you 460 calories, 15 grams of fat and 44g of sugar; more calories than a frosted donut. Portion sizes of muffins has grown from a 2oz size to a much larger 5oz version. If you must have your muffins, try to make your own using oatmeal, flax or whole-wheat flour. Additionally try to keep the portions to around 2oz in size for a more reasonable calorie snack.
3. Potato Chips
Chips are high in calories, even the veggie ones. In addition this once you start it can be difficult to stop. Just 15 Lay’s Potato Chips (not many), weighs in at 160 calories and 10g of fat. Don’t be fooled by “veggie” chips, most are nutritionally equivalent to a serving of potato chips. These veggie chips are usually mostly made from corn flour and lose many of their vitamins in the processing. If you need something salty and crunchy to snack on, a multi-grain cracker is a much better alternative.
While this calcium rich dessert is usually sold in perfectly sized portions, it contains tons of empty calories in the form of sugar. As an example: a regular 3.5oz vanilla pudding cup has about 21 grams of sugar, or more than 5 teaspoons worth. A home-made pudding can be a much healthier alternative.
5. Soda (Yes, even diet.)
Soda is pretty obvious in the list of things that will ruin an otherwise good diet. But it’s important to remember that diet soda may not be diet friendly. While a 20oz soda is about the same as eating a large candy bar; research has shown that soda and other sugary drinks promote weight gain and metabolic disorders. Another study found that even while calorie free, each diet soda consumed per day increases a persons risk for being overweight by a staggering 41%
As a country, Americans are consuming more added sugar than ever before. Estimated at about 355 calories per day, or about 22 teaspoons a day. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 100 calories of sugar per day, or a more modest 6 teaspoons. This goes for honey, pure cane syrup, agave or maple syrup they all have the same effects on the body. These provide quick calories and there are metabolic consequences to this, research shows they have addictive properties and can wreak havoc on hunger and satiety cues.
7. French Fries
A study done at Harvard School of Public Health that tracked the diet of more than 120,000 men and women, found that those who ate the most french fries gained the most weight. Those who reported eating french fries gained an average of 3.4 pounds over a 4 year period. Making things worse is that french fry portions have grown over the last few decades, increasing the calories to much more than it used to be. The CDC has released new figures estimating that fast food meals are four times larger toady than in 1950.
8. Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt
Ice cream excites the pleasure center of our brain, this is why its always difficult to eat just a little bit. Just a half cup of Haagen Dazs chocolate chip cookie ice cream contains 300 calories packed in a small package; as well as 23g of sugar and 18g of fat. Keeping it to just a half-cup is difficult as usually we under estimate just how much we have scooped out. Frozen yogurt while usually a little lighter on the calories can also pack in a lot more calories than you would expect.
9. Milk Chocolate
Dark chocolate is antioxidant-rich and lower in added sugar than its counterpart milk chocolate. While all chocolate is pretty big in the calories department, and should be limited to keep calories in check. One single ounce of most chocolate contains 100 or more calories while a single Hershey bar contains 210 calories and about 6 teaspoons of sugar. Dark chocolate has a more intense flavor and can be enjoyed in smaller quantities because of this and can be as satisfying as larger amounts of milk chocolate.
Cookies are a go-to comfort food for a lot of Americans, we eat 2 billion cookies annually . Cookies are in the same boat as many baked goods, they can destroy even those with the greatest willpower. Only 3 Oreo cookies contains 135 calories and nearly 3 teaspoons of sugar. One single solitary, Pepperidge Farm Nantucket Dark Chocolate cookie has a whopping 140 calories! ouch.