9 Foods That Are Wrecking Your Diet

July 21, 2014

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CarbsYou may be making your best effort to lose weight and eat healthy, but calories can be sneaky. Sometimes so-called health foods can be the culprit. It’s easy to underestimate how much you’re really eating, but knowledge is the first step. Find out which foods may be contributing to weight gain, and learn how to stay satisfied without packing on the pounds.

Bagels: A large bagel and cream cheese can clock in at a whopping 500 calories or more! Although a 500-calorie meal isn’t a no-no on a weight loss plan, a bagel and cream cheese has very little nutritional value. Essentially, you’re consuming empty calories, which put you at risk for weight gain and other health issues. A recent study found those who start their day with a high-protein breakfast, like eggs, are less likely to gain weight than those who have a carbohydrate-rich breakfast.

Salad Dressing: If you’ve become a slave to salads in an effort to lose weight, you may be doing more harm than good. Yes, the green, leafy veggies provide a nutritional punch, but drenching them in dressing can tack on more calories and fat than a burger! One serving of creamy ranch dressing has about 180 calories and 20 grams of fat, and that’s if you’re disciplined enough to only dump on one serving. To keep your salad slim, stick to vinegar-based dressings, which have fewer calories and more healthy fats.

Trail Mix: Store-bought trail mix is just candy with a healthy label. The combination of dried fruit, banana chips (sometimes fried!), and chocolate will put you in sugar overload, and overly salted nuts aren’t doing your health too many favors. One small serving can be up to 300 calories, and one bag of trail mix contains about six servings. Lighten up this picnic favorite by making your own. Mix your favorite unsalted nuts with raisins, cranberries, and heart-healthy dark chocolate. Separate into single-serving bags so you don’t overdo it!

Granola: Although granola boasts healthy whole-grain oats and dried fruit, its health claims become irrelevant when it’s drenched in syrups and sugar. Tasty? Yes. But it’s really just candy with a health food stamp. One cup of granola clocks in at about 450 calories, and that’s before you add milk.

Smoothies: One smoothie clocks in around 400 calories, but many consider a smoothie a snack. Eating a daily 400-calorie snack is a surefire way to gain weight. But smoothies can be delicious and nutritious when eaten as meal. Mix in some yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit for a dose of protein, and it should hold you over until your next meal.

Sushi: When dining out, sushi can be a safe choice that won’t derail your weight loss plan if you make the right menu choices. Fresh fish and veggies wrapped in seaweed will keep you on weight loss track, but many signature rolls tarnish the health label by adding fat-laden sauces and fried foods. Steer clear from tempura???it just means fried???and mayo and eel sauce???packed with fat and sugar.

Diet Soda: It may have zero calories, but that doesn’t mean it will help you lose weight. Studies show diet soda actually stimulates your appetite, causing you to eat more throughout the day. The best zero-calorie beverage: plain, non-carbonated water.

Frozen yogurt: Frozen yogurt is a better alternative to ice cream, but beware of the self-serve yogurt shops. Keep in mind one serving???about 100 calories???is 4 ounces. It’s easy to get carried away and fill your cup to the rim, but that won’t do your weight loss plan any favors. The real calorie bomb is at the toppings bar. Topping your yogurt with candy, whipped cream, and hot fudge can add hundreds of calories. Skip the toppings bar altogether or opt for fresh fruit to complete your dessert.

Turkey Burgers: Turkey may be leaner than ground beef, but a turkey burger ordered at a restaurant can have just as much fat as a regular burger. Restaurants typically use ground turkey that contains dark meat and skin, which is full of fat. Although it???s a little pricier, you can purchase lean ground turkey at most supermarkets. If you prepare the lean version at home, you do save yourself a significant amount of fat and calories.

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