When it comes to weight loss, the goal is to be able to eat more and weigh less by eating lots of fruits and veggies; drinking plenty of water; and broths and broth-based soups. Together, they add plenty of heft to your diet so you feel more satisfied but without too many calories.
But researchers are finding that the opposite is also true: There are foods that pack in so many calories per serving size, that they make it almost impossible to control your calories when they’re part of your diet.
Obesity researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand have identified 49 of the words foods and beverages that pack in too many calories for their size and they offer essentially no upside nutritionally. The research is published in the current issue of the New Zealand Medical Journal, researchers say the list was primarily developed to help overweight and obese people easily identify which foods they should avoid.
According to the study, foods labeled as “healthy,” “smart,” or “all-natural” doesn’t mean that they should be part of a weight loss diet. For example, honey and granola are just a few of the supermarket staples that have tricked dieters into believing they’re healthy choices, when in fact, they are as equally loaded with calories, fat, sodium, and simple sugars as their more vilified counterparts of table sugar, potato chips, and sweet cereals.
After reviewing the list, most of us trying to lose weight could easily live without most of these foods. I always advise someone who is trying to lose weight to avoid alcohol, liquid calories, fried foods, baked goods and many other foods on this list.
If you’re struggling to lose or maintain a healthy weight, review the list and see how many of these items you frequently eat. If you eat or drink several of them more than 1-2 times a week, it’s time to think about cutting back to having fewer of five foods on this list no more than twice a week. And, if you’re eating foods on this list, be sure to balance your diet with other healthier choices like fresh fruits and veggies, less processed whole grains and lean protein sources.
1. Alcoholic drinks
3. Butter, lard, dripping or similar fat (used as a spread or in baking/cooking etc.)
4. Cakes & Cupcakes
7. Coconut cream
8. Condensed milk
10. Corn chips
11. Cream (including crème fraiche)
13. Deli meats
15. Energy drinks
16. Flavored milk/milkshakes
17. Fruit canned in syrup
18. Fruit rollups
19. Fried food
20. Fried potatoes/French fries
21. Frozen yogurt
22. Fruit juice (except tomato juice and unsweetened black currant juice)
23. Glucose (pure sugar)
24. High-fat crackers
26. Hot chocolate, chocolate milk
31. Muesli/granola bars
33. Nuts roasted in fat or oil
36. Popcorn with butter or oil
39. Reduced cream
40. Regular powdered drinks
43. Soft drinks
44. Sour cream
45. Sugar (added to anything including drinks, baking, cooking etc.)
46. Syrups such as golden syrup, treacle, maple syrup
47. Toasted muesli, granola, and any other breakfast cereal with more than 15 grams of sugar per 100 grams of cereal
48. Whole milk
49. Sugar-rich flavored yogurt