10 Foods You Should Never Eat on a Diet to Lose Weight
- Bakery muffins – according to Karen Collins, R.D., muffins are not the healthy breakfast treat folks once thought. In fact, the average bakery muffin, weighing double the homemade version, provides 340 to 660 calories, without any spread or additions. Instead of a large bran muffin, have a serving of bran flakes with low-fat milk, topped with a few toasted nuts or a handful of a honey-flake cereal for less than 150 calories. Savings – average 350 calories.
- Croissants – we’d best leave these delicate pastries to the French. However, they are not as bad as you might think. A large croissant averages 270 calories. The problem is that they are loaded with fat (especially saturated or ‘bad’ fat) offering up about 17 g of total fat and 6 g of saturated fat. Not much can replace a croissant. Go for a mini croissant instead for 114 calories and about 6 g of total fat. Savings – average 150 calories.
- Cinnamon rolls – these come in a variety of flavors and sizes, none of which are particularly ‘diet friendly.’ According to health.com (Health Magazine), a large caramel pecan cinnamon roll (Cinnabon) can cost you over 1,000 calories and 56 g of total fat, not to mention 47 g of sugar. If you crave cinnamon and carbohydrates, go for a slice or two of cinnamon-raisin bread (toasted) with a dab of light margarine and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar for less than 200 calories (for two slices). Savings – average > 800 calories.
- Cakes (pound/frosted) – even a modest 3 oz. piece of a pound cake contains over 360 calories, of which over 50% comes from fat! Evan a slice of ‘fat-free’ pound cake provides 240 calories and 0 g of dietary fiber. Frosted cakes are even worse and full of sugar, increasing the calories to more than 350 per slice. How about a packet of instant oatmeal as a quick fix? Don’t turn your nose up until you try one of the many yummy flavors available: banana bread, apple cinnamon, brown sugar cinnamon, golden brown sugar, honey nut, French vanilla and others. Savings – average > 200 calories.
- Cookies – cookies are full of calories, sugar and fat. A typical serving (two cookies) can set you back anywhere from 200 to 400 calories. While not necessarily a ‘health food,’ there are some tasty substitutes that will meet your need for something sweet and crunchy, such as cinnamon graham crackers (two full sheets) or a Kellogg’s FiberPlus caramel coconut fudge bar. The main ingredient is whole rolled oats. One bar has 130 calories, 4 g total fat and a whopping 9 g of dietary fiber. Savings – average 200 calories.
- Donuts – technically ‘fried dough’ that is sweet and coated in some sort of frosting or glaze, these are hard to give up. Just how bad are donuts? Most cake donuts range between 290 to 360 calories and cream filled range from 300 to 390 calories each. When your goal is cutting calories and you really want a donut, go for the best of the worst, go for a very simple yeast/raised, glazed donut. While donuts are high in total/trans fats, for a very occasional treat, one yeast donut will cost you about 200 calories. Savings – average 150 calories.
- Brownies – if you want a brownie, you are looking for a sweet, chewy chocolate treat, at 300+ calories per serving. There are dozens of reduced-fat, reduced-calorie recipes available on-line for ‘healthier’ brownies. If you are not in the mood for too much labor, try the ‘No Pudge’ line of brownie mixes. They are quick and simple, calling for one or two ingredients in addition to the mix. If you can stick to the small serving size (1/12th of the recipe) you’ll take in only 120 calories. If not, try General Mills FiberOne chocolate fudge ‘brownie’ bars at 90 calories and 5 g of dietary fiber each. Savings – average 250 calories.
- Pies – calorie counts for pies vary greatly depending upon the type, whether it is single/double crust, etc. An average slice of all American apple pie averages about 400 calories. For a sweet, low-calorie apple treat, mix ½ cup of unsweetened applesauce with a half-cup of vanilla yogurt and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon. Top with graham cracker crumbs. Or, for a warmer option bake an apple you have cored (sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar) or a sugar-free sweetener until tender. Savings – average 300 calories.
- White bread – with white bread, the problem is more the quality versus the quantity of calories. Regular white bread comes up short on most nutrients except a few B-vitamins and carbohydrates. It is not particularly filling either. If you must have white bread, choose a better option, such as Natural Ovens ‘Better White Bread.’ It offers about the same amount of calories as conventional white bread but more protein (5 g) and dietary fiber (2 g) per slice.
- White flour rolls/Kaiser rolls – these are worse than white bread because they are so large, particularly Kaiser rolls. One of these or a large submarine sandwich roll can cost you 200+ calories each. Instead, choose a small (4” diameter) whole-wheat pita for 74 calories or a whole-wheat ‘slim bun’ (type of flat-bread with a round shape) for 100 calories each. Savings – average 130 calories.
- “Think muffins and bagels are healthy? Think again.” Karen Collins R.D. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6307384/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/t/think-muffins-bagelsare-healthy-think-again/
- “25 diet-busting foods you should never eat.” Sarah Klein. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20307363,00.html
- ‘’45 easy ways to lose one pound a week.’’ Fitness Magazine. Tracy Teare. http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/weight-loss/tips/motivation/45-easy-ways-to-lose-one-pound-a-week/
- United States Department of Agriculture: Nutritive Value of Foods: http://ddr.nal.usda.gov/bitstream/10113/26692/1/CAT11131126.pdf