When you are trying to lose weight, it’s all about the calories–you must take in fewer than you expend or, in other words, create a caloric deficit. Unfortunately, many convenience foods masquerading as diet-friendly options are, in fact, fattening foods. Avoid these high-calorie diet disasters to keep the scale moving in the right direction.
While full-fat ice cream consumption continues to decline, many still believe that frozen yogurt is a low-calorie option. While non-fat frozen yogurt contains less fat than ice cream, it is usually full of sugar and calories. In addition, many frozen yogurt varieties are low in calcium and protein.
While the portion sizes of frozen entrees are usually modest, the caloric values may not be so modest. So, these meals will often leave you hungry for more and many are also high in fat and sodium, making them a less healthful choice.
Air-popped popcorn is a high-fiber, whole-grain, and low-calorie snack. However, store-bought oil-popped popcorn can be a diet disaster, full of fat, sodium, and calories. Even if you avoid the butter, you might be surprised how little that helps.
Jam and Preserves
Yes, they are made from fruits. Yes, fruits are healthy. BUT, many jams and jellies are loaded with extra sugar, and some fruits are already naturally high in sugar. With 109 calories per 2 tbsp, you better be careful.
Fruit smoothies are popular “health” drinks but are high in sugars and may contain hundreds of calories. If you are going to drink one, this should be done to replace a meal, not in addition to a meal.
Sugar-free hard candies are not calorie-free unless you eat only one or even half of one, but who does that anyway? 3 pieces of Russel Stover Truffles come in at 160 calories.
While some of these bottled beverages are sweetened with non-nutritive sweeteners and are calorie-free, others are not. One serving, or half a bottle, may cost you 50 calories. If you want to avoid all these hidden extra calories and sugars, make your own flavored water at home with a fruit wedge or a cucumber slice.
Salads are known for being diet-friendly. However, with toppings that range from croutons to shredded cheese to bacon bits–the calories can be higher than a fast-food sandwich, and that’s not even including the dressing.
You may feel good about ordering a “tall skim mocha,” but don’t be fooled. While skim milk is low in calories and a diet-friendly addition to coffee–many gourmet coffeehouse items are flavored with high-calorie syrups.
Granola is often marketed as a healthy cereal or snack option. However, many commercial granolas can be high in added sugars and calories. It’s crucial to be mindful of portion sizes.
Dried fruits are concentrated sources of natural sugars and calories. Eating too much can result in a high-calorie intake. One cup of dried fruit can contain as high as 480 calories. If you choose to snack on these, keep it to a quarter of a cup or less.
While marketed as convenient and healthy snacks, some energy bars can be high in calories, sugar, and additives. It’s essential to read the labels and choose bars with minimal added sugars.
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