If the number on the scale isn’t budging, there may be a few foods and drinks that are undermining your weight loss goals. Added sugars, seemingly healthy snacks, and empty calories hidden in after-work cocktails could be slowing down your progress. Read on to learn about four of the worst foods for weight loss.
You likely already know that ultra-processed foods, refined grains, and fatty foods such as french fries and white bread may cause unwanted weight gain.
While it certainly sounds healthy, pouring yourself a bowl full of granola in the morning may not be the best food to eat. While there are various types of granola, generally, this high-calorie cereal is usually low in fiber and high in sugar and can contain up to 600 calories in just one cup.1
Try This: Instead of filling up your breakfast bowl with granola, try enjoying a nonfat Greek yogurt sprinkled with fresh berries or a small dollop of nut butter. If you want a similar crunch, sprinkle a few heart-healthy nuts, such as almonds or walnuts on top of your yogurt. The combination of protein and fiber will help you feel satisfied and may keep you from reaching for junk food shortly after breakfast.
Another great option: Jenny Craig Cranberry Almond Cereal. Featuring whole grain rolled oats and served in the perfect portion size, you can still enjoy a crunchy cereal without the extra calories.
2. Dried fruit
Your mom was right – you should eat your fruit and vegetables; however, you should also avoid snacking on dried fruit and stick to the fresh kind. Although dried fruit still contains most of the vitamins and nutrients found in its fresh counterpart, this snack is typically calorie-dense since all of the water is removed and can be packed with added sugar.2
A simple example: eating a grape vs. a raisin. Although they're the same fruit, eating a handful of grapes will likely fill you up quicker than the raisins. You'd have to eat more raisins to feel just as satisfied. And since dried fruit can taste as sweet as candy, it can be easy to eat more than the recommended serving size.
Try This: Grab some watermelon, an apple or a handful of fresh berries when your sweet tooth calls. Not only will the fiber help fill you up, but the water content is a great way to help your body stay hydrated.3
It’s a habit that can be hard to kick – but frequently drinking regular soda can interfere with your weight loss goals. According to WebMD, the problem usually stems from excess consumption of the sugary beverage and how quickly the extra calories can add up.4 And while most of us know sodas aren’t great for our health, the average adult consumes around 145 calories a day from sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda.5
Try This: If you can’t give up the bubbles in soft drinks, stock up on unsweetened flavored soda water, or make infused water with fresh fruit or refreshing vegetables to add a light, sweet flavor.
Not only can excessive consumption of adult beverages damage your liver, heart, and immune system,4 but that nightly glass of wine or a weekly happy hour with friends could also be impairing your long-term weight loss. Alcoholic beverages can be chock-full of empty calories that can add up quickly, especially with the sugar-laden mixers and juices most cocktails contain. The good news is that cutting out 250 calories' worth of wine a night (subsequently eliminating nearly 2,000 calories each week), you could almost lose a pound without doing much else.4
Try This: Opt for flavored sparkling water or kombucha to enjoy something flavorful alongside your meal without the empty calories. If you’re at a happy hour, ask for a lemon or lime in your water — you can still enjoy the company of your friends while sipping a hydrating beverage and sticking to your diet!
Are you ready to try a weight loss program with balanced, healthy meals that still lets you enjoy your favorite foods and lose weight? Contact Jenny Craig to book your free appointment to get started!
Elisa is a content marketing manager for Jenny Craig with over ten years of experience working in the health and fitness industry. She loves sharing her passion for living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. A San Diego native and an endurance sports enthusiast, you can usually find her swimming, biking along the coast highway or running by the beach in her free time. Elisa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University Chico.
Favorite healthy snack: mozzarella string cheese with a Pink Lady apple
Monica has over 15 years of experience with Jenny Craig, as an expert nutrition and program resource. She develops content, training, tools and strategies for the program to support clients throughout their weight loss journey, and offers inspiration, weight loss tips, lifestyle strategies and motivation. Monica holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Dietetics and Exercise, Fitness & Health from Purdue University and continues to stay current on weight management research, consumer trends and healthcare developments.
Favorite healthy snack: raw veggie sticks with homemade hummus
This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and is written by experienced health and lifestyle contributors and fact-checked by Monica Ropar, Nutritionist at Jenny Craig.
Our goal at Jenny Craig is to provide the most up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics, so our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All articles undergo an extensive review process, and depending on topic, are reviewed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Nutritionist, to ensure accuracy.
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