The worst foods for fat loss are ones that are calorie-dense, high in sugar, and/or provide empty-calories. Calorie-dense foods are ones that are high in calories in comparison to their volume, such as a scoop of ice cream (1 cup serving: 300 calories) or French fries (1 medium serving: 365 calories). High in sugar foods are ones where the majority of the calories are coming directly from sugar, such as dried fruit (1 cup of dates: 110 grams of carbohydrates and 93 grams of those are from natural sugar) or Soda (12-oz of Soda: 39 grams of carbohydrates and all 39 grams of those are from added sugar). Empty-calories foods are ones that provide calories but little to no nutritional value, such as added sugars (like raw sugar) and saturated fats (like butter).
Let’s look at some examples of these calorie-dense, high in sugar, and empty-calorie foods in our comprised list of the 11 worst foods for fat loss….
11 Worst Foods For Fat Loss
1. Sugar-sweetened beverages
Even worse than being a high in sugar food is that this food item is most often marketed as a healthy product! The marketing and packaging makes you think it is healthy, however when you actually read the nutrition facts you’re in for a rude awakening.
Take a look at this Green Monster from Naked? The front label say “No sugar added,” but the nutrition facts show 63 grams of carbs with 53 grams of sugar. That’s the same amount of sugar as a Mountain Dew! So how did the sugar get there? If you look at the ingredients list, the first ingredient is “apple juice,” which has sugar added to it. So Naked is saying WE didn’t ADD any sugar to this, but whoever made the apple juice did!
2. Fruit Juice
Fruit juice is commonly high in sugar and packed with lots of added sugar, or empty-calories. A whole, fresh apple (1 medium: 95 calories, 19 grams sugar) provides additional nutritional benefits of fiber with less sugar than apple juice (1 cup: 113 calories, 24 grams sugar). Rethink how you want to get your daily serving of fruit in before going for the “easy” way out with juice.
3. Granola Bars
Granola bars are one of those food items marketed as healthy, but sometime granola bars can be worse for you than a candy bar. Granola bars can pack on lots of calories with honey, sugar, nuts, and chocolate- so make sure you read the label before you grab your next “granola” bar.
We know that alcohol has calories (7 calories per gram, to be exact), but when you add in mixers (such as simple syrup, fruit juice, or soda), you can easily drink as many calories as you would in a full meal. Did you know that a 10-oz Margarita (550 calories) and a McDonald’s Big Mac (563 calories) have about the same amount of calories? Yikes!
Bagels are dense bread product (versus a less dense croissant), which packs a lot of bread into each bite. One bagel (245 calories, 15 grams carb) has almost 3 times as many calories and carbohydrates as a slice of bread (79 calories, 15 gram carb).
6. French Fries
A medium potato (163 calories) provides more fiber, more nutrition, less calories, and less saturated fat than its fried counter part of French fries (1 medium serving: 365 calories). Rethink how you want to eat your potato- if you want to lose fat.
7. Fully Loaded Salads
Remember that one time you ordered a salad to be healthy? Think again before you order a salad. For example, Baja’s Fresh Tostada Salad with Charbroiled Steak fills you up with 1,230 calories, 63 grams of fat, and over 2300 mg of sodium and P.F. Chang’s Thai Chicken Noodle Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing has 900 calories and 38 grams of fat. That’s a fully calorie and fat loaded salad!
8. White Bread
White bread is calorie-dense compared to nutrient-dense counter part of wheat bread. White bread provides more sugar and less fiber- leaving you less full and more likely to be hungry sooner.
9. Candy Bars
Get your sugar fix, sugar crash, and calories in for the day with few added benefits! Rethink your how you want to fix your sweet tooth before reaching for some Sour Patch Kids (16 pieces for 150 calories, 28 grams of sugar, and food coloring) or a Butterfinger (250 calories, 5 grams of saturated fat, and the number one ingredient as corn syrup).
10. Fancy Coffee Drinks
A Grande black coffee (5 calories, 360 mg caffeine) provides less calories AND more caffeine than a Grande vanilla latté (190 calories, 150mg caffeine). Next time you are looking for a buzz, make sure to choose one that will perk you up, rather than weight you down- literally.
11. Flavored Yogurt
Oh I’m just having a Yoplait strawberry yogurt as a health snack… Yikes, not for 150 calories loaded with 18 grams of sugar from modified cornstarch. Try a low or non-fat yogurt and add real flavors, like whole-strawberries, instead of opting for these artificially flavored sugar-bombs.
These are the worst foods for losing fat because this list provides examples of foods that contain a lot of calories without much nutritional value. When trying to lose fat, you should avoid these calorie-dense, high in sugar, and/or empty-calorie foods. Instead, reach for foods that are the opposite of these: nutrient-dense, low-sugar, and whole foods.
When losing fat, the simplest way to view this is through the process of calories in versus calories out. If you take in fewer calories than you put out, you may experience weight loss. Make your calorie count by filling your plate with nutrient-dense, low sugar, and whole foods.