3 Foods to Throw Away if You Want to Lose Weight

Get rid of the calorie culprits that ruin your diet

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Put your "healthy" food in the trash. Peter Dazeley/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Diet experts often say that you should clean out your pantry, your cupboards and your refrigerator when you start a new weight loss plan. I completely agree. It's important to set up your kitchen for success if you're really serious about slimming down. But often, dieters don't have the time for a complete kitchen overhaul.

If you are short on time but committed to getting lean and fit, here's the quick-start plan for kitchen clean-up.

  Grab your trash can, open the refrigerator door and dump these three items to decrease your calorie intake and lose weight faster.

3 Food Items to Dump if You're on a Diet

  1. Salad Dressing.  Salad sounds like the perfect diet food. Fill your lunch plate full of healthy veggies and you'll lose weight, right? Wrong!  In many cases, your salad is a diet disaster. And many times, the salad dressing is what adds the most fat and calories.  In small amounts, salad dressing isn't too bad.  But when is the last time you measured the amount that you poured on your salad?  The calories in salad dressing can ruin your energy balance for the day.  Even fat-free dressings have a downside.  Often, these products are full of sugar and still very high in calories. A better option is to add spicy, flavorful ingredients like peppers or radishes to your greens and go dressing-free.  Or dress your salad with lemon. 
     
  1. Flavored Coffee Creamer. If you can't live without the sweet, milky taste of flavored creamer in your morning coffee, I feel your pain. I used to be addicted to hazelnut creamer.  But I got over it when I realized the health impact it had on my diet.  If you read the nutrition facts label, the calorie and fat content of flavored creamer doesn't look too bad. But when you read between the lines, the story isn't so pretty.  Flavored creamers are one of the most common foods we overeat. If you multiply your actual portion size times the calorie count per serving, you might be surprised. Think the fat-free creamers are better?  Nope. Non-dairy fat free creamers are one of the most common sources of hidden fat.  A better option is to learn to make healthier flavored coffee drinks at home.
     
  1. Juice.  Again, juice sounds like it should be part of a healthy diet-friendly breakfast. In fact, some dieters make juice the entire meal.  But the bottom line is that when you drink fruit juice you are drinking a glass full of sugar. Fresh juice does contain vitamins that are good for you, but why not just eat a whole piece of fruit?  You might be surprised to find that when you compare the calories in an orange to the calories in a glass of orange juice the fruit fares better. And whole food is more satisfying than sipping your calories through a straw. 

The one thing that these foods have in common is that many dieters believe they are healthy because they contain a healthy ingredient or because they have a healthy looking label.  We often overeat foods that carry that "health halo" and we end up consuming excess fat, calories and ingredients that aren't good for us  Of course, dumping these foods is just the beginning of a full kitchen clean-up, but if you can trash these three things, you'll be on your way to a healthier diet and a slimmer physique.

 

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