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White bread

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It may not be super high in calories but, due to the lack of fiber, you’ll be feeling hungry soon after. Swap to a higher fiber bread like wholemeal to keep you feeling fuller longer and less likely to reach for more food right after eating.

Potato chips

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High in fat and low in fiber, not the combination you’re wanting for a weight loss journey. It’s been found in nutritional studies that potato chips are one of the worst foods that contribute to weight gain per serving. Probably because it’s hard to stick to just one serving.

Breakfast pastries

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Don’t be fooled by the fruit or oats added to these, they’re still full of sugar and fat. One grocery store pastry can have around 500 calories and, for such a tiny portion, it’s just not worth it! Stick to foods that are satiating in the morning to avoid overeating later in the day.


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Concentrated source of sugar that just slows your weight loss journey. There is no nutritional value in candy, no matter how many ‘natural fruit juices’ they contain. The sugar will trick you into feeling energized but in reality in a few hours you’ll feel worse than before.

Ice cream

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No one actually ever eats a genuine serving of ice cream. Sugar and fat are the main ingredients of this sweet food and both of those are not aiding in weight loss. Stick to a lower sugar alternative if you need a sweet after meals, such as homemade sorbet or greek yogurt.

Sugary cereal

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It can be tough choosing what’s best from what it seems like 100s of options on the shelf, but most of the popular brands contain heaps of sugar. Cereal serving sizes are also tiny, and that won’t fill an adult up at all. Instead of cereal, try to eat more whole foods like eggs, avocados or oats.


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We all know sodas aren’t good for us, but they are more significant to weight gain than people realize. A lot of sodas are made from fructose syrups, which our bodies literally can’t digest properly. This means instead of being used as glucose (energy) in the body, it gets stored as fat.


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Granola isn’t ‘bad’ for you if you choose the right kinds, but even those aren’t going to help with weight loss overall. Even ‘healthy’ foods can be super high in calories and granola is one of them. Mostly made from oats and sugar, both those ingredients carry heavy calorie numbers.

Sweetened yogurts

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Greek yogurt is great for weight loss as it’s naturally high in protein, but people often reach for flavored yogurts instead because they look better tasting. These just have added sugar and preservatives in them and regular yogurt isn’t that high in protein compared to the no-fat Greek variety. It’s all about which kind you choose.

Processed meat

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Yes, that includes bacon! These kinds of meat are super high in salt and fat and are generally calorie dense. Processed meats are also considered carcinogens, which are very bad for our overall health and can lead to the development of cancer, so it’s best that they be avoided all together.


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Alcohol is super high in calories and it’s the thing a lot of people seem to forget. A regular 12 ounce beer can contain around 150 calories, so think how many you end up drinking on a Friday night. Stick to having a couple of drinks a week rather than per night.

Candied dried fruits

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Fresh fruits contain the benefit of vitamins and fiber, but as soon as they’re dried and candied they kind of lose that effect. Dried fruits alone can be incorporated into a healthy diet, but candied fruits can have the same if not more sugar as a candy bar.


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No matter how they’re labeled or marketed, cookies are cookies. Added fruits, oats, fiber etc don’t make the cookie suddenly healthy, they just add little nutritional value. Eating cookies is okay in moderation, but if you’re choosing certain ones for a weight loss cheat, you’re not going to do well.

Hot dogs

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They’re not only super processed but surrounded by other bad ingredients. White bread bun, fried onions and sugary ketchup is often found at the scene too, so they’re just meals that are not going to do anything for your weight loss journey. If you want an alternative try a chicken sausage.

French fries

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Yeah, everyone knows these aren’t good, but they’re worse than you think! Most fast food places deep fry their fries in dirty oil made from hydrogenated fats. These fats are not the ones you need to power your body, and in fact they can harm you in a multitude of ways instead – most notably in weight gain.

Store bought smoothies

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They are ‘healthy’ usually in terms of nutritional value, but they are also full of sugar and calories! To keep smoothies shelf stable, companies will often put more sugar and preservatives in them. So even though you’re consuming fruit, you’re getting way too much sugar per serving. Consider making your own next time.

White pasta

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It can be incorporated into a balanced diet, but often we eat way too much of it as a single serving compared to how it was intended to be eaten. It’s mostly carbohydrate with very little fiber or protein content, meaning that, without these other elements, carbs won’t keep us full for long – unless we overindulge. Bulk out pasta dishes with lean protein and lots of vegetables.

Chocolate bars

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Seems obvious too much chocolate can stop weight loss, but some chocolate bars are worse than others. Specifically ones that are individually wrapped are usually only small, like fun sized Snickers, and because they’re so small we’re more likely to eat more than one. Stick to richer dark chocolate that’s not super sweet for that little boost!

Low calorie snacks

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Fiber One brownies are not as good as they seem, sorry! Yes, you can have a brownie for 90 calories, but the size of the brownie is something a toddler would eat. Unless you feel satisfied after eating, you are going to be tempted to grab more and more food so there’s no point eating low calorie snacks, unless paired with something else.


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Pretty much all mainstream pizza restaurants don’t offer anything worth eating if you’re health conscious. An occasional slice won’t hurt you, but if you’re having pizza a few times a week you’re just feeding your body processed meats, cheese and grains. Make your own at home with simple ingredients or use cauliflower crusts for a low carb option.

Subs and sandwiches

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Sandwiches are okay if you make them at home and know exactly what’s in them. But, often, grabbing one out the house can add extra calories without you even realizing it. More often than not, stores use full fat mayo or sauces to keep their ingredients from drying, and those are full of fat and calories.

Special coffees

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Caffeine doesn’t have to be removed to lose weight, but the syrups, creamers and cold foams do. Places like Dunkin’ Donuts include huge amounts of sugar in their beverages and it can add up very quickly. If you want to grab a coffee, ask for sugar free syrups and skinny milk where possible.

Salad dressings

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Your salad is going well, protein, some healthy fats, a big portion of veggies… and then you cover it in 300 calories worth of dressing. Salad dressing with oil or dairy as their base have a ton of calories and fat, and their recommended serving sizes are teeny tiny. Stick to making your own with greek yogurt, mustards or light oils.


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Whilst cheese has some health benefits and can be part of a balanced diet, the average person eats way too much of it. Also, cheese is mostly fat with only a bit of protein per portion – so you won’t be satiated from adding too much to your meals anyway. It’s an instant way to boost the calorie content of any meal, with very little payoff.

White rice

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White rice is often stripped of its fiber and healthy antioxidants. Because rice is mostly made of carbohydrates, it can spike your blood sugar quickly, leaving you hungry and tired a lot sooner than if it had more fiber and protein. Try out brown rice or quinoa instead for a healthy alternative.

Coffee creamer


A splash here and there can’t hurt right? Most busy people don’t just have one coffee a day, it could be up to five or six. Adding creamer to every one of those coffees can add 100s of calories to your day without you even noticing and those extra calories could be keeping those stubborn pounds on.

Green juices

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Most of these are just a marketing scam. If you want to have more vegetables, just eat them or make your own juices at home. Often the store bought ones have sugar added to them to make them more pleasant to drink – because drinking blended kale and spinach alone does not taste good.

Diet soda

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There have been some studies of the link between artificial sweeteners and appetite, and they found that in some people the fake sweetness can actually make them hungrier later on. It’s also easy to fall into the habit of using a diet drink to feel less guilty about the fatty meal you’re eating with it.

Flavored popcorns

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Popcorn, when done right, can be a healthy snack. Often, though, the packs we buy from stores already have fat and sugar added to them. The ones flavored with cheese or honey are super high in fat and added calories, stick to making your own at home with a drop of oil and small amount of salt.


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Vodka with slim soda isn’t doing you any favors. A serving of vodka which is approx a single shot can be 97 calories, without any mixer added. Now think back to the weekend and how many vodka sodas you ended the night with. A drunken night can easily add 400-500 calories to your day – even if avoiding beer.


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Cabbage and carrots are healthy, sure, but huge amounts of dressing isn’t. Often store bought or restaurant coleslaw can be full of calories because they’ll use full fat mayo, sour cream or creme fraiche. This won’t do anything to help your waistline, so just stick to eating veggies without the dressing or make your own version at home with low fat mayonnaise.

Energy bars

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The majority of ‘energy’ bars get their energy from sugar and sugar alone. Even some protein bars will have 20-40 grams of sugar in them, so unless you’re running for miles or lifting the gym you will be getting a huge sugar crash for no reason.

Peanut butter

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Peanuts have healthy fats that have some nutritional benefits, but they are also super high in calories. A serving size of peanut butter is tiny and most people don’t actually measure it out when adding it to their oatmeal or toast. Unless you have great restraint, it’s best to not add this to your meals.

Sweetened Iced Tea

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Iced tea is a sugar minefield, especially in the States. Most store bought or restaurant teas have so much added sugar they could be added to the dessert menu. Order it unsweetened or brew your own at home and sweeten with some honey or lemon juice.


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It will still be cake no matter what ingredients are added. Treats here and there are okay, but if you’re insisting your morning ‘breakfast’ muffin is healthy that’s where you’re going wrong. Muffins are the same as any cake base, even if they have fruit or oats added to them, and you wouldn’t say a slice of cake for breakfast is healthy.


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Bagels are delicious, but that’s the problem. A bagel in itself can be 250-350 calories depending on the type, but then you add the fillings. Cream cheese is a popular topping and it’s pretty much all fat and high in calories. Deli meats are also a popular filling and they are just processed fats with salt added.


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Crackers are easy to overeat because you think “well, they’re not technically chips” so they must be healthy. Most crackers have the same amount of salt and sometimes fat as traditional potato chips, and often don’t have any added fiber that will keep you full for very long.

Fruit juices

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Fruit is healthy, so just eat it in the portions you need. When fruit is juiced it’s often removed of any of it’s natural fiber too, which means you’re consuming high amounts of sugar, a few vitamins and that’s it. You wouldn’t eat 8 oranges in one sitting, so don’t drink them either.


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Yes, even the plain original glazed. Donuts are just carbs and sugar, which may be yummy but will do nothing to genuinely keep you full, especially if you’re replacing a meal with one or two donuts. Treat yourself now and then with a donut for dessert and not for breakfast every morning.


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A typical glass of white wine can have between 130-160 calories. This may not seem like a lot, but if you’re not sticking to one glass it can add up. If you’re looking to shed some pounds and can’t seem to find where to lower your calories, look at your wine cabinet.