Not all junk food offenders are created equal. Some are obvious enemies to your waist-line, like candy, cookies and potato chips. But not all high-cal foods are so easy to spot. We’ve got a line-up filled with eats that you probably don’t think of as junk foods. And you’re right. But over-eating any of these items can be detrimental to your weight loss dreams.
- Dried Fruit – Though you’re supposed to get between 2 and 4 servings of fruit per day, skip over dried fruit. Most varieties have at least 5 times the amount of calories as compared to the fresh alternatives. Plus, many are sweetened with sugar, which makes more even more calories. Try eating fresh fruit instead. Stick to what’s in season and you won’t even miss the dried kind.
- Sour Cream – It may be a flavor enhancer, but adding a dollop of sour cream onto your dinner can lead you down the road to weight gain. An easy way to combat this problem (and still get the flavor) is to buy fat-free sour cream. It may not be as thick or rich, but it still tastes pretty good. But the best thing to do is to give up sour cream completely, and stick to Greek yogurt instead. The latter has the same consistency as sour cream but is much less fattening.
- Half-and-Half – Most people aren’t pouring more than a couple tablespoonfuls into their coffee, but if you start adding half-and-half in every single day, the calories quickly add up. What’s even worse is the fact that these calories are a major waste. They made give your coffee a milky boost, but there isn’t much nutritional value. Next time you make a pot of joe, try adding a bit of almond milk. It’s packed with nutrients and still tastes great. You can also make a less strong cup of coffee so the half-and-half becomes unnecessary.
- Trail Mix – Nuts are really good for you, right? Yes, but that doesn’t mean you should eat tons and tons of them! Why? They’re high in calories. Most snack mixes aren’t just filled with nuts either. Often, you’ve got chunks of chocolate and some deep-fried items. Next time a craving hits, create your own healthy snack mix. Add in nuts, whole wheat pretzels and your favorite cereal. Just remember, eat in moderation, or you’re going to have to get on a trail and hike off those calories.
- Diet Drinks – When our eyes lock with the words “zero calories” on a nutrition label, we jump for joy. But calories don’t tell the whole story. Diet soda drinks are still artificially sweetened and can trigger cravings for other high-fat foods. There’s a reason why some people have to have potato chips when they’re drinking pop! If you’re going to drink diet soda, do it sparingly, or have a glass of water with a lemon instead.
- White Rice – A perfect side…well, only if you want to eat lots and lots of it. This light grain won’t fill you up since it lacks fiber. That’s why it’s on the list. If you’re not full, you’re more likely to keep eating and more likely to gain weight. We recommend that you stick to brown rice instead. It doesn’t undergo additional processing, and it has many more essential nutrients like B vitamins, iron and fiber.