The facts are in the fine print
It's easy to trick yourself into thinking certain foods really aren't that bad for you. Yep, we're talking about fat-free chips, low-cal mayonnaise, and diet soda, among others. But the fact is, these sneaky foods could be single-handedly ruining your diet. In fact, you might as well indulge in a candy bar-seriously. Here we review seven foods hurting your waistline.
1. Low-fat or fat-free cookies
What most people doesn't realize is "fat-free" doesn't mean low in calories. So all those highly processed foods that are billed as fat-free may be as high in calories as their fat-filled counterparts-if not higher! Food manufacturers replace fat with lots of empty white carbs-the exact opposite of what you should be eating when trying to lose weight.
2. Diet soda
Diet soda is packed with artificial sweeteners. This means even though the soda has no calories, it's confusing the heck out of your body. Here's why: Every time you eat something, your body expects calories. But artificial sweeteners trick your body and leave you feeling hungrier. This usually results in snacking and extra calories (and a thicker waistline)!
3. Salad dressing
You're eating salad-how bad can it be? Pretty terrible, actually. Did you know that some of the most fattening items at Chili's and Taco Bell are salads? That's because some full-fat dressings pack in 200 calories per serving. So if you douse your greens with ranch or blue cheese, you might as well have just had the pizza. If you're going to have salad, stick to the low-calorie options.
A little mayonnaise on your sandwich isn't going to hurt anyone, right? Wrong. Did you know that just one tablespoon of mayonnaise contains 100 calories and 12 grams of fat? Yikes! Next time you're making lunch, spread some yellow mustard instead. With no fat and just three calories per serving, it's a much healthier way to add flavor and moisture to your meal.
5. Fancy coffee drinks
A cup of black coffee has just three calories. So it's easy to fool yourself into thinking your cup of joe isn't adding many calories to your day. But if said beverage is from Starbucks or Peets, it's likely you upgraded a bit. Each dollop of whip cream adds about 100 calories. Every spoonful of cream tags on 100 more. If you must dilute your coffee, use skim milk and save the incredibly high caloric drinks for special occasions. (Caramel macchiato, we're looking at you.)
If you unwind with a beer each evening, it might be hurting your waistline. Unless you're drinking Michelob Ultra or something similar, each serving has at least 100 calories. And if you like full-bodied beers, the calorie count only goes up. Instead of beer, try a vodka and diet tonic with a slice of lime. It has half the calories as most beers.
7. White Rice
If you're pounding down white rice, it might be the reason you can't drop those last 10 pounds. White rice is a simple carbohydrate, which means it's high in sugar and low in fiber-and not good for someone trying to lose weight. Substituting brown rice will not only keep you full longer, it's much higher in fiber making it a healthier food choice.
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