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Top Ten Foods To Avoid When Trying To Lose Weight

As a Charleston fitness and weight loss consultant people ask me all the time, “Shane, what foods should I be avoid eating?” The truth is this is a tough question to answer because there are so many foods that could fall into this category.

My short and sweet response to this question is typically, “If God made it, eat it, if he didn’t leave it alone.”

I’ll admit this is a very simplistic answer but this advice will rarely steer you wrong. I heard that line a long time ago and it has always stuck with me. I think it came from the legendary fitness guru Jack LaLanne. There’s so much truth in that statement that I encourage you to read it again.

Building a diet that helps you get to your ideal body weight hinges both on the quantity (calories) and quality (nutrient ratios) of food. While most everyone knows they should be eating healthy foods but few people realize the true effect that eating “junk food” has on their body.

Once you realize that food is a drug it will change your entire way of thinking. The truth is every time you open your mouth it will have a drug like effect on the hormonal systems in your body (for either good or bad). There’s no getting around this.

Understanding how to eat for the correct hormonal balances is more important than knowing exactly which foods to avoid

Most people also don’t typically fully understand how to best combine foods along with how many calories they should be eating. To grasp this you must have an understanding of your unique metabolism.

This is why I believe if you’re serious about weight loss should always start by testing your metabolism first with a resting metabolic rate test.

Without knowing how many calories you should be eating you’ll only be guessing with your numbers. Knowing which foods to avoid will only take you so far.

My list of top 10 foods to avoid technically could’ve included most anything that is pre-packaged or boxed which is probably hundreds if not thousands of foods. But I wanted to give you my top ten worst foods so you could really see what the baddest of the bad are.

While I do believe it’s ok to eat most any food in moderation, there are some foods that are naturally worse for your body than others. Without further ado here’s my list of the top 10 worst foods (in no particular order) that you should avoid.

#1 Top Ten Foods To Avoid: French Fries

Cons: Hydrogenated oil, calories from saturated fat, calories and carbohydrates.

French fries are fattening plain and simple. If you want to gain weight eat French fries…what more can I say. This is definitely one food you’ll want to avoid especially if you’re trying to lose weight.

A lot of restaurants are getting away from the hydrogenated oil which is good but this food is still useless to your body from a nutrient standpoint. It’s what I would call “nutrient poor” which means you’re body will get all the calories but still be hungry after eating it since it’s lacking in nutrients.

Evidence: (1) medium McDonalds French Fries is a whopping 380 calories, 19 grams of fat, and 48 grams of carbohydrates…that’s just the medium! If you really want to get a slap in the face check out the calories in a large or “super size.”

#2 Top Ten Foods To Avoid: Doughnuts

Cons: Hydrogenated oil, calories from saturated fat, sugar content.

Doughnuts rank right up there at the top of “nutrient poor” foods as well. You can eat a lot of them and not feel full at all, but you’ll still get all the calories. This is a sure fire recipe for storing fat. There’s really no room for doughnuts in your diet unless you want to start hormonal havoc on your body.

Doughnuts would be categorized as “pogey bait” as my father used to say. I remember he would say this word anytime he saw candy bars, cakes, or other junk food in my hand. “What are you doing eating that “pogey bait” boy? That stuff’s for sissies.”

What can I say it worked…what ten year old boy would want to eat something that he thought would make him a sissy?

Evidence: (1) Krispy Cream glazed doughnut has over 50% of its calories coming from fat and each one coming it at over 200 calories and 20 plus grams of sugar.

#3 Top Ten Foods To Avoid: Potato Chips

Cons: High Fructose Corn Syrup, calories from fat, sodium, and total carbohydrates.

While I’ll agree there are some potato chips that are better than others, as a group they still make my top ten list of the worst things you can eat. Potato chips are notorious “empty foods” since they’re high in calories and fat and void of any real nutritional value.

Most people have no problem sitting down and eating a whole bag of chips but would have a real hard time sitting down and eating anything natural with the same amount of calories. Try eating the same amount of calories from oatmeal and let me know how far you get.

Evidence: (1) Bag of “Baked” Ruffles (you know “baked” the “healthy” kind) has 1200 calories, 30 grams of fat, 210 grams of carbohydrates, and over 2000 mg of sodium!

#4 Top Ten Foods To Avoid: Bottled Fruit Smoothies

Cons: Sugar content is ridiculously high. One bottle has more sugar than a snickers candy bar.

These drinks are masqueraded as being “healthy” but the truth is they’ll create an insulin atom bomb in your body.

Try throwing 40-50 grams of sugar in your body at one time and oh yeah…you’re going to have some issues. These drinks are not healthy…this is a big fat lie. Don’t be fooled by the pictures of fruit on the label.

Evidence: (1) bottle of Dannon Frusion Fruit Smoothie has over 40 grams of sugar

#5 Top Ten Foods To Avoid: Sodas And Soft Drinks

Cons: sugar content, phosphorous content, artificial sweeteners.

I have to rank sodas (although not a food) right up there with some of the worst things you can stick in your body. Jesus turned water into wine but I don’t think he would have done the same for Mountain Dew.

This stuff is just plain bad news. There’s nothing good about sodas. It’s addicting (that’s a problem all by itself) and even if you’re drinking “diet soda” you’re not getting off easy.

The sugar is the kiss of death with regular sodas but even the diet sodas are pure poison in my book. Here’s why… for starters most still contain some type of artificial sweetener, they have to or it wouldn’t taste very good.

Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, I’m convinced came straight from the devil. Do a little research on Google and you’ll be blown away. You don’t want to be taking too much of this stuff in, trust me.



The other reason all sodas, even diet sodas, are no good is because of the phosphorous content. The phosphorous will bind calcium in your liver and you’ll excrete it out.

Obviously this is not good for your bone density but it will also affect your ability to lose weight. You need calcium for the breakdown of fat in your liver.

If you’re a soda drinker, cut back a little at a time until you can give them up completely. Drink water during the day and enjoy a glass of wine at night…it’s much better for you.

Evidence: (1) 12 oz can of coca cola has over 37 grams of sugar or over 10 teaspoons!

#6 Top Ten Foods To Avoid: Bloomin Onion

Cons: extremely high in fat and calories

Probably the worst food on the planet. There’s not much to say about this one. Look at the numbers below and I think it says it all.

Evidence: (1) order of Bloomin Onion from Outback has 2310 calories, 134 g fat, and 241 carbs!

#7 Top Ten Foods To Avoid: Prime Rib

Cons: saturated fat content

If you’re a steak lover’s you’re not going to be happy about this one. Hey, I understand…I love a good filet myself. But this prime rib cut is a heart attack on a plate waiting to happen. The fat content in this cut of meat is absurd.

Anytime you can get a full day supply (or more) of fat in a single 8 ounces of meat, that’s not good. Avoid the prime rib and get yourself a lean cut of meat like a filet.

Evidence: Fat content in one 8 oz piece is 38 grams!

#8 Top Ten Foods To Avoid: Fried Cheese Sticks

Cons: saturated fat content

Do we really need to discuss this one? It’s got to be a close second to the Bloomin Onion as the worst food on the planet.

You’ve got cheese (which is fat) then you fry it in oil (more fat). This was just not intended in the natural order of things. I don’t think we’re supposed to be frying fat in fat! That’s all I got to say on this.

Evidence: (1) stick has 13 grams of fat

#9 Top Ten Foods To Avoid: Pancakes With Butter And Syrup

Cons: calorie content, fat content, nutrient poor

Ever eat a stack of pancakes then find yourself starving an hour later? You know why you were starving? Because you ate an empty food, void of nutrients that spiked your blood sugar levels and gave you a super sized dose of insulin.

This is hormonal havoc to your body and everything gets out of whack. You eat but you still feel hungry…that is of course if you can stay awake after the insulin surge.

While I’ll hate to be bashing an old time favorite, I’ve got to call it like I see it…and pancakes with butter and syrup make my list of foods to avoid.

Evidence: Just (2) pancakes with butter and syrup will be over 700 calories, 80 plus grams of carbohydrates, 40 plus grams sugar, and over 30 grams of fat!

#10 Top Ten Foods To Avoid: Pop-Tarts And Pastries

Cons: high in sugar, nutrient poor food, artificial sweeteners, an ingredient list so long that I get nervous just reading it.

Here’s the deal with this breakfast food favorite. I say “breakfast food” favorite but my grandma figured if they were good enough for breakfast they were good enough for a snack for us kids. I remember she would give us grandkids Pop-Tarts and Pepsi as a snack every time we’d go over to her house. Whoa…talk about a sugar rush.

Now God bless grandma…I’m not picking on her. She didn’t know she might as well be giving us insulin shots and was only trying to treat us of course. The truth is Pop-Tarts are another food that have zero nutritional value and are nothing but empty calories.

Now as a kid with a “blast furnace” metabolism I can burn one of these babies up in a matter of minutes, but as an adult eating these pastries (let’s call it what it is) this would be a real problem. My advice…stick with whole grains like oatmeal or high fiber cereal.

Evidence: (1) packet has over 80 grams of carbs and 30+ grams of sugar!

Shane Doll is a certified Charleton personal trainer, fat loss expert and founder of Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios. Learn more how you can receive a FREE trial of our personal training programs and experience the Shaping Concepts difference for yourself.

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Category: Nutrition.