Six Diet Wreckers


The Warning Flags

  • Fat-Free
  • Frozen Entrees
  • Pre-Made Trail Mix
  • Gluten-Free
  • Beverages
  • Smoothies

It's the time of year when many of us start diets. But the problem is, some of the foods you choose might actually cause you to pack on the pounds.

Charlie Moriarity is watching what he eats, so he always checks out the labels.

"It's so many calories for six or seven chips or that kind of thing,” he said. “And who ever eats seven chips? Not me!"

Dietitian Kristyn Lassek, with Alegent Creighton Health, admits food can be tricky. So first on her list to watch out for: anything labeled fat-free.

"They say fat-free so it gives us a green light in our mind to go ahead and overindulge," she said.

On top of that she says they're full of fats and sugar and they're processed.

Frozen entrees can also wreck your diet. They're branded a smart or healthy choice, but they’re loaded with carbs and sodium. Pre-made trail mix is another go-to for dieters. It has healthy ingredients like nuts, dried fruit and dark chocolate.

Lassek noted one of the options and said, “This package has all those delicious things… but it's two servings and it comes up to about 400 calories; as just a snack.”

The fourth food that could ruin your weight loss resolution is big right now but Kristyn says gluten-free products often have more saturated fat, sugar and calories than you think, "so be very, very cautious when looking at gluten-free items for health or weight loss because it's not going to happen that way."

And watch out for beverages. Many of us think a bottle of orange juice is a healthy option it can take a lot of oranges to fill a bottle with juice – a lot more than you’d ever eat at one sitting.

The better option is to just eat the orange. That's what Charlie does.

He said, “I feel better. I sleep better." And nearly 100 pounds lighter, he's looking better, too.

Smoothies are also on the list. They are a good idea in theory but the smoothies we buy from a fast-food restaurant or coffee shop can pack anywhere from 400 to 600 calories. That’s as much as a burger.

Kristyn says you can make them healthier at home with veggies like kale and spinach, Greek yogurt and whole fruit instead of fruit juice.


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