Foods to Ditch to Win at Losing

cake popsSome foods and beverages make it harder to peel off pounds.

Here are the worst diet wreckers that researchers say should be enjoyed only occasionally to help you win at losing.

I always advocate for a non-diet approach to losing weight. I love studies that look at the behaviors of those who successfully lose weight and are able to keep it off and try to incorporate some of those behaviors into my own life.

There are obvious things like limiting screen time, eating out very infrequently, limiting alcohol, never skipping meals, eating lots of produce, weighing yourself frequently.

A few recent studies, however, also reveal what we need to limit in order to lose more and gain less. In one study, New Zealand researchers identified 49 foods considered the most damaging for your diet. In another study, University of Pittsburgh obesity researchers found several foods that were linked with weight loss at six months and two years later. The Pitt study’s worst diet wreckers: desserts, fried foods and sweetened beverages.

Below are the foods the New Zealand researcher say are most linked to being overweight. If you eat or drink these, cut back as much as you can.

Ditch These to Win at Losing

1. Alcoholic drinks

2. Biscuits

3. Butter, lard, dripping or similar fat (used as a spread or in baking/cooking etc.)

4. Cakes

5. Candy, including lollipops

6. Chocolatechocolate milkshake

7. Coconut cream

8. Condensed milk

9. Cordial

10. Corn chips

11. Cream (including crème fraiche)

12. Chips (including vegetable chips)

13. Deli meats

14. Doughnuts

15. Energy drinks

16. Flavored milk/milkshakes

17. Fruit canned in syrup

18. Fruit rollups

19. Fried food

20. Fried potatoes/French friesfrozen yogurt

21. Frozen yogurt

22. Fruit juice (except tomato juice and unsweetened black currant juice)

23. Glucose (pure sugar)

24. High-fat crackers

25. Honey

26. Hot chocolate, chocolate milk

27. Ice cream

28. Jam

29. Marmalade

30. Mayonnaise

31. Muesli/granola bars

32. Muffins

33. Nuts roasted in fat or oil

34. Pastries

35. Pies

36. Popcorn with butter or oil

37. Puddings

38. Quiches

39. Reduced cream

40. Regular powdered drinks

41. Salami

42. Sausages

43. Soft drinks

44. Sour cream

45. Sugar (added to anything including drinks, baking, cooking etc.)

46. Syrups such as golden syrup, treacle, maple syrup

47. Toasted muesli, granola, and any other breakfast cereal with more than 15 grams of sugar per 100 grams of cereal

48. Whole milk

49. Sugar-rich flavored yogurt



  1. Jessica says

    I wonder why honey ended up on the list. Real honey made on a farm and not in a factory has amazing health benefits.

  2. julie says

    There are many healthy foods that make this list–like nuts–but the researchers found that these foods pack in a lot of calories per serving and the calorie-density is obviously and issue when people are trying to lose and maintain a healthy weight. When you eat these foods, you need to account for their calories.

  3. says

    To be fair, they mentioned nuts roasted in oil or fat. I eat nuts still, and butter, jam, a few others on this list, but not huge portions. Some quite infrequently. What seems to make the difference for me is restaurant (or deli) food. Even here, where healthy food is easily available as take-out, it always tastes much better than anything I make (butter?), and comes in ridiculous portions.

  4. says

    Well, chocolate isn’t going anywhere for me! I prefer cocoa and cacao nibs.
    Actually I do not eat most of the items on the list and of the few, that I do eat are done rarely. Biscuits, hot cocoa(make mine from milk&cocoa, stevia) and muffins are the only others. I make my own food, so I know what is in it.
    When I bake, I share it with my sisters who have grandkids, so no one gets to pig out on any treats!

    Basically, this is a good list to refrain from…

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