10 Surprising Foods That May Hamper Weight Loss
5. Prepared salad kits
Salads are a great idea, but like anything else, the question is: What's in it?
"Many have loads of excess calories and fat from full-fat cheese, oil-soaked croutons, and pouches of dressing," Lakatos says. "Your 'healthy' meal could have more calories than three Hershey's bars."
Craft your own salad from a variety of low-cal veggies, and top with avocado, low-fat cheese, or nuts.
6. Juice ‘drinks’
The word "drink" or "beverage" is usually a signal that it has a mere fraction of real juice. "Check the label, but odds are it's mostly added sugar, natural and artificial flavorings, and water," says Maryann Jacobsen, RD, co-author of Fearless Feeding. Also, you may want to limit even 100% fruit juice, because it's high in natural sugar without the filling fiber found in whole fruits.
7. Premade smoothies
Some bottles can cost you as much as 600-1,000 calories, warns Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, co-author of The Nutrition Twins' Veggie Cure. "Even if it contains no added sugar, watch out," she says.
8. Sports drinks
If you're really sweating it out for an hour or more, then it makes sense to replenish lost electrolytes. Just spent 30 minutes on the elliptical while reading a magazine? "You barely burned off the 125 calories that are in many 20-ounce bottles," Lakatos Shames says. Stick with calorie-free water.
9. Bottled iced tea
"Tea is packed with antioxidants, but when you buy it bottled you usually get more sugar water than anything else," Lakatos Shames says. Making your own unsweetened tea is an easy way to save 150-200 calories.
10. Nonstick cooking spray
It may not be saving you calories. "Each 1-second spray only contains about six calories, but who only spritzes for a second?" Ansel says.
She suggests swapping it for a small amount of olive oil. Yes, it has a few more calories, but you'll also get heart-healthy polyphenols and more flavor, so you may end up eating less food overall.