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The 10 Most Fattening Foods of Summer

These summertime treats can wreak havoc on your diet.
WebMD Expert Column

Ah, the lazy days of summer -- backyard barbeques, cocktails at the pool, baseball games, and lots of fried chicken, ribs, ice cream, hot dogs, and beer. Summertime living may be easy, but if you’re not careful, summer's fattening foods can really pack on the pounds. 

Although most people are more active during the summer, it may not be enough to burn off all the extra calories from fattening summer treats. Maintaining a beach-ready body can be tough, especially if you overindulge in high-calorie meats, mayonnaise-laden salads, frozen desserts, and cold beverages. 

And a typical summer pastime -- spending the day at the beach, the pool, or even in the backyard -- can lead to serious calorie overload, experts say. 

"Spending the day at the lake, pool, or park leads to overeating, plain and simple, because we associate food and drink with having fun and do it for hours on end," says Sarah Krieger, MPH, RD, a personal chef and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

The good news is that plenty of less fattening alternatives are available this time of year.

"Summer boasts an abundance of healthy and delicious foods that are not available year-round. Many are grown locally, and if you eat plenty of fresh produce, it can help keep your waistline trim all summer long," says Kerry Neville, MS, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

So if you're headed for a day in the sun, Krieger says, pack those coolers with refreshing and low-calorie fruits and veggies, as well as plenty of water, and plan some activities so you don't just sit around and eat.

Summer's Most Fattening Foods

And what are the most fattening summer foods, the calorie-packed culprits you need to stay away from if you want to wear that bikini at the beach?

The truth, experts say, is that there are no "bad" foods. A few bites of even the most fattening food can fit into your diet. But there certainly are foods that are worse for us than others.

Here is a list of experts' top 10 picks for summer foods most likely to pile on the pounds. When you check out their nutritional numbers, keep in mind that most adults need fewer than 2,000 calories, 65 grams of total fat, and 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium each day – or no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day for people older than 51, African-Americans, and anyone with hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.

1. High-Fat Meats on the Barbeque

Giant steaks, ribs, and hamburgers can wreak havoc on your waistline. "Pork or beef ribs are the fattiest part of the animal to eat," Kreiger says. A 20-oz. T-bone steak can weigh in at 1,540 calories and 124 g fat.

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