What Not To Eat For Dinner To Lose Weight


Losing weight is a daunting task. Figuring out what not to eat for dinner can be just as tough. We’re here to tell you that there’s no need to pin yourself in the pantry, crying into an empty bag of pretzels and a tub of Cool Ranch Doritos!

If you’re a newbie when it comes to losing weight, then you probably have no idea what not to eat for dinner. Luckily for you I’m here to tell you exactly how to lose those pesky pounds that won’t keep off.

What Not To Eat For Dinner To Lose Weight

Some foods, like full-fat yogurt, coconut oil and eggs, help with weight loss

Other foods, especially processed and refined products, can make you gain weight.

Here are 11 foods to avoid when you’re trying to lose weight.

1. French Fries and Potato Chips

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Whole potatoes are healthy and filling, but french fries and potato chips are not. They are very high in calories, and it’s easy to eat way too many of them.

In observational studies, consuming French fries and potato chips has been linked to weight gain

One study even found that potato chips may contribute to more weight gain per serving than any other food

What’s more, baked, roasted or fried potatoes may contain cancer-causing substances called acrylamides. Therefore, it’s best to eat plain, boiled potatoes

SUMMARYFrench fries and potato chips are unhealthy and fattening. On the other hand, whole, boiled potatoes are very healthy and help fill you up.

2. Sugary Drinks

Sugary Drinks | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public  Health

Sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, are one of the unhealthiest foods on the planet.

They are strongly associated with weight gain and can have disastrous health effects when consumed in excess

Even though sugary drinks contain a lot of calories, your brain doesn’t register them like solid food

Liquid sugar calories don’t make you feel full, and you won’t eat less food to compensate. Instead, you end up adding these calories on top of your normal intake.

If you are serious about losing weight, consider giving up sugary drinks completely.

SUMMARYSugary drinks can negatively affect your weight and general health. If weight loss is your goal, then giving up soda and similar drinks may have a big impact.

3. White Bread

48 oz. White Bread 3/4" Slice | Alpha Baking Company, Inc

White bread is highly refined and often contains a lot of added sugar.

It is high on the glycemic index and can spike your blood sugar levels

One study of 9,267 people found that eating two slices (120 grams) of white bread per day was linked to a 40% greater risk of weight gain and obesity

Fortunately, there are many healthy alternatives to conventional wheat bread. One is Ezekiel bread, which is probably the healthiest bread on the market.

However, keep in mind that all wheat breads do contain gluten. Some other options include oopsie bread, cornbread and almond flour bread.

SUMMARYWhite bread is made from very fine flour, and can spike your blood sugar levels and lead to overeating. However, there are many other types of bread you can eat.

4. Candy Bars

4 pack) M&M'S Minis, Milk Chocolate Candy Bar, 4 Oz - Walmart.com

Candy bars are extremely unhealthy. They pack a lot of added sugar, added oils and refined flour into a small package.

Candy bars are high in calories and low in nutrients. An average-sized candy bar covered in chocolate can contain around 200–300 calories, and extra-large bars may contain even more

Unfortunately, you can find candy bars everywhere. They are even strategically placed in stores in order to tempt consumers into buying them impulsively.

If you are craving a snack, eat a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts instead.

SUMMARYCandy bars consist of unhealthy ingredients like sugar, refined flour and added oils. They are high in calories, but not very filling.

5. Most Fruit Juices

The 9 Healthiest Types of Juice

Most fruit juices you find at the supermarket have very little in common with whole fruit.

Fruit juices are highly processed and loaded with sugar.

In fact, they can contain just as much sugar and calories as soda, if not more

Also, fruit juice usually has no fiber and doesn’t require chewing.

This means that a glass of orange juice won’t have the same effects on fullness as an orange, making it easy to consume large quantities in a short amount of time

Stay away from fruit juice and eat whole fruit instead.

SUMMARYFruit juice is high in calories and added sugar, but usually contains no fiber. It is best to stick to whole fruit.

Which foods to avoid when trying to lose weight

One way to lose weight is to eat a more healthful diet. Knowing which foods to avoid and which to eat can help a person reach or maintain their ideal weight.

In general, when trying to lose weight, it is best to reduce or avoid foods that are calorie dense. However, the number of calories in a food is not the only factor to consider.

For example, low-calorie foods that lack nutrients such as fiber and protein can still leave a person feeling hungry and unsatisfied, which can make it harder to resist snacking.

In this article, we discuss 14 different types of food to avoid eating when trying to lose weight.

1. Sugary beverages

Smoothies and fruit juices as sugary beverages
Fruit juices can have high sugar contents.

Many beverages, such as sodas, sports drinks, and fruit juices, are very high in added sugars but often low in other nutrients. Consuming these beverages adds calories to the diet but does not help a person feel full.

The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for AmericansTrusted Source recommend that people limit calories from added sugars to no more than 10 percent of their total daily intake, which is around 12 teaspoons for a 2,000-calorie diet.

These Dietary Guidelines also state that the average person in the United States consumes around 17 teaspoons of added sugar a day. Almost half of this sugar comes from drinks, including sweetened teas and coffees.

A 2015 study found an association between consuming sugar-sweetened beverages and excess weight gain in children and adolescents.

2. Baked foods

Baking 101: 5 Baking Techniques, Plus How to Build a Perfectly Stocked Home  Bakery - 2022 - MasterClass

Baked foods, such as cookies, pastries, and many premade desserts, are often very high in added sugars, including fructose.

A 2015 study found that participants who ingested fructose experienced greater hunger and desire for food than those who ingested glucose, another type of sugar.

Many baked foods also contain trans fats. The results of a 2016 study in mice suggest that a diet high in trans fats may increase the risk of obesity.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source, partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) are the primary source of trans fats in processed foods. The FDA also state that “removing PHOs from processed foods could prevent thousands of heart attacks and deaths each year.”

3. French fries

Pile Of French Fries And Three Cups Of Ketchup Stock Photo, Picture And  Royalty Free Image. Image 5860364.

Fried foods, including French fries, are generally high in calories, salt, and unhealthful fats.

Many restaurants cook their fries in a deep fryer to give them a crispy texture, but this cooking method adds a significant amount of fat and calories. Despite this, because they lack fiber and protein, French fries do not help a person feel full for very long.

A 2017 studyTrusted Source investigated the consumption of fried potatoes in 4,440 people aged between 45 and 79 years. The researchers reported that participants who ate fried potatoes at least twice a week had a higher risk of premature death than those who ate them less frequently. They also found that the consumption of unfried potatoes did not increase the risk of death.

When eating out, people looking to lose weight should select a salad, fresh fruit, or a pickle as a side instead of fries.

4. Restaurant hamburgers

We Tested 5 Restaurant Burgers—This Is the Best — Eat This Not That

Hamburgers from restaurants, especially fast-food establishments, are often high in fat and calories.

A 14-year study from 2013Trusted Source investigated the consumption of restaurant foods in 19,479 young African-American women. The researchers reported that participants who ate restaurant burgers at least twice a week had a higher risk of obesity than those who ate them on fewer than five occasions per year.

Lean, ground beef can be part of a healthful diet if a person cooks it at home without added fats or oils. An occasional homemade burger can be a good source of protein, iron, and some B vitamins.

When trying to lose weight, it is best to avoid hamburgers and fried foods when eating out. More healthful alternatives can include grilled chicken, fish, or salads with grilled meat.

5. Crackers and chips

Potato chips or crisps
Replacing potato chips with healthful alternatives, such as toasted nuts, can help prevent weight gain.

Crackers and chips are often high in calories and may also contain added fats, salts, and sugar.

Crackers and chips are types of processed food. A 2015 study in Brazil found a positive correlation between the consumption of “ultra-processed foods” and obesity.

More healthful snacking options include raw carrots or celery with hummus or a small portion of toasted nuts with no added salt or sugar.

6. White pasta and bread

White pasta or bread that people make using refined wheat flour is typically high in calories and carbohydrates but low in fiber, protein, and other nutrients.

Whole-grain varieties of pasta and bread are readily available. These generally contain more fiber and nutrients than white varieties, which can make them more filling and healthful.

The ingredients label should list a whole-grain flour as the main type of flour. Some examples include whole-wheat flour, brown rice flour, and whole-rye flour.

The Worst Foods You Should Never Have In Your Kitchen

Losing weight requires a mix of eating nutritious foods, cutting calories, and being physically active, but if your kitchen is stacked with diet-sabotaging junk foods, it makes it that much harder for you to shrink your waistline. Although the foods on this list seem innocuous, many of them have empty calories and slow down your metabolism, making it harder for you to lose weight.

To best keep you on track, check out our roundup of the worst foods for weight loss you should never have in your kitchen. And be inspired to make better choices, be sure to stock up on any of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

Potato Chips

Ridge potato chips in bag

Okay, so you probably already know that potato chips are fattening and can often hide dangerous levels of sodium, but what’s surprising is that out of all the foods that can cause you to gain weight—soda, junk food, ice cream—the potato chip is the worst offender. According to a Harvard study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, potato chips are the food most strongly associated with weight gain over four years.

French Fries

Two mcdonalds fries bags

The second food Harvard researchers found to cause the most weight gain? Potatoes. And more specifically, french fries, which were associated with an additional 3.35 pounds of weight gain. According to Walter C. Willett, chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and author of Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating, “the venerable baked potato increases levels of blood sugar and insulin more quickly and to higher levels than an equal amount of calories from pure table sugar.” Patrick J. Skerrett, co-author of the book and former editor of the Harvard Health blog, adds, “french fries do the same thing, but with an added blast of fat.”

Not only are french fries extremely caloric—a large serving of McDonald’s french fries is 510 calories—but they’re also made through a dangerous process. French fries are deep-fried and highly processed. Deep-frying carbohydrates has been shown to yield a dangerous, carcinogenic chemical compound called acrylamide, which is associated with abdominal obesity

Fatty Red Meat

Raw ground beef on sale

Continuing on with another of the top weight-gain-inducing foods from The New England Journal of Medicine study is red meat. The China Health and Nutrition Survey of over 16,000 participants shows that what distinguishes between meat that causes abdominal weight gain and meat that keeps your metabolism moving is how visibly fatty the cut is. So, when you’re trying to lose weight, avoid those fatty ground beef blends of 70% lean 30% fat.

Processed Meats

greasy bacon frying in oil in a pan

Eating bacon, sausage, and hot dogs may be putting your life at risk. The same Harvard researchers associated processed meat consumption with an additional 0.93 pounds of weight gain over a 4-year period. Weight gain isn’t the only reason you should cut back on your processed meat consumption. The food has also been associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cancer, and hypertension.

Restaurant Desserts

waiter carrying dessert tray with one hand

Sodium is a big culprit here, not to mention the sugar…and calories…and fat…and everything else. These sweet treats are often oversized and come at the end of a decadent dinner out already, so they can add on almost a thousand extra calories (or more!) to an already over-the-top meal. Eating out at restaurants can be viewed as a treat, and if it’s dessert you’re really there for (say, the place is known for their 7-layer chocolate cake), a better way to balance your meal is to pick your dessert first. A new study found that choosing your dessert first can actually help you eat less calories overall! To balance the meal, adjust your main meal to be healthier (opting for grilled fish instead of fried fish, for example, or choosing a side salad instead of French fries), and then share the dessert you really want with a partner.

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