Chips, gooey desserts, anything that starts with fried — you know to fight off these calorie cows with a stick. What's tricky is that some foods with famously healthy reputations are actually worse for your weight than the snacks in vending machines and drive-throughs. We fill you in on what they are and why they keep you from hitting that golden number on the scale.
Cup for cup, dried fruit has five to eight times more calories than the fresh kind because it has been dehydrated and is much denser. Fresh grapes, for example, have 60 calories per cup, while raisins have 460. And many brands add sugar, amping up the calorie count even more.
Since it's loaded with good-for-you nuts and oats, it's too bad that they add oil to make it crisp and tons of sugar for more yumminess. One bowl racks up around 500 calories. Other cereals with the same nutrients but less oil and sugar pack half that.
Whether it's plain bran or mixed with apples or bananas, the fiber fills you up, sure, but considering all the sugar and butter it delivers, a bran muffin is basically just a round slice of cake. One weighs in at about 20 grams of fat, 420 calories, and 34 grams of sugar.
No matter what you put in it, the average wrap is a major offender. If you roll it out, it can be 1 foot across — seriously — and pack up to 300 calories. Since the surface area is way bigger than two slices of bread, you coat it with a lot more mayo or dressing than you would a sub or sandwich.
Most store-bought brands are souped up with sugar or honey, which are crazy-caloric sweeteners. Oh, and one bottle can contain two or more servings, bringing the calorie count to almost 200 — similar to a bottle of soda.
These light snacks are fat-free and low in calories, but they're also completely lacking in fiber or protein — ingredients that experts say actually curb hunger. That means downing two or three won't do anything but add more calories to your daily total and leave you craving something with substance. And limit the flavored kinds — they don't satisfy you more and they tend to have lots of sugar or sodium.
Sure, skipping beef in lieu of a meat-free patty may save you a little fat and cholesterol. But depending on the brand and what you put on it, you could easily end up housing more than 1,000 calories. The cheese that often binds the veggies together and the huge size of the burgers are anything but diet-friendly. Add a bun and some ketchup and you might as well have had the quarter-pounder.
Reaching your recommended daily fruit-serving goal by getting it in liquid form might be the reason you can't fit into last year's LBD. A 16-ounce bottle of OJ or apple juice has 55 grams of carbohydrates, the equivalent of five slices of bread. And most of that is sugar — a whopping 12 spoonfuls of it.
11.Diet Microwave Meals
The lean ready-to-eat dishes tend to be high in sodium — since the manufacturers can't rely on calorie-rich fat to make the stuff taste good, they resort to salt. As a result, scarfing them will make you retain water, especially in your arms and legs, leaving you puffy.
There's nothing better for you or your waist than naked veggies, but the shredded cheese, candied nuts, croutons, and globs of dressing often make salads as caloric as an oversize dish of pasta. And nutritionists are quick to point out that innocent-sounding vinaigrettes, though not as fattening as ranches, can be almost as high-cal.
By Zoe Ruderman
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