Foods Not to Eat When Losing Weight

by Jeffrey Traister

About Jeffrey Traister

Jeffrey Traister is a writer and filmmaker. For more than 25 years, he has covered nutrition and medicine for health-care companies and publishers, also producing digital video for websites, DVDs and commercials. Trained in digital filmmaking at The New School, Traister also holds a Master of Science in human nutrition and medicine from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.


Losing weight and keeping it off is not easy, especially when you consume foods that are high in calories or fat or that contain substances that stimulate your appetite. Effective weight loss occurs when you consume fewer calories from food than you expend through physical activity. Consult your doctor or nutritionist about your health and weight-loss diet and which foods to avoid.

Unhealthy Fats

Fats contain 9 calories per gram, over twice the concentration of carbohydrates and proteins, which are each 4 calories per gram. Consuming unhealthy fats not only may increase your body fat and weight, but it may also elevate your risk of chronic diseases. Consuming saturated fat, found in red meat, pork, poultry and dairy, may elevate your blood cholesterol levels and increase your risk of heart disease. Trans fats found in processed and fast foods, which include crackers, doughnuts, fried chicken, fried fish and french fries, may clog your arteries and increase your risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke.

Refined Grains

Consuming refined grains, such as white bread and white rice, can inhibit your ability to lose weight and increase your risk of disease. Refined grains contain less nutrients than whole grains. Food manufacturers strip away the bran and germ during milling, extending the shelf life of the product and making the food easier to chew. Your body quickly digests and absorbs sugars from refined grains into your bloodstream, which can cause elevations in blood sugar. Excess blood sugar can turn to fat, get stored in fat cells and increase your body fat.

Sweetened Foods and Beverages

Sweetened foods and beverages with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup can compromise your weight loss effort and may even increase your risk of weight gain and Type 2 diabetes. Research by scientists at the Inter-Medic Medical Group in North Port, Florida, which was published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in 2004, found that consumption of corn syrup is correlated with Type 2 diabetes. Consuming high-fructose corn syrup may also increase your risk of fat gain and obesity. Research by scientists at Princeton University in New Jersey that was published in "Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior" in 2010 discovered that consuming high-fructose corn syrup can lead to increases in body fat, body weight and development of obesity.

Foods Cooked at High Temperatures

Eating foods cooked at high temperatures by frying, baking and roasting causes the formation of acrylamide, a substance that can increase your risk of cancer. Potatoes, grains and coffee produce the highest amount of acrylamide. Fried foods, such as potato chips, corn chips and french fries, are high in calories and can increase your risk of weight gain.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or