11 Foods To Avoid For Weight Loss

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This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT

Losing weight isn’t only about eating more healthy foods. Sometimes it’s better to avoid bad ones. Find out these 11 foods to avoid for weight loss.

Not eating these foods will not only help you with losing weight, it might also help you prevent chronic illnesses.

Implementing these changes into your lifestyle will be easier if you replace these foods with weight loss friendly alternatives. This can help you with keeping hunger and cravings under control.

Now, you don’t have to ban these foods out of your life forever. Just keep in mind that moderation is can help your weight loss results a lot.

1. Sugary drinks

Added sugar is one of the worst ingredients of the modern day diet. Even with that in mind, sugary drinks are on another level.

They are easier to overconsume than snacks because they are liquid. Your body also processes these drinks a lot quicker which means more room in your stomach for more food.

The high sugar amounts also raise your insulin a lot. Insulin is an energy storing hormone. When it’s high your body doesn’t want to burn energy. This is exactly what you don’t want if you’re looking to lose weight.

The more and more often you raise your insulin, the more your body needs for the same amount of sugar. If you keep this downward trajectory up, soon your body will be in permanent energy storing mode.

The research is clear on sugary drinks too (1, 2, 3).

Sugar is extremely bad for you health and by adding it to drinks it becomes easier to consume crazy amounts of it.

You can replace these sugary drinks with water, tea and coffee if you don’t add any unhealthy ingredients to them.

2. Pizza

Sadly enough pizza has to be on this foods to avoid for weight loss list.

Most available pizzas contain too much unhealthy ingredients. This includes highly refined carbohydrates for the dough and bad oils.

The refined carbohydrates again spike your insulin. This makes it so a big part of the high amount of calories in pizzas get stored in your body.

Pizza is also not very filling and easy to make. That’s a recipe for weight loss disaster.

You can try finding or making a healthier pizza yourself but this can take a lot more time. Even if you do it probably won’t compare to a good weight loss salad.

avoid pizza for weight loss

3. Sweetened breakfast cereals

A lot of breakfast cereals are primarily refined grains. That alone makes them bad for weight lss and your health but manufacturers also usually add a lot of sugar.

It’s better to swap them for healthy alternatives like for example something like oats with greek yogurt and berries.

A healthy breakfast is important when trying to lose weight so it’s better to avoid these sweetened breakfast cereals altogether.

4. White bread

Not all bread is made equal. Too many people still think bread is key to a healthy diet.

Unfortunately, a lot of the available bread contains components bad for weight and health like refined carbohydrates and even sugar.

You can start becoming healthier by swapping your white bread for whole-grain bread. In the long-term you can consider removing bread from your diet altogether.

5. Fruit juice

Fruit juice is another consumable that a lot of people consider to be healthy but is actually working against you.

Fruit juices are basically fruit minus most of the good things like fiber and a lot of vitamins. All that’s left is water with sugar and a small amount of vitamins.

That’s the case if you squeeze them yourself. A lot of fruit juice brands even add extra sugar on top of that.

It’s true that fruit juice is probably better than soda because of a small amount of vitamins in it. However, that doesn’t make fruit juice a “good” drink for weight loss. It will help you consume a lot of calories without actually feeling full.

avoid fruit juice for weight loss

6. Ice cream

You probably saw this one coming. Most ice creams are rather high in calories and sugar.

This again spikes your insulin, this makes it so a large amount of those calories get stored.

Ice cream is also semi-liquid which makes it easier to overeat.

There are light ice creams but even those can reduce weight loss because of artificial sweeteners and other components.

7. French fries and potato chips

Regular potatoes can be helpful for weight loss. They are relatively filling for a low amount of calories, they are inexpensive and they contain a nice amount of essential nutrients.

However by preparing them like French fries and potato chips, potatoes become a different story.

Consuming more of these foods is associated to weight gain (1, 2). Association does not always mean those things are the reason for the investigated results.

However if you take a closer look at what these methods of preparing do to potatoes it’s not hard to imagine that French fries and potato chips are at least partly responsible.

French fries and potato chips are a lot easier to overeat than regularly prepared potatoes. You can try this out by comparing how easy it is to consume a bag of chips compared to the same weight in regular potatoes.

Frying food also greatly increases the amount of bad substances and calories (3, 4). Some oil inevitable sticks to them.

One of the healthiest ways of consuming potatoes is boiling them.

If you need a salty snack in your life, something like salted nuts might be the healthy snack you’re looking for.

8. Candy bars

Most candy bars are basically a lot of bad things for your weight and health combined in a small, easy to overeat snack.

They might give you the illusion that they decrease your hunger but you will find yourself eating more and more without ever having enough.

It can be challenging to resist them but try to remember the amount of trouble they can give you for a few minutes of taste.

9. Pastries, cookies and cakes

Most of the pastries, cookies and cakes available are high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and conservatives. All not very good for your health.

These foods are usually a big source of trans-fats in your diet. Trans-fats are linked to increased risk on heart disease, cancer and other diseases you don’t want (10, 11).

food to avoid for weight loss

10. Regular foods with added sugar

You might be surprised of how many foods contain added sugar. For example some spaghetti sauces.

Manufacturers add this to those foods to make them more tasty and addictive. Not very good if you are looking to lose weight.

You can avoid processed foods in general or you can start examining food labels more. “Low fat” or “fat free” labels should ring a bell and make you look at the amount of sugar in foods.

You can also avoid these kinds of foods completely by only eating whole-foods.

11. Diet sodas

Diet sodas also make the list.

They don’t contain as many calories as regular sodas.

However, they do contain things like artificial sweeteners and preservatives.

These ingredients can be bad for your “microbiome”, a collection of microbes, bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses that live on and inside the human body.

This can result in glucose intolerance (11, 12).

The connection with weight loss is not entirely clear but chances are it doesn’t look too good for artificial sweeteners. The negative health effects alone should be enough to stop you from consuming them.

Avoid these foods for weight loss… most of the time

One day of eating doesn’t make you healthy and one day of eating suboptimal foods doesn’t make you unhealthy.

If you avoid these foods regularly you will most likely see weight loss results faster.

There is a place and time even for foods like this. Consuming them every once in a while doesn’t mean the end of your weight loss journey. They can be part of a good weight loss diet plan.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.