7 Sneaky Foods That Fill You Out
You’ve worked hard to stay trim all year, but lately, you may have been seeing the numbers on the scale creep up. Blame it on the gatherings and vacations that put tempting nibbles within easy reach the past few months -- bites that may not even seem sinful at first glance! To reverse weight gain, skip these party foods that can sabotage your waistline and choose healthier options instead.
1. Sugar-Free Ice Cream
You think you’re making the right choice by selecting the frozen treat with no added sugar, but it may feel less satisfying and make you dig deeper into the tub. “Have 4 ounces of regular ice cream rather than sugar-free, and limit it to once a week,” says Beth Warren, a registered dietitian based in New York City.
2. Buttered Corn on the Cob
It’s not the ear itself that gets you in trouble: It’s the butter you slather on top of it that can double or even triple the total amount of calories you're consuming. Season this summer staple with herbs and spices, like rosemary or paprika, instead.
Avocados are a source of heart-healthy fats, but just one avocado -- an easy amount to consume when you’re dipping -- can pack more than 300 calories and half your daily requirement of fat! Eat no more than a quarter of an avocado per day (equivalent to just a few dips) or skip this dip altogether and opt for a lower-calorie fresh salsa instead, says Warren.
4. Potato Salad
Potatoes themselves are a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamin C, but if you add mayonnaise, you ratchet up the fat and calories. A better bet if you’re making the potato salad yourself: Mix with a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic powder and cumin instead of mayo, says Warren. Be sure to leave the skins on for maximum nutrition.
5. Salad Toppings
You may already know to watch out for fattening salad dressings, but the bacon, cheese and croutons you toss into your dish add both calories and saturated fat. Keep your greens lean and healthy by topping them with grilled chicken, eggs and an assortment of seasonal veggies instead.
6. Baked Beans
You think you’re being savvy by shunning the rack of ribs and choosing protein-packed side dishes instead, but canned baked beans may contain added sugar. For your next shindig, make your own fresh bean salad with black, kidney, cannellini or garbanzo beans, says Warren.
7. Cold Drinks
A glass of lemonade, an ice-cold beer or a fruity sangria are all refreshing, but it’s easy to forget how many calories you are consuming through liquids. If ice water doesn’t excite you, touch it up with slices of lemon, lime or oranges, and top it with a little bit of seltzer.
Alternatively, if you’re someone who loses control around these fiesta-inspired snacks (we totally understand!), be sure to eat a snack or small meal beforehand so you don’t arrive ravenous. A small bowl of cereal with milk or yogurt is healthy and filling, and it might just do the trick to keep you lean all season.