Foods That May Be Sabotaging Your Weight Loss


You eat right and exercise, but the pounds just aren’t coming off? Look out for these foods in your diet.

Fruit Smoothies

These drinks can pack over 300 calories and 60 grams of sugar: that’s more sugar than a bottle of soda.

Food Fix: Look for varieties that are made with fresh fruit (not fruit concentrate) and avoid smoothies with added sugar, ice cream, or sorbet. Most importantly, ask for the smallest size available.


A little of this and a little of that can add up quickly. For example, a restaurant chicken cobb salad can have between 600-1000 calories and may contain more fat than 10 donut holes.

Food Fix: Limit your portion of high-calorie toppings like dressing, croutons, bacon, and cheese. Watch out for words like “crispy” (which means the item has been fried) and always ask for your dressing on the side. Try to pick an oil-based dressing, such as a vinaigrette, and use half of what is provided.

Nutrition Bars

Some bars contain up to 500 calories; however, they often come in small packages that do not appear very calorie-dense.

Food Fix: Need a snack to tide you over? Look for a bar that has fewer than 200 calories with at least 3 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein to help fill you up without weighing you down.

Chicken Burritos

It has beans and chicken, so how bad can a burrito be? Add cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and rice to the large tortilla that burritos are often served on and you have a 1,000 calorie meal.

Food Fix: Order your burrito without the rice, use the beans as your protein, and limit the toppings. Or get the whole thing, but only eat half.

Flavored “Waters”

Flavored water is a good way to get fluid, as long as it isn’t filling you with empty calories. Some brands add a lot of sugar. Also, the vitamins added to many flavored waters are often excessive for most people.

Food Fix: Look for products with fewer than 10 calories per serving and no added sugar. If you don’t like plain water, try adding some lemon juice or calorie-free flavor packets like Crystal Light.

“Light” Olive Oil

“Light” refers to the oil’s flavor and color. Light olive oil has the same amount of fat and calories as any other oil.

Food Fix: Olive oil is a healthy fat, but it’s still a fat. Limit your portion to 1 tablespoon at a time.


Avocado has received a lot of attention for its healthy fat, but healthy fat is healthy when it is used as a replacement for other fats. 1 avocado contains over 300 calories and about 30 grams of fat: that’s approximately the amount of fat that is in 5 tablespoons of mayonnaise.

Food Fix: Limit your portion to 1/4 cup of sliced avocado or 2 tablespoons of guacamole.

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Our Be Fit Nutritionists are comprised of dietetic interns studying at Massachusetts General Hospital. During their internship, they receive training on acute care nutrition, ambulatory and community nutrition, food service systems management, and research. Their comprehensive work is done in collaboration with registered dietitians.

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