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4 Foods That Make It Hard to Lose Weight, Fitness Coach Says

Banish these foods (for now!) if you're trying to slim down.

There's a Library of Alexandria's worth of writing dedicated to helping you figure out how to design a weight loss diet. But according to diet and fitness coach Jenna Rizzo, what you don't eat is just as important as what you do eat. Some foods, Rizzo said in a recently viral TikTok video, can actually make it hard to lose weight.

"I am not saying to never eat these foods. If you like them, yes, they can fit in your daily calorie goal," Rizzo shared. "It is just, from my experience as a fitness coach for the past six years, that these foods are just not super conducive to weight loss or overall health in general."

Of course, the fastest way to lose weight is to adopt a lifestyle of balanced dieting and regular exercise. But if you're really trying to slim down, you can go the extra step and avoid the following four foods.

Related: I'm a Diet Coach and These Are the 5 Things I'd Do to Lose Weight Fast.

Frozen foods

A woman shopping in the freezer section of a grocery store

The appeal of frozen foods is undeniable: They're super low-maintenance. But they're also deleterious for a weight loss journey. Whether it's a package of frozen pizzas, Hot Pockets, or Toaster Strudels, frozen foods are some of the worst foods for losing weight, according to Rizzo.

"This is not for every brand. This is a generalized statement. You walk into the grocery store, you are bombarded with so many options," Rizzo said. "These are gonna be not only some of the highest calorie foods you can get, and for a lot of these foods, their ingredients are absolutely trash, so they're not going to promote healthy bodily functions."

If you must stock your freezer, load up on frozen berries and veggies, or look into atypical healthier options, like frozen veggie burgers.


three Frappuccinos on a table

It doesn't matter how delicious they are, the next time you're in a Starbucks, skip the Frappuccino (or any blended coffee drink elsewhere). Instead, if you want a sweet caffeine treat, get something a tad less decadent, like an iced oat milk latte or an iced americano with a single dash of flavoring.

"I'm calling out Frappuccinos specifically because a lot of people order them just thinking they're getting a coffee and really they're just getting a glorified milkshake because even a small one can have over 500 calories in it," Rizzo said.

Even worse, those calories are what fitness experts call "empty calories"—food or drink that racks up your daily calorie total without offering any health benefits.

"It's mostly just sugar, so it's not gonna do anything for you," Rizzo explained. "It's not gonna keep you full. It's not gonna help your muscles repair. And obviously will make it really easy to be eating in a calorie surplus."

RELATED: 10 Best Foods to Eat in the Morning for a Faster Metabolism, Nutritionists Say.

Granola bars

Closeup of granola bars on a wood surface
4kodiak / iStock

Granola bars have attained a healthy image over the years; "granola" as a term, after all, is associated with a natural lifestyle. But in actuality, they're deceptively unhealthy snacks.

"A lot of people think these are healthy because they are marketed to you as such, but they get put on this list because, once again, they are very high in calories, very high in sugar," Rizzo said. "They're not really doing anything for you except spiking your blood sugar so it crashes and you just crave more junk food."

The convenience of a bar, however, can't be overstated, especially if you're on the go. Instead of a granola bar, look for bars that are high in protein (you want at least 20 grams per bar) and low in sugar.

"Keto," "vegan," or "gluten-free" foods

gluten free cupcakes

There are legitimate health benefits to following a keto, vegan, or gluten-free diet. But many such foods can be insidiously bad for weight loss. Before picking up any pre-packaged foods that are marketed as part of a popular diet, scrutinize the nutrition label and leave behind anything with a ton of sugar or trans fats on the shelf.

"These products are marketed to people as a 'healthier option,' so you see it and think, 'Oh, this is going to be something that will help me lose weight, right? It looks healthy.' And that is so not the case," Rizzo said "Most of these processed, packaged foods are just glorified junk food."

Of course, there's one huge exception here, according to Rizzo: "If you're celiac and need to eat gluten-free products, this doesn't apply to you."

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. If you have health questions or concerns, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Ari Notis
Ari is an editor specializing in news and lifestyle. Read more
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