13 Foods You Should Avoid If You Want To Stay Fit

Last Updated on Mar 22, 2024 by HappyDieter

Extra pounds, or obesity, come from consuming more calories than you burn through exercise. Avoiding specific foods you should avoid if you want to stay fit will help you maintain your fitness. In general, foods that are high in hidden sugars or unhealthy ingredients and foods that are hard to stop eating should be the first to go when you aim to get in shape by counting calories. Once you finally shed some pounds, you know how quickly they can return. It is in your best interest to avoid consuming baked goods that directly counteract the positive impact of all your efforts to stay fit, especially when counting calories. To help you prevent obesity and manage blood sugar, we have listed the top 13 foods you should avoid if you want to stay fit, including baked goods and porridge.

Key Takeaways

  • Limit intake of fruit juice as it can be high in sugar and calories, opt for whole fruits instead.

  • Avoid French fries due to their high levels of unhealthy fats and excess calories.

  • Cut down on refined grains like white bread and pasta; choose whole grains for better nutrition and a healthier heart.

  • Skip crackers as they often contain refined flour, unhealthy fats, and added sugar that can contribute to weight gain.

  • Stay away from diet soda and other foods with added sugar as artificial sweeteners may still lead to weight gain and other health issues.

  • Reduce consumption of red and processed meat and foods to lower saturated fat intake and decrease the risk of certain diseases.

orange juice
Photo by Geoff Peters 604

1. Fruit juice

Juice from concentrate is rarely a healthy choice, because of the high levels of sugar in it. But even fresh-squeezed orange juice that you can buy, with added sugar, will likely cause you to gain weight.

The reason is that juices have a ton of natural sugars, and are packed with more artificial ones. Converting whole fruit into liquid requires a lot of processing.

When finished, the once-healthy fruit gets pasteurized, pulverized, filtered, pureed, and stored in massive vats for years, all of which remove the nutrients, vitamins, and belly-filling fiber the fruit once had. Store-bought smoothies are also a bad idea, also because of sugar. The best is to make your own. Make sure you make it with fresh fruit, so you will know that it doesn’t contain any sugar or additives.

French Fries
Photo by @joefoodie

2. French fries

French fries, with their added sugar, are the most dangerous side dish out there, especially for those people who want to get in shape. The partially hydrogenated vegetable oils used for making fries are the main problem.

This oil (usually corn-based) essentially fortifies the potatoes with high amounts of harmful calories. Potatoes are healthy things… lots of vitamin C, fiber, etc. But when they are cut into these tiny pieces and deep-fried they absorb too many oils. Even unsaturated fats are bad in large amounts.

Throw in massive amounts of sodium and you’ve got a food that people should avoid like the plague. Just one baked potato has nearly the same effect on your organism as eating a tablespoon of pure sugar. Like all refined grains, french fries are packed with empty calories. And even more, when the sugar high fades, it leaves you hungry and craving more food.

Mmm... fresh rolls
Photo by jeffreyw

3. Refined grains

Not sure what a refined grain is? It’s foods like white pasta, white rice, or white bread. The unrefined foods (whole wheat, brown rice, and quinoa) are always healthier.

Researchers found that people who consumed whole grains in addition to keeping a healthy diet—of vegetables, fruits, protein, and low-fat dairy —lost more weight than the group of people who kept the same healthy diet but consumed all refined grains.

Refined grains are pure carbohydrates and eating them gives you a sugar rush just like eating sweets. The calories from this rush are bad enough, but after the sugar high quickly fades, your body starts to feel hungry again. It is recommended to eat whole and wild grains, which release their carbs more slowly.

spicy cornmeal parmesan crackers
Photo by cwisnieski

4. Crackers

A go-to snack, crackers are often conduits for unexpected amounts of sugar and calories. The situation with these snacks is similar to bread.

You have to know what type of crackers you are eating, or else what you put on them won’t help you lose weight. It is rather difficult to find 100 % whole wheat crackers without any added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and other unhealthy additives.

If you can’t find crackers that are healthy and made of just a few natural ingredients, you can always eat vegetables as a substitute. Cucumbers and pickles work well as makeshift crackers when you slice them up. The same goes for squash and zucchini. But don’t forget to pay attention to your toppings when you switch to a veggie cracker.

Refreshing Drink
Photo by jacreative

5. Diet soda

It’s easy to get fooled by the low-calorie label, yet sodas are made with sugar substitutes. Many doctors believe that these substitutes play a role in weight gain.

A new study found that people who consumed diet soda gained almost three times the amount of fat over 9 years as those who didn’t. Diet soda is loaded with artificial sweeteners and chemicals that can be harmful to your body. When we eat regular sugar, our bodies register the sweetness and come to understand that very sweet things have a lot of calories.

Studies have shown that using artificial sweeteners tricks your body so that your internal ability to count calories is thrown way off. Besides gaining weight, the same study found that people who consumed artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin), became vulnerable to glucose intolerance and insulin resistance—two things known to lead to weight gain.

Photo by WayTru

6. Red and processed meat

Many studies have found that people who consumed more red and processed meat gained weight, too—about 1 extra pound every 4 years.

And even more, processed meats – such as ham, bacon, and sausages- can cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Its report said 50g of processed meat every day- less than 2 slices of bacon – increased the chance of developing colorectal cancer by 18 %.

Processed meat has been modified to either extend its shelf life or change the taste and the main methods are adding salt and preservatives, smoking, and curing. Simply putting meat through a mincer doesn’t mean the resulting mince is processed, ed unless the meat is processed further. Prminerd meat includes hot dogs, salami, corned beef, bacon, sausages, beef jerky, and ham as well as meat-based sauces and canned meat.

Sensing Ketchup
Photo by snowpea&bokchoi

7. Ketchup

No one ever thinks about ketchup ingredients. As you put ketchup on hash browns, french fries, hamburgers, and even your eggs…When you were a kid, you probably put it on your pasta and chicken too.

Ketchup is a common food in many family households, and for good reason: it adds that familiar tomato-based flavor. Ketchup is so common that it has been a best-selling condiment in the world since many of us were too young to even spell our name.

One of the main ingredients in ketchup is high fructose corn syrup. 1 tablespoon of ketchup has 4 grams of sugar. And who eats only 1 tablespoon of ketchup? Those sugar totals are sure to add up fast, so it is best to avoid ketchup at all costs.

Almarosa - bijou
Photo by marco monetti

8. Heavy cream

If you are trying to stay in shape, you should completely forget heavy cream because one serving of it will counteract a lot of the work you put in at the track.

A drizzle of heavy cream in your coffee or a dollop on top of a bowl of fruit may seem harmless, but heavy cream is loaded with calories and dangerous fats, so it’s best to save it for a very occasional treat.

Try not to eat cream-based soups like chowder and bisque, cream sauces, and of course, things like ice cream and crème Fraiche. Unfortunately, there is no real alternative to heavy cream. Sure, you can try some light alternatives. But you probably won’t like the roles. Better to just say goodbye to this dangerous liquid for good.

Photo by notfrancois

9. Microwave popcorn

We all can hear them popping and then, of course, the fake buttery aroma spreads all around. Actually, it’s not popcorn that you should be worried about in a buttery microwave bag which Is what many experts say is the problem. Popcorn itself is healthy food. It’s a whole-grain food, rich in fiber and antioxidants, and if not doused in fat, a pretty low-calorie food.

The problem is food additives used in the lining of the bag, including perfluoro-low-calorie acid. This acid is used to make Teflon and other stains – and stick-resistant materials, like pizza boxes. It’s part of several compounds that can cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. It might also be linked to infertility in women and many other diseases, es.

Photo by TarahDawdy

10. Sugary cereals

America is one of the world’s largest consumers of puffed, flaked, and sugared cereals for breakfast. How did that happen when many were said to contain less, nutrients than the boxes they come in?

People were introduced to this line by the cereal industry, but America’s favorite breakfast food actually contains little to no of its own nutritional value – even the cereal industry has out that you should eat it with, fruit, etc., in order to have a complete breakfast.

Those magically colored cereals are not such a bright to FDA has noted that food dyes might contribute to hyperactivity in people with ADHD. The EU and UK have banned food dyes in food manufacturing; maybe you should ban the fake stuff from your breakfast table.

Red Bull give you more than just wings?
Photo by nattu

11. Energy drinks

Despite the massive marketing campaign that energy drinks are something that is healthy, these liquids are not doing you any favors, rather than having a more complex chemical cocktail.

To start with, there is plenty of sugar. Try to find an energy drink that isn’t packed with it. You can’t because there is none. Then there are all the ingredients which include a laundry list of preservatives, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, and emulsifiers; none of which do anything to help you realize your goal: being fit.

Despite what you see in commercials, drinking these liquids will not give you the result wished for. You have to know better. Stick with water. Throw some lemon in it if the taste is too bland for you.

Quest Bars!
Photo by m01229

12. Protein bars

Same as energy drinks, protein bars are marketed to those who are trying to complement their active lifestyle with a healthy diet.

Many of the protein bars out there are doing more harm than good. Some say that most protein bars are really sugar bars dressed up as healthy food. You wouldn’t devour a Snickers bar thinking that makes you fit? Maybe that health bar isn’t such a good idea either.

Here is why. Many of these bars make use of sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners that are especially problematic, like soy protein isolate. This is usually genetically modified soy and you are better off getting your protein from more natural sources like poultry or like lean meat.

afternoon whiskey
Photo by patchattack

13. Alcohol

Research shows that an alcoholic drink each day can help reduce your risk of heart disease. But, alcohol presents two problems.

Like sweets, it contains a high caloric content with little nutritional benefit. For most people, the calories in the mixers of their favorite cocktails make a far greater barrier to losing, unds than the alcohol itself. Just 4oz of some margarita or daiquiri mixes can have upwards of 35 grams of sugar (about 7 tsp. of sugar)!

And even worse, the calories from mixers, which are among the foods you should avoid if you want to stay fit, are the worst types of calories, simple and refined sugars. When they combine with the metabolic effects of alcohol, they become even worse. Also, consuming alcohol, another one of the foods you should avoid if you want to stay fit, often leads to drinking more alcohol. Just one night out drinking can mean taking in thousands of calories you would otherwise avoid if you were mindful of the foods you should avoid if you want to stay fit.


You’ve learned about the foods you should avoid if you want to stay fit that can hinder your fitness goals. Making smart choices about what you eat is crucial for staying fit and healthy. By avoiding items like fruit juice, French fries, and sugary cereals, which are some of the foods you should avoid if you want to stay fit, you can take a big step towards a healthier lifestyle. Remember, small changes in your diet can lead to significant improvements in your overall well-being.

Take charge of your health today by being mindful of what you consume. Opt for whole, nutritious foods that fuel your body and support your fitness journey, while avoiding the foods you should avoid if you want to stay fit. Your body will thank you for making these positive changes. Start making better food choices now to reach your fitness goals faster and feel better inside and out.


What are the top foods to avoid for maintaining fitness?

Avoid fruit juice, French fries, refined grains, crackers, diet soda, red and processed meat, ketchup, heavy cream, microwave popcorn, sugary cereals, energy drinks, protein bars, and alcohol.

Is consuming fruit juice harmful to staying fit?

Yes. Fruit juice is high in sugar and lacks the fiber found in whole fruits. It can lead to blood sugar spikes and weight gain when consumed in excess.

Why should I avoid diet soda for fitness goals?

Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners linked to negative health effects. It can also increase cravings for sweet foods and hinder weight loss efforts.

How does consuming red and processed meat impact fitness?

Red and processed meats are high in saturated fats and additives that can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease and other health issues.

Can alcohol consumption affect my fitness progress?

Alcohol is high in empty calories and can hinder weight loss goals. It also impairs muscle recovery and performance during workouts. Limiting alcohol intake is crucial for maintaining fitness.