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Identifying Foods That Sabotage Weight Loss

Foods that endanger weight loss

Step away from the bacon! Are there certain foods that you can't seem to resist? Foods that, once indulged in, become your undoing?


While reading some old blog posts the other day, I came across one entry that triggered a vivid memory. I had married my Prince Charming, who was an excellent cook, and loved to prepare delicious meals for me. He was a real meat and potatoes kind of guy, and enjoyed eating as much as preparing. Though somewhat heavy himself, he was able to maintain his weight by working a very physical job in construction. I, on the other hand, had a very sedentary job that required many hours tied to my desk. How terribly unfair that his weight remained the same, as mine slowly started creeping upward!

It became obvious that this was going to be a problem. So, I called up my best friend, and we signed up for Weight Watchers. Everything was going just hunky dory. I filled my office closet with Weight Watchers snacks, and started counting points. My Prince was very supportive, at first, but soon he began to bring me little love offerings of goodies and treats. It hurt my heart to decline them, but I stuck to my guns, and he would leave the room feeling rejected.

And then there was bacon. One weekend the grandchildren were over for a visit. I was up early, working while the house was quiet. I heard some noise in the kitchen, but continued on with my work. It wasn’t long before I began to smell something. Bacon. The wonderful, heavenly, mouth-watering aroma of bacon sizzling in the kitchen overtook the entire house. The pull of it was almost physical, and I had to force myself not to get out of my chair. With all those kids in the house, I knew they would gobble it up quickly. But then, my door slowly opened, and in walks Mr. Charming with a side of pork’s worth of bacon, half a dozen eggs, and a vat of grits. He proudly presented me with his offering, and waited for my praises and thanks. Seriously?!? I reluctantly (but oh so indulgently) had one – ONE – piece of delicious, crunchy bacon, and ate the eggs, (but declined the grits.) He and the kids devoured the rest of the bacon, and I was so proud that I had the will power to only eat one piece. But, my house smelled like bacon for days, and I suffered intensely from bacon flashbacks.

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The monster was unleashed. All I could think about was bacon. I learned long ago that there are certain foods that signal DANGER when I am trying to eat healthier and exercise portion control. Bacon is my nemesis. And there are others. I won’t list them here, because I don’t want you to start drooling and fantasizing the way I am as I write this. But there are many.

The simplest and easiest way to avoid the danger of these foods is obvious: Don’t have them in your cupboards, office desk, car, workout bag, etc. There are times, though, when we can’t avoid them altogether. As parents, we complain about all the candy and junk in the checkout line. Our kids are standing in a virtual candy store, begging for a treat, and we have to placate them until we get out of the store. But what about us? We’ve filled our shopping cart with healthy snacks, fruits and veggies, only to be stuck in a long line at the checkout with all these candy bars, chips, and cookies calling out to us. I will readily admit that I used to be a total sucker for check-out goodies, until they got so expensive. I’m so old that I can remember candy bars costing 5 cents. It would kill me to pay over a dollar for a candy bar. I find it much more economical to buy the six-pack of snack-size candy bars for a dollar. But thankfully, those are not located at the front of the store, so I’m pretty safe on that.

It is very important to learn to identify the foods that can trigger an episode of binge eating. So often our brains torment us so that if we eat something we shouldn’t during a moment of weakness, we begin to feel like we’ve blown it, and there’s no use even trying. (See What Do You Do When What You Do For Weight Loss Isn't Enough? ) When that happens, just shake it off, and add that particular food item to your danger list, and do your best to avoid it in the future. There is no easy way to escape the temptations of danger foods, and we can't avoid exposure to all of them all of the time. Remember, a great part of the battle is in our brain, and making a conscious decision to identify these foods and be on the defensive will help us to win the battle. My grandma used to say “Forewarned is forearmed.” If you know your enemy, you are better prepared to defeat it!!!

Have you ever made an inventory of your Danger Foods? Do you have a strategy to avoid them? Let’s talk about it. Using the comments section below, please share your tips with us on ways you have been successful in avoiding your danger foods.