Seven foods that are secretly adding to your waist

December 28, 2012

Even if you're working to shed excess pounds in an ergonomically safe way with true treadmills, true ellipticals and true bikes, what you're putting into your body could be reversing your hard work. Some of the foods you're consuming could potentially be putting the pounds back on that you worked so hard to keep off. Be wary of what you're eating, even if it may seem healthy at first glance. Here are 10 foods you should stray from when trying to whittle down your middle:

Artificial sweeteners
Never opt for artificial sweeteners over regular sugar. Dumping these packets into your morning coffee everyday may set you back more than you realize.

Artificial sweeteners, register as much sweeter than sugar to your taste buds, and can reset them to crave more sugary foods. "As a result, you end up eating more junk," Cosmopolitan magazine explained.

If you settle for a reasonable amount of normal sugar, you'll find you won't be indulging on sweet treats later on. You may also find you have more energy if you cut little extra treats out of your diet.

Frozen dinners
Even though some frozen meals promise a healthy meal, many dinners may not be as healthy as you imagine. Many are packed with preservatives and a high amount of sodium. You can make a healthy meal just as quickly using fresh ingredients.Try grilling up some chicken with a few vegetables for the same meal with healthier rewards.

Skim milk
Dr. Mehmet Oz revealed a shocking twist regarding your dairy intake. Next time you're at the grocery store shopping for milk, you'll want to grab the 2 percent over the skim. Why? Even though there may be less calories in skim, there's more sugar. Therefore, it's actually more fattening than regular milk. So go ahead and enjoy that glass of 2 percent.

Salad dressing
You may be proud of yourself for opting for a nice green salad for lunch. However, what you're drizzling on your salad could make the difference between a healthy meal and hidden extra calories. The creamier dressings are the ones you should be aware of. According to Associates in Nutrition Therapy, restaurants usually drench your salad in a whopping eight tablespoons of dressing. The recommended amount is only two tablespoons. By asking for dressing on the side or choosing a lighter dressing, you'll be saving yourself tons of calories.

Wheat bread
Yes, wheat bread is great for you and has fiber to keep you full and energized. However, make sure to really examine the packaging before you buy what many companies call wheat bread. Self magazine warns that if the bread doesn't say "100 percent whole wheat," then it's probably not. Choose bread that has at least two grams of fiber so you know you're actually consuming a healthy grain.

This high-in-calories alternative to butter may actually be worse for you than you thought. Cosmopolitan magazine said that margarine is filled with trans fats, which doesn't do any favors for your cholesterol level. Instead, use a small amount of butter or even olive oil. Land O'Lakes Margarine, for example, has two and a half more grams of trans fats than regular butter. That's more than one day's limit!

Even when there are plenty of vegetables and protein-filled meats wrapped in a tortilla, you're not necessarily indulging in a healthy meal. Although they may seem harmless, don't be fooled. According to Shape magazine, a tortilla by itself can hold up to 800 calories! You're better off choosing whole wheat bread, or if you must, sharing the meal with a friend for half the calories.