These 'Unhealthy' Foods Can Help You Lose Weight

| Food

If you want to lose weight in a hurry, you've probably heard that certain foods should be banned from your fridge forever. But, frankly, screw that. By eliminating dairy, carbohydrates, and fatty foods, you're missing out on nutrients your body needs to fuel weight loss. Plus, your willpower will be running on fumes.

slim and toned woman measuring her waistline

To find out what weight loss-friendly foods are missing from your life, Women's Health asked a nutritionist to give us her faves. Get ready to live again, people.

1, 2, 3. Potatoes, pasta, rice: Carbohydrates are pretty much the black sheep in the family of diet foods. The truth? They’re not so bad. “Potatoes are loaded with potassium," says Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D., owner of BetterThanDieting.com and author of "Read It Before You Eat It". "One baked potato has more potassium than two bananas." They’re also a great source of fiber, which has been proven to help you feel fuller and keep food moving through your digestive system.

Other sources of carbohydrates, like whole-wheat pasta and brown rice, are also packed with fiber and can raise your serotonin levels to boost your mood, says Taub-Dix. And when you're happy, you're a lot less likely to stress eat.

Chicken Sausage Linguine Skillet

>> Now that you know pasta won't hurt you, try our Chicken Sausage Linguine Skillet!

4. Fruit: If you've been tempted to cut out Earth's candy in the name of reducing your sugar intake, allow us to talk you out of it. The reality is that, on average, a piece of fruit, like an apple or orange, contains 15 grams of sugar, which is about the amount in cup of milk, says Taub-Dix. In other words, it's not a lot.

But if you’re trying to lose weight, you need to be sure you're not going overboard with the fruit in your smoothie or late-night snack. Berries are a great option since one cup contains the caloric-equivalent of a few pieces of dried fruit. You can also stock up on watermelon, which is high in water content, to fill you up.

Berries and Cream Popsicle

>> Recipe: Berries and Cream Popsicles

5. Cheese: While you might want to avoid nachos and mac 'n' cheese in the name of weight loss, a few slices of cheese can be part of a healthy diet, says Taub-Dix. That's because it's high in muscle-building protein and digests slower to keep you satisfied.

“I love the pre-wrapped Babybel cheese rounds, which are already portion controlled," she says. She suggests pairing one round with an apple for a snack that keeps your blood sugar stable and your belly full.

babybel cheese
(Photo: Babybel)

For the final three "unhealthy" foods, click here to read the original story from Women's Health.