What Foods Are Totally Off Limits?

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I wanted to confess a little something to you just so you know that I still have struggles when it comes to weight maintenance. After all, no one is perfect.

There are certain foods that I will not have in the house at all. These are my off limit foods. (Beware of tempting photos below.)

Foods like these below:

And these:

And don’t forget these:

When I was losing weight I realized that I wanted to learn how to eat in moderation because I knew that deprivation did not work for me. I still believe in moderation even after almost 16 years of weight maintenance.

I wanted to eat “real” foods and not diet foods. I wanted to cook for my family and I wanted my weight loss experience to mirror my weight maintenance experience. In short, I wanted there to be a seamless transition between weight loss and weight maintenance.

And it worked – for the most part.

I learned that even though I had put the reins on overeating brownies, cookies, and chocolate, etc., there were certain foods  I still had a hard time controlling myself around. This disappointed me a little bit because I was sure that I had “conquered” my bad eating habits. To my dismay, whenever I brought off-limit foods (like the ones pictured above) into my house, I ate too much. Granted I didn’t buy them often, but I sometimes purchased them in a moment of weakness. Like when I was standing in the grocery store line with four kids under the age of nine. :)

What to do? I stopped letting those foods in my house and if I really wanted something on my “off-limits” list I would have it outside of the house and not bring it home. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I do not feel guilty nor deprived.

Do you have off-limits foods that you try not to have in the house?  Diane


  1. says

    Chips, Doritos, anything crunchy and salty. I’ll eat them until I feel sick with fullness, put the last tenth of the bag away, then an hour later finish them off. If they are in the cupboard I can’t stop thinking about them.

    I love chocolate but I can eat a couple of squares and stop. It doesn’t seem to have the same effect as my trigger foods do.
    Natalie recently posted…Another day at homeMy Profile

    • says

      PS – so my strategy is to only have a small packet outside the house and not buy them for home. If I bought them for an occasion, even for that very night, I would often find myself secretly stuffing myself with them before the party or whatever even started. I do still have a problem with other people bringing potato chips to my house for a regular games night, but at least then I have to share so I don’t get a whole family-sized bag to myself.
      Natalie recently posted…Another day at homeMy Profile

  2. says

    You know, one of my worst foods is nuts? Raw nuts? They’re SO healthy for you, they’re supposed to be part of a good diet, but I’m telling you that I could sit myself down and gorge like a squirrel on them. Macadamia nuts in particular, but I’ll go for filberts, walnuts, almonds, pecans. So, I can’t have those in the house which is a huge disappointment to me because it feels like failing at food moderation and being healthy! :) On the non-healthy side, I actually don’t have a banned list – I keep those foods in the basement deep freezer and I tend to forget they’re there. I DO try to buy those in small quantities though, because that is a bit trickier. I think I have to ban the nuts because they’re supposed to be healthy, and so I can tell myself little half-truths and justifications about them.
    Kyra recently posted…The Death of DatingMy Profile

    • Mandy Cat says

      I’ve seen squirrels in a frenzy feeding and, yes, they look remarkably like me and certain roasted nuts although I don’t spill as many as they do. I’ve dealt with my nuttiness by buying them in cost-effective large quantities and re-packaging them into one-half cup portions with my Food Saver shrink-wrap gadget. They freeze well in their airtight packages and I know exactly how many I’ve scarfed down because I have to go get the scissors to open another packet. Which I sometimes do but at least I’m aware of what’s going on.

      This, of course, does not apply to cashews. They’d never make it alive from the big Costco plastic jug into the plastic packages so they’re verboten around here.

    • Rose says

      If you’d still like to be able to eat nuts because they’re healthy, you could try keeping them at home in a form that doesn’t trigger you and then use them as an ingredient in cooking and baking. Like almond flour or walnut meal.

      • says

        :) It’d never work. I’d know it wasn’t how I really want them and then probably end up mugging squirrels while out on a walk. I can get those omegas elsewhere, but it’s a lot less fun!
        Kyra recently posted…Cold and TrainingMy Profile

  3. says

    “They” always say that all foods are okay in moderation, but the problem is that each of us has a “gateway food”, the food that once you start to eat, you cannot stop. For that reason I avoid sweeet desserts. You have a point here! :-)

  4. Karen@WaistingTime says

    Yes! Crackers are on my list. Actually, there are probably a lot of things an over time I have just learned to not bring food into the house that isn’t part of my regular eating plan. Now my husband is another story!

  5. says

    Potato chips… Lay’s in particular. Donuts, especially glazed. Donuts are really bad, because in my mind I think, “Eat them TODAY while they’re fresh!” If I do manage to let them sit on the counter, it’s easy to throw them out the next day, because by then they’re stale and not worth the calories. Better not to have them in the house at all, though.

    • says

      Potato Chips! I forgot about potato chips. I even bought some of those Cape Cod low-cal chips. They are delicious, but not all that low-cal, at least not in the quantity I like to eat them. I think, more than anything else, even the sweet stuff, I miss potato chips!
      Pam recently posted…Honoring an Old FriendMy Profile

      • says

        Oh… yeah, and those M&Ms Diane pictured, only plain, not the ones with peanuts. CANNOT bring them into the house. It’s okay if I come across them elsewhere, because I’m too embarrassed to pop them endlessly into my mouth out in public!

  6. says

    There are too many “off-limit” foods for me to mention. I bought my husband a big old can of mixed nuts, since they are supposedly healthy (in small quantities). I kept taking handfuls, and then I would buy more nuts in the bulk foods section to refill the can so he wouldn’t know how many I was eating. Finally I asked him to get the can out of my sight. He hid them in the garage, but I noticed last night he brought them inside and they’re back in the family room. I think I’ll take them out to the garage again–I do better when they’re outside. I even do bad with the so-called “healthy” snacks, like the 100-calorie cookie packs, and the 90-calorie Fiber One brownies and lemon bars. I love those things and for some reason I keep buying them, even though I know I eat more of them than I should. Other than that, I try to keep the REAL candy and cookies out of my house. when I go to my son’s house, they have boxes of candy that their kids get on holidays, and I usually have a piece or two. I tell myself that will get rid of my craving, not sure if it works, but I know if I had that stuff in my house, I would binge!
    Pam recently posted…Honoring an Old FriendMy Profile

  7. says

    Hi Diane, the only thing I cannot eat in moderation is nuts and dates. If I have an unopened packet at home I still can control myself but the minute I eat one I have no limits. I am still trying to figure out how to control these two things. these days I buy a fixed amount for a month, if I finish it within a week I am left without any nuts for the remaining month….

  8. says

    The only thing that is really off-limits to me would be pasta. I had this realization last night, believe it or not. If we are having pasta for dinner, I literally will eat all of it. I sat at my dinner table, shoveling spaghetti into my face, and realized that it’s a huge problem for me. My family loves pasta, so this is something I need to try to figure out. We have it at least once a week. I can control myself around candy, cookies, chips, and pretty much everything else. Pasta? Nope. No control at all. I think I may need to completely cut it out of my diet.

  9. says

    Any type of chips. Plain with dip, Doritos, Pringles…I truly can’t control myself around them. I don’t even trust myself having small amounts of the outside of my house. So I avoid them altogether. I make kale chips and use those for when Im craving something salty. I also make little baggies of rice crackers up so I wont eat more than 1 serving at a time.

  10. says

    I’m just beginning to practice this skill, but I can say that I don’t often have the urge to load up my cart with high cal foods. Maybe its because I have trained myself to be more focused while shopping, or maybe it is a reflection of skyrocketing grocery prices and a desire to keep that part of the budge under control. Maybe it’s your influence on my, Diane. You are a great role model for those of us trying to get a handle on how we eat. That having been said, ice cream is still my kryptonite, and yes, I do have some in my freezer at home.

    One thing I don’t buy anymore is pasta. It’s just not worth the calories to me. I would much prefer to have a HM whole grain roll or faro on my plate than spaghetti or ziti. I don’t buy pasta.

  11. JP says

    A few months ago, I bought a box of 12 cookies from a health food store. I was thinking this would be fine, I’ll just have one every once in a while. I polished off the box in two days because I would think about the cookies and just tell myself “Okay, but no more today after this one.” It was surprising to see how quickly my brain shifted back to old thought patterns just from having the junk food (yes, health food store cookies are sugary and fatty, too) in the house. Fortunately, the 12 cookies did not derail me. But cookies are now forbidden.

    I also haven’t been baking sweets like I used to. I used to make cookies, bars and cupcakes to share with people at work, but there’d always be plenty leftover for me and my husband to finish. Next time we have a potluck, I’m bringing something healthy so I can eat it and so I can share the foods I enjoy now.

    • Mandy Cat says

      Here’s my opportunity to sneak in one of my favorite funny quotes:

      “When I buy cookies I eat just four and throw the rest away. But first I spray them with Raid so I won’t dig them out of the garbage later. Be careful, though, because that Raid really doesn’t taste that bad.” ~Janette Barber

      • JP says

        Ha! I actually did find myself passing slowly past the cookies in a brand new health food store in town just last night, but moved on after I told myself “You know, I’m just not one of those people who can keep a box of cookies in the house and only eat one or two every so often. It’s okay that I’m not that person but I have to accept and adjust my life for that.”

        I hope I’m not making an uncomfortable analogy here but recovering alcoholics who are trying to stay sober have to be honest with themselves they can’t just have one drink or keep a bottle of spirits in the house to enjoy occasionally. I don’t have that issue but I do think we can all benefit by being honest about our weaknesses.

        (I bought some fresh berries instead.)

  12. Paula says

    Any type of potato chip, if they are in the house I am eating them. I don’t care anything about sweets but a chip, that’s another story.

  13. says

    Cookies and ice cream desserts. Also, potato chips. Now, I can have some of these in the house if they aren’t my favorite flavors and they were specifically bought for someone else in the house. I can just sort of ignore them.

    Last summer I got on a real jag of buying certain cookies that I loved and Sriracha potato chips and I just couldn’t eat them in moderation. I tracked what I ate, but I gained 10 pounds from eating too much.

    What I’ve realized since then is that I do much, much, much better to just not buy those things. I can actually eat them in moderation as an occasional thing outside the house. But, it just makes it SO much easier for me not to have them in the house.

    One strange thing is that I don’t have this problem with my favorite snack which is pistachios. I eat an ounce of pistachios almost every day and I don’t have any real problem with measuring out the proper amount and sticking to it. And, I like that snack more than I do cookies or chips. But, is the cookies and chips that I can’t control!
    Kitty recently posted…Constant Vigilance!My Profile

    • says

      Kitty that is an interesting point that your “favourite snack” is not necessarily your trigger food. I totally agree with that about some of the things that are a problem for me – sometimes I might not even much like what I am eating but can’t seem to stop. It’s great that you have identified something that you love but that doesn’t make you binge on it.
      Natalie recently posted…Another day at homeMy Profile

  14. Dukebdc says

    There are a number of things I keep out of the house for my own sanity:
    1)Nutella. Holy cow, it’s like crack in spreadable form. It’s so calorie dense that it isn’t even worth opening Pandora’s box by buying it and bringing it home.
    2)A specific kind of potato chip – Smokin’ Sweet Utz Kettle Chips.
    3)Ice cream. I can eat way too much of it at one sitting, and hate measuring out a serving, so I just don’t buy it anymore. We have an awesome frozen custard/sorbet store within walking distance and will occasionally go there for a small cup.

  15. Martha G says

    Chips and dip. I can usually avoid both of these even if they are in the house, but once in a while? I go after them like I’ve never seen food. These two items rarely make their way in our house.
    If I want chips, I’ll buy an individual bag and have it with a sandwich. Have to say though that reading the nutrition and calorie info makes that much less desirable.

  16. says

    For me, I have started to listen to my body and how certain foods impact it. This means popcorn is no longer a part of my lifestyle (corn just impacts me negatively). Gluten is also not my friend. My workouts after soy suffer greatly. AND much to my dismay, I have found out that I have an intolerance to eggs. So there are definitely off limits foods for me!
    Lynn recently posted…Nothing but the truth….the blog post about it all….My Profile

  17. Dita says

    Hi Diane,

    I also never keep tempting food in my house, because I know myself. If by chance I do have cookies or chocolate, chips or anything like that in the house I will never stop at one piece… Well, I guess you can imagine what would follow… Unfortunately, I have a little convenience store right across my building and once in a while I “fall prey” to my temptations. Most of the time all is well, but I find that if for whatever reason my emotions are out of sync, I have a really hard time staying away from the junk.

  18. says

    I definitely have those kind of foods- Oreos and/or any cookie that combines chocolate and mint. Go away Girl Scouts. It used to be Kisses too but I have come to hate the sugary taste of all candy. Must be that high fructose corn syrup thing going on. Give me real chocolate like Lindt. And its funny but if I eat one piece of dark chocolate, it satisfies me and I dont have to have more. I think the mroe junky it is the more addictive it is. That makes sense though doesnt it. There is an excellent episode of Dr. Oz where they talk about how the food companies make these “treats” more addictive. The fat, sugar, salt combinations are extremely powerful.

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