The What NOT To Eat List

Welcome to Week 1 of our Weight-Loss Action Challenge.

Each week we’ll focus on taking action on a diet, exercise or mindset challenge.
Our goal is to improve our habits so we can become slimmer and healthier.

This week we’ll create a What NOT To Eat list.

My ‘What NOT To Eat’ List

I’m easily confused and overwhelmed, so I love pre-making entire categories of decisions, such as What NOT To Buy. It makes life easier!

So I have a list of foods I just don’t eat.

Not in a weird, Hollywood-diet kind of way. But because the foods on my list are both high-calorie-cost and low-reward, and therefore hard to justify if I want to be slim.

High-calorie-cost means high in calories.

Low-reward means I don’t absolutely love the food. I definitely eat foods I love, even if they’re calorific. Life is short! I don’t want to live on celery.

Here’s my What NOT To Eat List:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Sauces
  • Gravy
  • Ice cream (except chocolate and sometimes vanilla)
  • Cake
  • White bread
  • White chocolate
  • Any chocolate that doesn’t taste great (I will literally spit it out. Daintily of course.)
  • Meat-lovers pizza
  • Thick-crust pizza
  • Full-fat milk
  • Fries that aren’t cooked extra crispy
  • Chips, CCs, etc (except my favorite flavors and brands)
  • Fatty duck, pork, crackling, etc
  • Most non-chocolate desserts
  • Potatoes (unless they’re deep-fried; yes I know!)
  • Cream.

These are not foods I hate. They’re simply expensive in calories, and I prefer to save my calories for the stuff I absolutely love.

Create Your ‘What NOT To Eat’ List

Now it’s your turn.

1. Write Your ‘What NOT To Eat’ List

Start by reviewing your usual diet and looking for foods that are both:

  • High-calorie-cost – it’s only the ‘naughty’ stuff we’re worried about here, and
  • Low reward – if you love it, don’t put it on your list. Concentrate on foods that aren’t worth wasting your precious calories on.

Remember: We don’t want to make ourselves miserable. And we do want to make it easy to stick to this new behavior.

2. Review Your List Every Day

Put your list somewhere you’ll see it every day this week.


  • On the fridge
  • In your diary
  • In your phone.

We want to change a habit so we need to give our behavior extra attention.

3. Check In Every Day

Review your progress every day this week to say how you’ve done in avoiding the foods on your list.

Each day this week you could:

  • Come back to this post and say how you’re doing – it’ll be motivation for you as well as encouragement for others
  • Write a note in your diary.

Also, on Friday I’ll do a follow-up post asking how you’ve gone. It will be a good way to review the week’s progress toward your new habit.

Check in

And we’re done!

Leave a comment below (or here if you’re reading this in an email or reader) to say you’ve done this week’s challenge.

If you like, share your list – I’d love to know what’s on it. I showed you mine!! 🙂

Michele Connolly

Michele Connolly helps people move from procrastination to action. She believes that taking action on your priorities makes you a happier person. Michele is the founder of Get Organized Wizard and creator of tools for business, home, and personal organization. Her programs are used by tens of thousands of people worldwide.

38 thoughts on “The What NOT To Eat List

  1. Kathy says:





    • Kylie Browne says:

      Great lists, Kathy. Thank you for sharing.
      You’re “all sugar” elimination is a big task! I did read somewhere that you can eliminate sugars from your diet gradually so cravings are kept to a minimum. For example, week 1 – eliminate all fizzy drinks. week 2 – eliminate junk food snacks etc so that it’s a more realistic way to stay focused and not miss it as much. I’ll try to find the article for you and post it. 🙂
      Kylie, Community Manager

  2. Sandra Krazulo says:

    I only concentrate on WHAT TO eat! And to see a list with what not to eat doesn´t work for me. I don´t want to have the no goes in my house, not in my fridge not on a list. I collect photos with tasty salads, colorful fruits, nice bodies, workouts I want to do and put them in different places to remember me… I watch documentaries (Omnivores dilemma, fast food nation, food inc) they help me to keep away from the old false friends.

  3. Terry Currie says:

    Additional information added to this post:
    My groups what not to eat list:
    Bacon is high in salt; eat turkey bacon instead.
    Pastries — high sugar content.
    French Fries unless baked.
    White bread — eat wheat bread instead.
    Whole Milk — drink fat free, skim, soy or 1%.
    Chips because their high in salt and calories.
    Fatty meat or meat on the bone unless you cut the fatty areas off — bake only.
    Possum meat is real greasy and bad for your health.
    Potatoes unless their baked.
    Meat Lovers Pizza as red meat isn’t good for you.
    Mayonnaise if you use lite mayonnaise.
    Mustard is made from mustard seed, which has no preservatives, is good for you.
    Chocolate should be in moderation.
    Hot Dogs are very high in salt.

    Look at the nutritional labels of foods you are thinking about buying to see it’s nutritional values. If it’s bad for you DO NOT PURCHASE.

    We suggest an interactive workbook be made to record your answers or recommend using a blank book/blank journal to record your answers.

  4. Lechia Day Davis says:

    What do you do when it’s a texture thing? I can’t eat fat-free anything (mayo, ranch) because it’s just slime to me, but cannot eat dry bread or sandwiches. I like mustard, but can’t tolerate the amount I’d have to put on to substitute the real purpose of the mayo. And my hubby can’t handle the texture of vegetables. ANY vegetables. He literally gags.

  5. Sammy Lea says:

    I made my list of what not to eat, lucky for me I prefer savoury things so the cake and chocolate type things don’t bother me too much, though I did add a clause that a small piece of cake at a birthday party is ok, but no cake when coffeeing with friends and chocolate once a month! Noodles and chips are a favourite but they’re on the list!

  6. Stacey Laper says:

    So yesterday I stuck to it. I had a few extra calories after dinner with a Corona – but it was cold and soooo worth it. Reward = down a pound and a half. I don’t care if its water weight. My original goal weight is two pounds away.

  7. Terry Currie says:

    My groups what not to eat list:
    Pastries — high sugar content.
    French Fries unless baked.
    White bread — eat wheat bread instead.
    Full Milk — drink fat free or 1%.
    Chips because their high in salt.
    Fatty meat unless you cut the fatty areas off.
    Possum meat is real greasy and bad for your health.
    Potatoes unless their baked.
    Meat Lovers Pizza as red meat isn’t good for you.
    Mayonnaise if you use lite mayonnaise.
    Chocolate should be in moderation.

    Look at the nutritional labels of foods you are thinking about buying to see it’s nutritional values. If it’s bad for you DO NOT PURCHASE.

  8. Anita Pearson says:

    My list is made, keeping it in plain sight, and I am going to refer to it often. I already made big booboo’s before reading this… so from this point forward… think twice before eating no no’s!

  9. Angela Skerman says:

    Sweet biscuits are pretty high on my NOT to eat list- I can’t stop at one! Also white bread, full-fat dairy, big servings of meals, and low-quality chocolate. I’m sure I will think of more things to add to my list through the week!

  10. Danielle Desjardins says:

    I made my list. What’s not to eat: white bread, white chocolate, pizza that I didn’t make myself, fries that I haven’t made myself, cakes that I haven’t made myself.
    I like Elizabeth’s list. So I am making one occasion list too:)
    Occasional list: gravy on my turkey at Christmas time, ice cream low fat, mayo on the occasional Club sandwich.

  11. Ellen Darwood says:

    Still working on my list. Here’s what I have so far: Any chocolate that I don’t really enjoy (yes, I spit out too – and have bitten tentatively into many pieces of boxed chocolates that I ended up discarding!), soft drinks, white chocolate, fudge, most hard candies.

  12. Elizabeth Berzas Kratzer says:

    Ok, MC, I made 2 lists. What NOT to eat: mayo, cream, sauces, brown or white gravy, non chocolate cake or desserts, white bread, low fiber wheat bread, thick crust pizza, whole milk (whole soy milk), full fat cheese (except on my thin crust, light cheese pizza), fries that aren’t cooked crispy. My occasional to eat list: ice cream (DQ blizzard once/mo. in the summer), chocolate cake & desserts that I really, really want (again, once/ mo.), crispy cooked french fries (once/mo.), AND Boudin, cracklins, pork stew & rice/gravy (once every 3 mo. when I go to Mamou, LA to visit family). Since I just discovered that I am highly sensitive to wheat & rice, it is a great deterrent to eating often or large servings.

  13. Susan Alexander says:

    Here’s a start to my list. Pizza (except gluten free thin crust), candy bars, potatoes (except roasted), deep fried foods, whipped cream, bread – any kind, most crackers, pasta (except small amounts of gluten free), cookies (really difficult one for me), cakes, ham salad sandwich spread (especially homemade!). I know there are more that need to be added, just can’t think of them because my brain is stuck on ham salad!

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