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AB-errations

Five unexpected foods that may be making you fat

Feel like you're doing everything right but still can't lose those last 10 pounds? Check out your kitchen for these common belly-busting foods. Some may seem healthy; others are convenient-but chances are they're all tripping you up in your efforts to trim down.

REDUCED-FAT PEANUT BUTTER
Peanut butter is loaded with good things like protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Nevertheless, the problem some guys mistakenly have with it is its fat content, which is sky high. But it's healthy, monounsaturated fat-the kind that's OK to eat. Take that fat out (some reduced-fat peanut butters promise 25% less fat than traditional PBs), and you still end up getting almost as many calories- only now they're coming from added sugars and carbs. They're not fat, but eat enough of them and you will be.

INSTANT OATMEAL
Once again, the problem is added sugar. Oatmeal is one of the most nutritious foods you can buy. But if you're going to eat it, you really only have two lean options: Either stick with sugar-free oatmeal packets or clear out your cupboard and stock up on the big round canisters of plain instant oats-either way, you cut the calories per bowl in half.

COFFEE CREAMER
How bad can a couple of shots of liquid coffee creamer be? Try 80 calories for every twotablespo on dose of the flavored stuff. And if you're trying to add enough creamer to cook up the equivalent of your favorite Starbucks elixir, you might as well chug the entire bottle-and the calories that come with it.

INSTANT POTATOES
Potatoes are already a no-no for many because they're so high in carbs. But instant potatoes take a potentially fattening food and make it downright lard-inducing. The reason is obvious when you consider how the flakes are made. Manufacturers take dehydrated potato and blend it with fat-to improve the reconstituted product's texture. That's why even a tiny serving of instant taters can hide more than 200 calories.

SUGAR-FREE COOKIES
Three small sugar-free cookies still pack roughly 150 calories, along with even worse things including trans fats and sugar alcohols-compounds that can wreak havoc on your digestive system. So, even if the taste of the cookie doesn't kill you, eating one could leave you on the toilet wishing you were dead.

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