Wouldn’t it be great if you could eat something before hitting the beach that would make you look and feel slimmer, instantly? Well, there’s no miracle food yet, but there are foods that can make you look and feel fatter in almost no time. And those are the foods you want to avoid right before you don your swimsuit. We listed five of the absolute worst foods for the beach or pool—and what you should go for instead for a glorious day in surf and sun.
Salt binges can lead you to retain more water than the Hoover Dam. This one should be obvious. With parmesan cheese, fried croutons, salty dressing and anchovies, chicken Caesar salad is one of the most sodium-packed foods out there. (Versions at certain sit-down chains can contain more than 1,900 mg of sodium!) But it’s not just the salt; Caesar ranks right up there with taco salads as one of the most misbegotten "health" foods out there. Some versions at sit-down chain restaurants have more than 1,000 calories, 75 grams of fat and nearly 2,000 milligrams of sodium. Chicken can be a great option, though, because it’s a lean meat with protein that fills you up and helps you fight belly fat. Grilled chicken sandwiches can give you the same full feeling as the Caesar salad, without the huge caloric load and bulging belly. Add a side salad with vinaigrette dressing, and you’ve got a more complete meal with only about 200 extra milligrams of sodium.