If you are looking to drop a few pounds, be sure to steer clear of these foods. Most of them cover at least seventy-five percent of your daily caloric needs, and almost all of them are sodium bombs that will send your blood pressure skyrocketing. Yet, the cheese, the pasta, the meat...these foods will leave your mouth watering.
The foods on this list are some of the highest calorie foods readily available to consumers. Many of these meals are featured at popular restaurant chains, and are a source of delectable comfort for the average American. These foods may also be eaten quite frequently because they are dirt cheap. Yet, what you save in your wallet you may gain three-fold in your waistline.
High calorie foods do not have to be big, scary monsters. Avocados, olive oil, and peanut butter are healthy, but calorie-dense foods. Yet the items on this list are much more commonly eaten, and are thrust in front of our eyes day in and day out on billboards and television commercials. Who would not want to delve into a big, juicy burger or a cheesy, carb-o-licious bowl of pasta? Put on your stretchy sweatpants, ditch your scale, and dig in.
10 Volcano Nachos (Taco Bell) - 970 Calories
Taco Bell serves up some super-spicy cuisine for those who dare. The Volcano Nachos are red-hot (as the name implies.) However, the calorie count might make your heart erupt. They tip the scale at 970 calories, 520 of which are from fat. It features all of the fixins for a well-rounded, gut-busting Mexican meal: fried tortilla chips, beef, beans, cheese sauce, sour cream, jalapeno peppers, and Taco Bell's lava sauce, which is mayonnaise-based. The lava sauce alone adds 200 calories, as well as a whole lot of spice and sizzle. Eat this, and you will be dormant for the whole day.
9 Dave's Hot N' Juicy 3/4 lb Triple (Wendy's) - 1,060 Calories
As you would expect, a burger is not exactly health food. Still, a typical hamburger at Wendy's would not kill you, nor take up your allotted calories for one day. However, Dave's Hot N' Juicy Triple is a three-quarter-pounder that packs a punch. Its calorie count equals that of four regular hamburgers at Wendy's – a whopping 1,060 calories. That is half of most people's daily caloric intake. The Hot N' Juicy Burger features a bigger bun that is smothered in butter, three beef patties, and loads of ooey-gooey cheese. If you are fine with the philosophy that a burger can be too big for your hands, then go ahead and eat it.
8 Steak Burrito with the Works (Chipotle) - 1,200 Calories
The steak burrito at Chipotle starts with a big 13-inch flour tortilla, a nice base for a calorie-laden meal. Add the steak and all of the add-ons (sour cream, cheese, guacamole, rice, beans, and lots of steak), and you are looking at 1,200 calories of rolled-up sustenance. Besides the calories, you are looking at loads of sodium pumping into your bloodstream. Can you say no bueno? This is without adding a side of crispy, fried tortilla chips. Chipotle does offer the option of a tortilla-less burrito – it is offered in a bowl instead – but that sort of defeats the purpose of a burrito, right?
7 Chicken Strips with Gravy (Dairy Queen) - 1,640 Calories
Dairy Queen may be known for its ice cream, but its “fan food, not fast food” slogan is not fooling anyone. Their chicken strips with gravy meal boasts 1,640 calories, 74 grams of fat (more than most people should eat in one day), and 3,609 milligrams of sodium (most people should have 1,500 milligrams.) This is your typical American meal: fried meat, fatty, creamy sauce, and everyone's favorite – french fries. Also, just for good measure, Dairy Queen adds some Texas Toast on the side. This six-piece chicken strip meal will just about do you in for the day, even though you may be tempted to wash it down with a frozen treat.
6 Steak Quesadillas (Baja Fresh) - 1,430 Calories
If you are thinking of bypassing Chipotle's calorie-bomb, and head to Baja Fresh instead for your Mexican fix, try again. The steak quesadillas here will set you back 1,430 calories, more than Chipotle's steak burrito! It is easy to see why when you consider the mounds of steak and cheese stuffed into a large, 12-inch flour tortilla. Add sour cream and guacamole, and you are looking at a mighty big belt-buster. It would take over two hours of bicycling to work off this grande meal. Another red flag is the amount of sodium in this meal; 2,600 milligrams, or 108% of your daily value.
5 Personal PANormous Meat Lover's Pizza (Pizza Hut) - 1,470 Calories
You may think that ordering the personal pan pizza is a smart move and will help you control your portion. However, this is Pizza Hut we are talking about. This is not exactly a health superstar. The Personal PANormous Meat Lover's Pizza even has a name that should make you cautious. This meal will cost you just five dollars, but 1,470 calories. It is loaded up with tons of cheese, sauce, and meaty pleasures: sausage, pepperoni, ham, hamburger meat, and bacon. The processed meats contribute to the 3,670 milligrams of sodium you will take in when you consume this pizza.
4 Chicken Carbonara Breadbowl Pasta (Domino's) - 1,480 Calories
Obviously a huge chunk of bread should make you realize this will not be a calorie-conscious meal. Domino's Chicken Carbonara Breadbowl Pasta contains 1,480 calories. Add creamy, rich Alfredo sauce, heaps of cheese, piles of chicken, and penne pasta (more carbs!) and you are looking at a comfort-food calorie conundrum. Of course, the people at Domino's will tell you this meal is for two people, but come on. Pasta, bread, cheese...there is no way we are going to share this one. Make sure you wear your elastic waistband pants for this one! You will savor the flavor of carbs topped with carbs.
3 Tuna Melt (Quizno's) - 1,495 Calories
This one can be tricky. After all, tuna is supposed to be healthy, right? Is fish not a smarter choice than beef? Yet, the “melt” part of the Tuna Melt at Quizno's contributes to this meal making our highest calorie food list. This meal would not be complete without plopping a bunch of mayo into the sandwich, followed by cheese, cheese, cheese. Enjoy biting into this sandwich, which totals 1,495 calories and offers 101 grams of fat and 1,970 milligrams of sodium. Is it just us, or is something fishy here? Maybe not, considering most of this Tuna Melt is actually mayonnaise.
2 Variety Big Box Meal (KFC) - 1,680 Calories
No one goes into a KFC thinking they are going to get a healthy meal. So why not splash out? If you are daring enough, order the Variety Big Box meal, which totals 1,680 calories and 3,000 milligrams of sodium. The tradeoff is you get a lot of bang for your buck: one drumstick, one chicken strip, one serving of popcorn chicken, one biscuit, one 32-oz. drink, and two sides (choose from mac n' cheese, corn, potato wedges, baked beans, coleslaw, or mashed potatoes with gravy.) This meal may offer a lot of variety, but it results in one sad fate. This is a dinner that could send your heart into shock.
1 Double Meatball Marinara with Cheese (Subway) - 1,720 Calories
Subway may be known for its spokesperson's massive weight loss, but you will not be shedding any pounds if you order the Double Meatball Marinara with Cheese. I mean, you probably would not associate good health with big, round meatballs and layers of cheese. At 1,720 calories, this is a submarine sandwich that will feel like a rock sunk in your stomach. It will also give you 210% of your daily sodium needs. You can get all this and more (think gas, bloating, and indigestion) for a grant total of five dollars. You gotta love those five dollar footlongs, right?