Poll: Do You Eat Foods You Don't Like to Lose Weight?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Back in 2004, I was much heavier than I am now. I worked second shift, which meant my dinner was eaten at my desk or in the basement lunchroom of the newspaper. Usually, I grabbed takeout with my co-workers--and I rare had any leftovers. Every few months or so, frustrated with pants that were growing tighter, I made up my mind to lose weight.

I also wanted to save money, so I started making food at home and bringing it to work. One the menu: couscous and baked chicken breasts, with frozen broccoli or green beans. Little to no sauce, and just herbs and spices for flavor. Needless to say, I often abandoned my packed dinner in lieu of more exciting takeout options.

Why? Because I was forcing myself to eat bland and boring food I didn't really like in an effort to lose weight. In the end, it just didn't work, and I wasted money and gained even more weight.

I knew I wasn't alone. Plenty of other people fail before eventually losing the weight and keeping it off. In writing and researching SparkPeople's first cookbook, Chef Meg and I been hearing from people about the different foods they've eaten in an effort to lose weight. Many people reported that, while trying to shed those extra pounds, they chose foods they thought were healthier and lower in calories, but they ended up not wanting to eat them--and not losing much weight.

We want to know how common this is. Take the short poll below, and share any additional thoughts in the comment section.

Have you ever eaten foods you don't like in an effort to lose weight or improve your health?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
See more: healthy foods poll


In the late 70s, I bought expensive bottles of "liquid protein" and drank only them for a couple of weeks to lose weight. The viscous dark red liquid tasted like a combination of melted iron pills and unsweetened cough syrup. Did I learn my lesson? Heck no. In the late 80s, I jumped on board the OptiFast craze with Oprah and (under a doctor's supervision) drank the powder mixed with diet pop only (nothing solid, no deviations) for 6 months. So, yes, I have done crazy things. On old WW, I made fake pies (flat rolled bread slices for crust? What?), many things with sugarless gelatin, liver every week (uugggghhh), water-packed tuna with a side of canned bean sprouts... disgusting. Report
Oh, WAIT!!! Yes, I did do that! I was on Nutrisystem for a year, once and ate that high sodium, miserable food... oh, yes, I did lose weight, but then I gained it back and more!... what a terrible waste of money...however, there was a pretty good community to help along the way...HOWEVER, at that time NS did not have a support system in place for their losers...and they lost so many of them. When I wanted to try NS again, the doctor looked at their "Nutrition" list and approved only 2 items for consumption and one of them was a chocolate bar!... I guess we all make those bad choices... Thank God I found SparkPeople, they have saved my life! Report
Three words - Tofu Shiritaki Noodles

eew. It was like eating fishy smelling rubber bands.

Also, you can throw in all the horrible "weight loss" shakes, drinks, powders, bars, and packaged meals. Ick. Report
I pretty much despise oatmeal. It's plain and boring no matter what I do with it. But, last November, I was able to lose weight eating it for breakfast daily -- and it REALLY filled me up, more so than protein and fruit.

Now that I'm eating clean and trying to lose weight again... guess what I'm eating for breakfast?) :) Report
I can't eat anything that I know I'm not goint to enjoy. If it's something I've never tried I'll be willing give it a try but if I don't like it I won't ever eat it again. I just try to eat alot of the things I do enjoy that are good for me. Report
Urgh... If I don't like it I don't eat it. I'm losing weight in order to feel better, why should I make myself feel bad with forcing down something I/my mind/my body rejects just because it's supposed to be good for you. Report
I'm not a fan of veggies in general. However, one way I've been getting them into my diet is in smoothies. I combine spinach and apple, or carrots and strawberries. As far as taste goes, I'd still prefer the smoothies with just the fruit, but it's much easier to get the veggies into my diet this way. Report
I'm definitely like that. When I was growing up, my mom cooked mostly frozen foods, starchy pastas, etc. In other words, nothing with a whole lot of nutrition. Now I love her to death, and she wasn't deliberately trying to harm us, but those were the foods I became accustomed to. Now that I'm living a healthier life and trying to lose weight, I do try and force myself to like foods that I don't initially. A good example of this would be quinoa. After I became vegetarian, I struggled with protein, and discovered quinoa was a good source of it. However, I couldn't stand the taste or texture of it in any recipe I tried. I finally broke down and skipped the fuss, using it as a replacement for rice, and what do you know - now I love it! The next contender is tofu... another good source of protein but I haven't found a way I can stomach it. :( Report
Through Sparkpeople, I have learned how to be healthy through eating right and doing physical activity. I have used the many recipe ideas to make healthy meal options and re-learned how and what to eat.

While I think there are things I don't like to eat, I have kept an open mind and tried many things I thought I didn't like or never used to like. Some I found that I liked and some I still don't like. There are so many healthy and different ways to get the right calorie intake that I don't need to force myself to eat something I don't like...just find a different meal or snack! Report
There is no whole grain I like, but I make something (brown rice, whatever) every week and put a scoop of it on my salad x3-4 a week and eat it. Otherwise, I'd never eat whole grains. I've tried everything (quinoa, whole grain pasta, etc.) and basically, I just don't like it. But, it is a whole category I don't like, one that I am sure is really healthy, so I do eat it. Report
I don't eat foods I don't like, however I do try new foods (or retry old ones prepared in different ways).

Sometimes I find I don't mind certain foods when added to soups or stews, even though I don't like those foods on their own (peas, for example). Report
I answered yes though I usually only eat foods I enjoy. However I work at a child care center where the children are encouraged to try everything on their plate. Therefore I have to be a good role model and try everything as well. I used to like peas as a child and then grew to hate them (probably from over-eating) and have always hated cooked carrots. Through eating them at the center, I have grown to actually like those foods (I won't eat them at home when I have the choice though). I am trying to like sweet potatoes though (which are also on the center menu). Everytime I have steak fries or tater tots (not often!), I make myself eat sweet potato first. I've heard if you eat something 16 different times you will grow to like it. We'll see how it goes... Report
Learned to really like some of them - others were dropped when it was evident that a taste was not going to be developed for them at that time Report
I voted Yes, but I would like to add that I donīt any more! The yes comes from the Atkins days in the seventies, which forced me to eat lots of meat and fat...and I hate those!
These days Iīm a flexitarian, meaning I do eat a little poultry and lean beef from time to time, and it fits right into my healthy diet. I love fruit and veggies, which I couldnīt have on the extreme Atkins diet back then.
Needless to say I couldnīt keep it up and although I lost weight , I gained it all back...
Iīm convinced it doesnīt work to follow a diet with food you donīt like, youīre sure to fall off the wagon. Report
I do, but they aren't a huge part of my food plan. For example, I'll eat celery sticks or baby carrots or some other vegetables as part of a meal or snack to boost my freggies for the day. They aren't my favorite foods, but they're tolerable, and definitely worthwhile health-wise. Combined with something else, like cottage cheese or in a salad, I don't see eating them as a negative. Report
In 2000 I joined WW. I followed the program and in the beginning was constantly being told that I had to eat more food. All I heard was eat your points, eat your points. I amnot a big sweet eater but I did resort to eating candies and cookies that I do not like or eat. I did eventually to a point where I could stop eating the extra junk food as I call it and lost 89.6 pounds. Due to health problems and cutting back in my eating I have since regained at least 50 of the pounds back. I am now trying to find more foods that I like and enjoy to fill my daily calorie intake. Report
I am a very picky eater, so I have to eat food that I really don't like in order to eat healthier. Like I'm eating raw spinach salad almost every day right now. Really don't like it. In order to make it taste better, you have to add stuff like butter, which I can't have at the moment. Sucks..but I'm doing it, with fabulous results I might add... Report
I did this a lot in my early years of dieting especially with WW back in the late 60's and early 70's. It took a few more years then I did learn to eat foods I liked and that were healthy. I am very thankful to my mom for always making me eat different veggies for there are few I dont like. I tired eating rice cakes thinking they were good and UGH major for me. Also learn to add some herbs and seasonings to foods to spice them up and reducing the uses of fats and salts, it can be done and it is fun to experiment. Report
When I read this I thought, how silly - why would anyone eat anything they didnt like? I was surprised reading the comments how many people actually do. I myself, want to enjoy every single calorie I put in my mouth! However, I'm not a picky eater either, I like just about anything. Except seafood. I dont care how healthy it is, I wont eat it. I think if you force yourself into eating something you dont like, you'll feel disapointed and cheated - and then eat something else on top of it, overall eating way more. Report
I only eat foods that I like, but I also found out that I used to lie to myself. There are so many good, healthy foods out there that I used to tell myself I didn't like and would not eat. But recently I've been trying them and I love them! Case in point: sweet potato, pears, rutabaga, squash, carrots, and the list goes on. And if the food is bland, I can always doctor it with crushed crackers, canned tuna, salsa, hummus, Laughing Cow Light cheese wedges, dried fruit, nuts, apple sauce, etc. Yum! Each day I look forward to eating healthy foods. Report
Even though I voted Yes, I don't eat food I don't like all the time. Sometimes, I'll try something and then try it again, in case I didn't give it a good shot. That is how I've incorporated a lot of new veggies into my diet. I hadn't tried a lot of them since childhood, and now I find that I like a lot more than I used to. Still can't abide kale or brussel sprouts, though. I also experiment with herbs and spices, and sometimes the combo isn't so great. LOL. But I keep trying to make the food taste good, and if I've given it a good try and I still don't like it, it doesn't stay in my diet, no matter HOW healthy it's supposed to be for me! Report
I rarely eat foods I don't like. I will sometimes eat less of foods that I really like and replace them with foods that are healthier. The healthy foods may not be my first choice, but I'm usually happier down the road. Report
I have in the past, but do not do so any longer (the last 20 years). If it doesn't taste good, why use precious calories/points on those things. Dieting shouldn't be a punishment, and I don't need to clean my plate for the sake of cleaning my plate, anymore. Report
I only eat what I truly like. I don't get that many calories (points for me) a day and I won't "waste" them on something I don't like even if it's healthy. There are many healthy choices I really like. When I do try something I don't like, it sets me up to feel deprived or unsatisfied and I tend to eat more later to make up for it. Report
I enjoy cooking and trying new foods. I have found that if I eat foods with flavors that I like I will tend to be satisfied with portion control. I believe food is meant to be enjoyed with control. Now that I am learning how to do this I tend to stay away from foods that are just empty calories. It is important for me to live a happy healthy life so I really think about what I fuel my body with. Occasionally I will have a moment of weakness, but that is when my husband to reminds me of my end goal. Report
I have definitely tried foods I don't really like but I have opted now for portion control and making my favorite foods a little healthier. It's working better for me. Report
No. With the millions of good, healthy food out there, there is no need to eat anything I don't like. Report
I'm so lucky that way - I'm a vegetarian by choice, and I love broccoli and brussels sprouts, I eat green beans almost daily, I have a good salad for lunch every day, and I don't eat as many fruits as I'd like... 'cause I do count calories. That's the only change that I need to make to lose weight. Report
I am more apt to tire of a few things I ate too frequently. Used to like tofu, ate it often and now don't want it at all. Did the same thing with tuna fish. Report
I haven't eaten foods that i dislike since trying to lose weigh, but i have tried new recipes and new food. I am eating more vegetables and more fruits. I tried cauliflower and i now enjoy them pickled as a snack. Report
Sure, who hasn't. But, these days, I try to eat foods that are healthy and also taste good. I credit that and God for my weight loss. Report
i have eaten foods I don't like to loose weight, but I don't make it a habit or feel pressure to do so, i just find things that I can enjoy eating that gives me the same benefit Report
I have learned to enjoy healthy foods and the feeling I get from knowing I'm being good to my body. The energy is great too, keeps me focused and walking! Report
I said No in the poll. But I have to say, I like "couscous and baked chicken breasts, with frozen broccoli or green beans. Little to no sauce, and just herbs and spices for flavor". Yum. There aren't a lot of foods I don't care for. Report
I've eaten lots of things I don't like to lose weight and it never worked, and I'd love to get the new cookbook, but I know it will have things in it that my husband won't eat and I'm not cooking two different meals. He's a meat and potatoes kind of guy, and pasta. All the things I'm supposed to stay away from. Can't anybody make a cookbook with simple, uneventful, basic ingredients(no onions, vegetables in the recipes). I don't know how to use spices and that's what I really need is a course on using spices. Report
Mind you I have eaten foods I didn't like to lose weight...but this was during my unsuccessfull attemps or the ones that didn't last. This time around I have tried very hard not to do this. I used to buy those rice crackers as a snack...but they are pretty tasteless as far as I'm concerned. I just had to make up my mind that I would rather save calories than eat ones I didn't like and I could use those saved calories for some grapes or an apple or something I actually LIKE the taste of! Report
I have eaten foods to loose weight, but I have found that if I want to continue loosing or maintaining my weight, I have to have foods that I like and taste good. I have lost and gained weight for most of my adult life, but that is because I allow myself to overindulge in foods that are unhealthy. I have learned that I like many foods that are low calorie and they taste good. I just need to remember that I need to keep things in balance as well as understand why I crave the unhealthy foods that cause me to gain weight. I have learned that if I am craving unhealthy food choices, then I am missing something somewhere (vitamins/minerals/oils) or that something else in my life is causing me stress and that causes me to crave foods that are unhealthy. I continually have to make sure that my life and my foods provide the balance that is needed for me to be successful in not only loosing the weight, but keeping it off as well.
Part of my healthy choices now are making life choices that I can live with, so that I don't keep doing what I have done in the past (gain weight, loose weight, gain more weight, loose more weight...and the pattern continues). I do not want to loose the excess weight I am carrying now so that I can gain it and more back any longer. I have to make choices that I carry out for the rest of my life. No more eating boring, tasteless foods that help me to loose weight that I say goodbye to when I reach my goal. Report
I eat foods I don't really like too much on a near daily basis. My goals include building muscle, not just losing fat. Therefore, I have to include much more protein in my diet than I did just to lose weight. That is tough! I'm not a fan of meats to begin with, and I have become supremely sick of chicken and tuna. HOWEVER, I still eat them. I make that sacrifice at least once a day. I have found other sources of protein that I like more than chicken and tuna (nonfat cottage cheese, egg beaters, extra lean ham, whey protein powder, fish and shrimp to name my favorites), and I eat a variety of these things each day. I may have one meal I don't like much, like peppered chicken breast, but the rest of the day I have something I like. I generally do pretty well that way. My problem is more about the food I like, not the food I don't like. I am a HUGE fan of food, so it is extremely hard for me to resist the corn chips, cheese and desserts when they come out. Pizza is my favorite! I would say it is definitely easier for me to eat foods that I don't like so much than it is to resist foods I love. Too bad my taste buds work so well!!! Report
Once upon a time I might have but it's been years. Now I make experimenting with different spices and flavor combinations and ways of cooking a part of the adventure, not my punishment for being overweight. My go-to cuisines are Mediterranean and Asian. Why have baked chicken and rice when I can have stir-fried veggies and toasted tempeh seasoned with fresh garlic and Chinese 5 spice? Why have a plain turkey sandwich when I can have fresh hummus on whole grain with avocado and roasted peppers? All it takes is a little research and the willingness to risk the occasional kitchen failure. Report
I won't eat foods I don't like...however, there are also foods I'd RATHER be eating. Would I rather have chicken on top of my pizza...yes, but I'll have it with rice and zuccini instead (not really as bad as it sounds...I like it) Report
I gag down green tea and fish oil pills and ground flaxseed everyday. I figure for the three minutes of grossness the health benefits outweigh the gag. But I don't waste an abundance of calories on something that is good for me if I don't like it. Report
I have in the past but I won't do it again. Everything I eat I have to enjoy, otherwise I don't eat it. Loosing wait doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your palate. Report
Nope! I like everything I eat. I often find that it is the unhealthy foods that I used to eat that I am now realizing that I didn't even like that much. I will say that I am now more willing to try new foods that used to sound gross to me. I've fallen in love with many vegetables and health foods that I never gave a chance before.

I have to agree with the previous poster though, I do not like fruit all that much. I go through phases where I will really enjoy bananas and apples and oranges but not often. I'll stick to veggies. Report
I like most foods and I'm a good cook--even low cal and low fat foods! However, I'm not a big "fan" of fruit (I do like it on pizza and in salads, though!), so sometimes I eat an apple, banana, etc. just for nutrition, not for "pleasure".

I try to make tasty substitues. For example, I LOVE sausage biscuits for breakfast--over 500 calories each. So, instead I use 1/4 cup egg beaters, 1 tbs. bacon bits, 1/2 ounce 2% sharp cheddar cheese, and 1tsp. Move Over Butter. (sometimes I also add precooked onions, green peppers, etc. for a change) cook all that in an omelet, and put it on a broiled low fat English muffin or in a 20 second microwaved Pita pocket and it's a great start for only 200 calories! Report
I was once on a diet where I had to eat cottage cheese every day and I have never liked it. I lost a lot of weight, but as soon as I went off the diet the weight came back. Now I eat only foods I like (and am learning to like things I didn't before - but not cottage cheese) and that definitely makes it easier to stay on course. Report
I don't know why I subject myself to the one's I really don't like when there are all sorts of "other" healthy alternatives. I just know some of their nutritional values are so good for you, I continue to eat them occasionally! Report
i'm willing to try new things but what's the point in building a lifestyle change around things you don't really like. kinda like exercise--will you do it if you find it distasteful or too hard? probably not. Report
Eating the foods I liked helped me lose the 20 lbs. in 4 months on SP. I looked at their menus for me before starting and knew I needed to eat what I liked since tofu and other suggested foods in the menu were not to be found in my fridge or pantry! Report
I'm big into the crazy healthy breads/cereals (the more nuts and twigs the better!) but I am NOT a fan of mushrooms, though I know they're quite good for me. Sigh...gotta become one with the fungus among-us I guess! :-) Report
I really don't care for most fish but I do eat it once and a while and it is kind of growing on me. Lorraine Report
Close email sign up
Our best articles, delivered Join the millions of people already subscribed Get a weekly summary of our diet and fitness advice We will never sell, rent or redistribute your email address.

Magic Link Sent!

A magic link was sent to Click on that link to login. The link is only good for 24 hours.