Eating mostly whole foods instead of processed foods is a common strategy for weight loss and maintenance. And that’s a good thing, because lean fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and protein will likely keep you full longer, which means you have less space for less healthy things. It’s also a way of eating that promotes a healthy and sustainable lifestyle over the long term.
But as many who have followed the Whole30 Diet or other similar “clean eating” plans find out, it does not mean you can eat unlimited amounts of these foods while you are still eating. Lose weight. This is because some healthy foods are also high in calories, which means they are higher in calorie concentration by volume than other foods.
Foods that are high in calories (even if they are not processed) can easily be over-eaten as they are usually tasty and don’t take up as much stomach space. If weight control is an issue, those extra calories can add up.
Here the nutritionists share healthy foods in moderation when trying to lose or keep your weight off.
“Even though they’re high in healthy fats, they still contain calories,” says Amy Plano, RD. One serving contains about 1/4 of a whole avocado, or about 80 calories, depending on the size of the avocado. “However, nobody expects the perfect avocado to eat a quarter of it,” says Plano. “They usually eat anything that is about 320 calories.”
People also tend to overeat guacamole, says Plano. “A serving of guacamole is equivalent to 2 tablespoons or 50 calories. Most people consume more than half a cup at a time, if not more, which can easily reach 400 calories. Additionally, the foods that people dip in guacamole, such as corn chips, pita chips, and fried plantains, “increase the number of calories even more.” If you are watching your weight, experts recommend limiting your intake to half or less than one avocado per day.
These are called “nature’s sweets” for a reason. Although dried fruits are a natural complete food, they are also higher in calories than regular fruits. “Whole fruits are a better option because they offer higher volume than the same amount of calories from dried fruits,” says Summer Yule, RD. This leads to a feeling of fullness and fullness after you finish eating. “If you eat nuts, stick to a small serving, like a few tablespoons of raisins as an oatmeal topping,” advises Yule. If possible, avoid snacking straight out of the bag, she adds.
“Nuts are a nutritious snack or supplement, but they’re extremely high in calories,” says Danielle Schaub, registered nutritionist and director of nutrition and cuisine for Territory Foods.
“Although the fats in nuts lower your risk of heart disease, total fat and calories are important in keeping your weight down. A single serving of nuts is the equivalent of 1 ounce or 1/4 cup of nuts. “Consider tracking your intake with an app like MyFitnessPal or purchasing single-serving pouches.
“With so many on the keto and coconut oil train, I see a lot of people who eat a lot of these healthy fats, but in excess, and then wonder why they’re gaining weight,” says Stephanie Searer, RD. One tablespoon of vegetable oil contains approximately 14 grams of fat and 126 calories. Hence, ideally, you should pay attention to how much oil you pour on your meals or use for cooking. Stick to an inch serving, he recommends.
Peanut butter, and all nut butter in general, are often touted as a high protein plant-based food. However, because it’s so tasty, it can be difficult to limit yourself to just one serving. “This is usually one of the biggest offenders among my patients,” says Plano. “A single serving is equivalent to 2 tablespoons or 200 calories. People often eat more, like 1/4–1 / 2 cup (400–800 calories). “While peanut butter certainly shouldn’t be banned when trying to lose or maintain your weight, it’s a good idea to measure your serving size and then put the glass away.
STORE- OR RESTAURANT-BOUGHT SMOOTHIES
“I can’t tell you how many people are so happy to tell me that they are consuming a shake instead of their usual fast food,” says Jennifer Singh, RD. If it’s a homemade smoothie made from fruits, vegetables, egg whites, and a low-calorie liquid, that’s one thing. But the do-it-yourself versions are often laden with all sorts of unnecessary additives, excess sugar, and calories, and come in large servings, says Singh. “If you need to buy a shake, you know the ingredients and the balance between calories, fiber, sugar, and protein. Aim for the smallest part that satisfies you. ”
TRAIL MIX AND GRANOLA
Even the healthiest nut and cereal mixes (including those that don’t contain grains) tend to be high in calories because they’re a mix of nuts, seeds, fruits, and oil, says Schaub. “Although we sometimes consider granola to be granola, it shouldn’t be eaten in a bowl. A serving of muesli is only 1/4 cup and provides around 160 calories and 14 grams of fat. Everyone who is watching their weight should be aware of these parts. ”