Are you constantly trying to lose those that 10 lbs, but instead are gaining weight?! Do you feel like you’re eating “healthier” than you’ve ever eaten and yet still not seeing weight loss results? It could be because of one of these 10 “healthy” foods that are causing weight gain!
There is a ton of confusing diet info out there; gluten free? Dairy or no dairy? Fodmaps? Do I need to be on a ketogenic diet? Eat more fat or just the right fats? No carbs vs better carbs? It’s no mystery why so many “diets” fail.
Most of us think we are doing the right thing by eating these supposedly “healthy” foods and eat them religiously just to step on the scale and be disappointed yet again.
Just because they are deemed “healthy” by a magazine, or Dr.Oz, or your doctor, or neighbor, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do your own research and READ THE NUTRITION FACTS LABELS.
It just might be possible that your healthy diet foods are the exact culprit of your weight gain!
Here are a few of my most important things to be mindful of when trying to lose weight:
- A calorie is a calorie whether it comes from an avocado or a donut when it comes to weight loss. Just because a food is in fact “healthy” doesn’t mean it should be eaten in large quantities.
- Foods marketed as being “healthy”. Almost all food packages these day can acquire some health claim that makes them appear “healthy”, gluten free, organic, whole grain, etc. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THIS FOOD SHOULD BE EATEN ENDLESSLY if you are expecting to lose weight.
- Adding fruits and vegetables to otherwise high calorie foods or recipes and then assuming they will fit into your calorie allotment for the day.
- NOT COUNTING CALORIES.
10 “Healthy” Foods that are Causing Weight Gain
Yes hummus is packed with protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. Hummus is definitely a better choice than most other dips out there.
However, the average hummus also packs about 50-70 calories per 2 Tbsp serving! Most people accomplish that within just a few bites! If you’re trying to lose weight you really need to be mindful of the portion size and portion out 1-2 servings vs eating straight from the container.
Also, be mindful of what you are using to dip into that delicious hummus. Pita chips and “wheat” crackers of any kind are all laced with sodium and high in calories. Veggie sticks would obviously be the best choice if trying to stay low on calories.
2. Nuts and Nut Butters
Peanut Butter is one of my favorite foods, hence the name of my site ;). It can be a great addition to your diet IF you eat it in moderation. It is loaded in heart-healthy fats and high in protein so it does keep you satisfied longer.
Mindlessly slathering some kind of nut butter on bread is more than likely not low calorie. The serving size of peanut butter is 2 Tbsp, which is loaded with ~200 calories. Add 2 slices of bread, some sides, and you’re easily at a 600 calorie meal.
Nuts are also very healthy and nutrient dense, but also calorie dense. A small handful of nuts here and there throughout the day adds up! Serving size of nuts is generally 1 ounce which is roughly 170 calories and ~1/4 cup (small handful).
While nuts should be a part of your daily diet, I recommend pairing them with low calorie foods such as salad or low fat yogurts to avoid blowing your calories for the day by mindlessly eating nuts.
3. Red Wine
Yep… I said it. So sorry. I know it’s like the unspoken rule to not count alcohol calories when trying to lose weight right?
Well, I hate to break it to you this might just be the reason the scale won’t budge. When one glass easily turns into two or three? Those calories will add up. Red wine has ~125 calories per 5 oz glass.
It is also not recommended to drink more than 1 drink for women and 2 drinks per day for men for other health reasons other than just weight management.
Alcohol also usually goes along with “snacking”. Cheese and wine? Chocolate and wine? Alcohol will also be detrimental to your exercise routine if used chronically. All which will definitely put a damper on your weight loss goals. So please just keep it to 1 small glass a day and it does count towards your daily calorie goal.
OMG yes avocado is delicious and incredibly nutritious, so please don’t cut it out of your diet completely. They contain more potassium than bananas, are loaded with heart-healthy fats, fiber, and can help to lower cholesterol.
Avocados can be helpful with weight loss due to the fact that they are high in healthy fats and therefore are very satisfying and keep you fuller longer.
However, they are also loaded with calories. A medium sized avocado has ~225 calories. Keep the serving sizes in check, stick to 1/4 avocado at one time at the most.
5. Protein Bars
The truth is unless you’re eating this to completely replace a meal, you should not be including protein bars in your diet when trying to lose weight.
A lot of times they are usually also loaded with added sugars and preservatives in addition to the protein. There are better lower calorie and more satisying high protein foods you can include in your diet when trying to lose weight such as eggs, Greek yogurt, and low-fat cottage cheese.
If you really feel like your diet is lacking protein, I recommend a whey protein powder that will not add as many extra calories to your diet.
6. “Healthy” Muffins
Who isn’t tempted by those delicious blueberry muffins staring at you as you buy your morning coffee.
The truth is just because there is fruit, carrots, or flax in those muffins is doesn’t mean they should be a part of your weight loss plan. Along with the few blueberries that are actually in the muffin there will most likely also be tons of added sugar, refined flours, and oils.
Not to mention the muffins are usually over sized. The average “healthy” muffin can pack 300-500 calories!!
I hate to break it to you, but unless you make the muffins yourself you are most likely just shoving “breakfast cake” down your throat. Weight loss nightmare!
7. Vegetarian Entrees
I am all for a vegetarian, plant based meal whenever possible. If I can make an entire meal around vegetables that is exciting!
Generally the issue is with restaurant “vegetarian entrees”. The portion sizes are usually still too large and most likely either involve some sort of fried vegetable or high calorie pasta dish.
Be mindful that vegetarian doesn’t always mean low calorie. I know a lot of overweight vegetarians (insert wide eyes emoji).
Especially store bought granola I might add. Granolas vary greatly in calories. Some granolas can pack 300-500 calories per 1 cup of granola.
Along with whole grains you are usually also getting a lot of added fats and sugar which = CALORIES.
My biggest recommendation for granola is to read the nutrition labels because they do vary so much in calories. Best option yet would be to make your own if you have time. And even still stick to the suggested serving size which is usually ~1/4 cup.
9. Dried Fruit
Raisins and other dried fruits can sometimes be helpful in satisfying that sweet tooth without providing all those additional calories in more traditional desserts like cake or pie. Atleast dried fruits also have fiber and a little protein along with the sweetness.
However, dried fruits also have a lot of added sugar. The portion sizes are generally very small ~2 Tbsp! So, if you’re going to snack on dried fruit be sure to keep portion control in mind.
The little mini boxes are great to have on hand for a quick sweet snack that won’t totally blow your calories.
10. Tapas Style Dining
I’m not going to lie I love this “small plate” style of dining. I mean who wouldn’t want to get to try several different delicious dishes all at one time?
Keep in mind is is VERY easy to over eat when you don’t feel like you’ve ever actually had a full “meal”. Food just keeps coming and therefore we keep eating! Atleast if you get one entree, it’s there you eat and it’s done (perhaps even take 1/2 home)?
If you are going to indulge in tapas style restaurants be sure to include a light salad or vegetables in those choices as well. Every course should not include meat and cheese ;).