I’ve seen too many people making this mistake lately!
You know the one… the one where we think “healthy” foods are “free” foods.
For some reason, we mistakenly use healthy foods as a synonym for low calories foods.
We think, oh this is healthy, so I can eat as much as I want cause it’s good for me… Or it’s healthy so a couple extra bites won’t hurt…
But a couple extra bites can hurt!
Healthy or not healthy, a calorie is still a calorie. And considering healthy foods a “free food” is a guaranteed way to stop your progress in its tracks.
There are some foods that contain tons of health benefits, but aren’t always great options for weight loss.
It’s not to say that the things I’m about to discuss can’t be part of your healthy lifestyle, but only when eaten in appropriate amounts.
If you’ve been eating any of the five foods below and are stuck at a weight loss plateau, then consider removing them from your diet (or at least being extra careful about portion control).
1. Peanut Butter
Ah, my kryptonite. Seriously, have you ever tried to have just two-baby spoonfuls?
It’s like going to Victoria’s Secret semi-annual sale and saying, “I’ll just get one pair of underwear.”
Even the slightest misjudgment on portion size can result in hundreds of extra calories and an unwanted weight loss plateau.
Smart Substitute: Use powdered peanut butter to achieve the same delicious taste with only 1/4th the calories. It’s also convenient for smoothies and shakes since the powder evenly blends throughout the entire drink. If you can’t live without the real deal, then purchase single serving contains that limit the amount of damage you can do in one sitting.
2. Whole Wheat Snacks
Whole wheat products have been popping up on supermarket shelves everywhere.
While it’s tempting to think that crackers made with whole wheat provide significant health benefits to their white flour counterparts, the true nutritional benefit may be minimal.
Even more confusing are “multigrain” snacks, as the name simply implies that various types of grains (regardless of nutritional quality) were used.
Smart Substitute: Instead of eating foods located in the snack isle, opt for whole grains found on the outside borders of the supermarket. A whole grain muffin with a tablespoon of peanut butter makes for an excellent snack that contains both fiber and protein.
Do you eat a granola parfait for breakfast? Maybe you even enjoy a cup of granola with milk or as a snack throughout the day.
Well, although these heart healthy oats are packed with fiber and protein, they’re also made with two less desirable ingredients – sugar and oil.
Many brands contain upwards of 10-15 grams of sugar per serving, which is significantly higher than most whole grain products.
On average, one cup of granola costs you between 450-600 calories.
Smart Substitute: Unprocessed grains, such as granola, aren’t cooked with water and therefore are more calorically dense than other foods. Instead of having granola for breakfast, opt for a bowl of oatmeal. You’ll save calories, while still being able to enjoy a larger serving size. Add a little stevia and cinnamon for a sweet start to your morning.
4. Fresh Fruit
The most common mistake women make when adopting a healthy diet is eating fruit to frequently.
Do you turn to sliced pineapple as an afternoon snack or munch on bananas and apples throughout the day?
Since some fruits fall very high on the glycemic index, they can cause unwanted increases in blood sugar and subsequent insulin release when eaten alone as a snack.
Not to mention, fruit contains more calories than its vegetable counterpart.
Smart Substitute: Instead of fruit, munch on as many veggies as you’d like throughout the day! Keep a container of sliced cucumbers in your fridge and grab a handful (or even two) anytime cravings strike. For a more well-balanced meal, combine carrot or celery sticks with hummus.
Yogurt can be a prefect protein-packed snack or a sugary dessert depending on which product you select.
While a container of plain non-fat yogurt contains just 80 calories and 10 grams of sugar, most “fruit-on-the-bottom” varieties are filled with twice as much sugar and calories.
Smart Substitute: Buy plain, fat-free varieties and add sweetness with fresh fruit, stevia, and even sugar-free maple syrup. Kudos to you if it’s non-fat Greek yogurt since it contains double the protein to keep you satisfied longer.
So what’s the moral of the story?
It’s to keep in mind that not all “healthy” foods are smart options when trying to lose weight.
When it comes to healthy fats, be careful of portion of size… and when it comes to things like grains and yogurts, make sure you check the label first!