7 Healthy Foods That Are Causing You to Pack on the Pounds

Have you been diligently eating only healthy foods on your weight loss journey, only to discover that your scale is going in the wrong direction? The problem may lie in not understanding just how many calories you’re consuming with those healthy ingredients and snacks.

1. Brazil Nuts

Nuts have amazing health benefits, and they definitely belong in your healthy eating plan. For example, Brazil nuts are packed with selenium, which is purported to be an anti-cancer superfood. Selenium helps boost your immune system and has anti-oxidant properties, as well. However, one cup of Brazil nuts contains 872 calories. Go easy on them or you could end up with a body the size of Brazil.

2. Dark Chocolate

Women everywhere rejoiced when the health benefits of dark chocolate were announced. Dark chocolate contains large amounts of iron and magnesium. It even even contains fiber, which everyone knows is a key ingredient for successful weight loss. But before you gobble down that entire bar, know this: There are almost 600 calories in one bar. Just one small ounce has 170 calories. Given that, a few nibbles are probably a better idea than a whole bar.

3. Yogurt

Probiotics is a buzz word lately, and the best place to get them is inside a rich, fruit-filled yogurt cup, right? Wrong. Most of the popular brands of yogurt have added sugar (or sugar substitutes). One cup of yogurt has about 100 calories, but remember that the added sugar can a) increase cravings, and b) get stored as fat.

4. Cheese

What woman doesn’t feel clever choosing to chow down on some protein-packed cheddar cheese instead of junk food? While cheese is truly a healthy food when consumed in small quantities, it can sabotage your weight loss efforts if you don’t control your portion sizes. Just one ounce of cheddar cheese has about 114 calories. If you have a kitchen scale, you’ll see just how small one ounce is. In case you don’t, it’s about two tablespoons. Depressing, huh?

5. Avocado

The versatile and delicious avocado is valued by dieters for its healthy fats, which increase feelings of satiety. They are also loaded with nutrients like potassium and Vitamin B6. When you enjoy avocado, though, be aware that half an avocado has over 160 calories. And everyone knows that it’s easier to eat both halves than to let the other side go brown. There’s 320 calories right there. Enjoy.

6. Olive Oil

While everyone else was debating the differences between light olive oil, virgin and extra virgin, we turned the bottle around and checked out the calories. Yikes! Just two tablespoons of olive oil has 238 calories! Be careful of how much you use for your cooking, or you may inexplicably start packing on the pounds.

7. Coconut

The coconut is wildly popular right now. Home cooks are finding more and more ways to integrate this natural anti-biotic and healthful food into every recipe. Recipes are calling for coconut oil and shredded coconut, and women are using coconut milk and coconut water for cocktails, smoothies and sauces. While no one is disputing the health benefits of coconut, you may want to lower your intake just a bit if weight loss is your goal. Try to keep calm when you read this, but one coconut has over 1400 calories and a single cup of shredded coconut has over 280 calories.

Moderation is the key to enjoying any of these healthy, calorie-packed foods. It’s not worth giving up the tremendous health value in an effort to lose weight.

As long as you indulge lightly while keeping in mind the calorie counts, you should be good to go.


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The Hidden Cost of Fad Diets

It seems like every month, magazines are touting the next great diet. One month it’s the ketogenic diet, the next everyone’s talking about going paleo, and the next month some doctor is warning against eating white food. A girl could get dizzy trying to keep up, and your bathroom scale dial is probably spinning wildly. Does your weight control plan consist of shifting from one fad diet to the next? Serial fad dieting has serious consequences you should be aware of. Before you jump on the next diet bandwagon, read this.

The Risk of Malnutrition

Fad diets very often restrict one or more food types. Doctors, nutritionists and most physical fitness experts, on the other hand, stress the importance of eating a diversified diet that gives a person the best chances of getting all the necessary nutrients that their body needs to function at its peak.

When you drastically restrict your food intake or completely eliminate one or multiple foods, you run the risk of malnutrition. It may seem unheard of to have malnutrition in an age when so many foods are at our disposal. However, malnutrition is more common than you think, even in first world countries like the United States. A Journal of Nutrition study conducted in 2015 revealed that 85% of Americans don’t receive the FDA’s recommended daily vitamin and mineral intake. Malnutrition can lead to muscle loss (remember, your heart is a muscle, too), fatigue, headaches, and even disease.

Your metabolism is a finely tuned operating system—when you eat right. When you constantly jump from one diet to the other, however, your body doesn’t know what the heck is going on out there. One month it’s enjoying processing that fresh-squeezed orange juice you made, and the next month, all you’re glugging down is some chalky protein powder shake that has no vitamin C at all. Scurvy, anyone?

The healthiest diets don’t exclude entire food groups. If you feel you must diet, choose one that incorporates all whole food groups.

The Risk of Obesity

That’s right. Fad diets can contribute to obesity. Many fad diets have less than optimal calorie counts. If you’re used to plenty of calories at each meal sitting, you could end up feeling deprived the whole time you’re dieting. Even if you see some weight loss on the scale, you might not be able to shake the constant hunger pangs and feelings of deprivation and resentment toward those who seem to be able to eat as much as they like and still stay thin.

You’re human. You don’t like feeling hungry all the time, and really you shouldn’t have to. So, eventually, your brain starts coming up with reasons why you should eat more. It will validate the upcoming binge. Then you cave. As you binge, you savor every delicious bite. You overeat. The next morning, you feel guilty and perhaps ashamed. You decide that it feels better to eat than to starve, and you relax the reins on your dieting. You may even give up altogether. Finally, you weigh yourself again and find that amazingly, you weigh more now than you ever have!

This is how some studies have shown that starving yourself on fad diets can end up making you even fatter than you were before.

Opt for diets that have allowances built in for in-between meals snacking, and the occasional indulgence. This will give you the best chances for sticking to the plan and achieving the weight loss you desire.

Of course, the best diet is no diet at all. Making an eating lifestyle change is better than “going on a diet.” Be present when you shop for food, and when you eat. Note how you feel after each meal and avoid things that make you feel grumpy, bloated or tired. When you start to look at food as nourishment instead of as treats or rewards, you may not be tempted to go on another fad diet ever again.

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