Are your go-to “healthy” foods making you gain weight? Don’t think you can get away with smothering everything in yogurt and almond butter — especially if you’re trying to lose weight. All these foods are healthy, and are great replacements for processed snacks and frozen meals. However, eating too much of a healthy food will likely result in weight gain.
Whole-grain breads and cereals
Bread is healthy — sometimes. According to TIME Health, not all whole grains are as good for you as their packaging claims. Many whole-grain breads are still made with refined flour, and contain only small amounts of actual whole grains. It’s possible to gain weight from eating too many refined carbohydrates when labels misguide you. Also, even though a bread or cereal might be made with whole grains doesn’t mean it’s free of added sugars, or low in calories.
Nuts and nut butters
Nuts and nut butters are high in protein, but that doesn’t automatically make them healthy. A handful of almonds is healthier than a handful of chocolate chips, but it’s also high in calories — about 163 calories per ounce, Live Science says. At 14 grams of fat per serving, eating too many in one sitting makes weight gain much more likely. Nut butters aren’t necessarily unhealthy, either, but don’t spread too much onto your toast if you’re serious about your diet.
Fruit is healthy no matter what form you eat it in — right? Not quite. Dried fruit, often part of packaged trail mix, isn’t nearly as healthy as fresh, whole fruit. According to Healthline, it’s high in calories and natural sugar. Many varieties also contain added sugars, which often contribute to weight gain. It may be convenient, but you are better off choosing fresh fruit as often as possible. Trail mixes, cereals, and health bars with dried fruit in them are healthier than other snacks, but still aren’t your best options.
Filling your plate with white rice — no matter how many vegetables you pile on top — isn’t the best weight loss strategy, says SF Gate. White rice, and other refined grains, lack essential nutrients important for combatting weight gain, such as fiber. Both white and brown rice provide over 200 calories per serving, which really starts to add up if you eat it every day. Often used as a base or side dish in addition to high-calorie and high-fat foods — especially Chinese takeout — it’s easy to eat too much rice in one sitting.
According to Livestrong.com, it’s possible to eat beans regularly and still lose weight. However, you’re probably not using your beans wisely — and that can result in weight gain. Baked beans are often loaded with sugar-packed sauce, and refried beans almost always come with sour cream, cheese, and guacamole. Consider adding beans to your soups and salads, and enjoying other high-calorie bean-based side dishes only on special occasions.
Greek yogurt provides more protein than regular yogurt, and can be an excellent source of fiber, says Women’s Health. However, too many people take the advice to start with plain yogurt and add your own ingredients to the extreme. Honey, nuts, fruit, and granola are all healthy in small amounts, but it’s important to remain mindful of your calories. While calories aren’t the only factor that determine weight gain or loss, ignoring portion sizes and indulging in too many extras will almost always sabotage your efforts.
Avocados are loaded with healthy fat — so you’d think eating more avocado every day would help you lose weight, right? Half of an avocado yields about 110 calories, though, says Medical News Today. However, 15% of that comes from fat — and even though it’s the “good” kind of fat, too much of it still won’t help you lose weight. The occasional indulgence can be great for your heart, but other fruits can provide similar benefits for far fewer calories per gram — and they won’t make you gain weight as easily.