The 5 Good For You Foods That Are Sabotaging Your Fat Loss
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image by WhitneyinChicago Graphic Design by W Brian Duncan

We spend a lot of time in training sessions discussing food in the terms of “good” and “bad”. What sometimes gets lost in the discussion is that you can get too much of a good thing.

I try to help clients find foods that they enjoy that also make for a balanced plate. I encourage clients to eat their lean protein, brightly colored veggies & fruits and sprinkles of healthy fats. I tell them there is nothing wrong with eating the healthy foods they enjoy every single day. The body loves consistency. But the key is balance and portion control.

For example, if the only vegetable you eat are carrots you’re getting a lot of beta-carotene but you’re missing out on a variety of phytonutrients in the red, purple and green veggies.

Another example is the avocado. It’s full of healthy fat but that makes it very calorie dense. A whole avocado is almost 300 calories. You can’t eat unlimited quantities of avocado just because it’s a “super food”.

Want some other examples of how healthy foods may be sabotaging your quest for a leaner body? Check these out.

  1. Fruit

    When I tell people to try to eat fruit or veggies at every feeding they go for the fruit first. It’s easy and it’s familiar. Fruit does however have natural sugar and can spike blood sugar, particularly when in juice form. Stick with fiber rich fruits like berries, apples and pears and go 2:1 – for every serving of fruit in your day try to match it with 2 servings of veggies.

  2. Peanut Butter

    Natural peanut is the way to go, just be sure it’s only nuts and perhaps salt. Sugar is natural and is often found on the ingredient list of natural peanut butter. Peanut butter has good fat but also a lot of calories in a small package. 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter is about 200 calories. Always measure your serving size and keep it to 1 tablespoon.

  3. Hummus

    I love hummus. It has good fat from the tahini and protein from the chickpeas. But once again that good fat makes it very calorie dense. I’ve watched friends who are trying to eat healthy devour what was probably ½ cup of hummus in one setting. That ½ cup could easily be 300-400 calories. When you add the pita chips you might as well have had the burger. Keep hummus to 2 tablespoons or less and dip with veggies not chips.

  4. Protein Bars/Shakes

    Protein bars and shakes are supplements. They are not to be your main source of nutrition. If you’re living off bars and shakes you may be missing critical nutrients. Protein shakes from the gym shake bars may also be huge calorie bombs. Their “Post workout” shakes can easily have 500-600 calories, completely erasing your heard earned burn.

  5. Gluten Free (insert snack food here)

    Products like gluten free pretzels and cookies are usually high in sugar to help improve taste. Stick with products that are naturally gluten free like vegetables, beans, quinoa and eggs. Snack on baby carrots instead of pretzels and homemade muffins made with almond meal instead of flour can satisfy a craving better than the packaged baked goods.

Even when eating clean you need to practice portion control. And don’t let the halo of health fool you. Organic or natural is not a free pass to eat as much as you want.

Do you ever fall into the “too much of good thing” trap? What did you learn from the experience?

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