So you’ve started exercising, drinking your water and eating baby carrots dipped in hummus as a snack — and here you are, still not losing weight. What gives? You’re probably doing it wrong. For instance, a recommended serving of hummus is just 2 tablespoons (70 calories), roughly 50x less than you eat at snack time. And that’s just for starters.
We consulted FirstHeath dietician Michelle Cole to get her take on the most common foods we’re overeating, and her answers were just a little depressing. Buckle up, buttercup:
Avocado. While avocado toast is likely not the source of millennial financial woes, it may be the culprit behind those few extra pounds you can’t seem to shed. Sure, avocados are full of nutrients, but they’re also high in fat and calories. A 1/4 cup of guacamole has the same amount of fat as a 6” Subway sub; the recommended serving is just 1/5 of an avocado. Yes, really.
Coconut & olive oil. Kudos for not saturating your vegetables in butter as you sauté away, but calories from the oils you use to cook in count towards the meal’s total, and coconut oil and olive oil are high in fat. Be sure to measure out the proper serving size instead of dumping it into the pan all willy nilly.
Peanuts and peanut butter. That bag of almonds stashed in your desk might lead to you eating double (or more) the amount of your recommended daily fat, just in one snack. One cup of nuts is 500 calories, and 45 grams of fat — aka, your entire day’s allowance.
Starchy vegetables. Most people will tell you you can eat as many as you want, but not all vegetables are created equal. Peas, dried beans and corn and corn products are all high in carbs (and therefore high in calories). Eat all the broccoli, kale, cauliflower, etc that you want, but when it comes to starchy vegetables, there’s a limit.
Juices. You grab a Naked Juice from the store thinking you’re making a healthy choice, but fail to notice the 56 grams or more of sugar. Even though fruit sugar is not the same as what you’ll find in a candy bar, too much can lead to weight gain. The same goes for the smoothies you make at home. Michelle’s advice is to use two vegetables for every fruit you put in your smoothie.
Proteins. Yes, you’re supposed to be eating chicken and salmon and beef, but too much of a good thing equals a little extra jiggle where you thought that six-pack would appear. The recommended amount of protein is .5-1 gram per pound of body weight.
Want to find out exactly how many grams of protein, carbs and fats you should be eating, and how to balance your meals to make your healthy lifestyle work? Check out the resources provided by FirstHealth.
If you have more unique nutritional needs, check out the Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center.