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4 Healthy Foods That Are Making You Gain Weight

woman standing on scale

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You got rid of the junk food in your pantry and for months, you’ve been only (or at least mostly) eating healthy foods. Well, why is the number on the scale moving in the wrong direction? That healthy food you’re eating could be to blame for those extra pounds. Before you eat another bite, check out these healthy foods that could be tipping the scale.

1. Smoothies

strawberry and banana smoothie in a glass

Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, who doesn’t like a smoothie? Smoothies are an easy way to pack in a lot of healthy nutrients and eat on-the-go. However, what you put in your smoothie and how often you drink them can have a negative impact on the scale. A banana strawberry protein smoothie sounds like a healthy breakfast option. Guess what? It is healthy, BUT it could be adding on pounds that you’re trying to get rid of. Let’s take a look at this smoothie delicious recipe:

Banana Berry Protein Smoothie

· 1 Scoop of whey vanilla protein powder – 210 calories

· 1 banana – 121 calories

· 1 cup of strawberries – 50 calories

· 1 cup of blueberries – 84 calories

· 1 cup of 2% milk – 120 calories

Total Calories = 585 calories

Whoa! Everything in this smoothie recipe is considered to be healthy. However, drinking almost 600 calories for breakfast or for a snack can make it challenging to stay within your calorie goals for the day. Before you throw your blender out, there is still a way to enjoy a smoothie without all of the calories. Here are some tips:

· Protein - Use a half scoop or a protein powder that is lower in calories

· Greek yogurt – Use instead of protein powder if you lower calories and protein

· Fruit – Use smaller portions of fruit and stick with lower calorie fruit like berries

· Leafy Greens – Add in spinach or kale to replace higher calorie fruit like bananas

· Milk- Use almond milk instead of dairy milk for a 90- calorie difference

2. Nuts

pecans, almonds, pistachios, peanuts

Almonds, pecans, walnuts, you name it, we’re nuts about nuts! Unless you’re allergic, nuts are a healthy snack that are perfect for on-the-go or a movie night. Although nuts are packed with healthy nutrients and fats, they are packed with lots of calories. Let’s keep it real, most of us eat more than a handful of nuts so, let’s take a look at the number of calories were eating:

· ½ cup of Almonds – 80 calories

· ½ cup of Peanuts – 427 calories

· ½ cup of Cashews – 393 calories

· ½ cup of Walnuts – 392 calories

· ½ cup of Pecans – 342 calories

It’s clear to see that snacking on an entire can of nuts is not the way to go if you want to lose weight. However, almonds are a good choice if you want to meet your weight loss goals, but portion control is important.

If you can’t let go of eating the other nuts I mentioned, use a measuring cup to divide your nuts into portions before eating them. Eating from the bag or the can is a sure way to overeat. You can also try mixing a few nuts with another snack, like yogurt. This way you can cut down on calories without depriving yourself of enjoying the nuts that you love.

3. Salad and Salad Dressing

salad and salad dressing

You’re growing frustrated because all you ever eat are salads and you’re still gaining weight! One would think that healthy veggies, fruit, and lean meat are good options when it comes to eating healthy and losing weight, which they are, but not so fast! Not all salads are created equal when it comes to weight loss. Let’s take a look at some of your favorite salads:

· Zaxby’s Grilled Cobb Zalad – 700 calories

· Chick-Fila Spicy Southwest Salad – 800 calories

· Applebee’s Grilled Oriental Chicken Salad- 1310 calories

· Homemade Chef Salad w/ ham, egg, cheese, and ranch – 550 calories

Without question, a homemade salad will likely have less calories than a salad that you purchase from your favorite restaurant. At home, you are able to control what goes in your salad and what goes on it.

Are you someone drenches your salad in so much dressing that you can barely tell what’s underneath it all? Salad dressings can make a low-calorie vegetable salad become a salad that is 200 or more calories over your calorie goals. Overtime, this can add up to pounds on the scale. Let’s take a look at how you might be ruining your weight loss goals with salad dressing:

*A serving size is 2 TABLEspoons, but if you drench your salad, you are eating 3 times that!

· 6 TBSP of Ranch – 360 calories

· 6 TBSP of Italian – 240 caloires

· 6 TBSP of Balsalmic – 150 calories

· 6 TBSP of Thousand Island – 390 calories

· 6 TBSP of Blue Cheese – 450 calories

Adding too much salad dressing can add on extra calories that don’t help to keep you full. When you don’t feel full, you continue to eat or snack on other foods that add on even more calories. Measuring your salad dressing and sticking to the serving size on the nutritional label is key. Making your own salad dressing is another way to significantly cut down on the calories.

4. Trail Mix

candy and nut trail mix

The “trail” in trail mix makes you think of nature’s trees, hiking, and a clear path to eating and being healthy. Well, trail mix can be a healthy snack option, but it depends on what’s in the mix and how much of it you eat. Let’s take a look at some of the trail mixes that we love:

· ½ cup Kar’s Sweet and Salty Mix - 540 calories

· ½ cup Planters Tropical Fruit and Nut Mix - 320 calories

· ½ cup Great Value Mountain Trail Mix - 360 calories

· ½ cup Emerald Tropical Blend Trail Mix – 260 calories

These small portions of trail mix can add up to unwanted calories and lead to weight gain. To avoid this, always measure your trail mix before you eat it. If you buy large bags of it, divide the bag into smaller portions and place them into Ziploc bags.

Avoid trail mixes that have candy or chocolate in them and stick with trail mixes that are made up of mostly nuts. When it comes to dried fruit, we typically eat more of it because the water content has been removed. This can lead to overeating and underachieving your weight loss goals.

Losing weight can be a challenge, but it’s a challenge that you can win! Having the right information on how to lose weight is a major factor in being successful at weight loss. Read your nutritional labels and take out those measuring cups to stay on the right track.

148 views2 comments


I'm a stress eater and I can do good at times but then something happens and I'm eating again and I don't really want it but I'm eating it anyway. How do I stop myself?

Apr 22, 2021
Replying to

You're halfway there because you've identified that stress is triggering you to overeat or eat when you're not hungry. Until you get your stress eating under control, allow yourself to eat something that is low in calories (100 calories and under) when you are stressed. This way you won't pack on pounds from stress eating.

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