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5 Healthy Foods High in Calories to Ditch When Dieting

If you are struggling to lose weight then these 5 Healthy Foods High in Calories may be a big problem.

Remember, just because something is healthy, it doesn’t mean it’s weight loss friendly …

You see, the terms healthy and weight loss friendly are often considered to equate to the same thing; while that is true for 90% of foods, there are a few healthy foods that are not so weight loss friendly!

As you may know, to be successful when dieting, it is essential to expend more calories than you consume. This means that you’ll need to start opting for nutrient dense foods that are ALSO low in calories.

Unfortunately, some “health” foods are a little too calorie dense for comfort, which means they actually provide too many calories and don’t provide sufficient food volume to keep you full.

While these don’t need to be totally eliminated, you must firstly be aware of these foods and then heavily reduce them or control their intake. By doing so, you’ll lose more weight and have an easier time dieting.

In this article, I’ll provide a rundown of 5 health foods that you should consider ditching in the short term when attempting to lose weight quickly!

Healthy Foods High in Calories: 1. Butter

In recent years, healthy dietary fat has made quite the comeback with research showing it’s not actually bad for your health.

Unfortunately, this has led many people to begin over consuming dietary fat, without monitoring the rest of their intake or total daily calorie intake. Ever heard of bulletproof coffee? Yep, the 400 calorie coffee fat bombs? Well, this is a prime example …

Sadly, it’s extremely calorie dense as 1 tablespoon equates to roughly 100 calories and 12 grams of fat. Even worse, individuals using an entire stick in coffee can expect to consume upwards of 500 calories and 50 grams of fat! That’s a higher amount of fat than most weight loss diets would have you consume in an entire day!

While butter does in fact provide a rich source of natural saturated fat, the ratio of serving size to calories is simply too large to justify including it in a weight loss diet. If you are trying to reduce hunger, build a more sustainable diet and stay satiated, then skipping on the butter in your cooking, on your bread and in your coffee is a really no brainer.

Healthy Foods High in Calories: 2. Nuts

Nuts are often considered to be quite a healthy snack and while I don’t disagree, remember healthy doesn’t always mean optimal for weight loss.

Much like butter, nuts are extremely calorie dense. This basically means that you only get a few nuts for say 250 calories. Additionally, because they are very moreish and easy to snack on, you could easily eat 500-1000 calories without realizing it.

For instance, just 1/2 cups of walnuts will set you back 400 calories and 40 grams of fat. Additionally, almonds are only slightly better at 300 calories per 1/2 cup.

The primary issue with nuts isn’t their fat content but rather the fact that such a small portion size is probably insufficient to curb hunger. It’s safe to say that consuming 1/2 cup of nuts is not very difficult and won’t fill you up, especially if you were to compare that to say a full chicken salad with vegetables and dressing etc.

Now remember, I am not saying nuts are bad… they are actually super healthy. But, in this context of a short-term diet, cutting them out isn’t going to cause any negative issues but it will help you focus on lower calorie dense foods and reduce hunger, improving your long-term success!

Healthy Foods High in Calories: 3. Nut butters

After I’ve broken down the issues with nuts it’s no surprise that nut butters come in as food number 3.

Again, the issue with various nut butters is they have a large size to calorie ratio, meaning that very little of the substance will account for a large amount of calories.

In fact, they are actually worse than whole nuts as they are even more calorie dense and even easier to overeat! For example, just two tablespoons of peanut butter will set you back roughly 190 calories, 16 grams of fat and 8 carbohydrates.

If you’re anything like me, I typically can eat four to five tablespoons of peanut butter without even knowing it, plus it often goes on or in another food source right? Adding more calories on top!

For a short period of time while dieting, try cutting out the peanut butter or other nut butters. If they are your favorite, then try these two recommendations: either high protein nut butter, which has more protein and less calories, or a nut powder such as PB2, which is much lower calorie and very low in fat.

Healthy Foods High in Calories: 4. Avocados

Despite the fact that Avocados are a super food, they join this list due to their very high calorie density and again, while they don’t need to be totally eliminated, you should consider and be aware of their calorie density!

Just one avocado can set you back almost 240 calories and 22 grams of fat. This is all while providing little volume and immediate satisfaction.

If you still want to include them, I recommend you go for just ½ an avocado and be sure to include it in a large salad to balance out the calorie density of that meal.

Healthy Foods High in Calories: 5. Fatty Red Meats

Despite the fact that red meat can be extremely protein dense and thus beneficial for a diet, fattier cuts of meat can pose quite an issue due to their high calorie count and should be limited.

For example, an 8 oz. rib eye steak, which is on the lower end of typical serving sizes, will set you back 660 calories and 52 grams of fat, while only providing 48 grams of beneficial protein.

Alternatively, a traditionally leaner cut of red meat such as sirloin will be much more beneficial. For example, an 8 oz. sirloin steak will only set you back 333 calories and 9 grams of fat while providing a whopping 49 grams of protein.

When it comes to red meat while dieting, the choice is quite clear. Opt for leaner cuts to significantly increase protein intake, while having little impact on your total calorie intake.

Again, this isn’t to say fatty red meat is bad, but it’s probably just a sensible food to drop for its leaner counterpart when the calories are on a budget!

Healthy Foods High in Calories

Despite being health foods, many of these foods can actually be inadvertently thwarting your fat loss attempt, adding in excess calories without you knowing.

Consuming these foods can lead to accidental overconsumption of calories due to their high fat content, yet low volume of food, which will absolutely put a stop to any dieting attempt.

Furthermore, if you track calories and macros, while you may be able to fit them in daily, you will face increased hunger which can wreck your adherence in the long term.

By avoiding these foods and opting for large volume, nutrient dense foods, you can ensure success while avoiding accidental failure.

Remember, this is just in the short-term diet phase; these foods are totally healthy and should be included in the long term.

As with everything, your diet and what’s most optimal is ‘context’-dependent, based on your current goals …


About the author

Rudy Mawer, MSc, CISSN

Rudy has a 1st class BSc in Exercise, Nutrition & Health and a Masters in Exercise & Nutrition Science from the University of Tampa. Rudy currently works as a Human Performance Researcher, Sports Nutritionist and Physique Coach. Over 7 years he has helped over 500 people around the world achieve long last physique transformations.

He now works closely with a variety of professional athletes and teams, including the NBA, USA Athletics, World Triathlon Gold Medalists, Hollywood Celebrities and IFBB Pro Bodybuilders. If you would like to get in contact or work with Rudy please contact him on social media.

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