This spring, if you are panning to trim excess winter weight, look at these healthy foods you may want to limit. Let me start by saying I don’t want you to stop eating these foods or to compromise your health with lower quality low calorie foods. Healthy choices still come first. I’m just saying that too much of a good thing can be a problem.
Granola: I love granola. Especially Terra Breads granola sprinkled on my fruit salad and yogurt. Sprinkled is the key word here. 1/2 cup granola contains 210 calories and is high in sugar.
TIP: Aim for ½ -1 cup fruit and keep granola to 2 Tbsp (52 calories).
Greek Yogurt: Excellent source of calcium and protein and a delicious accompaniment to granola and berries. My top pick is Krema 11% MF but at 290 calories per 3/4 cup you really need to watch your serving size.
TIP: Try Olympic Plain Greek yogurt and keep your portion size to ½ cup (66 calories)
Avocado: Full of monounsaturated fats, folate and fibre. A delicious addition to any salad or sandwich. However, a full medium avocado provides 250 calories.
TIP: Use only ¼ avocado (62 calories) and spread it onto toast and skip the mayo. If adding it to a salad try to reduce the amount of dressing used and skip the cheese.
Bagged Salad Kits: I love the convenience of salad kits but with the added dressing, nuts and dried fruit that come with them, they can often get up to 300 calories.
TIP: Keep it convenient and buy the kit but thin the dressing with extra vinegar or lemon juice and use less. Limit some of the dried fruit to cut the sugar too. Add extra greens such as 2 cups of kale for extra bulk and only 20 calories.
Hemp hearts and Chia Seeds: These nutrient dense ingredients, full of omega 3 fats, fibre and protein are a common addition to smoothies, oatmeal and protein shakes for a nutrient boost. However, at 60 calories per Tbsp you may be consuming more calories than you think.
TIP: Choose one or the other, alternate days if you like. Keep it to 1-2 tsp if you are trying to lose weight.
Walnuts: Adding walnuts to oatmeal and eating them as a snack is a great way to add omega 3 fats and some protein. Just be careful of the serving size. ½ cup walnuts rings in at 360 calories.
TIP: Unless the nuts are making up the protein for a vegetarian meal, keep the serving size to 2 Tbsp (90 calories) for a snack or as part of breakfast.
Smoothies: A fabulous way to up your servings of vegetables and fruit. However, if you are adding 1 cups of berries, a banana, 2 kale leaves and some mango chunks you are consuming 5 servings of vegetables and fruit (4 of which are fruit) which is likely more than you need in your whole day.
TIP: Add only 2 servings of fruit plus the kale, for example ½ a banana and ½ cup cut fruit. Keep track of added protein, if you have Greek yogurt you don’t need protein powder too and for sure you don’t need almond butter as well. Use water for the liquid and ice to make it thick.
Sushi: I highly recommend eating more fish and sashimi is a great way to have it. However, when your fish comes rolled up in rice, mayo and special sauces and often times with tempura, a 6 piece dynamite roll can serve up 400 calories.
TIP: stick to sashimi or nigiri sushi (fish on rice) and order a plate of steamed greens, seeweed salad or cucumber salad.
When working on your weight loss goals, making healthy nutrient dense choices is important, so don’t skimp on quality, just limit your portions.