Firstly, I would like to point you in the direction of a really nice Instagram account, @foodfixup. The “avocado & toast” image that you’ll find in the middle of this post belongs to them, and when I came across it, I was instantly attracted to the beautiful colours and fresh, healthy ingredients. In fact, if you are looking for some healthy inspiration, I urge you to check out their account. Could it really be healthy foods making you fat?*
That is, if you are not already overweight.
If you are, I understand. I spent a few of my teenage years (and a couple of my adult years) overweight, and you know what? It really sucks. A personal trainer here in my home country of Australia, Michelle Bridges, recently came under fire for suggesting that she had never met a happy obese person. There was outrage – but I (and every other formerly fat person knows), she was telling the truth.
There was a backlash, and a couple of obese Australian celebrities came out to say they were happy and fat. I don’t know them, but I honestly suspect they are deceiving themselves, or outright lying to themselves. Being overweight is misery. If you are fat – you will know this.
Why is being larger so horrible? Am I just being mean?
When your humanly body is not at its ideal weight, it lets you know. Frequently. Every day. Often. Sitting down can be hard. Running can be difficult. When it gets hot you’re uncomfortable. Catching public transport is stressful, climbing stairs is a mission. Holding your baby is an effort. Carrying the shopping feels like a huge chore. Making love is low on the agenda. Food is constantly on your mind. It’s awful. I know. I have been there.
There is nothing good about being fat. And how did I get fat? It’s simple. It’s why you’re fat too. You are eating too much food. Simple as that. If you want to lose weight, you need to eat less. Forget exercise. Focus on your diet. Focus what goes in and aim to limit your portions.
And this brings me to this “healthy” food fix up from @foodfixup.
When I was a teen, I was taught that “you can eat whatever you like, so long as it’s healthy,” which has turned out to be utter crap for me. Some bodies can eat lots of food, mine cannot, without gaining weight. That’s why a dish like the one below will make you fatter, if you’re already overweight. Read The hidden calories and fat in “healthy” smoothies.
So how could that possibly be? Well, let’s break this image (below) down, component by component and look at the calories:
Healthy foods making you fat – one dish at a time
Egg & Avo Healthy Toast @foodfixup
- 2 pieces of seeded bread (Spring Wholefoods sprouted bread). This company doesn’t have ANY nutritional information on their website: FAIL!
- Similar to Burgen Wholemeal & Seeds bread (for 179 calories).
- 2 whole eggs (80 x 2) 160 calories
- ½ avocado (160 calories)
- Crumbled goat’s cheese (28 grams/ 1oz) 100 calories
- teaspoon of coconut or olive oil (40 cals)
- Micro herbs and chilli – about 10 calories, or less
TOTAL is = 649 calories
Can you see what the problem is? That’s too much for almost anyone. That’s nearly 2 whole meals right there (certainly too much for a “healthy” meal”), and personally, I wouldn’t be satisfied with half of this meal.
Sometimes we get tricked into eating “too much” of food that we believe to be a “healthy”. That’s why Weight Watchers NEVER worked for me, because of the “unlimited” amounts of vegetables allowed on the program. Yes, that’s right – on WW you are allowed to eat unlimited quantities of “free foods”. This didn’t work for me. With dodgy rules like that in place, I easily overate, and the scales therefore didn’t shift. But Weight Watchers didn’t care. They make money from people who are stuck on the lose/gain cycle. Read 6 problems with the Weight Watchers program and 6 solutions.
Now I make sure I eat plenty of “junk food”. Why? Junk food comes portion controlled, homemade food does not. These days I carefully watch my portions and make sure I don’t snack (unless I really need it) and you know what, I am finally at a healthy weight. Read The Unhealthy Foods I Eat Every Day (and Still Stay Thin).
The nearly 650 calories that this single meal offers you is FAR TOO HIGH. Most average women should only be aiming for 300-450 calories per meal at most, depending on how often you snack. When healthy foods making you fat are a problem, it’s time to take action.
What you could eat for comparative (or fewer) calories:
(All these are Australian products, check your local restaurant’s website for variations).
Big Mac small meal (burger 493, fries 255, Coke Zero 0) = 748 calories
Subway footlong Chicken Classic sub = 696 calories
3 slices of Pizza Hut BBQ Meatlovers Pizza = 610 calories
Moral of the story: if you want to lose weight, you need to cut back on the energy you consume – whether this comes from “healthy” foods or not. Yes, it is possible to overeat healthy foods. I know, I have done it. This is my warning to you.
Remember, nuts, seeds, oils, vegan spreads, avocados, coconut oil etc.… they all have lots of calories. Incorporated into a healthy diet, no problem. Eaten as extras, they will make you fat. Read this article for more tips It’s possible to have too much healthy food.
* I am not a nutritionist, so take anything I say with a grain of salt. Read the resources I have included and do your own research. Consult your healthcare professional before undergoing any strict eating plan. And use common sense!