The healthy foods that are making you FAT

What’s wrong with this image? A healthy burger, right? It’s got loads of nutrients in it: healthy grains, vegetables, non-meat-based protein and lots of fibre. But there is one major problem with this ‘healthy’ burger. It has too many calories and it could make you overweight.

Don’t argue with me. Yes it could. I could name about 100 things right now that have less than 495 calories that you would enjoy eating more than this ‘healthy’ burger. For example, a small cheeseburger meal from McDonalds. Or how about two slices of thin crust supreme from Pizza Hut? Or how about a foot long turkey sub from Subway?

Just because you made something yourself, does not make it healthy. Just because you used quinoa and chia seeds, does not make it healthy. Just because it’s meat-free, doesn’t make it healthy. Get real, people! This burger will make you fat.

How many calories should you eat per meal?

I like to eat about 400 calories per meal. This allows me to have a snack or two every day, and a glass of wine if I want one (or two). At nearly 500 calories, this burger is over my limit. Actually, it’s not, but I wouldn’t “spend” my calories on something like this anymore. I would rather eat fast food.

Yes, fast food has lots of salt and fat – but if you look at the stats – so does this “healthy” burger. I was recently shocked to find that the wraps at Oportos have more calories than the burgers when most people would assume them to contain less. Burgen “Weight Management” bread has more calories than its other loaves. Madness. Sheer madness. It has 846 kilojoules (which is 202 calories) compared to 800 kilojoules (191 calories) for their “Wholegrain and Oats” bread. That’s really not very responsible. And goes against general good-sense.

Fast food outlets displaying calorie information

Yesterday I nearly had a meltdown in Oprotos when they had changed the menu display. “Where is the Single Classic Burger!?” I demanded to know. It was still available but no longer was its calorie information displayed. Plus, for most of the counter displays they had the energy count for the meal (which included chips/fries and soft drink) not the individual burger. I became so frustrated that I demanded the nutritional information and I was given a scungy-looking pamphlet from behind the counter.

You may think that I am crazy and demanding, and you’d be right. But if more people demanded correct calorie information then perhaps the world wouldn’t be in an obesity crisis. It would be the same as cigarette companies or alcohol companies not being transparent about what is in their products. We need good information on what we are putting into our bodies.

Should children eat fast food?

So, I guess you could say that this is one of the reasons we shouldn’t eat fast food. The Boyf recently questioned me on this. He is upset at my constant junk-food eating. I am not sure why. I think he would like me to be healthier and is probably afraid that I will drop dead. I should mention at this point that I have a healthy BMI and I have written a lot about crazy diets and people losing weight by eating junk food.

The clincher was when he asked if I thought junk food is appropriate for children and to that I say, “Absolutely not.” Children have developing palates and should be exposed to as many different kinds of foods as possible. I don’t think of myself as a fussy eater but as a kid I was always wary of meat with bones, things like drumsticks and ribs. Blergh. I also had the natural aversion to healthy food and preferred to eat pasta, fried stuff and fat – when I could get my hands on it.

The single most important element of weight loss, in my humble opinion

These days you will find lots of people telling you to eat healthy food. What you don’t see enough of is people talking about portion control. Once I heard a statement that really seemed to cut through the dieting and weight loss chatter that I had been hearing my whole life. The statement was:

If you are trying to lose weight, stop eating so much.

Please note, the statement isn’t:

  • If you are trying to lose weight, exercise more
  • If you are trying to lose weight, eat more frequent and smaller meals
  • If you are trying to lose weight, eat 6 meals a day
  • If you are trying to lose weight, don’t eat carbs
  • If you are trying to lose weight, give up meat
  • If you are trying to lose weight, you may have insulin-resistance
  • If you are trying to lose weight, you should eat more protein
  • If you are trying to lose weight, you need to eat raw food
  • If you are trying to lose weight, do more weight training
  • If you are trying to lose weight, you should give up now

We have all become frustrated with all the messages to do with weight loss. Of course, part of the problem is that we are all different and our bodies react differently to each other. Then as we age, our bodies react differently to how they did years ago. Managing weight is a constant lifetime goal. Over the course of my life I have usually been winning, often times falling short, sometimes failing….but that’s the price to pay for being human and imperfectly perfect.

  1. October 17, 2013

    Thanks Alyce I agree that portion size is an essential way to control weight! It really boils down to the basics! Eating off smaller plates and chewing slowly helps to control the amount you eat too.

    1. October 18, 2013

      Thanks Blissful!

      I agree – both those strategies are great. I also like to use cutlery when I can as it slows me down. Eating off a table also makes me feel more like I am sitting down to a good meal. Thanks for your advice and have an awesome day!


  2. October 17, 2013

    Hi Alyce,

    I think it all comes down to people are always looking for that “magic bullet” that will make losing weight easy. It’s not. It’s all about moderation in food and finding ways to be active throughout your day.

    Thanks for posting such an informative article.


    1. October 18, 2013

      Thanks for your comment, Nancy. Yes indeed, moderation is the key. I am often not a very moderate person, so sometimes this can be hard for me. Being a Libran, I often swing from one side of the scale to the other, so as I get more mature I am putting effort into the essential art of moderation – in all things! Thanks for your comment and have a great day!


      1. October 18, 2013

        Hi Alyce,

        Nice to meet a fellow Libran. I am one too. I know what you mean about practicing moderation. I used to view the world in black and white; it was all or nothing. But I’ve learned that isn’t the best way to go through life.

        I hope you have a great weekend!


        1. October 21, 2013

          Thanks so much, Nancy. You too!


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