What’s better than butter? Or sugary treats? It’s hard to say no to some of our favorite foods, especially for the long-haul. You likely have a good idea of what foods you shouldn’t be eating in excess (donuts, ice cream, chocolate bars, candy etc.). They’re all the obvious “evils” when it comes to shedding weight and losing that stubborn belly fat.
When you are aiming to lose weight, you’ll obviously want to focus on incorporating healthy foods into your daily routine, while minimizing high-calorie, high-sugar treats.
So, the title for this chapter might seem like a juxtaposition.
How can a food be “fat-healthy”?
This is where low carb diets come into play. With a diet such as LCHF (low carb high fat), you are incorporating healthy fats into your diet rather than high-calorie fats.
This includes fats like fish, cheese, avocado, and oils like olive, coconut, flaxseed and sunflower.
These are all great foods for helping our body get into ketosis, which is when your system is in high-fat burning mode. To get into ketosis, you need to drastically minimize the number of carbs you eat and increase the level of healthy fats.
A low carb diet can be one of the fastest ways to shed weight. In fact, many people have lost up to 15 pounds a month while on a low carb, keto diet! It’s a great way to kick start your progress
without having to focus on heavy workout routines as well.
Once you reach your goals, you’ll be able to stay on track by focusing on your maintenance calorie amount (remember that TDEE calculator?). That maintenance calorie amount will be much higher than your calorie deficit. So, once you’ve reached your goals, you’ll be able to introduce some of the treats you love into your diet (in moderation, of course!).
If you aren’t interested in following a low carb diet, you’ll want to at least understand the foods that are typically considered healthy, yet could be adding to your waistline.
Most everyone loves a nice bowl of spaghetti with a glass of wine. Portion control is key when you eat pasta, bread or rice. Be vigilant that you are weighing out the serving sizes; they’re probably much smaller than you think!
Fruit has been debated over for years in the health and fitness community. Is it good for you? Is it bad for you? Fruit is jam packed full of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and carbs that fight disease, provide energy and do many ‘behind the scenes’ activities once eaten.
However, the reason it’s so tasty is because it’s also packed with sugar. The debate will continue to rage about whether fruit sugar is ‘bad’ or ‘good’ sugar (think apple vs snickers bar). The thing you
should note is that sugar ultimately gets stored as fat. Stick to only a few servings of fruit a day to be safe.
Avocados are loaded with great nutrients like vitamin E, antioxidants, folate, heart healthy fats and potassium. Yet, all that plant fat makes them very calorie dense.
Whether it’s a nut butter or the nut itself, treat all the peanuts and tree nuts your encounter with caution. A ¼ cup of nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds etc.) usually runs between 130-190 calories. It’s very easy to overdo it when you have trail mix or nut mix in your house.
How delicious is a bar of dark chocolate? So, you admit you have eaten a whole bar?! We chocolate lovers have been there! Eating a single square like the packaging suggests can be difficult.
However, try sticking with individually wrapped servings of chocolate that's 70% dark or darker. That’s where you’ll get great portion control and lots of healthy antioxidants without the extra
Cooking with olive oil can bring out so many delicious flavors and make a meal great. Yet, you should be very careful and measure how much you use.
One tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories and if you are pouring it into the pan, you can easily triple that number. Measure when cooking and be sure that you are using a oil mister if you are putting it on your salad. Otherwise, enjoy the benefits of heart healthy fat!
Hummus dip can be delicious and a great way to dress up plain crackers. It’s easy to make and can be infused with many different ingredients (roasted red peppers, basil, pine nuts etc.). It’s also great source of protein, fiber, iron and calcium. However, it’s also packed with calories.
Two tablespoons equate to 50 calories. Not many people can stop at two tablespoons and soon enough they’ve eaten 250 calories worth with pita chips and have blown the day’s caloric deficit!