10 “Healthy” But HIGH Calorie Foods

“I’m eating super clean/healthy but not losing weight!”

“I’m trying to eat super clean/healthy, but can’t put on weight!”

In either case, calories still and always will matter. Whether you are trying to cut a little body fat or pack on some pounds, your caloric intake being in a deficit or surplus is key.

In most instances I observe, it is the former issue of eating “clean” but not losing fat. I’m all for eating as much unprocessed crap as possible, don’t get it twisted, BUT even the “cleanest” of the clean foods can still be calorie-dense.

Here are the Top 10 “Healthy” Foods that STILL pack a ton of calories:

1. Nuts

Almonds and walnuts are super heart-healthy – but they are also still fats, making them more calorically dense.

A golf ball size portion of nuts packs right around 150 calories.

2. Avocado 

Just like nuts, avocados are packed with heart healthy fats and fiber – but also calories.

An average size avocado has about 250 calories.

3. Olive Oil

Again, very heart-healthy – but still fat, and thus higher in calories.

1 Tablespoon of olive oil (or any oil) has 120 calories

Protip – this is why I recommend using cooking sprays, as the calories from pouring oil in a pan can add up QUICK!

4. Red Meat

Red meat gets a bad rep, but that’s because most studies lump all “meats” in with red meat – even hot dogs, brats, and crappy processed sausages. A good steak or ground beef can be part of any healthy diet – but watch out for the fattier cuts!

  • 3 oz of 80/20 beef = 230 calories
  • 3 oz of 90/10 beef = 185 calories
  • 3 oz of 95/5 beef = 146 calories

Fattier cuts of steak like ribeyes and T-Bones also add up quickly, so if your goal is fat loss, opt for leaner cuts like sirloin or top round.

View this post on Instagram

“Mike, what’s the simplest thing I can do to improve my diet and lose fat?” . . If it was only simple. However, in order to not give a lame ass cop out answer on this one, here it is: . . Cut your meal in half, and add a protein shake. . . Instantly you have cut calories, and added 20-30g of protein to your meal. That’s it. . . It’s not magic, and it might work in every situation, but this is what I would say is the simplest thing anyone can do. . . . Looking to go beyond generic recommendations and tips? 🔗 Click the link in bio and let’s chat! . . . #fatloss #protein #weightloss #fatlosshack #weightlisshack #fatlosstips #fitspo #dietitiansofinstagram #dietitian #proteinshake #simplefatloss #transformation #weight #toned #fit #fitness #health #gainz

A post shared by MG Fitlife – Mike Gorski, RD. (@mgfitlife) on

5. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes by themselves are amazing sources of carbs, but they are also pretty dense – and if you add butter and other caloric toppings, they can add up quickly.

A small sweet potato (2″ diameter, 5″ long) has 140 calories by itself.

6. Dried Fruit

Because it is dehydrated, dried fruit usually still packs some good fiber and vitamin content, but is also MUCH more calorie-dense than fruit.

A half-cup of raisins or other dried fruit comes in around 200-250 calories.

7. “Healthy Cereals” 

Most people know that Lucky Charms and Fruity Pebbles aren’t usually classified as “healthy” (they can BE part of a solid diet though if we measure and manage!) – but what about cereals marketed for health-conscious people?

A cup of Raisin Bran has 185 calories – and most people I know don’t eat just a cup of any cereal – and milk is usually added.

8. Cheese

Many people consider cheese to be healthy – but it’s usually higher in saturated fat, and not the best source of protein.

One slice of sandwich cheddar or a quarter cup comes in at about 130 calories.

9. Wine

Red wine is good for my heart! But it still adds calories 🙂

Most wines are loaded with about 120-140 calories – and that’s for a standard 5 oz. pour, and let’s be honest…who actually does that?

10. Smoothies

Smoothies can be packed with anything. Protein, fruits, fats, etc. Some are better than others, but I’ve seen smoothies that are loaded with more than 1000 calories. It all comes down to WHAT is in them.

This list is not meant to scare you away from any of these foods, or demonize them – but rather, bring awareness to intakes of calories, and where more calories could be “sneaking” in your diet and preventing you from losing fat.

OR – if you are trying to gain weight for health, or sport – this is a great list to focus on adding more of to your diet!

If you need help getting started, look no further than online coaching. Training and nutrition! Let me help you find the best plan for you – from anywhere in the world.

Like what you read? Want to get even more weekly wisdom, training tips, and nutrition nuggets along with up to date blog posts sent directly to your email? Sign up HERE!