“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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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