My husband gave me this blog post idea when he ate almost the entire hummus container… (sorry to throw you under the bus john haha). BUT WE ALL do this, we all tend to overeat on healthy foods. First off, let me congratulate you on choosing healthier foods options! Fueling your body with healthy fats, greens, fruits, lean proteins are only going to leave you feeling more energized and recovered. Overeating healthy food is better for you than unhealthy food however, it is still in our best interest to not overeat any type of food. The body can only handle, use, absorb etc. so much food at once, the excess food and calories will only hinder progress and goals. First step is to realize you CAN overeat healthy foods, and then find ways to decrease this from happening. Could any of these food be on your list?
Hummus / Guacamole:
The two famous healthy dips. With any dip, it is easy to you continue that motion of dipping and eating, even if its with raw veggies. Then…all of a sudden, half the container is gone. Who doesn’t love guacamole? Avocados are a staple in our house (thank you Aldi). Loaded with healthy fats an avocado or avocado dip (Guacamole) with raw veggies and a few corn tortilla chips can be a healthy snack. Because of the healthy fats guac packs a punch not only with nutrients but with calories. 3/4 cup of guacamole is just under 300 calories and 25g fat. If you are a big dipper eating 3/4 cup can be easy. Chipotles guac on bowls is roughly this amount as well. Tip: of course eat that guac, but try to keep avocados to one 1/2 a day. Get guac on the side from Chipotle (1/4c) and be aware how many chips and veggies you are dipping in. If four avocados makes eight servings of guac, we should really only have 1/8 to 1/4 the guac.
As for Hummus, this is another great plant based source of healthy fats, protein and fiber. Chickpeas are delicious in a dip (hummus, baked in oven or in a salad). The Hummus package has 2 tbsp as one serving. Who has ever only eaten 2 tbsp of hummus? It is only 70 calories so in the realistic world lets say 1/4 cup is a serving aka 140 calories. Paired with some raw veggies, twp piece of deli meat, or triscuit crackers I think that makes one heck of a snack.
Popcorn / Skinny Pop
Skinny pop and other popcorns have gained incredible popularity for being a healthier lower calorie option to chips. Just like chips however, we can easily overeat popcorn. You’re watching TV or working on the computer and you continue to enjoy handfuls of popcorn until you realize the bag is half gone. I’ll raise my hand on this one as I have done this many a times. My trick… I buy the portioned bags of Skinny Pop or I portion out two cups of skinny pop into a bowl and put the bag away. On other note, popcorn can be a harder food for our bodies to digest, so give your GI system a break and don’t go over 2 cups.
Nuts / Nut Butters
I used to eat peanut butter by the spoonful… yeah, my relationship with the food wasn’t the best, but we are great friends now. Just like avocados, peanut butter is a fatty “dip” or spread. As many of you already know, it is delicious on bananas, apples, toast, in oatmeal, on pancakes, graham crackers….can you think of anything else? Well, as good as peanut butter is, 1 serving is only 2 tbsp. That really is not a lot, hence why it is REALLY easy to overeat this stuff. When the peanut butter jar comes out (Organic Smucker’s All-Natural FYI), I am conscious of the amount I use. Trick: to flavor oatmeal, over-night oats, shakes etc. I use Peanut butter powder. It is much lower in fat and thus calories. I save the actual peanut butter for my toast and fruit,
Similar to peanut butter, a little amount of nuts goes a long way. A serving is only 1/4 cup. Thats 4 tablespoons aka not a lot at all given that many people will eat an entire bowl of nuts like popcorn or chips. A serving of nuts is more like a small handful (half a handful…). Trick: I love the pre-portioned trail mix products as well as pistachios in the shell. It takes you longer to eat and thus you do not have the tendency to grab and shuve in the mouth.
“What, bananas? But it’s a fruit and I only eat one a day or every other day…” I love bananas, another staple in my house, HOWEVER the bananas we buy in the store aka large bananas, most likely can be counted as two servings. Buy one get one free peeps. Bananas and mangos are fruits higher in sugar and thus calories. Trick: Cut or rip banana in half and save the other half for later (in fridge) or share with a spouse, child, friend etc. This ALSO helps me not go CRAZY on peanut butter since I love the combo. 1/2 banana with pb, by itself, sliced on peanut butter toast, in oatmeal, overnight oats…you decide. Only having 1/2 is a simple change we all should start doing.
Yes, yes, yes, everyone thinks to lose weight and gain muscle they need to increase protein and decrease carbs. Not so much friends. It is important to have a protein or fat with snacks in order to make them more satisfying and nutrient dense i.e. a small apple with 1/4 cup nuts rather than the apple by itself. However, the majority of the US is eating WAY too much meat, protein bars, shakes, dairy and moreover protein. Trick: Instead of increasing protein, think about increasing vegetables 🙂 I promise you will feel more energize and your gut will thank you. Aim for protein making up 25% of your plate.
Again, continue to eat these delicious foods, just know that there is such a thing to overeat healthy foods. Eat mindfully. Eat when you’re hungry and push that plate or bowl away when you start feeling full/satisfied. Would love to hear from you, what other healthy foods do you think we overeat!?