Here are 5 foods that pack on the pounds fast. I’m all about eating right for your body type. Some people need more protein, some people need morecarbs, some people do better without caffeine, while others need to steer clear of the salt shaker. Regardless of what you should or should not be eating, a lot of foods that we think are healthy or harmless can add inches to our waistline in no time. Here are five of those foods to keep an eye on the next time you feel a splurge coming on.
1) Tortilla Chips
It’s easy to go overboard with tortilla chips. Servings of tortilla chips are typically measured by the ounce. “How many chips is in an ounce?” you might wonder. Well, the answer really depends on the size of the chip, but it’s usually between 10 and 14. Weighing in at about 140 empty calories per serving, not only are chips a dead food, but they’re a little addictive, especially when they’re sitting in a big bowl in front of your right next to a frosty margarita. In no time you could crunch away on two to three servings without even really feeling full.
Serving Limit Limit: 140 calories or somewhere between 10 to 14 chips
Common Overdose: Upwards of 280 calories or 20+ chips
2) Trail Mix
Trail mix has this “good for you” vibe about it. Packed with nuts, seeds, dried fruit and if we’re lucky a little chocolate, one handful of trail mix never seems to be enough. From a nutrition standpoint, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and even chocolate are all good for you…in moderation. One serving of trail mix is about a quarter cup. That’s not a lot. The next time you’re on a road trip, sitting at your office desk or just eating trail mix as a snack straight from the bag, think twice and consider taking a small handful then closing up the bag.
Serving Limit: 150 calories or about 1/4 cup
Common Overdose: 600 calories or one cup
It’s hot and smoothies hit the spot. While a lot of smoothies are made with healthy fruits or protein powders, they’re still steep in the calorie department. Even if they’re made with protein powder, they’re almost always very high in sugar. In fact, one medium smoothie has nearly two and a half the amount of sugar as one can of soda. Some food for thought. Chances are you won’t need to burn all those sugary calories right away. Bottom line: your body will absorb the rest.
Serving Limit: 16 oz and about 260 calories (I think that’s too high and should be about half that much…but, I don’t write labels…)
Common Overdose: 30oz or 500+ calories (Creeping up on the calories in four cans of soda, yikes)
4) Pasta & Bread
Would you believe that despite all the low-carb brouhaha, that we actually eat no fewer carbs today than we did 40 years ago? It’s true! I believe that some people do a heck of a lot better with more carbohydrates, and some people with less, but I don’t think anyone needs 65% of their calories coming from carbs. Carbs aren’t bad! After all, fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates and they’re really good for us! Refined carbohydrates are the kiss of death. And not too far down on the list from crackers, low fat chips or even cookies sits pasta and bread. Be wary of the bread basket or pasta bowl the next time you go out for dinner. Instead, drink lots of water, order the fish, enjoy some vegetables…then push your plate away.
Serving Limit: 120 calories or 1 slice bread; 220 calories or 1 cup pasta
Common Overdose: 240 to 440+ calories
5) Nut Butters
Love ’em. Love ’em a lot! Especially almond nut butter. Regardless of the type of nut butter you like, peanut, cashew, almond, even macadamia…a serving size is about two ounces, or the size of your thumbs side-by-side. Weighing in at about 180 calories, it’s easy to double up on nut butter if you’re having it as a snack with an apple, on crackers or even on your favorite bagel. My advice: know what a serving looks like. Actually measure it out and see what it looks like. Try to use that visual as a frame of reference the next time you dig a spoon (or finger) into the jar of nut butter.
Serving Limit: 2 ounces or 180 calories
Common Overdose: 4 ounces or 360 calories
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Traci is a nationally recognized health and fitness expert who has been featured on The TODAY Show and Dr. Oz. Traci is available for corporate speaking events and wellness coaching, as well as private training. Contact Traci here.