healthy diet plan

While there are plenty of fad diets out there that claim to help you lose weight fast and easy, nothing beats weight gain like a healthy and balanced diet with well-thought out portions for each meal. It is equally important to know which healthy foods lead to accumulation of fat and which ones aid the fat-burning process.

To aid your weight loss goals, here is a handy list of foods that are known to be healthy but should be taken in moderation to keep the momentum of your weight loss efforts.

9 nutrition-rich foods that can lead to weight gain

Almonds

Almonds are known for their tremendous health benefits and heart-friendly fats; however, they are also very high in calories. An average serving of most types of nuts can set you back by 150 calories. So if you’ve been advised to have a fistful of almonds as a healthy snack in between meals, be sure that you know how many calories each serving packs and then decide if you need to moderate your intake of almonds and other nuts.

Trail mixes

While the base ingredient of trail mixes and granola bars is healthy whole grains, it is the additions that make these snacks high in unwanted calories. The very ingredients that are meant to make the product taste good can also make it rich in fat. Some of these ingredients include seeds, honey and nuts, which are of course healthier than their traditional counterparts but are nonetheless responsible for increasing the calorie count of your favorite snack.

Moderation is the key to including a range of healthy options in your diet without having to worry about the calories.

Yogurt

Flavored yogurt is all the rage these days and is believed to be a healthier alternative to ice cream. Weight watchers love the fruit-based all-natural flavors that allow them a guilt-free dessert indulgence. However, many a packaged flavored yogurt gets its wonderful taste from added sugar and artificial additives. If you must treat yourself to a cup of Greek or other yogurt, check the ingredients as well as the calorie count of the product.

Alternatively, you always have the option to make your own fruit yogurt at home by adding fruits of your choice to a bowl of plain yogurt. This way you get to enjoy an exotic dessert sans the sugar or artificial flavoring.

Bitter chocolate

Dark and bitter chocolates are recommended as a good snack to satisfy sweet cravings. These varieties of chocolate are also well-known for their many health benefits. You don’t need to give up this bittersweet indulgence; just ensure that you know the calorie count of your favorite dark chocolate bar. As you know, even healthy chocolate has sugar (unless you opt for the sugar-free option), which is not what you want to be consuming in large amounts when you’re trying to lose weight.

If you must have chocolate, weight-loss experts recommend buying ones that have the highest amount of cocoa with little or no sugar.

Avocados

Extremely rich in fiber and potassium and loaded with a number of essential micronutrients, this super fruit is also high in monounsaturated fats, which can cause you to gain pounds fast. The key is to limit the quantity of avocados in your diet so that you don’t miss out on the essential nutrients from this nutrition powerhouse.

Milkshakes and smoothies

A popular beverage with weight-watchers, store-bought milkshakes, juices and smoothies can set you back by a whopping 750 to 1,000 calories. However, you can’t do much to control what’s added to your favorite smoothie or its serving size. Also, stripping a signature beverage of its fat-heavy ingredients such as chocolate syrup, peanut butter and other additions can ruin its taste.

A better alternative is to give the branded beverages a miss and prepare your own, fat-free version at home, at least while you’re in the strict-diet phase of your weight loss plan.

Whole bread sandwiches

While whole-grain sandwiches make for a great satiating meal, it’s the condiments that completely ruin their low calorie count. Take whole-grain loaf and add vegetables and grilled chicken or fish and you’re good. Add a spoonful of mayonnaise or sandwich spread or potato patty to enhance taste and you have a healthy meal turned into a fattening junk snack.

A sandwich is a satisfying breakfast or lunch—as long as you’re ready to strip away all the added frills and flavors that rob it of its healthy status.

Bottled water

Who would’ve thought that packaged nutrient-rich water can make you gain weight! The problem with flavored water is just that—it is flavored. So while it does do a great job of hydrating you after a workout or strenuous activity, energizing water does contain sugar. Keep that in mind the next time you buy a bottle of vitamin- or mineral-fortified water.

As far as hydration is concerned, health experts say there is nothing like good old plain water to keep your body systems hydrated.

Coffee

Yes, you switched to black coffee long ago, but in all honesty, it’s not half as palatable as your favorite cappuccino, so there have been times when you’ve been tempted to cheat with a latte made in whole milk or topped with rich cream—not to forget a generous helping of sugar.

If coffee is essential for your survival and you’re having a tough time getting used to the espresso, maintain a healthy balance by alternating between the all-black brew and ones topped with low-fat cream and sweetened with a sugar-free sweetener.

Everyday foods can aid weight loss or prevent it, depending on how you use them in your everyday life. The best way to prevent weight gain is to consistently follow a healthy diet and adhere to an exercise regimen no matter how busy you are. Losing body weight is easier than maintaining it, so once you start shedding the fat, it becomes even more important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and know what you’re eating.

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