Sometimes even nutrition-minded eaters may sabotage their best intentions by trying to be too healthy.
Here are 5 healthy habits that may have you eating more calories than you realize.
1. You hit the (whole-grain) bread basket hard. Don't let the earthy flavor and hearty texture confuse you. Whole-wheat breads and pastas have roughly the same number of calories as their white counterparts. Before you overstuff, mix your grain with veggies.
2. You start the day with a big bowl of high-fiber cereal. Dry cereal is mostly carbohydrates, and gets digested quickly. And that fast burn can make you feel like you're ready for lunch before you've rinsed out your bowl. Measure out one serving (around 3/4 cup) of cereal. Add sliced fruit, and you've got a filling, perfectly sized breakfast.
3. Your go-to snack is an energy or protein bar. Bars can be lifesavers when there's just no time to eat. But if you grab one midmorning and to refuel after an evening workout you could be calorie-loading your day. If you need a bar between meals, look for one with no more than 200 calories.
4. You toss nuts into everything. Nuts deliver heart-healthy fats, and can decrease "bad" LDL cholesterol and lower risk of developing diabetes. But nuts are extremely calorie-dense, which means that a sprinkle of almond slivers here and a topping of walnuts there add up quickly. Don't eat more than two ounces of nuts a day.
5. You overhydrate with sports drinks. If you're working out intensely for an hour or more, or sweating like crazy, it's important to drink fluids that contain minerals. But if your workout doesn't require a shower afterward, all a sports drink provides is extra sugar and sodium, which can leave you feeling bloated and hinder weight loss.
For other foods that can fool you, click here.