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‘Caution with portions’: dietitian warns how easy it is to overeat healthy snacks

'Caution with portions': dietitian warns how easy it is to overeat healthy snacks
(Picture: Leanne Ward)

Most us know that healthy snacks like nuts are quite calorific.

But do we know just how calorie dense they can be?

Clinical and sports dietitian Leanne Ward is trying to educate followers on portion control, between healthy foods and treats to show how easily the calories rack up when you’re having healthy snacks.

And it’s that underestimation that stops some of us from reaching our weight loss goals.

She shows that a bowl of almonds weighs in at 415 calories…while a Twix contains just 275 calories.

‘Double tap if you usually do “generous” helpings of almonds straight from the bag,’ she writes.

‘This picture is to demonstrate why I think it’s important to understand portions & serving sizes. So many of my clients can’t understand why they can’t meet their weight loss goals despite #cleaneating or eating #healthyfood but this picture demonstrates that even healthy foods can be overeaten.’

Clearly, almonds are way more nutritious than chocolate, and particularly if you’re a plant-based eater, you need to make sure you’re getting your fill of good fats (almonds are also rich in fibre, protein, vitamin E, manganese and magnesium). And not everyone wants to lose weight. But if you are trying to trim down, it can be dispiriting to find yourself plateauing, despite eating and exercising ‘right’.

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‘A cup of almonds, four bananas or a few homemade bliss balls will still make you gain weight if eaten in excess of your bodies daily requirements,’ explains Leanne.

‘If you’re trying to lose weight, I recommend weighing or measuring your portions for a day or two to see how much you may “overestimate” your portions without even realising.’

She says that nuts, nut butters, seeds, avocados and oily fish like salmon are very healthy but also very energy dense, so unless your energy output is very high, eating them mindlessly is going to lead to fat increase.

It’s all about moderation and balance, something Leanne is passionate about promoting.

‘Healthy means still being able to enjoy your favourite foods and not punishing yourself with exercise. Being healthy means you can enjoy occasional treats but you also shouldn’t give up the majority of the good habits you’ve been working on!

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She’s an advocate for the 80/20 approach – eating healthily 80% of the time and treating yourself for the other 20%.

‘You can still see results without restricting everything in your diet or spending a ton of money on expensive supplements or fad diets.’

MORE: Cutting out dairy can leave you being lactose-intolerant

MORE: Think you’ve got IBS? Here are 8 things it could be instead

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