Which has more calories? Half of a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar or an apple? If you guessed the chocolate bar, then you’re right. When cut in half, a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar has 10 more calories than the average-sized apple. But that’s it. Only 10 calories more. So while the apple might be more nutritious, it still costs you 95 calories (and that’s if it isn’t an extra large one).
And while we’re not saying you should skip out on your fruits and veggies in lieu of tastier, non-nutritious snacks, the point that we’re making is this—food is food when it comes to weight gain, even when it’s healthy. “While fruits are nutritious, too much of even a healthy food can lead to weight gain,” says Loyola University Health System dietitian Brooke Schantz.
That’s because the key to weight loss is portion control—whether you’re eating healthy or junk food. If your caloric intake is higher than the energy you burn off during the day, then you will gain weight. And vice versa. So just because you’re noshing on salads or fruits throughout the day, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to drop a pant size.
“I have had many patients tell me that they don’t know why they are not losing weight,” says Schantz. “Then they report that they eat fruit all day long.”
The good news is that it’s almost impossible to overeat non-starchy fruits and vegetables like berries and watermelon because they’re packed with water and fiber that makes your body feel full. It’s the concept behind the diet called, Volumetrics, which focuses on eating water-rich food like soup, low-fat dairy and non-starchy fruits and vegetables that make you feel satisfied before consuming too many calories.
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