Even healthy foods can cause weight gain, nutritionist says

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Most people know that eating big sizes of highly processed food puts on pounds, yet they're surprised when overeating healthy food doesn't translate to weight loss.

"We think we're eating healthy, we think we're eating low fat, we're eating vegetables," said nutritionist Patricia Greenberg known as The Fitness Gourmet.

There's this challenge...

"We move less and less. People are more sedentary than ever," said Greenberg.

Greenberg says it's important to scale back the amount we eat in proportion to activity.

"You're looking at a 600 calorie snack. Buy a small one and save 220 calories," said Greenberg, referring to the difference between a large and small bagel.

Some nosh on a big bag of carrots, which provides 135 calories and four teaspoons of sugar.

A snack size bag a much better choice at 35 calories.

Salads are great, but even nutritious toppings add up. Almonds and cheese for example...

"Even though they're healthy, this is 200 calories, and this is 70 calories," said Greenberg of almonds and cheese, respectively.

Salad is certainly low calorie, but there will also be salad dressing, something most now are aware of.

A big surprise is ordering roasted chicken at a restaurant.

"It's a half a chicken, two cups of mash potatoes and a cup of vegetables, and it's a stunning 1,200 calories," claimed Greenberg.

A serving of salmon and potato is twice what we need.

Even a healthy Chinese takeout meal can be high calorie due to the copious amount of rice.

"It's two cups of rice translates to 510 calories, so just a bowl of chicken and rice, you're eating 800 calories," said Greenberg.

Most nutritionists will tell you, use measuring cups and spoons to measure your food. After three or four times, your mind will actually eyeball the portion so you'll get what you need.

At restaurants, try splitting an entree or taking half home. It's a start.
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