(NaturalNews) When we're attempting to lose weight, it goes without saying that we're going to skip the cheesecake, avoid fried foods and pass on the sweets. However, there are quite a few foods that, while healthy, are also extremely high in calories. In fact, by watching calories carefully and limiting the amount of these foods that you consume, you may notice a few pounds begin to drop within the first week or two of your weight loss program. Small healthy changes can add up to big weight loss, so let's take a look at what may be hiding in our kitchen cupboards.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts are heart healthy and contain fats that our bodies need. However, over-consuming them can quickly pack on the pounds. Macadamia nuts, for example, carry 718 calories in three ounces, while pecans have 715. So, if you really can stop after one handful (about an ounce), you may be okay. If you keep going back for more of the crunchy goodness nuts and seeds offer, however, you may be derailing your weight loss efforts. Chocolate covered nuts, nuts in trail mix or nuts in cookies or cereal simply add calories to your count, so avoid these at all costs.
Many dieters turn to salads as any easy way to satiate hunger and enjoy healthy fruits and vegetables. Dieters who slather on the salad dressing, though, may be in for a rude awakening. While the vegetables in a salad are low calorie, the dressing added on top is another story. French dressing is the worst offender, weighing in at 88 calories per tablespoon. The ever popular Ranch is a close second, packing 72 calories per tablespoon.
Peanut butter is a staple in most kitchen cabinets, loved by children and adults alike. While it's a healthy source of protein, peanut butter may also be contributing to your weight gain. One tablespoon of creamy peanut butter has 95 calories. To compare, it takes 25 minutes of walking to burn off that same 95 calories. So put the spoon down, step away from the jar, and find another filling for your sandwich.
Raisins and dried fruit
Dried fruit may seem like a healthy option, but it's loaded with sugar and can be quite fattening. For example, a one-cup serving of raisins carries 108 calories. This isn't bad if you're counting them as a fruit serving for the day, but if you're mindlessly munching on dried fruit (or worse, fruit and nut trail mix!) the calories add up quickly. Opt for fresh fruit instead. You'll get the sweet taste you crave, with the benefit of added fiber.
While these foods are all healthy, it's important that you consume them in moderation. Otherwise, it's far too easy to consume half a day's calories snacking on nuts during a movie or munching cheese cubes at a buffet table. As with all weight loss, the key is to be mindful of what you're eating, what nutrients the food contains, and how many calories you're adding to your daily total.