Snacking on a handful of raw almonds compared to Halo Top seems like a healthier choice — it's a whole food offering protein, fiber, and healthy fats and is just one ingredient! But if weight loss is your goal, these comparison photos posted by NASM-certified personal trainer Sam Altieri (@saltylifts on Instagram) show why a healthy snack like nuts could actually cause you to gain weight.
If you choose almonds because you think they're healthier than ice cream, Sam said, "you may be sabotaging your fat loss." While healthy snacks like nuts are unprocessed and contain no added sugars, preservatives, or a lengthy ingredient list, they still contain calories. The issue here is that even healthy foods can be overeaten. If you eat nuts straight out of the container, grab handfuls of dried fruit without measuring, or nosh on fresh fruit with spoonfuls of nut butter, a snack can quickly equal the amount of calories in a small meal!
"At the end of the day, if you're trying to lose fat, what really matters is being in a calorie deficit (consuming less calories than you burn in a day). If you're eating nuts as a snack, just watch those portions. Let me repeat this again.. almonds are an awesome snack, but ONLY if you keep portions in check!"
This holds true for all healthy, calorie-dense foods. If weight loss is your goal, don't eat foods like nuts, nut butters, seeds, avocado, dried fruit, and fruit and nut bars mindlessly! Know what an appropriate portion size is of these energy-dense foods, and stick to it (for reference, 14 almonds is about 100 calories). Keep measuring cups, spoons, and a food scale on hand just to be sure!