Here’s a follow up to my recent post about trying nuts as a primary snack. As I mentioned, I created my own trail mix of mixed nuts, raisins and chocolate chips. It was delicious and filling. But I discovered a few drawbacks to it. The expense, for one. However, what bothered me the most were two physical issues — my belly became bloated, and I started gaining weight.
I was surprised about the gaining weight part. After all, I was replacing protein bars with nuts (less carbs and no grains, so that’s good, right?). I’d also given up my potato chip and chocolate pretzels habit during this time. So that was saving some calories, right? Why would I be gaining weight?
The first thing I addressed was the bloating issue. One or more of the nuts was causing that, obviously, because there was nothing else new introduced into my diet. I decided to just try peanuts with some chocolate chips, instead of the mixed nuts, and see if that solved the problem.
This did eliminate the bloating, for the most part. And, having to buy only peanuts was simpler, and easier on the budget. But it didn’t solve the weight gain issue.
So today I researched how many calories were in a cup of peanuts, and…
Whoa. 826 calories? That’s almost as much as a Big Mac and fries! Every day! No wonder I was gaining weight. I was previously eating 400 calories in protein bars a day, and replaced that with at least a cup of nuts all together, if not more, resulting in an additional 400+ calories a day. And I didn’t even realize it.
The fact is, even if you have a healthy diet, calories do count. It’s simple math.
What I decided to do about that isn’t give up the nuts, because I love peanuts too much to do that. Instead, I used my old portion control trick like I do for potato chips and cookies, and doled out 1/4 cup portions (about 200 calories) into sandwich-size ziploc baggies. I made enough portions for the workweek — one bag for morning, one for afternoon — and will be trying it this week to see what happens. It may be hard at first to get used to smaller portions, but I know I can do it.
I expect this should nip the weight gain in the bud. I’ll keep you posted!
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