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Are you eating all the right healthy foods, but still gain weight?

If you are, I don’t blame you for being a little confused. There are lots of foods commonly recommended as being ‘healthy’ – and they are – but they’re also high in calories. It’s very easy to overeat these foods and end up gaining weight, even though these are healthy foods. Weight loss and weight gain is all about self-awareness. If you burn more calories than you eat, you lose weight. If you do the opposite, you gain weight. This is how healthy foods can lead to weight gain if you are not careful about controlling your overall intake. They are good foods, but they’re also high in calories and you need to be aware of this. As an online fitness coach, I have my clients track their calories in My Fitness Pal when they have trouble understanding their portion sizes.

How Many Calories Does 10,000 Steps Burn?

Before getting into this, it’s worth mentioning that step counters like the fitbit and other wearable devices are all based on estimates. This study from 2016 took a look at 12 different brands of activity trackers in a controlled environment, and found that each brand came up with a different result. If you’re interested in the specifics, men’s health reported on this study and you can read it here.

Since step counting isn’t 100% accurate the estimates in this guide are all based on an assumption. The purpose of this post is more about looking at calorie values of food from a different perspective.

According to this article at Pritikin.com, 10,000 steps per day will burn 400 to 500 calories.We will assume that 10,000 steps burn 500 calories, for this post. Let’s look at common healthy foods and see how many steps would be required to burn them off.

1. Salmon

A half salmon fillet equates to 367 calories. That means you need to take a total of 7,340 steps to burn off a half salmon fillet.

Salmon is a great food to eat because it is packed full of healthy omega 3 oils, which your brain and nervous system need for proper function. On top of this, salmon has a good amount of protein and lots of vitamins and minerals, taking you towards your daily quota of several nutrients.


2. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a very common food for people on low carb diets to use as a snack, or a tasty treat.

It’s low in sugar and high in fat making it filling, but this also means it is high in calories. There is a big difference between a flat tablespoon and a rounded tablespoon of peanut butter. The latter containing 376 calories – or 7,500 steps worth of energy.

Use it as a treat or a snack on rice cakes, celery or another low calorie base, but be careful how much you use.


3. Beef Steak

1 Roast (about 260 grams) of beef sirloin steak comes in at 371 calories, or just under 8,000 steps. Beef is a great source of iron, B vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, and other trace nutrients we need.

While probably not an everyday food, beef steak is good to include in the diet once or twice per week to get some of the nutrients that are not present in white meat or fish.


4. Coconut Milk

Coconut milk: Coconut milk contains 445 calories per cup. That’s equivalent to 8,900 steps to work it off. It’s also more than double the calories per same serving of whole milk.

Coconut has seen a fast rise as a healthy alternative to dairy, and is the base ingredient in many Thai curry dishes, which are typically seen to be light, fresh, and healthy.

Coconut milk is good for you, no doubt, it has lots of healthy fats and an excellent profile of minerals. Coconut milk does not contain vitamin D, so keep this in mind if you’re using coconut milk to replace cow’s milk.

As with any liquid form of calories, you can easily consume a lot without realizing how much energy you have taken in, so be aware.


5. Raisins

Like to snack on raisins? They contain a whopping 493 calories per cup – very easy to over eat. That’s 9,860 steps to burn off.

They’re a great snack to get an energy boost, containing loads of vitamins and fiber, but they are also high in calories, and very easy to eat a whole bag without noticing what you are doing.

For easy portion control, trying getting those small boxes of raisins. They’re 129 calories each.


6. Almonds

23 Almonds contains 170 calories, or 3,400 steps of energy.

Almonds are a healthy snack that contains minerals magnesium as well as like vitamin E. BUT, anything that is predominantly fat, is usually high in calories… and portion size needs to be controlled. Almonds are an example of this.

How long would it take you walking on a treadmill to burn off a handful of almonds?


7. Avocado

Avocados are a popular food which contain 320 calories per fruit. I always thought these were a vegetable until I wrote this post. Technically they’re a berry!

Avocados are high in healthy fats, which are good for you, but do contain a lot of calories. I don’t know about you, but I could down an entire bowl of chips and guac without even blinking.

A single avocado will take 6,400 steps to burn off.


8. Olive Oil

You might not think you need to worry about olive oil, but it’s super easy to add way too much to your salads or frying pan.

Just 3 tablespoons of olive oil contain 358 calories, which is 7,140 steps worth of energy. Next time you order a salad at a restaurant, measure your olive oil. 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon.

Use olive oil, it’s full of healthy monounsaturated fats, just be aware of how much you are using.


9. Cheese

1 Cup of cheddar cheese contains 455 calories, or about 9,000 steps. It’s important to note that other cheeses contain even more calories than cheddar does.

Cheese is another favorite for low-carb dieters that is tasty, filling and a great source of protein. Just be aware it’s high in fat and therefore high in calories too.

Do you know how much cheese is in one quesadilla at your favorite Mexican-style restaurant?


Who would have thought you could gain weight eating “clean”?

As you can see, some foods will take you forever to “walk off”, even though they’re healthy and often recommended as part of a balanced diet (your dogs will love it though).

You should still eat these healthy foods, but be careful how much you are consuming. Calories matter and if you are eating too much, you will not be able to lose weight. Even if the food is healthy. If you need a personal trainer in cranford, contact me to get started.

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