Does healthy food make you slim?

Healthy foods are are gorgeous and nutritious, but that doesn’t make them energy-free.

Approx read time: 6 mins
Peanut butter and toast


The photo below shows a slice of sourdough toast with butter and peanut butter.

Aside from being completely gorgeous there are lots of good nutritional benefits from it:

  • The sourdough is 50% whole grain so it provides fibre, B vitamins and probiotics.
  • The butter is real butter and provides vitamins A and D, it has a mix of natural fats including saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
  • Peanut butter is a great source of protein, healthy fats, vitamin E and antioxidants and has myriad health benefits.

It’s a healthy combination.

Overeating healthy foods

But what I see lots of is people overeating healthy foods. They tend to say something like:

“I eat healthily Sal but I’m still overweight.


You see just because foods are nutritious and healthy it doesn’t make them energy-free.

As you know, because I keep saying, I don’t work with calorie minutiae because it’s no way for anyone to live and there are far too many variables for it to be used accurately. Even so, I know the relative values of foods and account for them when designing people’s nutrition and meal plans.

Let’s look at the calories of this one slice of PB toast (no quibbles about butter or no butter tho pls!)

🍃 Bread – 140 cals (50g)
🌿 Butter – 118 cals (15g)
🍃 Peanut butter – 87 cals (25g)

🦋 Total – 345 cals or about a fifth of a day’s energy needs, which varies with the individual.

People tend to eyeball food and underestimate the amount they’re eating, along with the “But it’s healthy!” vibe.

Don’t count calories, just know about them

I’m not one for making people measure or count every single thing they eat, that’s just a route to obsession, but sometimes it’s worth an exercise like this to build a basic appreciation.

I sometimes get clients telling me they must have something wrong with them because they’re not overeating but can’t lose weight. Then I see their food photos and they’re adding masses of nuts, avocado, olive oil, etc because they’re ‘healthy’.

The answer to their weight loss conundrum is crystal clear and staring me in the face. But persuading them they don’t have some sort of metabolic disorder is a devil of a job.

It’s good to learn a few of the fundamentals about energy in and energy out because despite what anyone says it is an essential factor in body composition.

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Thank you for reading this article. Please note that while we share a lot of awesome information and research you should be aware our articles are strictly for informational purposes and do not constitute medical advice intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.