4 ways your avocado toast could be sabotaging your weight loss
Order’s up, diet’s down. Restaurant-style avocado toast is much less beneficial to your weight loss efforts than you’d think.
24 hours on your Insta-story, a lot longer on your hips….
Can a brunch even really be called brunch if avocado toast isn’t on the menu? By now the avocado toast trend has reached the masses, and like mini cupcakes, it seems pretty safe to say it’s here to stay. In fact, the FDA even recently changed the serving size for avocado from 1/5th to 1/3rd to accommodate modern American’s rapid consumption of the green fruit (yes, avocado is technically a fruit).
Made in the comfort of your own kitchen, a schmear of mashed ‘cado on your vessel of choice can be part of a healthy diet. However, half the fun of avocado toast is ordering at trendy brunch spots with your friends. Unfortunately for your waistline -restaurants are in the money-making business by way of delicious foods that you would want to order again, not to make a low-cal nutritionally balanced toast. The end result, something a lot less healthy and on brand with your diet efforts than you’d think. It’s with heavy hearts that we tell you this… avocado toast (albeit totally Instagram-worthy) can make you fat. Layer by layer, here’s why:
Avocado, itself. The namesake ingredient causes more problems than you’d think. Although the serving size of avocado is now officially larger, this means that one serving of avocado is now 80 calories. Chances are your favorite brunch spot isn’t sticking to one serving when they’re making mash- if they use just one whole avocado, we could be looking at 400 calories, before the bread and other accouterments!
We know what you’re thinking, “But aren’t avocados good for me?? They’re the good kind of fat??” Avocados certainly have heart healthy and anti-inflammatory benefits and consumption of them is linked to longevity and vitality. However, there is a stark difference between foods that are healthy for us and healthy for weight loss. For some reason, many of us perceive “healthy foods” as “free foods.” The health benefits of high calorie “health foods” may be outweighed if they’re so caloric that they cause us to gain weight. There really can be too much of a good thing! Americans commonly misunderstand portion sizes. To get the health benefits of avocados, all that is needed is probably a tablespoon a day. It is not necessary to eat an additional 300 calories for heart health! And anytime we eat in excess we leave ourselves at risk for other health conditions. Stick to the right portions of avocados to maximize health benefits.
The bread. Let’s talk toast. One could argue that the bread is more important, as it is the base component, supporting this artfully crafted brunch dish. Overlooked by diners, chefs know a good bread is the key to having a good avocado toast experience. To create a picture-perfect toast (one that patrons seek out for their own social media feeds) a big thick slice of seeded bread adds height, color, dimension and stability. On the patron-side of this equation though, that piece of toast will look a whole lot better on the plate than it will reflect on their scale.
Again, the health halo comes into play. Just because the bread used has seeds and appears to be multi-grain, does not mean it won’t hinder your weight-loss efforts. Avocado toast is also usually served on hearty whole grain bread, which is even more calorically dense than a small slice of white bread. Whole grain bread certainly has more fiber and B vitamins than white bread, but have the same amount of calories and carbohydrates as most white breads do. AKA both can make you gain weight! Although all breads are not created equal, we need to acknowledge that they all are dense in calories and carbs.
Olive oil drizzle. A lesser known component of a good avocado mash: olive oil. Some restaurants mash the avocado with olive oil, while others give the bread a light brush to attain that perfect toast. Most of the time, it comes into play by way of a drizzle on top (some restaurants will use all three!). No matter where it’s used though, the inclusion of olive oil racks the calorie count up–fast! Utilized for added flavor, texture and shine, olive oil packs on 135 calories per tablespoon. Like the avocado, when it comes to weight loss, it’s heart-healthy benefits are outshined by the fact that it’s so calorically dense.
Let’s go splitskies. Brunch outings are a celebratory time.
Hey guys, let’s do a round of Bloody Marys!
If I get fries, you’ll have some right?
We have to split the avocado toast as an appetizer!
You’re right, we earned it, we just did Soul Cycle!
Does any of this sound familiar to you? For some reason people think when something is shared (or if they’re not the person at the table who made the decision to order it) the calories don’t count, the bites feel free. Let’s set the record straight here, just because you didn’t order it, doesn’t mean it’s calorie-free! Even a quarter of an avocado toast can tack on 150 calories to your meal. If you’re having a sensible salad as your meal, a few bites of avocado mash can double your caloric intake. Say you do go for that handful of fries too, or the second round of drinks, your responsible, post-workout brunch with the girls could undo a whole week’s worth of perfect dieting. The restaurant may be vegan or known for their locally grown ingredients, but either way, calories and calories and they will add up.
We know this is all a tough pill to swallow. Avocado toast is delicious, and it might be bright, and fresh-looking, but if weight loss is your main goal, it’s probably best you order something else.