Sneaky calories “ those are the ones you consume without even realizing it. A handful of M&Ms, a spoonful of cake batter, a few French fries off a friend’s plate. A few calories here or there won’t hurt your diet, but if you are taking in a few hundred or more a day, that may be enough to slow your weight loss or even stop it completely. (Let’s not even discuss gaining weight on your diet.) Take a look at some of the sneaky ways an extra calorie (or hundred) can sneak into your diet.
Juice and Soda
A can of juice can have more than 200 calories, depending on the fruit it is made from. Seriously – 200 calories for a drink? How about an iced tea, a diet soda, or even just a tall glass of water with lemon to quench your thirst. The same can be said for soda. Soda made with sugar or corn syrup starts off around 140 calories. Again “ for a drink? See the above suggestions for alternatives to wet your whistle.
Your favorite afternoon pick-me-up may be sneaking more calories into your diet than you realize. A vanilla bean Frappuccino has over 500 calories, and some coffee treats can have over 700 calories! Talk about sneaky calories. It’s time to lighten up on your latte.
Nuts can be a really healthy choice for your diet, but if you eat too many you will be upping your calorie intake dramatically, in addition to your sodium and fat. Read the package carefully and practice portion control; also, avoid anything honey-roasted.
This sounds like a healthy snack but a smoothie can have way more calories than you suspect, since they often have added sugar, syrups, and other additives. Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and Jamba Juice all have smoothies that can add between 400-500 sneaky calories to your diet. Many coffee or fast food spots offer lower calorie smoothies, though, so just be sure to check the calorie count before you indulge.
Reduced fat muffins
A reduced-fat blueberry muffin sounds like a healthy addition your diet, but beware. A reduced-fat blueberry muffin can add up to 450 sneaky calories into your diet “ you’re better off with a bagel or even a donut. Low-fat does not equal low calorie.
Snacking on pretzels rather than chips can be a good choice, as pretzels can have half the calorie count of chips (if you buy the little crunchy ones in a bag). But if you are out for a stroll and buy a soft pretzel from a street vendor, look out! We’re talking 500 calories or more for that innocent little snack. Talk about sneaky.
Salad extras and dressings
Add chicken, shredded cheese and ranch dressing to your salad and you could be adding almost 700 sneaky calories into your diet (all the while thinking you were eating something healthy). Skip the creamy dressings such as blue cheese and ranch and opt for Italian or vinaigrette. But even those can have a high calorie count, so watch the ingredients and use sparingly, just enough to add flavor but not enough to drown your salad.