You may be consuming many more calories than you think. They are hidden in all kinds of foods … many of which you would never know were high in calories. Three of the big culprits are sugar, alcohol, and salad dressings.
Sugar can have addicting properties. Once you eat something high in sugar, your blood sugar spikes, triggering an insulin release to neutralize the excessive sugar. But what usually happens is the pancreas overcompensates and your blood sugar plummets. To get your blood sugar back to normal, your body signals your brain to eat something sweet. And the cycle starts all over again. In the process, you are consuming large number of sugar calories – a simple carbohydrate.
Another place to watch your sugar is with something as innocuous as coffee. At 15 calories per packet, adding a couple of packets of sugar to your coffee can add up if you drink three or four cups per day. And that doesn’t even consider the 20 calories per teaspoon in the half-and-half you might also be adding to your coffee.
Around the holiday season, it is easy to overindulge. At seven calories per gram of wine, a 5 ounce serving has 124 calories. Three servings, not hard to do while at a party, provides a women with over 20% of her daily calorie requirement.
And the calories in alcohol are only half the story. Alcohol also lowers your food defenses so you are more apt to eat more snacks and other unhealthy options than you would have had you not been drinking. All and all, it can add up to a disaster calorie-wise. Instead, eat a healthy meal before consuming alcohol. Sip your drink to make it last longer, and you’ll be apt to drink less. Another trick is to add some soda water to your drink. It increases the volume of liquid without adding any calories.
While the vegetables and meat in a salad are healthy themselves, you have to be careful of the dressing you put on it; most dressings are loaded with calories. Balsamic vinaigrette is a good option; be sure to ask for it on the side so you can control how much you put on. For a change, try dipping a fork full of salad in the dressing instead of pouring it on. You still get the great taste, but actually use very little dressing.
By knowing about the hidden calories in sugar, alcohol, and salad dressings, you can be more aware of just how many calories you are actually consuming. Knowing is half the battle; the other half is doing.