Health & Fitness

In Search of Hidden Calories – Are you Doing it Right?

Is it the morning muffin or the afternoon snack that is sabotaging your healthy diet? Are you aware that you might be actually consuming more than 700 calories in your cup of coffee? This is only the beginning. What you do not know might be impairing your efforts in controlling your weight loss goals while at the same time causing your body more harm than you might be aware. Hidden calories found in most of today’s popular food products are believed to be the worst offenders in one’s endeavor towards a healthy body.

You might be aware about the number of calories in a huge burger and you might be consciously staying away from it, but you might not know the number of calories in your cup of coffee or calorie laden muffin. By understanding how these hidden calories can harm your body, you can adopt some simple rules while ordering meals thus helping to banish some of the biggest hidden calories found in your diet.

healthHaving an innocent looking muffin or a bagel at breakfast may not appear to be such a big deal, but diet experts and food scientists reveal that the size of breakfast items has quadrupled in recent years across the fast food industry. When they were first introduced, muffins were the size of tennis balls but now resemble soccer balls! And all this boils down to the amount of calories that are found in these foods which have also risen exponentially with the rise in sizes.

A number of people believe that a muffin is just a muffin or a bagel is just a bagel, but it is important to note the size of that particular muffin or bagel you are consuming. You might begin with consuming just half of that huge bagel or muffin and you will notice the difference eventually.

Another common mistake that most people assume is the kind of lunch items that they order with their meal. Almost every fast food chain now offers a wide variety of salad items to go with a lunch meal. But just because it is known as a salad does not mean it is low in calories. Your bowl of salad may contain healthy quantities of lettuce which is definitely low in calories but the rest of the ingredients that make up for the taste such as dense calorie dressings, crispy deep-fried noodles, deep fried croutons, bacon bits etc. are actually piling up the calorie count and the fat, thus negating the entire point of having a ‘healthy’ salad.

Instead of choosing a ready-made salad at the fast food counter or salad bar, opt for these tips in ensuring that your salad stays healthy and tasty. These include:

  • Customizing your salad. Even if your ready-made salad comes with a host of toppings and options, it does not mean that you have to take them all. Pick and choose the ones that you like while keeping a mental note of the number of toppings you are ordering. Cutting down on even a few of these toppings can help in controlling the number of calories you are consuming.
  • Lookout for interesting salads toppings. Try out something new or different such as hearts of palm as a new vegetable topping or get that extra kick of protein without the added fat such as grilled fish or tuna, hummus or boiled chick peas, boiled kidney beans or even a soft-boiled egg.
  • Try to avoid cheese as much as possible. Strew the salad with a low quantity of grated cheese instead of going for large cheese chunks or cubes. Look at cheese only as an added flavour or volume.