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Hidden Calories - Tips For Eating Less Calories to Lose Weight

Updated on February 18, 2013

Are You Missing Calories?

If you are trying to lose weight but you're struggling it might be due to some hidden calories that are preventing you from eating less calories to lose weight.

Many people who have altered a diet in an attempt to lose weight still have areas for improvement, and many of those are due to these hidden calories, or just those calories that don't seem like much at the time but add up to a real number at the end of the day.

If you can't seem to figure out how to lose a pound or have hit a weight loss plateau and need to see if your diet is the issue, check out these hiding places for extra calories to see if you can eradicate some excess calories and get your weight loss back on track.

Where to Look to Reduce Calories

To find the most likely places that calories may be hiding in your diet, check out these common spots.

Breakfast Fat

You may have switched to whole wheat toast and cereal high in fiber in the morning, but you may be forgetting about some high calorie fat that goes along with it. On your toast, check your topping. High fat things like butter and peanut butter are packed with calories. On your cereal, if you are pouring whole or 2% milk, you could save calories with skim.

Your Drink

What is it that you drink at meals and in between? Certain drinks are the source of many calories and if you drink them often it really adds up. Juice and normal soda have a lot of calories, so if these are staples in your diet, a switch to drinking water will work in your favor. Make juice or soda an infrequent addition to your diet instead.

Salad Fixings

A salad is a very good choice at lunch, but the dressing you use may be packed with calories and fat. In fact, the dressing may be making your salad a very poor choice. Go for a light dressing instead. Also, if cheese is one of the toppings on your salad, you are looking at more calories. Stick with toppings like tomato, pepper, carrots, and cucumbers. In addition, having several vegetables on your salad minimizes the need for dressing in the first place.

Afternoon Snack

The afternoon snack is a diet killer if you are not prepared. If you are in an office, or even at home, you will have access to quick foods for your afternoon snack. Most of these are not good form a calorie perspective. Instead, plan ahead and have an apple or banana ready. That way, you can avoid high calorie snack foods.

Dinner Portion

Lots of people who have started eating better make a change to the food but forget the portion. This is especially true at dinner. Eating less means you may feel hungry at first, and that is normally satisfied at dinner. Plus, dinner is widely regarded by many as the "big" meal. Even if you are eating well, eating a lot of that food will ramp up your calories, so keep the portion size appropriate to capitalize on everything good you have done all day.

Nighttime Snack

Like the afternoon snack, these snacks are rarely good. In fact, you may need to make a deal with yourself that you will avoid it altogether. If you need a nighttime snack, however, plan on one. Be ready at dinner and know what your nighttime options will be so you are ready. If you don't you will make a spur of the moment decision late at night, which leads to trouble.

Find The Hidden Calories

If you look in these places you can find the hidden calories in your diet so that you can continue to cut weight. Once you figure out where they live, you can start eating less calories to lose weight.


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    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 

      6 years ago from The Shire

      I'll have to start paying attention to those afternoon snacks. Thanks for the great tips!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      7 years ago from Dubai

      A key to revealing the secret of hidden calories.Useful voted up.

    • landocheese profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks for the comment. I find that a salad with veggies is better than one without veggies but with dressing. I can eat it just like that. I share your nighttime snack. A little turkey is perfect.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      All great advice, landocheese. I used to pile butter on my toast at breakfast, but I'm finding that if I cook my eggs in a bit of butter, I don't need any on my toast. The same thing goes with salad dressing. I'm finding that the less I use, the more the flavor of the vegetables comes out. As for snacking at night, if I munch on a couple of small pieces of lean protein (e.g., baked turkey or chicken) I'm a lot more satisfied than if I had a bowl of popcorn. Rated up and useful!


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