Scan this list of 9 commonly eaten foods. It's likely that you are overindulging in at least one of them. Remember, even healthy foods can derail your diet if you eat too much of them.
When is the last time you measured your cereal before pouring it into a bowl? Have you ever checked the Nutrition Facts label to determine the correct serving size? For some cereals, one cup is the recommended serving size. If you pour your cereal straight into the bowl, chances are good you are eating up to two servings. And if you refill the bowl (as many of us do) you may be eating 3-4 servings.
One of the easiest food items to over consume is pasta. Order a pasta dish at a restaurant and you probably get more calories than is recommended for your entire day. A service size of pasta is 2 oz cooked pasta. The ‘cooked’ part makes a huge difference here. Pasta increases in size/weight after cooking so 2 oz of uncooked pasta is more like 4 oz of cooked pasta.
3. Chicken Breast
Lean protein is healthy, right? Not if you eat too much of it. If you are eating a whole chicken breast for dinner, you might be eating too much. The recommended single portion of chicken is 3-4 ounces, about the size of a deck of playing cards. Some people use the palm of their hand as a guide. Depending on the vendor, some chicken breasts are twice or even three times the size of a recommended serving. The calories in chicken breast can add up and ruin your diet.
4. Coffee Creamer
Your morning cup of java might be the most fattening—and unhealthy—thing you consume all day if you add flavored creamer. And you're not off the hook if you use the fat-free variety. A single serving of liquid creamer is one tablespoon. Do you pull out the measuring spoons when you add cream to your coffee? Probably not. If you are drinking more than the recommended serving (remember to count each cup of coffee!) then the small amount of fat in the "fat-free" creamer starts to add up quickly.
5. Cooking Spray
You might skip the oil or butter when you cook healthy meals at home. This is good! But you might be neglecting to account for the calories in your cooking spray. If you use PAM to avoid adding calories to your food, you might want to know that a single serving of the spray is 1/4 of one second. Do you keep a stopwatch in your kitchen? It's not likely that you do. The Center for Science in the Public Interest evaluated the spray and reported that a more typical six-second spray would have 50 calories and 6 grams of fat.
A serving of fresh fruit is a healthy alternative to a high-fat dessert. But if you are counting your calories or watching your sugar intake you need to monitor how much you are eating. Take grapes for example. If you sit down with a bowl of grapes, you might add one serving of grapes to your food diary. Wrong! A single (cup) serving of grapes is only 16 grapes. Get out your calculator before you start chomping.
Sugary drinks are one of the easiest things to over consume. We often put them next to us and mindlessly sip away. But the calories in soda add up, even if you only drink one a day! And for many reasons, diet soda is not a good alternative. A serving size of Coke is 12 ounces. But most of us drink plenty more than that when we fill up at the soda fountain. A 7-11 Double Gulp contains 50 ounces and 575 calories
8. Salad Dressing
A healthy salad is a great alternative to a high starch, high-fat meal. But the salad dressing can add calories that could make any prudent calorie counter blush. By some estimates, many restaurant salads contain over 500 calories, most often due to the fatty dressing. A serving size of salad dressing is just two tablespoons. If you order your dressing on the side, your waiter will probably bring you much more than that and it you're like many restaurant diners, you pour all of it on your salad.
Avocado is no doubt a super food. Full of nutrients and delicious too. But beware, the calories in avocado add up quickly. A serving size of avocado is 1/3 of an avocado (50g or 1.7oz) with 80 calories. So next time you load up your healthy avocado toast with the full contents of an avocado, realize that is almost 250 calories of your day gone in a few bites.
Keeping track of your calories by measuring your food will make a huge difference if you are working on losing weight. Use measuring cups and spoons. Small digital food scales are an inexpensive add to your kitchen that can make a big difference in your waistline.
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