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10 Surprising Ways That You’re Eating More Than You Think

Here are some ways that calories sneak up in the most unexpected places.

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Traditional latinamerican mexican sauce guacamole in clay bowlShutterstock / Larisa Blinova

Portion Distortion

Even healthy foods like nuts, avocados and whole grains can be eaten in excess. Sure, these foods pack a nutrition punch, but they also hit hard with calories. Keep portions in check, because a whole avocado has over 300 calories and 1/2 cup of almonds is a whopping 413 calories.

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Matcha green vegan smoothie with chia seeds and mint in glass in hands of female wearing white sweaterFoxys Forest Manufacture/Shutterstock

Drinking Your Fruits & Vegetables

Yep—fresh fruit and greens may seem like the perfect cup in the morning, but research shows that it’s best to pick up a fork and eat a salad instead of sipping it. The smoothies served at popular restaurants often serve up 16-ounce drinks with more than 600 calories each.

Fill up on these veggie-packed dinners instead.

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Chocolate chip cookies on rustic backgroundShutterstock / Alena Haurylik

Indulging in “Natural” Foods

Just because something is dressed up in a label touting organic, natural or gluten-free doesn’t make it a low-calorie alternative. If it walks like a cookie and talks like a cookie, it’s still a cookie! The calories don’t change with fancy labels. In fact, your food label could be more misleading than you’d think.

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Assortment of unhealthy snacks. Diet or weight control concept.Shutterstock / Ekaterina Markelova

Snacking on the Go

If you find yourself famished and heading toward the snack drawer, you might be about to eat more than you want. Lots of snack foods, like bars, can boast the same amount of calories as a whole meal. Here’s how to choose the right protein bar.

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Grocery store shelf with bottles of Gatorade.Shutterstock / Sheila Fitzgerald

Drinking Sports Drinks

Sport drinks are meant for those playing sports, not spectators. If you find yourself snacking on popular sport-related products, you may be taking in more calories than your body needs. In most cases, water is best for hydration and rounds out with zero calories. Add some oomph with these flavored water ideas.

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Coconut oil on table close-upAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Going Coco for Coconuts

Coconut products are popping up everywhere, and they boast a hearty dose of calories. Just one cup of coconut milk in your favorite Indian dish packs in a whopping 550 calories. Plus, coconut oil has 117 calories in one tablespoon! Instead, opt for a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut flakes. Enjoy these coconut recipes in moderation.

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Nutrition factsShutterstock / alexskopje

Eating More Than One Serving

Some food packages may look like one serving, but will actually have more per package. For example, popular ramen noodles are usually two servings per package and similarly, individual frozen pot pies are often two servings. Looks can be deceiving, so be sure to read the fine print on food labels.

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bowls of various dip sauces, top viewShutterstock / MaraZe

Using Condiments

Aioli (AKA mayo), pesto, hummus, tahini and peanut dressings are popular new condiments that can quickly add 100 to 200 calories to your favorite sandwich or salad. Consider low-cal alternatives like mustard on a sandwich and a squeeze of fresh lemon on your favorite salad.

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The bread dipped in olive oil with herbs and spicesShutterstock / Ruslan Mitin

Dipping Too Much

No double dipping, please! Whether it’s ranch dip for your favorite vegetables or olive oil on fresh bread, you may be soaking up more than you realize with each bite. Consider measuring out your favorite dips and drizzling them on instead.

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Red wine pouring into glassesShutterstock / Africa Studio

Kicking Back with a Cocktail

Mixed drinks are definitely the greatest calorie offenders, but when you relax with a couple beers or glasses of wine, that can quickly add up, too. Check out this list of skinny drinks to make a quick switch in what you sip.

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Legs of men standing on scales weight background fitness room.Seasontime/Shutterstock

Dieting Instead of a Lifestyle Change

Consider this: the more you restrict the more you crave. This research points out that the more a person restricts eating (dieting) the greater likelihood of weight gain not weight loss. The mere thought of not eating sweets can make a person crave sweets more.

If you’re aiming to lose weight, don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep, look at your eating habits and cook nutrient-dense meals over simply cutting calories.

Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RDN
As a registered dietitian Wendy Jo touches on the science and facts behind food, but as a gardener and world traveler she savors the classical dishes our great-grandmothers once made. When she’s not in her kitchen, you can find her and her family exploring the US in their campervan, Olaf!
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