1. Cocktail Hour. The evening ritual of a frozen margarita or Pina Colada may seem like a harmless and well deserved treat after a long day, but be warned these cocktails can really add up. An 8 ounce frozen margarita will pack in approximately 300 calories and an 8 oz Pina Colada is almost 450 calories! If you drink one of these beverages three times a week you could easily gain two pounds in a month.
2. Eating from the “Bag”. The simple act of mindlessly eating your favorite chips or crackers while watching TV, reading a book, or hanging out with friend can easily add 300 - 500 calories in a sitting. A one ounce serving of corn chips is equivalent to 12 chips and 150 calories. It is not uncommon for someone to eat two to three times that amount while unconsciously eating from the bag. Munching from the bag two to three times a week could easily add one pound over a four week period. To combat this behavior, start by portioning out a serving of chips on a plate and leave the bag in the pantry.
3. Cleaning the Kids Plate. Cleaning your child’s plate by eating their “leftovers” can really add up. On average every extra bite of food will be approximately 25 calories. If you think that you eat two bites off of your kids plate, three times a day, seven days a week, this could add up to one pound over four weeks.
4. Ordering In or Dining Out. Busy summer days can leave one tired and un-inspired to cook, which often leads to ordering in or dining out. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying a meal out or taking a night off from kitchen duties and ordering take out, if you are not aware of the choices being made the calories can really add up. Not only are restaurant meals known for their large portion sizes, but they usually have higher fat and sodium content than the home cooked version. For example, a traditional chinese dinner of Broccoli and Chicken with 1 cup of rice is approximately 750 calories, compared to a homemade version will be approximately 400 calories. Do this three times a week and this could easily add up to 1 - 2 pounds a month.
5. Self Serve Treats. Frozen yogurt can make a delightful summer afternoon treat, and when reading the nutrition facts it appears to be a sensible choice when it comes to choosing a healthy food. However, the deception of frozen yogurt lies in the portion of self serve cups. A “serving size” is 4 ounces and can range between 80 - 130 calories. However a “small” serve serve cup at most of the popular frozen yogurt chains will be approximately 16 ounces, and a large cup can run up to 32 ounces. Fill your cup to the brim (or even half way) and you are in for a high calorie treat. Your 80 - 130 calorie “small” treat can easily turn into a 320 - 520 calorie meal...and this is before toppings! Indulge in self serve frozen treats 3 times a week and you could gain 1.5 pounds over the course of a month.
To summarize how these small “mindless” acts of eating can add up check the above graphic!
Michelle J. Stewart RD, LD/NMichelle J. Stewart is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian and better known as The Nutrition Planner. Founder of Michelle Stewart Consulting & Associates who has been leading the way to a healthier you for more than 25 years. Michelle is a Certified Diabetes Educator, and also holds certifications in Adult, Adolescent, and Childhood Obesity and is a Certified Wellness Coach. A Master’s In Public Health keeps her abreast of the latest health concerns and on the cutting edge of intervention. Focusing on aging and longevity with a holistic approach to living your best life is her pathway to inner peace and happiness.
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