Peek-a-boo: Hidden calories

Peek-a-boo: Hidden Calories

Peek-a-boo is awesome…

Well actually, it’s only awesome as a game shared between parents and babies (or small children).  It’s no fun when the surprise is hidden calories.

Are master magicians fooling you?

Food companies are master magicians.

They’re able to skillfully hide calories in foods without you even knowing it. The billion dollar food industry’s sneaking labeling and advertising over the years has led many people astray. You’re probably one of them. With good intention, you’re probably devouring what you’ve been told to be health foods; however, they’re gradually making you unhealthy, fat, and even moody.

Don’t beat yourself up. Before you’re done reading this, you’ll be on track and know exactly what to watch for when buying food. No longer will you allow foods and food companies to play peek-a-boo with you. No more beating your head against the wall in frustration, because you’re eating healthy yet gaining weight. Or working out and barely seeing results if any. If that sounds like you, than let’s uncover some of the most notorious peek-a-boo foods that likely have you fooled.

Eating Dried Fruit

Fruit is fruit, right?

Wrong. The only healthy fruit is fresh fruit. With fresh fruit, you get the fiber, water, and all the healthy nutrients. With dried fruit, you’re essentially eating candy. I’m not saying you should eat candy instead of dried fruit. What I am saying is you’re getting a mega dose of fructose (fruit sugar) when you consume dried fruit.

Like all altered or processed foods, dried fruit enables you to eat more of it before feeling full. To make matters worse, dried fruit is very dense in energy, particularly sugar. If you’re going to eat fruit, then enjoy fresh fruit

Enjoying Fruit Juice & Smoothies

Another misconception is that fruit juice is healthy for you.

A little fruit juice is OK, but not necessary. By little, I mean 2 to 4 ounces once a day. Actually, it’s best if you just avoid fruit juice altogether.

First, the food companies make it so darned hard for the average person to decipher whether it’s actually 100% juice or not.

Second, even the pure fruit juice is loaded with calories. As with dried fruit, you’re going to be healthier and slimmer by enjoying fresh fruit. Yes, fruit juice is delicious and some may actually be 100% pure juice. The problem is you’re drinking anywhere from 200 to 300 calories per serving…if you’re actually measuring out a single serving. Most people have a multiple servings all at once.

One regular sized orange has about 62 calories and 15 grams of carbs with 12 grams derived from sugar. Now, take a 15-ounce serving of orange juice for example. It contains roughly 220 calories with 51 grams of carbs. 45 grams of those carbs are from sugar. If you swallow down a few servings of OJ, than you a double those figures and your figure will suffer.

Most people can’t or won’t eat 4 oranges all at once because one is usually filling and satisfying enough. However, it’s easy to consume 4 times the calories in a glass if you only have one serving. To make matters worse, many people then eat a meal along with the juice. That’s like adding insult to injury.

The same goes for fruit smoothies. If you’re looking to get fat, then drink smoothies. They’re just as bad as and often worse than fruit juice.

My advice is to do fruit, not fruit juice or fruit smoothies. If you must, then indulge in them sparingly and infrequently.  A rule of thumb is to never drink calories. They go down easy, but add up quickly.

Are there other hidden calorie foods?

In addition to dried fruit and fruit smoothies, there are many other hidden calorie foods you should avoid or eat in moderation.

    • Nuts and seeds. In moderation, these are healthy. The problem with them is they are small, delicious, and easy to devour. Have a small serving and put the bag or container away. Despite being loaded with good fat, it’s still fat. Also, nuts and seeds are calorie-rich foods.
    • Sports drinks. You don’t need sports drinks unless you’re a professional athlete. These drinks are marketed to the public – who are predominantly non-athletes. Most people aren’t depleting their electrolytes and in dire need of a sports drink. Even after a workout, you don’t need them. Unless you’ve been strenuously working out for 1 to 2 hours and sweating profusely, you’ll be just fine with water and your typical post-workout meal.
    • Cereal. Probably 99% of this stuff is nothing more than sugar, flour (bread), and carbohydrates in a box. Beware of anything labeled food, yet able to sit on a shelf for a year or more without spoiling. Sorry Captain Crunch. I’ll miss you.
    • Salads. Whaaaaaa? These are great…if you don’t smoother them in high-calorie, high-sugar, and high-fat dressings. Most dressings are high in all three, and generally a serving is only 2 tablespoons, yet contains on average 200 calories. Once you add a lot of cheese and other items, you’ve turned an otherwise healthy food into a junk food. Enjoy salads but go easy on the dressing, cheese, and other toppings.
    • Muffins. Oh my gosh! This one really ticks me off, especially the breakfast muffins offered at many places and coffee shops. A muffin is nothing more than cake. It’s loaded with flour, fat, sugar, and other crap – all that makes you fat. A muffin is not your friend and it’s not healthy. Just say no.

Now you’re aware of some of the most notorious foods with hidden calories. Beware. There are more, but if you simply eliminate those you’ve just learned about, you’ll be much healthier and slimmer. Remember, peek-a-boo is only cute with babies and small children. Don’t play it with your food.

Photo, Photo #2, Photo #3, Photo #4