When it comes to your diet, it's all in the details. Sure, you can be eating healthy throughout the day, but it may be the bites here and there that are steering you off track. With a few easy tips and some extra awareness, you can save a few hundred calories during the day without a diet or added time on the treadmill. Breaking down the day, we've spotted some common habits that are easily fixable. Are you guilty?
- Adding toppings: Unfortunately, toppings make everything better — except your waistline. Consider what you're adding to your oatmeal or morning cup of Greek yogurt. Adding crunchy granola can cost you about 300 calories, and drizzling maple syrup on pancakes will set you back 200 calories — with the bonus of a sugar crash. When in doubt, opt for fresh fruit over syrup and a small sprinkling of sliced almonds instead of granola.
- Choosing the "fancy" coffee: If you like your coffee black, then you're in the clear. But if you prefer a foam-filled latte or a sugary iced beverage, then beware. Yes, you're getting your caffeine fix, but you're also getting an extra 130 calories in liquids that aren't the least bit filling.
- Having a glass of juice: In this case, we're not talking about the green kind, but rather that sugary glass of fruit juice. Although it is tasty, one cup of apple juice has 28 g of sugar and one cup of orange is 100 calories. You're better off eating the real deal.
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- Trying the office treats: It's great when co-workers bring homemade treats and snacks, but trying them (even just a bite) can add up. Grabbing that birthday cupcake or that homemade cookie will run you over 100 calories — and that's if you stop at one. Try to indulge in these types of treats and baked goods only on occasion, and when you do, savor them.
- Stopping at the candy dish: Who doesn't love a 3 p.m. pick-me-up at the candy dish? One small handful of M&M's is about 176 calories. This yummy habit could set you back about 880 calories a week!
- Loading up on dressing: Salad dressing can be tricky, and the calories add up. Creamy options are loaded in fat and calories, easily dooming a healthy salad. Try ordering the dressing on the side or opting for a simple vinegar and oil dressing.
- Free samples: Nothing beats the satisfaction of a free sample at the grocery store. But if you're watching your diet, then a few samples could set you back. Trying the new type of cracker or the daily selection of cheese will add up. And because you aren't really enjoying the food while pushing a cart, it's not necessarily worth the extra calories.
- Small bites while cooking: The next time you go to cook up a good meal, be mindful of the bites you take during preparation. A few bites of bread, spoonfuls of alfredo sauce, and slices of cheese could turn into their own meal. Cook with awareness so that by the time you get to the dinner table, you can enjoy all your hard work.
- Nighttime munchies: Watch out for those late-night cravings! The calling for chocolate or your leftovers can be hard to resist, but they will completely offset a healthy day of eating. Try to keep yourself busy when this happens by winding down for bed or reading a book. If you're still hungry, then try a glass of tea with a piece of fruit rather than a bowl of cereal or a few Girl Scout cookies.