Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Calorie Terrorists Are Lurking

So what the heck is a Calorie Terrorist?  I'm referring to the products that are seemingly innocent in terms of calories, but which are really quite dangerous in terms of weigh management.  For example, salads, especially those in restaurants. 

The term "salad" suggests low calorie and healthy.  After all, how can you screw up lettuce and vegetables?  Easy, add in meat, cheese and dressing!  As a meat and potatoes guy, I made the same classic mistake as many others of assuming that because a salad was a salad it was a healthy alternative.  Thus, I would load up on a huge chef's salad complete with four types of meat, three types of cheese and plenty of thousand island dressing.  And of course, I made sure to leave off those icky condiments like tomatoes, peppers, carrots, cucumbers, etc - why would I want to screw up a perfectly good salad with that kind of junk?

And being a tyical guy, I decided that if a small amount was healthy, then a larger amount had to be super healthy.  Of course the flaw here was in assuming that the particular salad I was consuming was health at all.  So ultimately, I was fooling myself while consuming over 1000 calories...

BTW - just for reference - the McDonalds Premium Southwest Salad with Crisy Chicken has 430 calories.  Not extremely bad in the grand scheme of things, but probably more than you assumed.

Another great example of Calorie Terrorists are fruit juices.  Obviously, in terms of ingredients, true fruit juices are better for your body than soft drinks, but you might be surprised to find out how many calories may be lurking.  An 8oz glass of apple juice has around 115 calories.  Orange juice is about the same.

A cup of milk checks in at 170 calories. So if you like a glass of milk with breakfast, plus a bowl of cereal, you could easily be consuming 340 calories not including the cereal itself.  By comparison, skim milk still checks in about 110 calories, which can be very misleading, as many people consider skim milk to be very low in calories. 

Liquids in general are prime culprits in terms of calories, as most of them don't feel "heavy" thus there is the illusion that they don't contain much in the way of fat inducing ingredients.

So how do you defend yourself against Calorie Terrorists?  Read product labels and do food research.  The more you know, the safer you will be...  but you will only win the war if you fight back with a plan and a mission.

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