Diet & Nutrition Tips

How Good is Your High-Cal Radar?

My favorite (not-so-favorite) thing to hear, when people are talking about needing to lose weight, is when they tell me how healthy they eat or how they know they aren’t eating any more than 1200 calories a day (which is practically impossible to do and NOT lose weight). The honest truth is, if you eat out AT ALL and aren’t looking up the nutritional information for the menu items, you have NO idea how many calories you are eating.

I’m in the fitness business myself and I know I make mistakes – and I’m “supposed to know better”. It’s very difficult to guess low calories foods, even for the pros. To test your High-Cal Radar, I did a little research today using popular foods (not just the stereotypical healthy foods) to offer a little (what my history teacher used to call a) ‘multiple guess’ test.

Choosing between different menu items, which food choice is LOWEST in calories:

A. 6″ Turkey & Ham Sub
B. Turkey & Ham Wrap

A. Fried Okra
B. French Fries

A. 20 BBQ Chicken Wings
B.  6 slices of pepperoni and cheese pizza

A. Cheeseburger Mini Sliders
B. Bacon Cheeseburger Burger

A. Bavarian Kreme Donut
B. Bluberry Crumb Donut

A. Sierra Turkey on Focaccia with Asiago cheese
B. Chicken Caesar Sandwich on 3 cheese bread

A. Cinnamon Chip Scone
B. Cherry Cheese Pastry Ring

A. Wrap bread
B. Italian Herb & Cheese 6″ bread

OK, now let’s see how you did.

Compare your Answers: (green for right, red for wrong)

A. 6″ Turkey & Ham Sub – 290 calories 
B. Turkey & Ham Wrap – 400 calories

A. Fried Okra – 417 calories   
B French Fries – 363 calories

A. 20 Chicken Wings – 2250 calories
B.  6 slices of pepperoni and cheese pizza – 1380 calories 

A. Cheeseburger Mini Sliders – 1250 calories
B. Full Bacon Cheeseburger Burger  – 1100 calories

A. Bavarian Kreme Donut – 270 calories 
B. Bluberry Crumb Donut – 500 calories

A. Sierra Turkey on Focaccia with Asiago cheese – 970 calories
B. Chicken Caesar on 3 cheese bread – 800 calories

A. Cherry Cheese Pastry Ring – 210 calories
B. Cinnamon Chip Scone – 530 calories

A. Wrap bread – 400 calories
B. Italian Herb & Cheese 6″ bread – 250 calories

Are you playing the Calorie Roulette Wheel every time YOU go out?

The moral of the story is it is just near impossible to guess what foods are better choices when it comes to calories in vs. calories out – especially when eating out. The best thing to do is to order a la cart and stick to whole foods like grilled chicken (with no sauce), steamed vegetables, potatoes, etc. Look up each item BEFORE you order to know exactly what you are eating. Compare wraps to sandwiches, soups to chili, etc as many times something that ‘appears’ healthy is actually higher in calories.

If you don’t mind playing the roulette wheel every time you go to dinner and throw away your hard earned calories burned on betting on the wrong menu item, then go for it! Other wise, take the time to look it up and only eat what you know is a safe bet so you can be a real winner.

REMEMBER: It takes 3,500 calories to burn one pound of fat. That’s a LOT of hard work to burn off – yet VERY easy to eat.

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Owner of Lift Vero and motivational "pfitness, pfood and pfaith" blogger in Vero Beach, Florida.

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