Undercover Calories - These Secrets May Be The Key Reason You Can't Lose Weight!

Stuck in a rut even though you're watching what you eat? The secret to all your troubles may be 'hidden' in the foods you're eating! Learn more.

These Secrets May Be The Key Reason You Can't Lose Weight!

Have you tried repeatedly to lose those last 10 vanity pounds with no success? Stuck in a rut even though you're watching what you eat and working out like a fiend?

The secret to all your troubles may be 'hidden' in the foods you're eating!

Serving size, scientifically-named ingredients, and ambiguous labeling terms like "other carbohydrates" can lead to an increased intake in calories, fat, and carbs that may be unintentional!

Make Mine With Rocket Propellant, Please!

In the United States, anything that can be consumed as food is required to have a nutrition label from the manufacturer. You've seen them on everything from cereal to bottled water.

The problem is that, while the manufacturers are prominently displaying the serving size on the package, we as consumers often overlook this very important number!

Take a Digiorno's frozen Supreme Pizza, for example. Without reading ahead, how many servings do you imagine would be in this frozen delight? Would it feed two people? Three?

Try six! That's one slice of pizza per person. And of course, no one is gonna eat just one slice of pizza, right?

One slice of Digiorno's Supreme pizza is 370 calories - each. Six grams of saturated fat - each. One thousand milligrams of water-retaining sodium - each.

Multiply that by the three slices you're probably gonna have when you eat it and you get... 975 calories, 18 grams of artery-clogging saturated fat, and 3,000 milligrams of sodium in one meal.

Just in case you haven't lost your lunch thinking about that, here's a little something extra: Digiorno's uses sodium nitrate in their pizza. Not a big deal? Never heard of it? Let me shed some light for ya:

"Sodium nitrate is used as an ingredient in fertilizers, pyrotechnics, as a food preservative, and as a solid rocket propellant, as well as in glass and pottery enamels; the compound has been mined extensively for those purposes."

Nothing like rocket propellant to make you wanna reach for that extra slice!

Now, just in case you're reading this and thinking, "Yeah, but that's pizza. My body is a temple. I eat and drink healthier than that!" Let's look at Vitamin Water then! The name implies that its 'good for you' because it has both the words 'vitamin' and 'water' in it.

Upon closer inspection, you might wanna rethink what you use to hydrate yourself if calories and sugar are a concern for you!

Just because the drink comes in a bottle, most folks assume that one bottle will be enough for one person. The serving size should be one, right?

Wrong! One bottle of Vitamin Water is actually two and a half servings. That means instead of having 50 calories, it has 125 calories. Instead of 13 sugars, that's 32.5!

And if you're substituting Vitamin Water for the 8-10 eight ounce glasses of water you should be drinking every day, that's an additional 1250 calories a day and 325 carbohydrates from sugar you're ingesting every day!

Nibbler Syndrome

Maybe you really watch what you eat and diligently work out. Maybe you keep an eye out for portion size and still can't figure out where the mini-muffin top around your midsection comes from.

Ask your kids!

Most parents like to see their children happy. They take them places like McArches or give 'em hotdogs and chips at lunch without really looking at what's in their kids food.

Many parents also grab a nibble of the food their kids eat, too! That adds up to unnecessary calories and fat that you hadn't accounted for in your daily food journal.

How much? Let's see:

Fixing lunch for the kiddos at home?

Item Calories Fats Carbs
One Bite Of Hotdog, Bun, With Ketchup 69 3.6 7
One Lays' Sour Cream & Onion Chip 16 1 1.5
One Baby Carrot, Raw 4 0 0.8
Total From Nibbling Kids Food 89 4.6 7

Betcha didn't account for the extra 4+ grams of fat in your food journal!

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Maybe you took the kids to play on the playground at McArches?

Item Calories Fats Carbs
Three French Fries 69 3.5 8.7
One Bite Of Cheeseburger 37 1.5 4.1
One "Sip" Of Oreo McFlurry 46 1.4 7.4
Total From Nibbling Kids Food At McArches 152 6.4 20.2
Handful Of Almonds While Prepping For Dinner 42 3.7 1.4

If you're on Atkins, that's your entire daily allotment of carbs during the first two weeks (induction phase)!

This writer's weakness is almonds. They're on my kitchen counter along with the other healthy snacks.

It all adds up!

Mindless nibbling can throw your daily caloric intake out the window if you aren't careful. Are you gonna gain 20 pounds from nibbling on French fries? Not overnight, to be sure. But if you're training for a competition or trying to lose those last 10 pounds, it can certainly make it difficult!

A Spoonful Of Sugar

But you're beyond nibbling! You watch portion sizes! You eat healthy snacks like yogurt, granola, and trail mix! It must be genetics or a slow metabolism that's keeping that extra weight around, right?

Check one more time, dear reader! Your healthy snacks are loaded with some pretty heinous stuff!

Ever wonder what's in that Yoplait Strawberry Fat-Free Yogurt you're eating?

Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Low Fat Milk, Sugar, Strawberries, Modified Corn Starch, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Nonfat Milk, Kosher Gelatin, Citric Acid, Tricalcium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Pectin, Colored with Carmine, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3.

See that 2nd ingredient? Table sugar. And you realize that ingredients are labeled according to how much of the product is made up of that particular ingredient, right? That means 17% of this product is sugar. Nice.

The High Fructose Corn Syrup is your worst enemy, though. Two studies cited by USA Today showed that mercury, which is a toxin that can have debilitating effects on the nervous system, has been found in almost half of tested samples of commercial high fructose corn syrup.

Fine in moderation, huh? Yuck. Either way, its just as bad for the body as sugar in regards to the way its chemically broken down by your digestive system.

Often times companies will display "fat free" in exchange for a higher concentration of sugar in their products. We as consumers choose these products, believing them to be better for us when in reality, we're exchanging fat for simple carbohydrates more often than not.

What About Granola? It's Healthy, Right?

According to CalorieKing.com, one cup (4.3oz) of granola contains a whopping 598 calories, 5.5 grams of saturated fat, and 24.5 grams of carbohydrates from sugar!

In order to mask the completely unappealing taste of raw whole oats, manufacturers load the ingredient list with sugar and fat to make it more appealing to the taste buds. But in return, you add unnecessary carbs and fat to the equation.

Lastly, Trail Mix

In New Zealand and Australia, trail mix is known as scroggin. The name scroggin may be an acronym, taken from the first letter of eight ingredients: sultana grapes, chocolate, raisins, orange peel, ginger, glucose (sugar), improvisation or imagination (i.e., the chef is supposed to add a favorite ingredient), and nuts.

The word gorp, an alternate name for trail mix, may stand for "good old raisins and peanuts", "granola, oats, raisins, and peanuts", or "gobs of raw protein". These are probably backronyms or folk etymology. The Oxford English Dictionary cites a 1913 reference to the verb gorp, meaning "to eat greedily".

Regardless of its meaning, trail mix is intended for those out-of-door types: hikers, trail runners, and other such adventurers as an energy source from carbohydrates in order to stay on the trail, get to the peak, or just enjoy a snack along the way.

Too often, though, because we equate trail mix with healthy foods, we find ourselves eating it at our desk at work or on the couch with the remote control in the other hand. Sedentary lifestyles and high carbohydrate snacks do not create the svelt, trim body you're after!

Conclusion

Really take the time to get to know your nutrition label and food ingredients! Watching the portion size on each box, bag, or bottle you purchase can go a long way to accurately tracking your daily caloric intake (and stretches the ol' grocery bill too when you know that one pizza is suppose to last you 6 servings)!

Watch what you put in your mouth - nibbling adds calories. If you must nibble, ensure that you've got healthier portions to nibble on. Sweet potato fries, organic protein bars, and other such snacks can replace high fat, high calorie nibbles and keep your figure (both the one around your waistline and the one in your food journal) accurate!

Don't take "healthy snacks" at face value. Find out what's really in your food and make sure that perception isn't the only reason you think its healthy.

Taking the time to learn what you're putting in your mouth can go a long way to getting you the body you're striving for!