Sneaky Calories

Sneaky Calories

Are you aware of the sneaky calorie sources that you may be consuming in your day-to-day life?  What are some sneaky calorie sources?


Let’s look at ketchup as an example, ketchup is mostly just tomatoes right? Well, sort of! Ketchup is certainly fine in moderation but 1 tbsp has about 20 calories and 4g of sugar (which is essentially equivalent to a packet of sugar). This won’t derail your healthy eating habits in moderation, but it’s very easy to unknowingly pour 2, 3, or more tablespoons of ketchup on our plate. The same applies to barbecue sauce, most barbecue sauces have about the same nutrition info as ketchup (because the base of bbq sauce is essentially just ketchup), sometimes they may have added sources of sugar like molasses as well. Again, this can be a great way to jazz up plain chicken or veggies, but just keep in mind how much you are using when factoring into your calories for the day.


Another source of sneaky calories can be found in the add-ins that you enjoy in your coffee or tea. Often times we underestimate just how much creamer, sugar or honey we may be adding to our coffee or tea. 2 tablespoons of half and half comes in at around 45 calories, which is perfectly fine to enjoy in your morning cup of joe, while 1 tbsp of honey comes in at around 60 calories and 15g of sugar which is equally fine to enjoy in your favorite cup of tea, however, like the condiments discussed above, we want to take these into consideration if we are on a weight loss journey or if we are trying to maintain our weight and avoid unnecessary added calories in our diet.


We merely scratched the surface on this topic of “sneaky calories” but the main take home message here is to read labels and be mindful of what you are adding to your food and beverages daily! I also always recommend utilizing a tracking app like MyFitnessPal to help you learn about how your calories are adding up each day!


Maryann Walsh, MFN, RD, CDE
Registered Dietitian/ Nutrition Communications Specialist