Trying to lose weight can be frustrating, especially if you’ve been sticking to a plan and not seeing results. If you feel like you’ve been doing everything right, but still can’t lose weight, consider these hidden sources of calories.

 If you feel like you’ve been doing everything right, but still can’t lose weight, consider these hidden source of calories.

Did you know that an extra 100 calories per day can lead to a 10 pound weight gain at the end of the year?   More important than that, though, is that it can get in the way of losing weight. Maybe you’ve been feeling like you are doing everything right, but the scale just won’t budge. And, maybe your waist measurement reads the same.

Sometimes, even the most innocent sounding foods can get in the way of your weight loss efforts.  Before you give up for good, it’s important to evaluate your whole diet, even the  bite of this and the bite of that.

Weight Loss Versus Weight Maintenance

Before I go on, I want to be clear on the difference between weight loss and weight maintenance. And, let me assure you, there is a huge difference.

Weight loss is work. It requires you to do something above and beyond what you are currently doing to lose weight. It’s harder for some people than others.  Weight maintenance on the other hand, doesn’t require the same level of effort. A few bites of anything I list below is unlikely to result in weight gain. It could however, slow or prevent you from reaching your weight loss goal. That’s why, if you are struggling,  it’s important to consider any sources of hidden calories. That is, calories you have not been considering.

The following are six often hidden sources of calories are often not considered.

Sugarless Gum

That’s right!  While most sugar free gum has only 5 calories per piece, if you chew a lot, it can add up quickly. Keep track of how much gum you are chewing, and see if this might be adding up to more than you realized.

Mints or Hard Candy

A breath mint or piece of hard candy here and there isn’t a problem. But, if you find yourself sucking on them all day long, the calories could be adding up to more than you realize. Like gum, even the sugar-free varieties have some calories.  Just one small piece of hard candy provides ~25 calories.  A few of those throughout the day and you can easy take in that extra 100 calories.


Have you heard the old saying “do you want fries with your ketchup?” If you love this salty condiment, you could be consuming more calories than you realize. Just 1 tablespoon of ketchup contains 15 calories.  For most ketchup lovers, 1 tablespoon is not near enough. Don’t worry, you can still have your ketchup. Just be sure to pay attention to how much you are consuming, so you can determine it those extra calories are adding up to more than you thought.

Coffee Creamer

Whether you stop by Star Bucks or you drink your coffee at home, half and half creamer may be packing in more calories than expected.  One small single-serve container of half-n-half creamer is ~20 calories. If you like it, it’s easy to add 3 or 4 of those to your cup of coffee. If you pour your creamer from a pint size or liter container, you might be getting even more. The next time you have a cup of coffee, measure your creamer, and see if its been a hidden source of extra calories in your diet.

A Bite Of This And A Bite Of That

Do you taste your favorite foods but thinks it’s too small of a portion to count? This is actually quite common among my weight loss clients. Bites can add up very quickly, so if you’re tracking your intake, track them too. As a way to evaluate whether or not your daily bites may be the culprit, keep a zip-lock baggy on hand. Each time you want to take a bit of something, put the bite into the baggy instead of your mouth.  That includes the Hershey kiss you swiped from your co-workers desk, or the couple bites that were left on your child’s plate.  Check out what you have at the end of the day.  You might be surprised.

Too Much Peanut Butter

I love peanut butter, and a lot of my clients do to. Adding some to your piece of toast adds loads of flavor, but too much can get in the way of reaching your weight loss goals.  To make sure you are eating the amount that you planned, measure it before spreading. And, avoid eating an extra spoonful from the peanut butter jar.

If you relate to this post, you might also like my post on fitness advice that won’t result in weight loss.

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