Saturday, February 13, 2010

Watch Those Incidentals!!

incurred casually and in addition to the regular or main amount.

In all my years helping people to lose weight, I have figured out some tricks to get a client's weight loss moving again when it has stalled. The one I want to focus on today is the accurate tracking of "incidentals" in one's diet. I'm not merely referring to the bites of left over chicken finger or cheeseburger off their kid's plate that wasn't accounted for......but a more sneaky and insidious form of excess calories, the kind when you're measuring everything with your little scoopers and measuring spoons.......and STILL going over by a couple hundred calories per day?? How is this possible?
I'll tell you how. The next time you grab your half-cup or cup scooper, dunk it into that oatmeal container, scoop it up and level it off- try throwing that on the scale. You will find that there are more grams of oats on the scale than what the package label says is supposed to be in a half cup serving. To get the true serving size, you can't even fill the scooper all the way to the top. I know, ugh. A little more bad news, nuts are even more heinous. If the package says 1/4 cup is a serving size, and you level off the scooper full of nuts you are easily getting another half a serving. This is a big deal, because nuts are so calorie and fat dense. As an experiment, I weighed out my 28 grams of nuts (the serving listed on the package) and then put that into the 1/4 c measuring cup- it wasn't even close to filling it up. Bummer.
On to the GOOD news about all of this? Now you know, and now you can easily shave a pretty decent amount of calories off of your daily total and get back to where you THOUGHT you were in the first place. Oh, and.....I didn't even mention all that coffee mate and those packets of Splenda you weren't counting.....