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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Small Dietary Changes That Really Add Up

Sometimes it's just the little things you do that can really add up.  I'm thinking of the types of changes that may not seem like they would make a big difference.  I know I could never give up my coffee habit.  One change I have made is that I no longer add 2 teaspoons of sugar to every cup of coffee the way I once did.  I don't know about you but I am a big time coffee drinker.  I would estimate I drink at least 3-4 cups a day.  And let me do the math.  Two teaspoons of sugar 4 times a day amounts to a total of 8 teaspoons.  There are 15 calories in 1 teaspoon of sugar.  That means during a typical day that would add up to  an additional 120 calories a day for 4 cups of coffee.  Now I no longer add sugar to my coffee, but I admit I haven't given up the half and half.

Another change I have made is that I have become much more conscientious about serving sizes.  Yes, I admit it, I measure out how much cereal I put in my bowl before I eat it.  It might seem a little silly, but serving sizes can be deceptive.  As an example I am looking at the nutrition label of the Old Fashioned oatmeal I eat in the morning.  I eat 3/4 cup oatmeal daily and this adds up to a total of 225 calories.  However if I didn't measure it and made 1 cup of oatmeal instead, this would add up to a total of 300 calories for 1 bowl.  This would mean an additional 525 calories in a week.  It is easy to see how quickly all those additional calories could add up.

Here are some examples of a few simple healthy diet swaps that add up big.
  • Try mixing in fresh fruit to greek or plain yogurt instead of buying pre-sweetened yogurt.
  • Beware of juices with too much added sugar.  Drink water or seltzer instead.
  • Pack fresh fruit in your lunches for snacks instead of sugary and unhealthy junk foods.
  • Watch the mayo and try using mustard on your sandwiches.
  • Carefully check your cereal labels and steer clear of items containing too much added sugar.
  • Try eating a healthier baked potato instead of french fries.  You can add a variety of healthy toppings for a great treat.
  • Be careful of the salad dressing you choose.  For example 2 TBS. light blue cheese dressing saves a whopping 80 calories over 2 TBS. regular blue cheese.

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