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Hidden Calories That Hurt Your Fitness Goals

Sometimes our best efforts lead us to less results because we are taking in calories that we don't even notice. We have cut out the obvious foods like fried foods, heavily processes foods, many sauces, and other things but something just isn't adding up. Check out these hidden calories that can sneak up on you and slow down your progress to your fitness goals.

Nutrition/post-workout shakes

Nutrition shakes are convenient and quick meals when you are in a hurry. But it's easy to get carried away and add a ton of fruit, some nut butter, full fat milk or coconut milk, an extra scoop of that delicious protein, etc. It all blends down pretty easily into a couple of cups of liquid. Whoops! That can be too much of a good thing.

You end up with more calories than you want or need, and because liquid goes down quickly, it doesn't satisfy you or fill you up the way that solid food does.

So treat your nutrition shake like a regular meal and portion things out accordingly.

Soft drinks and juices

Whether you call it "pop" or "cool drinks" or "soda" or "coke". Whatever you call the carbonated beverages that you drink, these are basically carbonated sugar drinks. There are multiple teaspoons of sugar in each can of these drinks.

The same is true of juices. Sometimes the fruit juices you buy, whether it is "all natural" or not, contain just as much or more sugar than those carbonated beverages.

Dried fruits

Like the nutrition shake, it's easy to get too much of a good thing — even if that good thing comes with vitamins and fiber.

Dried fruits such as apricots, raisins, dates etc. are essentially fiber and concentrated sugar. For instance, a small box of raisins has nearly 2 tablespoons of sugar. That adds up quick!

Nuts and nut butter

Nuts are a great source of healthy fat, but they’re also very easy to overeat.

Nut butters pack a mean calorie punch: One tablespoon of nut butter has about 100 calories. And one tablespoon is a lot smaller than you would expect!

One cup of almonds has over 800 calories, and you can easily scoop that up with a few handfuls.

Unless you're a skinny guy looking to put on some serious weight, go easy on the nuts. Reduce the nuts and go for 1–2 thumbs of nut butter or 1–2 thumbs of raw nuts per serving.

“Healthy” trick foods

This includes things like:

  • Protein/energy bars

  • Energy gels or drinks

  • Granola and granola bars

  • Trail mixes

  • Non-dairy products such as coffee creamer, soy desserts, etc.

  • Sweetened protein powders

Remember – read your labels!


A serving size of cheese is an ounce. That’s the size of your thumb. Keep that in mind next time you order a pizza.

Also, read the labels on your yogurt. Many are sweetened and higher in calories than you think.


This one should be pretty obvious. One or two beers or glasses of wine every day, or even every few days, can really add up.

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