Calorie intake! Not something most of us want to talk about or admit (hello holidays), but something all of us should be aware of. Believe it or not, there are a number of hidden calories that you probably consume on a daily basis unknowingly. Of course, the holidays is the time of year to enjoy company with your family and friends, so maybe making one or two changes in your lifestyle will help you in your health journey.

The obvious “weight gainer” foods are cakes, candy and chips. Most of us know these are junk food items and foods to steer away from when trying to lose weight. But, there are a few other “not so common” food items that make the cut!


Yup, this one can have so many hidden calories, sugar, and more sugar.

A latte with syrup can contain as much as 250 calories, which is 10% of a woman’s daily recommended intake. The reason this calorie count is so high is less to do with the actual coffee and more to do with the milk and the sugar in the syrup. If you drink the coffee black, now you’re only consuming two calories total. Sure, sounds gross and boring so maybe limit your syrup latte to once or twice a week. 

Flavored water

Soda is a pretty obvious high sugary drink with lots of calories. But, some brands of flavored water can have the same amount of sugar! There is 0 calorie flavored water – you just need to check the label before you buy. Many of these drinks use artificial sweeteners and other flavors so you still need to read the labels and be aware of hidden sugars.


Oh, I know this one is a sensitive issue for many moms. We need our glass of “worry free” and a sip of heaven ever so often. But sorry to break this one to you, wine’s alcohol content and sugar levels result in it being very calorific. In fact, one glass of wine can contain anywhere from 110 to 300 calories depending on the type of wine (yikes!!). Beer can be just as fattening with some beers reaching 150 calories per can. Especially since beer contains wheat and sugar.

So now that I just popped your bubble and “mom fun” is there an alcoholic drink low in calories? Your best bet is champagne – a single glass can come to less than 100 calories.

Everything in moderation, right? 

Salad dressing

Ouch, right? Salad dressing, really?

Your salad may not be as healthy as you think. Dumping salad dressing onto a fresh salad could add as much as 100 calories. A drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar has absolutely zero sugar content, and there are no hidden sugars and additives. 


I do this one often, and love the taste and flavor. But, there are quite a few of hidden calories in hummus as well. I know, I know… it’s a way healthier snack than queso or ranch, but if you’re trying to lose weight or cut back on calories, be careful how many times you dip your veggies in the hummus tub.

Cooking oil

A little bit of oil in the pan and a little bit on the food can add up. One tablespoon of olive oil contains 119 calories. If you’re already cooking meat, this could be a lot of extra calories added to your meal. Oil isn’t always necessary with many foods if you’ve got a decent non-stick pan – you can allow many foods to cook in their own juices. If however you can’t cook without oil, there are low calorie cooking oils out there that you can squirt onto the pan to get an exact measure.


This one may not be super obvious, but one ounce of peanuts may contain as much as 160 calories. Of course salted and sweetened nuts have more calories, so stick to the plain dry nuts without any additives. Chestnuts and cashews have one of the lowest fat contents, while macadamia and pecans tend to have a higher calorie intake. Of course, you’re unlikely to get fat off of nuts alone. They are the perfect example of healthy fats, due to being packed with various other nutrients that make up for the high calorie count.

Healthy balance, right?


Avocado has been one of this decade’s most popular health foods. This is because it’s rich in many nutrients including vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. What most people don’t realize is that avocados also contain a lot of fat – a large avocado can contain as much as 400 calories. If weight is an issue, it may be best to cut back a few times throughout the week and not indulge to your heart’s desire with this fruit. It’s not unhealthy, but it won’t help you in losing weight. 

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is often looked upon as being the healthy alternative to milk chocolate, but even though it can contain less milk, dark chocolate can sometimes hide more sugar. The added sugar is used to hide the bitterness of dark chocolate and is common in many brands. Good for you, there are low sugar dark chocolate brands that mask the bitter taste and can actually be healthy for you. 

I know all of this can sound frustrating and as if you can’t enjoy anything. But, making even a few small changes will steer you in the right direction. Remember, even one small change is better than no change at all.

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