If you weren’t raised in a home full of health nuts, then you probably don’t know the term “Empty Calories.” These horrible calories are the culprit to many diets gone bad. They add excess to your daily intake without your body receiving any nutritional value from the food. Things like sugar, and solid fats can pack on the pounds and still leave you hungry.
Solid fats and added sugars can make a food or beverage more appealing, but they also can add a lot of calories. The foods and beverages that provide the most empty calories for Americans are:
- Cakes, cookies, pastries, and donuts (contain both solid fat and added sugars)
- Sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, and fruit drinks (contain added sugars)
- Cheese (contains solid fat)
- Pizza (contains solid fat)
- Ice cream (contains both solid fat and added sugars)
- Sausages, hot dogs, bacon, and ribs (contain solid fat)
These foods and beverages are the major sources of empty calories, but many can be found in forms with less or no solid fat or added sugars. For example, low-fat cheese and low-fat hot dogs can be purchased. You can choose water, milk, or sugar-free soda instead of drinks with sugar. Check that the calories in these products are less than in the regular product (source).
TRUE TRAINER STORY
I also consider ALCHOL to be a huge contributor of “Empty Calories.” people in their late teens and early 20’s come to the gym in hopes of dropping 10 – 15 pounds. They work out daily and within weeks are frustrated that they’ve only lost one pound. Frustrated and slightly angry, they wonder into the training area looking for answers. After reviewing their food with them (it always seems great), I then ask them about their drinks. Their diets are filled with sodas, beer, hard alcohol, fruit juices, energy drinks, and smoothies. It’s a big wake up call when I add up all their drinks and show them how many pounds they are gaining each month with the excess of calories.
If you are looking for an easy way to shed the pounds, cutting out the excess “Empty calories” in your diet can make a HUGE difference. Don’t forget that these types of calories are also a huge contributor to FAT. Excess of anything in your diet will create those unsightly areas that people are always trying to get rid of! If you know someone who is addicted to empty calories, do what great friends do and share these fitness tips!
“We Love Helping You, One Tip At A Time,”
CES, BS, PES, CPT