Don't Drink Your Calories
You could easily drink your entire day's worth of calories in drinks. Drinks don't fill you the same way as food, so it's unlikely that drinking high calorie drinks will affect the amount you eat throughout the rest of the day. If you get a fancy coffee drink, skip the whipped cream, ask for sugar-free flavoring and have it made with skim milk. Add a slice of lemon to your water instead of drinking a flavored water drink. Skip the alcohol altogether. Alcoholic drinks are very high in calories and do little for you nutritionally. Be especially careful with fruit juices, because it can be all too easy to drink a lot of calories in a very short amount of time.
Watch Out for Restaurants
A typical meal at a restaurant is going to be chock full of hidden calories. Everything from the bread you nibble on of before the meal to the way that your meal is cooked can load you up with unnecessary calories. Ask for your sauces on the side, request that your veggies be steamed without any added butter and have your salad dressing on the side.
Grazing for Hidden Calories
A lot of people don't count the bites they take here and there throughout the day. Your co-workers put out a plate of cookies and you inhale one before you realize what you're eating or your child leaves a pile of crackers on their lunch plate for you to munch on. When you snack throughout the day, you're packing in more than your fair share of extra calories. Eat on purpose, planning your meals and snacks ahead of time. Those little bites add up over time.
Don't Spruce Up the Salad
We associate the word "salad" with health. The truth is, even a salad on a big, green leafy base can be loaded with hidden calories. When you eat a typical Cobb salad with cheese, bacon, olives, avocado and bleu cheese on it, you're eating the calorie and fat equivalent of a cheeseburger and fries. Watch what you put on your salad. Stick to lean protein like grilled chicken breast and fresh veggies to top your salad. Use light salad dressing or dip your fork into your dressing before picking up a bite of salad. This way, you'll get the flavor of the dressing with less of the fat and calories.
Make Your Serving Sizes Serve You
Start reading labels and paying attention to serving sizes. Most of us eat far more than what's recommended as a true serving size. A serving of protein is the size of a deck of cards, not a dinner plate. Serve yourself ahead of time to control your portions. When you go out to eat, ask for a to-go box at the start of your meal and pack up half of it to take home with you before you even start eating.