Weight loss is a lot more simple than it is sometimes made out to be: burn more calories than you consume. That’s it. If you can do that successfully you will lose weight. It’d be impossible not to actually!
So in the quest to cut down on calories, what are some foods that might surprise you as being high calorie foods? Here are eight foods high in calories that may surprise you with just how much energy they pack:
Movie Theater Popcorn – 1,030 calories
Popcorn seems so light it’s almost like eating air. It can’t possibly have that many calories, can it? Unfortunately, movie theater popcorn is deceitfully high in calories. Regal Cinemas’ large tub of popcorn weighs in at a whopping 1,030 calories with three days worth of saturated fat (it comes from the coconut oil used to pop the kernels). In most cases you’d be better off eating a Big Mac (550 calories) on your way to the theater and skipping the popcorn.
Trail Mix – 690 cals
Trail mix seems like a healthy snack but all of those nuts and chocolate pieces are loaded in calories. One cup of trail mix contains nearly 700 calories. That Big Mac is looking less and less irresponsible!
Cheese – 275-450 cals
Cheese is everywhere that sometimes it almost seems like it can’t possibly be that bad for you since we eat it so much. But a 3.5 ounce portion of cheese, depending on variety, has between 275-450 calories. Check out our calories in cheese chart to see which types weigh in at the most calories.
Salad Dressing – 75 cals per tablespoon
Eating a salad almost always feels like a smart choice but did you know that rich, creamy dressing poured on top can actually make it one of the worst choices on the menu? Most creamy dressings have about 75 calories per tablespoon. Considering that most people apply quite a few tablespoons of dressing to their salad, the result is hugely damaging. According to McDonald’s nutritional info, their salads nearly rival their milkshakes in caloric load!
Nuts – 700-900 cals
Raw nuts are really good for you. They’re loaded with “good” fats that promote heart health. But don’t chomp on too many or you might overdo it on the calories. One cup of most varieties of nuts contains between 700 and 900 calories. The trick with nuts is to set aside a reasonable portion before you start snacking so as not to overeat. Related hidden high calorie villain: peanut butter.
Smoothies – variable
Anything that does not even require being chewed can’t possibly be that bad for you, right? Wrong! Smoothies are often loaded in calories. Check out the calories in Smoothie King products: up to nearly 1,000 calories in a 20 ounce serving. Smoothies can certainly be a healthy compliment to a diet, just steer clear of ones loaded with added sugar, ice cream, or weight-gainer mix.
Olive Oil – 120 cals per tablespoon
Olive oil is another one of those deceitful foods that is really, really good for you but also conspicuously loaded in calories. One tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories derived purely from fat. It’s mostly monounsaturated fat which happens to be great for heart health. But don’t go crazy with the olive oil if you want to keep those love handles off.
Pasta – 225-400 cals per cup
It seems hard to believe that pasta could really be that high in calories. After all, eaten by itself it’s a pretty bland food. We’re used to associating high calorie foods as being really, really yummy. But pasta is the worst of both worlds: not especially tasty (there’s a reason it’s never served plain!) and high in calories. One cup of most types of pasta contains upwards of 400 calories. You’ll have blown past your daily caloric budget by the time you’re just getting into enjoying that plate of spaghetti and meatballs!