Quiz: How Many Calories Do You Mindlessly Eat?
A nibble here, a bite there: Such snacking may seem harmless, but it can pad your diet — and waistline — with a surprising number of sneaky calories.
Sound familiar? While dining out, you proudly resist the bread basket, order the grilled chicken, and opt for fruit salad instead of cake for dessert … but then steal a bite of your husband’s banana cream pie, just for a taste.
Turns out, those teeny nibbles can really add up. Of the 200 or so eating decisions we make every day, many fall into the “mindless margin,” or that 100-ish calorie area where you could over- or under-eat without impacting whether you feel full or hungry, according to Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab in Ithaca, NY, in his book Mindless Eating. Eating 100 extra calories every day can lead to a 10-pound weight gain over the course of a year.
But if you replace that mindless noshing with thoughtfully healthy snacks that include fruits or veggies or protein, you’ll cut excess calories, feel fuller, and consume more vitamins, minerals, and other healthy nutrients. “You need to be aware of how all of your food choices — even little ones — impact your total caloric intake,” says Maureen Namkoong, RD, co-author of Everyday Health’s new My Calorie Counterbook.
So are you eating more sneaky calories than you realize? Test your calorie smarts with this quiz (calorie counts are based on Everyday Health’s My Calorie Counter tools and mobile apps), and get tips for healthier calorie equivalents you could eat instead.