The Calorie Sources People Forget About

One’s caloric intake is very important in many ways. It can influence weight loss, gain, or maintenance. It can affect energy levels and potential for muscle growth as well. However, most are looking at caloric intake on a day-by-day basis due to its potential weight changing effects.

Whether a person doesn’t want to gain any weight, or actually wants to lose weight, knowing where all the calories come from each day is important. This is why many people count calories. However, it is often possible that an individual who even writes down most of what is consumed in a day is leaving a few calories unaccounted for.

This is why I’m making this particular blog post, to illustrate just how many calories a person can take in without realizing. For some, this discovery will be astonishing and may just explain why weight loss or maintenance has been such a challenge.

Here we go…


The most obvious source of hidden calories is margarine. The same goes with butter and cooking oils. Many do not realize the margarine used to cook food does get absorbed into the food. There is no effective way to identify just how many calories are still consumed, but it’s always best to write it down as the full amount used.

This isn’t just when cooking. The same rule is applied when putting it on toast and using it in any other capacity. This can get a little tricky if the food is broken down into portions. Just estimate as best as possible and make sure the portion amounts appropriately add up.

Breakfast Cereals

Many breakfast cereals can be deceiving. The box may have claims of healthiness, but the truth behind the macronutrient breakdown suggests otherwise. In most cases, the main issue is a high portion of the calories being derived from sugar. However, an unexpected caloric intake may take place while eating cereal. This is because most boxed breakfast cereal provides serving information for small amounts. In fact, many eat as much as three or four servings of cereal in a single sitting.


Mayonnaise is one of those useless calorie sources. It has no major nutritional benefits and it has no real macronutrient value either. However, many stick by it and use it with many different types of foods. In most cases, the caloric intake from mayonnaise is accounted for. The problem lies within eating foods from outside the house which contain mayonnaise. This is because an individual watching caloric intake levels will choose a low calorie mayonnaise (ex. 30 calories per tablespoon) while the other individual or business may actually have mayonnaise with as much as 90 calories per tablespoon.


Many do not realize there are actually calories in spices. The intake from spices for a single meal may be anywhere from 5 to 20 calories. This does not seem to be substantial, but there are certain cases where this difference matters. For example, a 500 calorie HCG phase requires strenuous focus on both caloric and macronutrient intake. Plus if it’s scaled to two or three meals a day, it may reach upwards of 60 calories.

Hot Beverages

Hot beverages based around caffeine are often associated with coffee in regards to the caloric contents. It may be an accurate assumption with tea, but many other hot beverages are susceptible to high calories. This is especially true with lattes, which can easily amount to 300 calories for a large. Even worse, a vanilla Frappuccino of the same size will have over 500 calories. The caloric amount can be even greater if flavored syrup or full-fat milk is used. Coffee sweetener, whitener, milk and cream can all play a role in caloric intake as well.

Fast Food Salads

When someone goes to a fast food restaurant with a consideration to caloric intake, salad is usually the go-to option. However, it is often a mistake. This is because most fast food restaurants pack on the fat by using dressings like creamy Caesar. These dressings are also rich in calories. A large chicken Caesar salad can easily run 500 to 800 calories depending on the specifics. To avoid this problem, choose a light balsamic dressing and put it with grilled chicken and greens salad.

This is just a scratch at the surface of foods where people don’t realize the true caloric contents. There are many other cases where people are taking in more calories than realized due to specific foods. This is why it is important to research everything and to try and keep as much control over the ingredients of any consumed foods as possible. A very important part of this is avoiding non-home cooked meals, except when nutritional labels are accurately publicized.