… meat are also loaded with calories. If you serve them in a bread bowl or atop rice or noodles, you add even more calories.
The Solution: Don’t eat in a bread bowl and do not pair with a biscuit or piece of bread. The temptation will be there to sop up the leftover juices with something bread-like, but don’t do it.
Macaroni and Cheese
Mac and cheese is a favorite comfort food for both kids and adults. But it can wreak havoc with your diet. One cup can pack 300 to 400 calories, depending on the brand. Add sausage or ham and it’s even more fattening.
The Solution: Use a non-salted butter. The cheese has salt in it that can flavor the macaroni itself. Also, make sure you aren’t pairing it with other starches (potatoes, bread, etc).
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Still using your mother’s recipe for mashed potatoes? All that butter, heavy cream, and whole milk help cram about 240 calories into one cup. Ladle on 1/4 cup of fatty gravy and you’re close to 300 calories in a side dish.
The Solution: A little seasoning goes a long way. For most, the mashed potatoes are already seasoned, so adding gravy only defeats the purpose. Skip the gravy and add non-salty seasoning instead.
Root Vegetables with Added Fat
Roots like yams and sweet potatoes are super-nutritious, but you quadruple the calories when you mix them with cheese, cream, butter, canned soups, or bacon. A sweet potato casserole can easily have 500 calories per serving — 400 more than a simple roasted sweet potato.
The Solution: If you’re missing the meat in your veggies, substitute a non-fat meat like little pieces of baked chicken (no skin) or just use vegetable stock with seasoning instead.
Apple, Pecan, Sweet Potato Pies
These fall favorites start with healthy ingredients such as nuts or fruits and vegetables. But once you add buttery pie crusts, sweet fillings, and whipped cream or ice cream topping, you have decadent pies full of calories.
The Solution: Opt out for a healthier crust (low fat graham cracker or low sugar cookie crust. Also, don’t combine both pie and ice cream. Choose one or the other.
An afternoon snack of apples with a thick layer of caramel and nuts can total more than 500 calories.
The Solution: Instead of eating a whole apple, eat just a slice. Also, instead of the entire apple, just have slices of an apple and dip them yourself in a healthy caramel sauce.
October brings bowls of candy bars at the office — and tempting bags of candy at home awaiting trick-or-treaters. It’s easy to get enticed by those bite-size candies. But few of us can have just one.