Minding Your BLTs for Weight Loss

How Bites, Licks and Tastes (BLTs) Sabotage Your Weight Loss Goals

One critical component of weight loss is generation of a caloric deficit. This means you burn more calories each day than you take in. Weight loss experts like Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding suggest starting with dropping 500 calories per day. There are many strategies for sustaining a caloric deficit. You can burn more calories by adding more physical activities to your day, for example. Dieting is also an important component, however. This doesn’t necessarily mean a complete overhaul of your diet. It’s possible that you could eliminate 500 calories by stopping with the BLTs. Not bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches (though those are high in calories, too). Instead we mean all the little bites, licks and tastes that add hidden calories to your day.

Common BLTs and How to Avoid Them

  • Almonds are healthy, but high calorie.Extra bites of healthy snacks. Nuts are often recommended as healthy, protein-filled snacks. They’re also high calorie due to fat content, so it’s important to measure them. A single almond has 7 calories, for example. A small handful of them can easily have more than 100 calories.
  • Licking the knife after spreading peanut butter or butter. Peanut butter is another calorie dense food. Just one tablespoon can have 70-100 calories, so cleaning the knife can be a high calorie taste. Same with butter, which has 100 calories per tablespoon.
  • Extra slices of cheese on sandwiches. A slice of cheese can be 80-100 calories depending on the thickness and type. Your sandwich will taste just as delicious with just one slice.
  • Other people’s food. A few French fries off someone else’s plate. Bread crusts from your kid’s sandwich. It’s easy to rack up calories unintentionally with other people’s food.
  • Snacks at work. Candy on co-workers’ desks, food in the break room, a few bites of birthday cake. Make a point of avoiding all of it.
  • Tastes of dinner while you cook. We encourage cooking at home and we agree that it’s important to get the seasoning right. Just be sure to consider those calories as part of your total for the meal.

If you are having difficulty losing weight or if your weight loss plateaus, BLTs may be the culprit. Begin keeping a food diary or journal and monitor all food you eat, even the bites, licks and tastes. Noticing these extra calories is the first step toward eliminating them and getting back on the path toward weight loss success.

Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding, NYU Langone Weight Management ProgramMeet with Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding

Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding is dedicated to helping patients reach their weight loss goals. Whether you’re interested in weight loss surgery or other strategies, the NYU Langone Weight Management Program has excellent resources available. Call 212-263-3166 or email weightloss@nyumc.org for appointments and additional information.

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