Small changes, big results

Jen Rowley, A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer
Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor

counting calories

You are scheduling in your workouts. You are trying to eat a more balanced and healthy diet. Why are the pounds not coming off? I was contemplating this question this morning as I packed the family lunches and made breakfast. Sure, we eat very healthy. But I noticed that I “forgot” to count all of the licks of peanut butter, test bites of waffle, leftover eggs, and the extra dash of creamer in my coffee.

When it comes to eating healthy and counting our calories, some weeks things just don’t seem to work out like they should. Well, there are 3 types of calories that dieters often consume that somehow rarely find their way to the calorie trackers:

1.     Liquids still count as calories

This is a weird trap that a lot of people get into their heads. While, yes, water doesn’t count so you can (and should!) drink as much of it as you want, this rule only applies to water and somehow we seem to forget that. We drink something else in the day and often it doesn’t even register at the end of the day when we’re logging the calories.

20 oz bottles of some “healthy” juices

-       Simply Lemonade: 300 Calories, 70 grams of sugar

-       Tropicana Orange Juice: 275 Calories, 50 grams of sugar

-       Ocean Spray Cranberry: 300 Calories 75 grams of sugar

Just because it’s juice doesn’t mean it’s an automatic free pass on the calorie counting. In fact, as you can see, the sugar content of these drinks is a huge chunk of your daily allotment.  Not to mention the fact that these bottles contain more than one serving!

2.     Sauces and Seasonings

It’s a special occasion and you make a delicious meal.

You throw in the ingredients individually and with a serving of each you get the following:

420 Calories

Sweet! That might even leave you enough left over calories for some dessert, right?

Did you count the sauce, dip, butter, or toppings that you may have added? A lot of times these can add to as many calories as the meal itself.

3.     To that end, dressing still counts and all salads are not created equal.

For lunch you were feeling good and decided to go with a salad. There was a tasty Chef’s Salad at the place you went and it was awesome. You get home and add “salad” to your food journal.

Garden Salad:  150 Calories.

You  pat yourself on the back, great choice, right?

Sorry, but the garden salad doesn’t include the eggs, ham, and turkey that are staples of your chef salad. Let’s look at “Chef Salad” and see what comes up.

Chef Salad: 500 Calories.

And that isn’t even counting the dressing. Ouch.

The point is that if you’re going to track your calories you need to track everything no matter how small because when it comes right down to it, it’s the little things that surprise and derail you the most.

I know. I will go back in and add the licks, bites, pieces, and spoonfuls to my daily  caloric intake! Just remember: small changes will yield big changes.


Small Changes at CoachMeFit:

We have switched over from our selection of hot tea to a daily selection of iced tea for your enjoyment. Keep drinking those fluids–our tea is unsweetened and often caffeine-free.


I would like to welcome our newest trainer, Dannille Riley! She has been an incredible addition to the CoachMeFit training staff with her bright personality, personalized workouts, and dedication to her clients.

Dannille, or Dee, holds a BS in exercise science from Michigan State University,  a personal training certification, and 20 years experience as a personal trainer and track coach. She specializes in running and is currently helping one of her clients reach her goal of completing the DXA2 half-marathon!

Welcome, Dee!







Comments are closed.