Last month, we looked at the top sources of sodium – and how it’s possible to cut back on our salt intake. Today, let’s look at the top calorie sources for the average American male. By examining where our calories are coming from, we can restructure our diet to support our fitness goals and overall health.
Here’s how the list breaks down per day, according to the National Cancer Institute:
- Alcohol drinks: 162 calories
- Yeast breads: 161 calories
- Cakes, cookies, pies, etc.: 157 calories
- Soda: 157 calories
- Chicken: 148 calories
- Pizza: 122 calories
- Tortillas, burritos, tacos and nachos: 115 calories
- Beef steaks: 89 calories
- Pasta: 77 calories
- Burgers: 71 calories
- Hot dogs, bacon, sausage and ribs: 69 calories
- Dairy desserts: 62 calories
- French fries: 62 calories
- Chips: 60 calories
- Nuts and seeds: 59 calories
Obviously, this list would vary from person to person and culture to culture – so you’re top 15 might look very different.
Having said that, if you’re looking to cut back on calories (i.e., to facilitate the calorie deficit required for weight loss), then numbers 1 and 4 are a great place to start. Alcohol and soda might taste great, but they’re filled with empty calories; they add to your waistline and don’t contribute any nourishment to your body. And, of course, it’s not about eliminating these things altogether if they’re something you enjoy – it’s just about drinking one glass instead of two, or consuming a little less.
Cakes, cookies and pies – coming in at number 3 – are also easy to reduce. Opt for smaller slices or seek out healthier dessert options. Fresh berries, for example, are just as delicious and much more nutritious!
For me, the biggest shocker on the list is pizza. According to the researchers, the typical American male eats 122 calories from pizza each day. That’s more than 44,000 calories per year – the equivalent of more than 12 pounds of body fat. I love pizza as much as the next guy, but I also realize that it’s a special treat. Instead of eating pizza every week, I usually splurge once a month. And instead of eating the entire pizza, I just go for a few slices. It’s an easy area to cut back.
It would be great to see nuts (number 15) higher on the list, and it would be even better to see fruits and vegetables make the cut. Maybe next year? I’m not holding my breath.
How does this list compare to your diet? What are some of the areas in which you can cut back?