London: People often think of a diet as a specific weight-loss plan, but diet is simply the types and amount of food we eat.
Even a salad can go from a diet meal to a full-blown diet disaster, with the additions of toppings like grains, cheese, and dressing.
One dietician showed just how hard it can be to tell the difference.
Australian dietician Paula Norris recently uploaded a picture of two seemingly identical salads on her Instagram.
While both looked delicious, one salad contained just 535 calories, while the other contained 995 calories.
The dietician then wrote down the salad discrepancies and how the calories sneak into the one on the left.
In the salad on the left, Norris included one cup of cooked pearl barley, 70g halloumi cheese, 1/3 of a courgette, two florets of broccoli, some pepper, 50g of aubergine, three cherry tomatoes, 200g of poached chicken, 1/2 cup herbs, and dressing comprised of two teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil and two teaspoons of balsamic vinegar.
Compared to the ingredients in the other salad, it is easy to see where all those extra calories come from.
The salad on the right contains ½ cup of cooked pearl barley, 35g of halloumi cheese, 2/3 of a courgette, five florets of broccoli, ½ pepper, 100g of aubergine, five cherry tomatoes, 100g of poached chicken, 1/2 cup of herbs, and dressing made of two teaspoons of balsamic vinegar and two teaspoons of seeded mustard.
It is important to know how hidden calories can sabotage you, when you are trying to stick to a diet and eat healthily.