When I was in college I went on my first diet with my friends. When I began to count calories I realized just how many additional calories I was getting from tiny squirts of condiments. Ever since then I have been a label checker, and do my best to order the sauce on the side so I can control how much I consume.
Mustard is my condiment of choice. A teaspoon of yellow mustard has only about 3 calories, and packs in a lot of flavor. You can even splurge for some honey mustard for 10 calories per teaspoon. Be wary of the source of your honey mustard because if it is a salad dressing you are looking at a lot more calories - about 120 per 2 tablespoons. When it comes to mustard I either read the package, or if I am out and about chose yellow or spicy.
I try and avoid ketchup at 30 calories per 2 tablespoons because the portion can really add up when french fries are involved, and it is sugar based without much nutritional value. Mayonnaise also packs a calorie punch at 180 calories for a 2 tablespoon serving.
Salad dressings are one of the top offenders so I always read the label or order these on the side. Just 2 tablespoons of ranch dressing can run you 148 calories, and let's face it most people squirt on a larger portion then that. If you go fat free you can cut it down to 48 calories for the same serving size, but just remember to measure out your serving because looks can be deceiving. Vinaigrette style dressings are often one of the lighter choices if you are eating out and can't compare labels. I don't go without on my salad, but I do like to measure out my portion so I know how much I am consuming.
When it comes to calories in condiments knowledge is power.