This calorie counter to lose weight article will help guide you into a healthier and more attainable diet.
What is Caloric Intake? And Why Does It Matter?
For those seeking weight loss, one of the more obvious factors is caloric intake.
Caloric intake relates to dieting but is much less universal. Everyone will have a different recommended daily caloric intake based on their bodies and other circumstances.
How Do I Know How Many Calories Is Enough?
A calorie-counting, or calorie-controlled, diet is based around staying within a fixed number of calories each day. Although this diet works well for some, most registered dietitians recommend a more individualized eating plan. To calculate how many calories is right for you, click here.
What Are The Benefits Of Calorie Counting?
Adjusting your eating habits around a fixed caloric intake can help give you more control over your weight and blood sugar.
Reducing the number of calories you consume will help you lose weight, and help you avoid health complications later in life. These include diabetes and high blood pressure.
If you are underweight, adjusting caloric intake can help you reach a healthier weight vice versa.
Balancing Your Diet.
Food can be classified into different food groups, and everyone requires precise servings from each group to achieve a balanced diet.
A balanced diet includes a variety of foods from each of the main food groups:
- Fats and Oils
- Free Foods
Depending on your situation and calorie requirement, you may also be allotted some discretionary calories that you can use for foods not in these main groups, such as sweets, desserts, and alcohol.
However, it is not recommended to make these “exception,” groups part of your regular diet, regardless of how you adjust your caloric intake.
The chart below shows the main food groups and the calories per serving for foods in these groups.
Grains (6 servings recommended daily)
One serving = 80 calories
1/4 of a Bagel or 1 ounce
1 slice of Bread (white, pumpernickel, whole wheat, rye)
2 slices of reduced calorie or “lite” Bread
1 cup of Broth-based soup
1/2 cup of Cooked beans, peas, or corn
1/2 cup Cooked cereal
1/2 English muffin, hot dog bun, or hamburger bun
1/5 Muffin or 1 ounce
1/3 cup of Pasta or Rice
3 cups of Popcorn, air popped, no fat added
1 Small potato (3 ounces)
3/4 ounce of Pretzels
1/2 cup of Sweet Potato or Yam
1 Small tortilla
3/4 cup Unsweetened, dry cereal
Vegetables (6 servings recommended daily)
One serving = about 25 calories
1/2 Cooked vegetables
1 cup Raw vegetables
1/2 cup Tomato or vegetable juice
Many fresh vegetables and other superfoods can also be worth a negative caloric count.
That’s right eating certain foods can undo calories, for a list of foods negative in calories, click here.
Fruits (6 servings recommended daily)
One serving = about 60 calories
1/2 cup Canned fruit
1/4 cup Dried fruit
1 small or 1 cup Fresh fruit (for example, cut up or berries)
1/2 cup Fruit juice
Dairy (3 servings recommended daily)
One serving = 90 calories
1 cup Nonfat or low-fat milk
3/4 cup Plain or Nonfat yogurt
1 cup Nonfat or low-fat soy milk
***120 Calories per serving***
1 cup 2% milk
1 cup Soy milk
3/4 cup Yogurt, plain, low-fat
***150 Calories per serving***
1 cup Whole milk
3/4 cup Yogurt, plain (made from whole milk)
Proteins (3 servings recommended daily)
Calories per servings vary as follows:
- One very lean serving = about 35 calories
- One lean serving = about 55 calories
- One medium-fat serving = about 75 calories
- One high-fat serving = about 100 calories
1/4 cup Egg substitutes, plain
2 Egg whites
1 ounce Fish: fresh or frozen cod, flounder, haddock, halibut, trout, tuna
1/4 cup Nonfat or low-fat cottage cheese
1 ounce Poultry: chicken or turkey, white meat, no skin
1 ounce of Shellfish
1 ounce of Beef: round, sirloin, flank, tenderloin, roast, steak, ground round (trimmed of fat)
1 ounce Fish: Herring, salmon, catfish, tuna (canned in oil, drained)
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 ounce of Pork: lean pork, such as fresh ham, Canadian bacon, tenderloin, center loin chop
1 ounce Poultry: chicken or turkey (dark meat, no skin); chicken (white meat with skin)
1/2 cup or 4 ounces Tofu, light
1 ounce Veal: lean chop, roast
1 ounce of Beef: most beef products (ground beef, meatloaf, corned beef, short ribs, prime rib)
1 ounce, Cheese with 5 grams or less of fat per ounce: feta, mozzarella (Ricotta 2 ounces)
1 ounce Lamb: rib roast, ground
1 ounce of Pork: top loin, chop, cutlet
1 ounce Poultry: chicken (dark meat with skin), ground turkey or ground chicken, fried chicken (with skin)
1 ounce of Sausage with 5 grams or less of fat per ounce
1/2 cup or 4 ounces Tofu
1 ounce, Cheeses: all regular cheese (for example, American, Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss)
1 ounce of Hot dog (beef, pork, or combination) *count as 1 high-fat meat plus 1 fat exchange
1 tablespoon Peanut butter
1 ounce of Pork: spare ribs, ground pork, pork sausage
1 ounce Processed sandwich meats: bologna, salami
1 ounce of Sausage (for example, Italian, bratwurst)
Fats and Oils (2 servings recommended daily)
One serving = about 45 calories
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) Avocado
1 teaspoon Oil (canola, olive, peanut)
9-10 large Olives
2 teaspoons Peanut butter
2 teaspoons Tahini paste
1 teaspoon Margarine
1 teaspoon Mayonnaise, regular
1 teaspoon Mayonnaise, low-fat
1 tablespoon Salad dressing, regular
1 slice Bacon, stick
2 tablespoons of Coconut oil, sweetened, shredded
1 1/2 tablespoons Cream cheese, reduced fat
1 tablespoon Cream cheese, regular
2 tablespoons of Cream, half and half
1 teaspoon Shortening or lard
3 tablespoons Sour cream, reduced fat
2 tablespoons Sour cream, regular
Sweets and Deserts (no more than 1 serving recommended daily)
**These foods tend to be high in sugar and/ or fat while providing little nutritional value. They may or may not be included in your diet plan.**
1/12 Angel food cake, unfrosted (2 ounces)
2-inch square Brownie, small, unfrosted (about 1 ounce)
2-inch square Cake, frosted (about 2 ounces)
1 medium (1 and 1/2 ounce), Doughnut, plain
3 Gingersnaps (gingernuts)
1 tablespoon Honey
1/2 cup Ice cream
1/2 cup Ice cream, low-fat
1 cup Milk, chocolate, whole
1/2 cup Pudding
8 ounces Sports drink
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 tablespoon Syrup
1/3 cup Yogurt, frozen, low-fat
Free Foods (Foods That Do Not Count Toward Caloric Intake)
One serving = less than 20 calories
1 Candy, hard, sugar-free 1 cup Carbonated or mineral water
1 cup Coffee 1 tablespoon Cream cheese, fat-free
1 tablespoon Creams, nondairy 1 cup Diet soft drinks, sugar-free
1 cup Drink mixes, sugar-free 1 ounce of Garlic
4 ounces Gelatin dessert, sugar-free 4 ounces Herbs
1 tablespoon Horseradish 2 teaspoons Jam or jelly
1 tablespoon Ketchup 1 cup Lemon or lime juice
4 tablespoons Margarine spread, fat-free 1 and 1/2 large Pickles, dill
2 tablespoons Mustard 1 tablespoon Mayonnaise, fat-free
1 tablespoon Salad dressing, fat-free or low-fat 1/4 cup Salsa
2 tablespoons Soy sauce 2 ounces Tabasco or hot pepper sauce
1 cup Tea 2 ounces Vinegar
2 tablespoons Whipped topping, light or fat-free
4 ounces Wine, used in cooking
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
How Can This Table Help Me?
Reducing overall caloric intake is a necessary process for those trying to lose weight. Alongside exercise and healthy sleeping patterns, caloric intake regulation can help one achieve weight loss without the removal of entire whole foods and food groups from one’s diet.
You can enjoy the foods you’ve always loved and still lose weight if you can discipline yourself to consume healthy quantities.
How Can I Keep Track Of My Calories?
To become more aware of how many calories you are consuming, follow these tips:
- Read food labels for calorie information per serving.
- Focus on the serving sizes you are eating. They directly impact calorie intake.
- Spread out your calorie intake throughout the day.
You can also create a food journal using a notebook or diary. Journals are ideal for keeping track of your calories.
If you are more of a digital technology person there are great apps out there like MyFitnessPal, Cron-o-meter, Fatsecret, Lose it and Sparkpeople.
Personally, I use MyFitnessPal on my iPhone, and it is a great app. The free version is plenty, and it is easy to use.
How Should I Spend My Calories?
Now you know how many calories are taken up by certain foods. However, some calories are worth more than others. Certain foods from each group can provide more nutritional value at a lower calorie count than others.
Become Better At Being You.