Calorie Counter To Lose Weight – (Easy To Follow)


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:

  • Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Dairy
  • Protein
  • 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

Various breads and grainsFoods

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 

4-6 Crackers                                                                        

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



Very Lean

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 Egg

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.

To ensure that you are getting an optimal amount of vitamins and nutrients for your calories, visit the following links. Breakfast and Lunch.

RELATED: 10 Tips To Losing Weight Fast – [Infographic]

RELATED: What Are The Benefits Of Green Tea? – (5 Proven Benefits)

Become Better At Being You.



  1. As I am getting older, I finding it virtually impossible to keep the weight off, all more exercise is needed on my end, I was clueless on calories and counting etc until I came across this, didn’t realise it was so easy, thanks for all the easy to follow steps, keep up the super work, I have printed it off to help me get started

    • Yes I understand, age can play a factor in our weight, but I am glad you found this article to be helpful Ryan. Come back in the future for much more valuable.

  2. I agree with Ryan. As one gets older everything is tougher. I used to calorie count but now on dialysis they have their own menus. Keeping track of the calories over time gets real easy. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Interesting article. I’ve read about calorie counting numerous times before and even tried it in the past, but it always seems like such a hassle. My biggest issue was keeping with it cause it is SO time consuming if you do it manually.

    Do you find it is easy when you use something like MyFitnessPal to just add a ‘meal’ from larger chain restaurants? Or do you have to type in every single item manually?

    • The reason I love MyFitnessPal so much is that you can search foods in their search box and it will tell you some calories and much more associated with that food. It is a great app like no other, and say you’re at a fast food restaurant like Taco Bell it has all the menu items and the calories associated with it. And that’s not just for taco bell it’s for every restaurant in their database, and there are a lot.

  4. Highly detailed information! I will incorporate this into my next diet.
    I am in dire need of losing a few pounds but always struggled with it because I didn’t know how to go about doing it. This diet seems like it can work, definitely bookmarking this page.

    • It is very pleasing to me that you enjoyed the article, Chris. Please do try the plan out, and let me know if you have any more questions in the future.

  5. Great article! It was very easy to follow and very informative. I learned something new thanks to your post. I had no idea that there were foods that can undo your caloric intake. Even though my goal is not to lose weight this article can help with my health. I have to be honest, I don’t eat very healthy most of the time. I am getting older and have become more focused on that because of this fact. Thanks again for the information.

    • No problem, it was satisfying to see you found the information to be helpful and come back in the future for much more valuable content.

  6. Nice article.
    I have not yet started counting calories but I am currently doing intermittent fasting which means I only eat during an 8 hour window every day.
    This has helped me staying in shape and buidling muscle.

    • Interesting to hear Juan, thanks for sharing will have to look into that more.

  7. Lot’s of good advice and love the examples of food. If find that calories and portion sizes go hand in hand. Most people have no idea what a serving size is and our portions tend to be huge. If we saw the serving sizes of our favorite foods as opposed to what we actually eat, we’d think we were starving ourselves. Restaurants don’t help, we are truly conditioned to eat more. Great reminder!

  8. These are always the types of systems that work well with me. When a diet and caloric intake is broken down into numbers that I can see in a black and white equation, I am ALWAYS able to stick to the plan better.

    • The same can be said for a lot of other people, thanks for sharing Eric.

  9. This article makes calorie intake easy to follow and document. This part of the diet is the most boring and tedious. However, it has to be done to make sure that you are reaching your goals. As they say abs are made in the kitchen and this article makes the recipe so much easier to follow.

    • Well put Nabeel, many people don’t realize that good sleep, good eating, and good exercise are all essential elements in living a healthy lifestyle.

  10. This is a really helpful post. I liked how you listed examples of foods under each category. Counting calories can be complicated, especially while incorporating many different food groups. My favorite go-to snack is pickles – glad to see I don’t have to count that towards my daily caloric intake. Great post!

  11. Value-added article Jaxon! I bookmarked your site and the calorie calculator site. My wife and I are very interested in losing our weight. I agree with you, the key to losing weight is balanced diet w/ controlled calorie intake (of course plus exercise). I used your calorie calculator, I need 1.6kcal to shed-off my fats (1.2kcal for extreme fat-loss). 2kcal if I want my body fat to be maintained. Thank you so much!

    • I am so happy to hear that Christian, and I wish both your wife and you the best luck. Anything is possible, and you have the right mindset to lose weight.

  12. Great post, I love the calorie counter, very easy to use. I’m a lazy lazy dieter, do you have any suggestions, because I’m lazy, I’m often in situations where I’m hungry and haven’t prepared anything in advance so I get stuck and eat things I shouldn’t eat. I’m wondering if there are any good programs with premade food.

    • Wenda that is very common and you are not the only people that experience that. Many people are too lazy or too busy to count their calories, but it is essential if they want to lose weight. Often forgotten you have to eat right, sleep right, and exercise right, to lose those pounds. In your case, I would recommend you start buying food in bulk and creating meals for the week, this way you know exactly how many calories is in that meal, and you don’t have to worry about counting the calories because you already did that when you prepare the meal. I hope this helps, if not let me know and I will try to clarify it further.

  13. NIce, interesting article. Quite complete. I agree, you should have an idea of the calories consumed to make sure you don’t go over and end up gaining weight.
    I’ve resently been looking into intermittent fasting for weight loss. I’ve read Dr. Jason Fung’s books on the subject and began using it. There are different protocals but basically, you divide your day into 2 blocks, one for feeding and one for fasting but you don’t reduce your calorie intake. You do of course have to eat healthy and try to reduce some of the carbs such as pasta, grains and anything made with flower. I’ve been intermittent fasting for 2 weeks and I’ve lost 10 cm off my hips. It works and you still get to eat. Dr. Fung has gotten great results getting people with type 2 diabetes off of their medication and reducing weight.

    • Hey, Chris, I am glad to see you found the article helpful. I have not heard of Dr. Jason Fung but will look into what you mentioned, always great to learn new things, thanks for sharing. Come back in the future for more great posts.

  14. Great article. The thing is, I am on the other side of the world.. i.e. in Asia and we have a lot of different food from the examples that you have given. I wonder how do we find the calorie information about them.

    • Sorry to hear that Alex, I wanted to incorporate as many foods are I could at the same time, taking into consideration the foods globally, I would recommend you try the MyFitness app, it might be able to assist. Although, if you have any foods that you would want more clarification on, I am more than happy to help you just leave me a message.

  15. I’m going to make an outline of your headings and recommendations and tape it on my fridge. I really need to focus on more veggies and fruits. If I have a glass of wine with dinner, does that count as a fruit… hope so.

    • Happy to hear you enjoyed the post, Joan. As for your question on wine, although wine has many benefits and helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. Wine, unfortunately, does not count towards a serving of fruit. Being said though wine is good in moderation, fruits and vegetables are more important, and I would highly recommend you get enough of them daily. Hope that helps, 😄😄😄.

  16. Great post!! We need to have more humans following the information on this page as we certainly need to become better at being us. Less us in most instances!!

  17. Hi Jaxon. This is an excellent information. When we want to control our weight. The first thing we should know about how many calorie we consume and how we burn. We minimal have to balance it. Your food list are great, thanks for the list.

  18. I never knew the importance of calorie counting my ratios are definitely messed up. Thanks for your great article I will fix that, my brother and I have already started planning our meals for tomorrow based on your calorie calculator. And I will certainly be reading the labels now. Keep up the good work.

    • Hey, Chani, thank you for those kind words, I am pleased to see you found the article to be helpful means a lot. I am also happy to see you are taking ACTION, which is very IMPORTANT in losing weight and being healthy.

  19. Great page. I know we are constantly reminded about our calorie intake. But I like how you broke down things into different groups of food.
    Need to bookmark this one and take a closer look.

    • Always happy to help and be clear as I can be. Clyde, glad you enjoyed means a lot.

  20. When I was growing up, I would obsess over my calorie intake. I was very strict with my 1,200 calories per day. But the one part I was really missing was getting enough protein, grains, fiber, fruits, and vegetables into my daily routine. As an adult I now don’t track my calories as much as macros. Great post!

    • Hey, Bailey, yes it can be hard to maintain the habit of calorie counting, but it is effective, as you already know this. Delighted to see you enjoyed the post, thank you.

  21. After trying all kinds of diets and weight loss tips, I found that calorie counting is the best, it really makes you lose weight if you keep your calorie count within you calorie limit.
    Thanks for the detailed info about calories in food in different food groups, this would make it easier for me to count calories.

  22. Hi Jaxon,

    As I get older certainly my tummy (pot belly) never seems to get smaller haha! It doesn’t get bigger either but its so hard to lose it. With this brilliant post I have learned so much.

    Will print this out and follow it. Thanks for a great post 🙂 Kev

  23. Hello, I too am getting older and yes, it’s getting harder and harder to keep (and maintain) weight loss. I really liked the list of oils that you had on this website, this will certainly help me. I also really liked the “free foods” section for when I need a little treat like hard candy (sugar free). Thanks for this great website.

  24. I think we can lie to ourselves about how many calories we are eating. This calorie counter is very handy – thanks for keeping it real.

  25. Dieting is so hard, my wife has been diet for your but only recently found the right formula for her. I don’t think you can call it a diet because diets stop and start. It has to be a change in life style.

  26. Great article, I’m also a real health fanatic, my main focus was always on excersizing every single day, just recently i have been looking more into eating healthy food, im not quite yet ready to give up some of the *bad* stuff yet, but i will do it step by step, your knowledge will be a great addition to my eating habits. thanks for the information.

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