I must stipulate again - I am not a doctor or nutritionist. My opinions/suggestions/recommendations are based on experience, common sense and research. Consulting a physician or dietition is always recommended especially if you are diabetic or have other health issues.
These calorie charts are provided to assist you in cutting calories and losing weight or simply to help you discover your daily calorie intake. All calorific values are approximate.
You can create your own calorie-controlled diet by learning how many calories are in pizza or hamburgers, loaded with your favorite topping, like cheese, to help you reduce your energy intake for better mid-life weight control.
You can reduce calories in either of two easy ways: swap a high-calorie food for a lower-calorie item (eg. choose 1 oz. Mozzarella cheese - 80 calories - instead of 1 oz. American Cheddar - 106 calories) or you can cut one small high-calorie snack from your diet each day. For example, if you cut just one 16oz. serving of beer, you can save up to 67,000 calories a year! This translates into about 19 lbs. of body fat!
A few simple and easy exchanges can make a huge difference.
I recommend that you keep a diary of your diet for one or two weeks. You can make up your own chart or you can use our free printable food diary. Eat as you normally do and write everything down that goes into your mouth (don't cheat!). Include the time you ate and amount. For example: Day 1, Breakfast - 2 slices white bread, toasted; 2 tsp. butter; 2 tbsp. peanut butter, smooth; 6 oz. of orange juice; Coffee with Coffee creamer, powder, regular 1 teaspoon; 1 tsp. sugar.
The meal I've just described translates into:
Ready for the total calories for just one meal? 525 calories. You still have 2 meals remaining, plus snacks.
By simply eliminating 1 tsp. of butter and 1 tbsp. peanut butter, you can save 130 calories, 5 days a week = 650 calories x 52 = 33,800 calories a year which translates into about 8 or 9 pounds of body fat.
Lets go one step further. Let's swap the above high-calorie foods with the following higher-fiber and nutritious foods:
Total calorie count is about 388 calories. We have just created a very nutritious meal with about 137 calories less than the higher-fat and calorie version. This meal is also more satisfying and will give you more energy than the first to go for those walks you've been promising to take but just didn't have the ambition to do.
Swapping the high-calorie foods (the white bread, peanut butter and butter) for more nutritious, more filling alternatives (whole wheat bread, margarine, jelly, cereal and fruit) throughout the day can definitely make a difference in how you look and feel and on the scale at the end of the month. You'll discover you're actually eating more, volume-wise, and feeling more energetic. You're really not sacrificing anything - except the calories!
Of course you don't see significant changes in your weight over-night by eliminating only 130-150 calories a day. But look at the big picture. If you were to do something similar to each and every meal, you could be losing 2 - 5 lbs. a month (20-50 lbs a year) - definitely a significant change.
So calorie-counting does have its limitations. For example, if you cut 300 calories from your daily menu but you're still not burning more than what you are eating you won't lose weight. Your weight gain will slow down, but your energy output (calories burned) must be more than your energy intake.
Weight reduction is founded on the energy equation: energy output must exceed energy intake. This is where nutrition is very important. Food energy cannot be properly metabolised without sufficient minerals and vitamins. Create a healthy, calorie-controlled eating plan based on nutrient-dense meals and snacks and take those walks you're always talking about and the excess pounds will slowly melt away.
To find out calorie and fat values for a selection of common food groups, please choose from the calorie-chart links in the left column.