t is a common thing that we do not calculate calories consumed when we take food unless we are under a supervision of nutrition consultant or following strictly to a diet book.  In fact, most of the people do not even know how to calculate the calories intake.

Anyhow, when the moment you decide to lose weight, your world might change 360 degree especially in the food and nutrition aspect.  You might start to concern how to calculate calories intake so that you are not over eating.

If you totally don’t know how to calculate calories of food, please don’t give up.  You could first start with monitoring your calories intake by the below “3333” diet habit which recommends we take 3 servings of fruits, vegetables, protein and carbohydrates in our daily meal with minimum fats. Some of my friends try it and find it helps a lot especially at the initial stage of adjusting their diet habit.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets the serving size for food categories above:

Fruits and Vegetables
A serving size equals to about one-half cup. Greens like spinach and lettuce have a serving size equal to one full cup. One serving of sliced fruit is equal to one-half cup.  However, a single piece of fruit, such as an apple or an orange counts as one serving.

Protein
1 ounce of meat, poultry or fish, 1/4 cup cooked dry beans or 1 egg can be considered as 1 ounce equivalent from the protein (meat and beans) group. Adults are recommended to take 5 to 6 ounces of protein depending on their gender, age and level of physical activity.

Carbohydrates
Refer to grains here.  1 slice of bread, 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or 1/2 cup of cooked rice, cooked pasta, or cooked cereal can be considered as 1 ounce equivalent from the grains group.  Adults are recommended to take 3 to 4 ounces of grains depending on their gender, age and level of physical activity.

Following “3333” diet habit, we do not calculate calories intake.  We do suggest consuming at least 3 servings of fruits and vegetables each every day, and not more than 3 servings of protein and carbohydrates each every day.  To make it easy, the serving size is roughly measured by palm and fist so that you can estimate your serving size of food even you don’t know how to calculate calories consumed.

(Note: A “cup” is referring to a  cup which is about 240ml or 8oz.  It is usually used to measure the serving size of fruits and vegetables while we use ounce to measure the serving size of carbohydrates and protein.)

Of course it is better if you calculate calories consumed daily if you have the knowledge.  Below are some of the common foods with calories stated to help you understand better about calories contained in each type of food.

Whole wheat toast: 80 calories per slice
Whole grain cereal: 100 to 120 calories per cup
Plain instant oatmeal packet: about 100 calories per packet
Brown rice: 110 calories per half cup
White rice: 80 calories per half cup
Doughnuts: about 200 calories each at Dunkin’ Donuts
Blueberry muffin: 470 calories each at Dunkin’ Donuts
Baked potatoes: 220 calories for medium-size
2 slices of a medium hand-tossed cheese pizza at Pizza Hut: 520 calories
Soup at restaurant:
Baked potato soup: 650 calories per serving
Cheddar broccoli soup: 460 calories per serving

Milk: 100 calories per cup
Poached eggs: 90 calories per egg
Egg white: 15 calories per egg white
Chicken: 48 calories per ounce
Shrimp: 26 calories per ounce
Beef: 60 calories per ounce
Fish: 30 to 45 calories per ounce

Mixed greens: 8 calories per cup
Steam carrot: 46 calories per cup
Steam broccoli 24 calories per cup
Steam spinach: 8 calories per cup
Tomato: 38 calories per cup

Fruit juices: 120 calories per cup
Medium-size orange: 65 calories each
Medium-size pear: 98 calories each
Medium-size banana: 105 calories each
Pineapple: 80 calories per cup
20 medium seedless grapes: 30 calories
Strawberries: 46 calories per cup
Raspberries: 62 calories per cup
Blueberries: 82 calories per cup

Peanut: 160 calories per ounce
2% cottage cheese: 180 calories per cup
Cheddar cheese: 110 calories per ounce

Light garlic sauce: 18 calories per tablespoon
Sugar: 46 calories per tablespoon
Peanut oil: 120 calories per tablespoon
Olive oil: 120 calories per tablespoon
Jam: 18 calories per teaspoon
Butter: 100 calories per tablespoon
Peanut butter: 95 calories per tablespoon
Satay peanut sauce: 150 calories per quarter cup
Mayonnaise: 100 calories per tablespoon
Mustard: 5 calories per tablespoon
Balsamic vinegar: 10 calories per tablespoon
Low fat dressing: 24 calories per tablespoon
Sour cream: 26 calories per tablespoon
Caesar dressing: 85 calories per tablespoon
Chili sauce: 26 calories per tablespoon
Oyster sauce: 23 calories per tablespoon

If you are not used to calculate calories intake everyday, at least use your hands to measure the portions if you serious enough to lose weight.  Of course, you need to change your lifestyle and have correct weight loss concept before any program for weight loss.

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