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8 Easy Ways to Determine The Amount of Calories You Eat Daily


The purpose of the article is to give you some information on 8 Easy Ways to Determine The Amount of Calories You Eat Daily. To determine the amount of calories you eat daily, you need to decide to keep record of the amount of food you eat daily for a specific period of time.

8 Easy Ways to Determine The Amount of Calories You Eat Daily

You should record your food intake over a 3-7 day period, as one single day may give a biased value.

An 8-ounce glass of skim milk is easy to record, and the caloric value can be precise as well.  However, how many calories are in a slice of pizza at your favorite Italian restaurant? How big was the piece? What is the caloric content of the cheese, green peppers, pepperoni, and mushrooms?

When you’re dealing with complex food combination such as these, your estimate of caloric content are not as precise.

For example, one-quarter of a 10-inch pizza with thin crust contains two starch or bread, one medium-fat meat, and one fat exchange, or the equivalent of 280 calories.

Although you may wish to use a ruler, a small measuring scale, and a measuring cup at home to accurately record the amount of food you eat, they are not practical for may dining situations.

The following may serve as guidelines for you to record the type and amount of calories you eat:

1. Keep a small notepad with you. Record the foods you have eaten as soon as possible, noting the kind of food and the amount.

2. Check the labels of the foods you eat. Most commercial products today have nutritional information listed, including the number of calories per serving. Record these data when available.

3. Calories for most fluids are given in relationship to ounces. For fluids, remember that 1 cup or regular glass is about 8 ounces. Most regular canned drinks contain 12 ounces, although smaller and larger sizes are available.

4. Calories for meat, poultry, fish and other related products are usually given by ounces.  To get the idea of how many ounces are in these products, you could buy a set weight of meat, say 16 ounces, and cut it into four equal pieces.

Each would weigh approximately 4 ounces, or about the size of a deck of playing cards. Get a mental picture of this size and use it as a guide to portion sizes.

5. For fruits and vegetables the caloric values are usually expressed relative to 1/2  cup of vegetables or fruit and place it in a bowl or on a plate. Again, make a mental picture of this serving size and use it as a reference.

Compare the sizes of different fruits and notice the difference between a small, medium, and large piece.

6. For starch or bread products, the calories are most expressed per serving, such as an average-size slice of bread or a dinner roll. In this case, it’s relatively easy to determine quantity.

Depending on the type of cereal, pasta, grain, or starchy vegetable, the measure for one exchange is usually 1/3 or 1/2 cup. Use the mental picture concept again to estimate quantities.

7. For substances such as sugar, jams, jellies, nondairy creamers, and related products, make a mental picture of a teaspoon and tablespoon. These are common means whereby calories are given.

One level teaspoon of sugar is about 20 calories; jams and jellies contain similar amounts. Calorie values of other products may be obtained from nutrition labels.

8. For combination foods, you’ll need to list the ingredients separately to calculate the caloric content. Labels on most food products list caloric content per serving.

Through experience you should be able to readily identify, within a small error range, the quantities of food you eat. This is not only helpful for determining your caloric intake only but may also serve as a motivational device to restrict portion sizes when you’re on a weight loss diet.

Computer programs and calorie calculators are available to calculate caloric intake as well as nutrient content. Moreover, nutritional analysis software programs are available for personal home computers.

Finally, knowledge is not the total answer; your behavior should reflect your knowledge. For instance, you may know that whole milk contains about 60 more calories per glass than skim milk, but if you cannot develop a taste for skim milk then the advantage of your knowledge is lost in this instance.

Let’s share opinions on this topic. What other ways do you think one can determine the amount of calories one eat daily?

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