Either due to misleading labels or simply wishful thinking, most people don’t actually seem to know how many calories some of their favorite foods contain.
Counting calories is an arduous and time consuming process, as any dieter well knows. What makes it significantly more difficult, however, is when you have an inaccurate understanding of just how many calories are in your food. Suddenly, you think that you’re eating 2,000 calories a day, yet your weight either remains unchanged or begins to climb again.
There are plenty of confounding factors (and indeed, the calorie content between various brands of the same foods can vary significantly), but you can nonetheless learn the averages. Discussed below are how many calories some of the most commonly consumed foods contain.
100 Calorie Snacks
A hundred calories is highly unlikely to keep you full for long, but eating some foods will help more than others. Look for simple foods that aren’t calorically dense here, preferably with some fiber content. A handful (approximately 18) of peanuts is 100 calories, as is half a small bag of potato chips, a piece of regular string cheese, 3 cups of popcorn, a small glass of orange juice, or even 2 slices of bacon.
If you’re watching what you eat, avoid chocolate (4 Hershey’s Kisses equal a full 100 calories) and look for nuts, legumes, and whole wheat grains. The fiber content will give you a shot at actually feeling satiated whilst the low fat content won’t risk putting any more inches on your waistline.
250 Calorie Snacks
At 250 calories, you’re entering the realm of heavy snacking. A meal in this category should leave you feeling full and satisfied for at least an hour or two. Yet some foods can easily pile on 250 calories without providing any nutritional value or stomach satisfying complex carbohydrates.
For reference, the following foods contain 250 calories: A baked potato with sour cream, a slice of medium pepperoni pizza, a regular chocolate bar, a small fast food hamburger, 3 ounces Salmon with 3 ounces of mashed sweet potatoes, and a small order of fast food French fries.
As you can see, some of the foods listed above seem like they are significantly more filling than others (yet all contain the same amount of calories). Choose wisely.
At 400 calories, you are exiting snacking and moving on to small or even full meals. Yet there are plenty of foods that can pack 400 calories and leave you feeling quite hungry. For reference, you can easily get 400 calories from: 14 onion rings, a piece of cheesecake with whipped cream, a medium sized fast food burger, a 6 inch turkey sub with cheese and light mayo, and a light fast food salad.
As you can clearly tell by now, some simple or even small foods can contain hundreds of calories. The difference between a piece of cheesecake and a turkey sub is tremendous when it comes to your health, but no different when it comes to caloric content. Losing weight is about eating right and eating smart at the same time.