General Diet Plans and Questions - How do you know how many calories there are?

12-03-2009, 11:04 AM
I have a question! I have been trying to loose weight by counting calories, although I sometime guess or round the calories, I would like to start counting more acuratley. So, my question is, how do you know how many calories are in something if it doesn't say on the item? Not everything I eat is labeled.

Does anyone have any tips or advice for me in counting calories, I find it kind of confusing. I also need to think about an actual plan, like servings of vegtables, fruits, dairy, protein, etc. I need some advice, please help.

I am getting frustrated and don't know what to do!?

12-03-2009, 11:10 AM
There are several websites available that you can use for free to track your calories, like FitDay or Spark People. Just search the food item and it will list the calories and other nutrition info for you. It can be frustrating at first, but you will get the hang of it.

12-03-2009, 11:18 AM
you are also going to HAVE TO start weighing your food (if you dont already). You need to actually MEASURE out a portion (as listed on package, or whatever)-- ALWAYS measure (at least for a while) everything

12-03-2009, 12:09 PM
The sites you said list the calories and other nutrional value; so do I pay attention to only the calories listed or do I incorporate the other information listed?

Ih ave not measured anything, I will give that a try. To get the correct portion size do you always go by what is listed as a portion on whatever you are eating?

12-03-2009, 01:15 PM
I've been using an "intuitive eating" method for portion control -- cutting out *all* sodas and juices, choosing one carb per meal, and filling one mid-size plate with at least three vegetables in addition to a piece of bread or scoop of rice. But I'm also eating nearly vegan and it's just a method that works for me; if you're liable to use large plates or find yourself heaping it on (as I used to do), surface-area control might not be enough. I just wanted to offer that as a possibility if weighing isn't an option (as for college students like me).

As for calorie amounts -- absolutely memorize those tables. Finding out how much was in fruit and veggies really made me feel better about filling my plate and replacing dessert with them.

12-03-2009, 01:25 PM
I have a calorie book from Calorie King. I wouldn't be without it. It has calorie counts for just about anything you can imagine. It also has ethnic foods, restaurant and fast foods. It is small enough to carry in your purse.
It is called Calorie KIng Fat and Carbohydrate Counter. You can usually find it at drug stores. I got mine at my HMO, Kaiser. You can also go online (

12-03-2009, 03:08 PM
Thank you all for sharing... Everyones answer helped me in some way..
Thanks again, I appreciate it.

12-04-2009, 12:36 AM
Also, if you find it more liveable later, you might want to eyeball calories someday. Doesn't work for everyone, but me I just glance at my food and roughly estimate the calories and put the ballpark number in my phone just to give me a basic idea of where I am so far that day calorie-wise. I ALWAYS round up to be safer, but it's very inaccurate, regardless. But it still keeps me accountable and takes almost none of my time, so I like it a lot (and I'm still losing weight on it too!). Whatever works for YOU is most important in the long run, though.

12-07-2009, 10:49 AM
I use Google (when at home) and my apps on my iTouch to estimate calories. There are a number of sites that pop up some of them listed above. If there is a range of a particular item, I tend to lean toward the higher number. Sparkpeople are good for custom recipes.

The fact I log any food eaten, helps me to avoid calorie creep. That is my goal, regardless of what I eat, I record it. This keeps me honest and able to make intelligent modifications if needed.