How to calculate for a food serving portion calories
- Search for a recipe
of said food
- Calculate for the calories
contained in each ingredient (use nutritional Web site such as www.calorieking.com/
- Sum up total calories
contained in all ingredients
- Divide the total calories in the recipe by its number
of serving to get the calories per serving.
for Feeling Good, Looking Good & Living well
Calories: How many do you need?
Calories measure the amount of energy that is supplied by
carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in food. The energy supplied by food is
needed for vital body functions like growth, movement, and thought.
A weight gain results when the number of calories consumed is greater
than the number of calories used. When the number of calories consumed is
less than the number of calories used, there is weight loss. There is no
weight change when calories consumed equals calories used. Each person's
energy balance is directly related to a combination of their behaviors,
environment, and genetics.
Food labels identify the amount of calories and nutrients per serving.
But how many calories do you need to fuel your daily activities? The
National Academy of Sciences makes the following daily calorie
- 1,600 calories is about right for many sedentary women and some
- 2,200 calories is about right for most children, teenage girls,
active women, and many sedentary men (Women who are pregnant or
breastfeeding may need somewhat more.)
- 2,800 calories is about right for teenage boys, many active men, and
some very active women
Excess calorie consumption plays a major role in being overweight. The
convenience of fast food restaurants, pre-packaged foods, and soft drinks
affect our food choices. These are likely to be high in fat and calories.
Large portion servings also increase caloric consumption. People who do
not know the basics about nutrition or understand food labels are less
likely to make healthy food choices. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are
the major nutrient components of the diet. Carbohydrates and proteins
provide 4 calories per gram, while fats contribute 9 calories per gram.
Food choices and food preparation effect the amount of calories we
consume. Most Americans follow meal plans that are much too high in fat. A
diet low in fat will reduce the risk for getting certain diseases and help
maintain a healthy weight. To lower fat intake, choose plenty of whole
grain products, vegetables, and fruits that provide needed vitamins,
minerals, fiber, and complex carbohydrates.
Keep the fat content of your foods to 30 percent or less. The total
grams of fat for a 1,600 calorie diet would be 53, for a 2,200 calorie
diet the total would be 73, and for a 2,800 calorie diet the total would
be 93. Therefore, for a 30 percent fat diet, 837 calories of a 2,200
calorie diet may be fat calories. Counting fat grams has become popular.
To determine the fat in the food you eat in terms of fat grams, read the
food package label. It will tell you how many grams of fat and what kinds
of fats are in each serving.
If there is a balance between your caloric intake and your activity
level, you should maintain your weight. If your caloric intake increases
and your activity level does not, you will probably gain weight. If you
eat fewer calories and increase your activity level, you should lose
Minimum Daily Calorie intake
It is difficult to set absolute bottom calorie levels, because everyone
has different body composition and activity levels. Health authorities do
set some baselines - these are 1200 calories per day for women, and 1800
calories per day for men. This doesn't really make too much sense - are
you are sedentary person with little muscle mass? Or someone who is tall,
muscular, and exercises a lot? Absolute levels don't work - but do give us
a starting point.
When reducing calories:
Try not to lower your calorie intake by more than 1000 calories below
maintenance. Doing so may invoke the bodies starvation response, which can
lead to the Yo-yo dieting effect.
Try to gradually lower calories. A sudden drop (such as 500
calories or more) can cause your metabolism to slow.
Eating to Lose Weight, Gain Weight, or Maintain
We’ll use the 2,000-calorie recommendation as a jumping-off point. If
you’re trying to lose weight, you should subtract up to 500 calories per
day---since 3,500 calories is equal to a pound of fat, this will yield one
pound a week in fat loss. (1—2 pounds per week is the rate agreed upon
by fitness and nutrition experts as ideal for long-term success.) So, if
you’re attempting to lose weight, start with 1,500 calories, if you’re
looking to maintain your weight, stick with 2,000 calories, and if
you’re trying to gain weight, start with 2,500 calories.
However, if you’re also working out regularly, remember that you’re
also burning additional calories through exercise and therefore require
extra energy. If your workouts are particularly intense, you may need to
increase your number by 50 or 100 calories just to get through them.
Strength Training More Than Twice a Week?
Every pound of muscle gained through resistance training increases your
resting metabolic rate by 35—50 calories per day (a number, though
controversial, that is still agreed upon by many health experts). This may
mean you can allow yourself a slight bump in calories if you are consistently
strength training 3 or more times per week. This is not an excuse to eat
more, but rather a lifestyle habit to factor into your total calorie
burn---it means you’re active, and therefore will require more calories
than a person who is sedentary.
This adjustment will, of course, vary from person to person. If you’re a
man trying to put on muscle weight, you may need to add extra calories as
you gain mass. If you’re trying to lose weight from fat but increase
your muscle tone, and you’re exercising regularly, you may safely add up
to 50 calories to your starting number. Remember to pay attention to how
you feel: if you don’t have enough energy to get through your workouts,
you may not be eating enough.
5’1”, 6’3”, or Somewhere in Between?
Perhaps more than anything else, your size dictates how many calories
you burn daily. A 6-foot-tall, 200-pound person burns more calories than a
5-foot-tall, 100-pound person. Period. It takes more energy, or calories,
to move a 200-pound body around whether that person is overweight or lean.
So, if you’re very petite and trying to lose weight, 1,500
calories may be too many. Likewise, if you’re very tall, it might not be
enough. Assume the 2,000-calorie recommendation from Cooking Light
is for an average woman of around 150 pounds and adjust accordingly.
Remember that these are just estimates and that caloric needs vary from
person to person. You may need to exercise a little trial and error:
determine your starting number based on your age and gender, and then
decide whether you want to lose, maintain, or gain weight. Keep a food
journal to ensure that your calorie consumption matches that goal number,
and then adjust as you go based on your workout habits and results. If you
have a large amount of weight to lose or are still uncertain, consult an
expert to calculate your exact calorie needs.
K Calories/hour for Type of Exercise
Office Work 140
Golf, with trolley 180
Golf, without trolley 240
Gardening, planting 250
Dancing, ballroom 260
Walking, 3mph 280
Table Tennis 290
Gardening, hoeing 350
Water Aerobics 400
Dancing, aerobic 420+
Bicycling, moderate 450+
Jogging, 5mph 500
Gardening, digging 500
Swimming, active 500+
Cross country ski machine 500+
Step Aerobics 550+
Power Walking 600+
Cycling, studio 650
Skipping rope 700+
Burning fat vs. burning calories
Research shows aerobic activity done at a low to moderate intensity
actually burns more stored fat, than if exercising at a higher intensity.
Fat is a slow burning energy source utilized during longer bouts of cardio
exercise. People interested in dropping pounds should perform 60 to 90
minutes of cardio, according to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
by the USDA. The amount of fat you burn has little to do with your
choice of aerobic exercise, and everything to do with the amount of time
you devote to sustainable cardiovascular exercise.
To ensure you’re exercising enough, you’ll first need to determine
your target heart rate zone. Known as the Karvonen Formula, it provides
the baseline of your training zones, which range from 50 percent to 70
percent for fat loss.
- Subtract 220 minus
your age = Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)
- Now, subtract your
MHR from your Resting Heart Rate (RHR) = Heart Rate Reserve
- Multiply your HRR
by 50%, then add RHR = lower training range
- Multiply your HRR
by 70%, then add RHR = moderate training range
- Multiply your HRR
by 70%, then add RHR = higher training range
(Get your RHR by
locating your pulse at rest, count the number of times your heart beats
during 30 seconds, and multiply that number by 2)
Although we have already established that exercising at a lower
intensity burns more fat calories than carbohydrates, the overall total
calories burned is greater at a higher intensity.
To burn calories, you will need to exercise harder at a moderate to
higher intensity of 75 – 85 percent of your maximum heart rate.
According to the Karvonen Formula (above), a greater number of calories
are used in 30 minutes than 60 minutes of fat burning.
When deciding on methods to burn fat and burn calories it all starts
with you. It depends on your body weight, fitness level, metabolism,
muscle development and gender.
Burning fat vs. burning carbohydrate
During exercise and physical activity, the primary fuels used by
muscles are carbohydrate and fat. When mild exercise is performed there is
a tendency to burn relatively more fat and less glucose, but as exercise
becomes more intense, a higher fraction of the energy demands of the
muscle are supplied by glucose, until at the highest intensities almost
only carbohydrates are used. Is this shift in fuel source a property of
the muscle itself, or does it represent the interplay between what is
happening in the muscle and the exercise-related responses in the rest of
The study, performed at the Copenhagen Muscle Research Center at the
University of Copenhagen, examined muscle fuel utilization in response to
graded exercise performed with only one leg. Nine healthy males performed
one-leg exercise at 25, 45, and 85% of maximal workload. Their results
showed that, when only a small mass of muscle is contracting, and blood
flow and oxygen supply are not limited by central circulatory capacity,
the shift in fuel source from fat to glucose as exercise intensity
increases does not occur.
Helge et al.'s findings show that the adaptations in the rest of the
body are the key to this fuel source shift during whole body exercise.
They also help scientists understand why athletes "hit the wall"
during events like the marathon, and they have implications for the
adaptations made in middle-aged adults who are using exercise to prevent
or treat conditions like diabetes and obesity. If the mechanisms can be
fully understood, it may be possible to develop agents that allow fat
oxidation to be maintained even during intense exercise with a large
Intake in Female-Headed and Male-Headed Households in Vietnam