I’m going to start this article off by saying that calories aren’t evil! Calories are energy and we all need energy to live, breath, work and have fun. But, if your health goals are also focused on losing, gaining or even maintaining a particular weight, then having a bit of knowledge around how many calories are in the foods we eat makes a huge difference to how easy or hard it is to achieve these goals.
Some foods, like spinach, contain a whole lot of nutrients without a lot of energy. Others, like lollies, have a whole lot of energy without much nutrition. This means that you need to eat a large portion of spinach to get the same amount of energy you’d get from even a couple of lollies. But, you’ll also be feeding your body a tonne of nutrients which will help it to function at its best.
Now, that’s not to say that there’s no place for high calorie, low nutrient foods in your diet. They’re okay as an occasional treat. But, being aware of how large a serving is will help you to fuel your body to achieve your goals and then treat yourself without going completely haywire on the total calorie count and undoing all your hard work.
To help you do just that, check out what 200 calories looks like…
These foods all contain approximately 200 calories
2 medium apples
2 tablespoons of peanut butter
190g can of tuna in springwater
4 size 6 eggs
8 corn thins
28 dry roasted almonds
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups strawberries
200ml red wine (approximately 1 large glass)
2 small whole milk lattes without sugar
¾ cup full fat, plain Greek yoghurt
⅓ blueberry muffin
50g cheddar cheese
1½ tbsp olive oil
1 cup cooked pasta
1 cup cooked brown rice
4 small squares of 85% dark chocolate
2 tablespoons of Nutella
100g lean beef
125g chicken breast
1 head broccoli
Do any of these food quantities surprise you? Which would you prefer to eat?
Just remember, when it comes to simple weight management, portion control makes things easy! Understand what your body needs in terms of energy, fuel it with nutritious foods and keep treats to an appropriate size.
If you love starting your day with cereal, check out this comparison of the best Australian healthy cereals.