It is amazing how fast calories multiply. As we were leaving on our vacation to Salt Spring Island last month, my wife picked up a bag of Costco (Kirkland) Trail Mix.  One day when the bag was out and I was hungry I reached in and took some trail mix and then as I was eating it, read the label. WOW!! One serving of Kirkland trail mix is 3 Tablespoons which is 160 calories, 90 Fat calories, 40 mg sodium, 9 g sugar. Needless to say, that was the end of the trail mix for me.

Out of curiosity, and because it had been a while since I had last refreshed my memory on calories, I did some checking of some common food. Here is what I found:

  • Breakfast Cereals: the calorie content of a regular breakfast cereal varies from 110 calories to as much as 190 calories. A regular breakfast cereal bar is about 150 calories.
  • Whole Milk: 150 calories, Skimmed Milk: 85 calories.
  • Yogurt: one cup full fat milk yogurt contains 150 calories.
  • Cheddar Cheese: 1 ounce contains 115 calories.
  • Butter: 1 tablespoon is  101 calories.
  • Jelly: 1 tablespoon is 40 calories.
  • Lean Beef: has about 170 calories per 100 grams.
  • Ground Beef: has 259 calories per 100 grams (147 from fat).
  • Chicken contains 150 calories per 100 grams.
  • Pork contains about 120 calories per 100 grams
  • White Fish (cod) has 100 calories per 100 grams while oily fish such as salmon & sardines have 130 – 240 calories per 100 grams.
  • Turkey meat contain about 140 calories per 100 grams.
  • Garbanzo Beans:  contains 45 calories per 100 grams and kidney beans contain about 125 calories per 100 grams.
  • Brown Rice: One cup is 216 calories.
  • White Chocolate Mocha with non-fat milk: is 400 calories with 99 fat calories.
  • Banana Bran Muffin: 420 calories, 135 fat calories.
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie: 438 calories, 162 fat calories.

100 grams of meat is only about 3.5 ounces. The food and drink we consume in our daily diet provides the energy and nutrients we need to stay healthy and energetic. Our personal calorie needs  vary according to our weight, age, gender and activity level, but “on average” women need about 2000 calories a day to maintain their energy balance and keep their weight stable. Men need about 2500  a day. The energy content of stored body fat is about 3500 calories, so a 500 calorie deficit is needed each day in order to lose one pound. The safest way to create an energy deficit is by reducing calorie intake and at the same time increasing energy expenditure.

Dr. Neal Barnard, M.D. of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, (PCRM) writes in his book, Breaking the Food Seduction, that to lose weight you should take your goal weight and multiply it by 10; that will give you the calories you should consume for the day. In other words, if your goal weight is 135#, then multiply that by 10 and that gives your 1350 calories for the day.

Remember that broken cookies, a stray potato chip and food off of the kids plates all counts up in calories. A great way to check the calorie content of the foods that you eat is to simply Google it. I also found a great web site on food labels, check it out here.