Counting calories is of course important, but you do not have to be compulsive about it. You can get a good idea of the amount of calories you intake during a day, by following some easy guidelines established by June Roth and Harvey M. Moss, authors of The Executive Success Diet. They have grouped most common foods into three basic calorie categories:
200 to 400 Calories:
Meat:- Nearly all 4 ounce servings of meat fit into this range, with extremely lean cuts at about 250 calories, and fatty ones like short ribs at 400.
Poultry:- Count 4 ounces of poultry, prepared without the skin or any added fat, as 200 calories.
Fish:- Count 200 calories for 4 ounces of un-fried fish, prepared with no added butter.
Pies and Cakes:- Figure 300 calories for fruit pies, 200 for plain cake, and 400 for frosted cake.
100 to 200 Calories:
Cheese, Milk, and Ice Cream:- Count 100 calories for 1 ounce of most hard cheeses. One cup of whole milk is 160 calories; skim milk is 90. One half cup of regular ice cream (like plain vanilla) is 150 calories.
Cereals and Grains:- Count all cereals as 100 calories per 1 ounce serving. Pasta is 210 calories for each 5 ounce cooked serving, without sauce. Add 30 calories for plain tomato sauce, and 150 for meat sauce.
0 to 100 Calories:
Eggs:- Count 80 calories for 1 plain egg (such as boiled).
Cream and Yogurt:- Count 50 calories for 1 tablespoon of most types of cream, including sweet, whipped, and sour. Low-fat plain yogurt is 10 calories per tablespoon.
Vegetables:- One half cup serving of most vegetables is 20 calories. Potatoes are 90 calories each.
Fruits:- Apples, pears, and bananas are 100 calories each. Grapefruits and oranges are 50 calories. Peaches, wedges of melon, or pineapple, and ½ cup of berries are 30 calories each.
Breads:- Count 60 calories for 1 slice of bread. Rolls and muffins are 150. Crackers are 25 calories each.
Beverages:- Coffee and tea are 0 calories (15 calories for each teaspoon of sugar; 11 for each ounce of skimmed milk, and 20 calories for each ounce of whole milk). Count all 8 ounce sodas as 100 calories. Count beer as 104 calories per 8 ounces, and wine as 70 calories per 3 ounces. Hard liquor is 70 calories per ounce.
Fats and Oils:- Count all butter, margarine, shortening, and oils at 100 calories per level tablespoon. Ditto for mayonnaise, Russian dressing, and tartar sauce.
Did you know that a glass of whole milk has more calories than a brownie? Yes, 159 versus 97! If you do not take beverage calories into account, you may have trouble with your weight and not know why. To get you thinking about the calories you drink – which may account for one half the calories you consume all day – here is a representative sampling of some popular beverages showing how greatly they can vary in caloric content per serving.
Beer – 12 ounces (156 calories)
Chocolate Shake – 8 ounces (352 calories)
Classic Coke – 12 ounces (144 calories)
Club Soda (0 calories)
Coffee, with half-and-half – 6 ounces (24 calories)
Cream Sherry – 1 ounce (59 calories)
Gin, Rum, Vodka, Whiskey, 80 proof – 1 ounce (70 calories)
Grapefruit Juice, fresh – 4 ounces (48 calories)
Herb Tea, unsweetened – 4 ounces (4 calories)
Instant Tea, unsweetened – 4 ounces (4 calories)
Kahlua – 1 ounce (119 calories)
Light Beer – 12 ounces (98 calories)
Non-alcoholic White Wine – 4 ounces (28 calories)
Pepsi Cola – 12 ounces (160 calories)
Skim Milk – 8 ounces (88 calories)
Sundance Apple Cooler – 10 ounces (119 calories)
Tomato Juice – 4 ounces (24 calories)
Vegetable Juice Cocktail – 4 ounces (28 calories)
White Wine – 4 ounces (92 calories)
Whole Milk – 8 ounces (159 calories)
Looking at the above comparisons, even a “high calorie” drink like a light beer might find a niche on a weight control program – if you can limit yourself to one or two. Think about it: When was the last time you sat at the bar and drank a six pack of grapefruit juice, which is about equal to beer in calories? Clearly, putting your beverages on a diet is as much a matter of how much you drink, as what you select.