Measuring Calorie Intake

We’ve learned what a calorie is and how to figure out how many calories are in our food, so now we need to calculate how many calories we are actually consuming.  The way to do this is simple, but it is often overlooked.  Food diaries.

I’m not going to lie, starting a food diary can be a bit of a pain.  But once you get started, it becomes much easier and is an incredibly valuable tool for weight loss, weight maintenance and overall health.  And with today’s technology, food diaries have become easier than ever.

So what is a food diary?

A record of everything you consumed during a time period.  This includes beverages, that one bite of leftovers you ate while putting dinner away, or the crust you finished off from your kid’s sandwich.  Everything you put in your body effects your health and weight, so everything must be accounted for.

Write down (or use a website or app) what foods you ate, what you drank, and how much of everything.  You do not need to measure everything – just give your best guess.  If you are not familiar with measurements it’s best to get out some measuring cups and spoons so you have a visual aid to go by.

An example would be:

Breakfast, 8am
2 eggs, scrambled in 1 tbsp. butter
1 slice of whole wheat toast with 2 tsps. of grape jelly
1 cup of coffee, black

Lunch, 12:45pm
2 slices of whole wheat bread
1 tbsp. mayonnaise
3 slices of deli ham
1 slice of cheddar cheese
2 slices of tomato
1/3 cup of Romaine lettuce
1 snack bag of Lay’s potato chips
1 apple
1 can diet Coke

Snack, 3pm:
2 M&M’s from break room candy jar
1 package of peanut butter crackers
1 diet Coke

Dinner, 7pm:
1 baked chicken breast
1 cup of broccoli with cheese sauce
1 baked potato with 1 tbsp. of butter
1 can diet Coke

Snack, 9pm:
1/4 cup of ice cream
1 sugar cookie
2 potato chips

Write everything down!  Be detailed.

If you are using an app or website, the calorie estimates will be calculated for you, which is a great bonus!

Some great websites and apps are:


If you are using pen and paper, you will need to use food labels and this website to calculate the calorie amounts of the foods you ate.

So the challenge (yes, another challenge, I’m sorry!) is to keep a food diary for at least 3 days.  It’s best to have at least 1 of the days be a weekend day since we tend to treat ourselves over the weekend.  Keep the calorie counts for each day.

At the end, you can compare the calories you take in versus these charts that estimate how many calories you should take in.  Are you eating enough?  Too little?  Where do you need to make changes?  We will look into the answers of these questions next Tuesday.

Tuesday’s Tabata Challenge

I hope you all enjoyed your Tabata workout yesterday!  All I ask is for 4 minutes of exercise a day.  This can be in addition to a workout or your only workout.  Make everything work for you, and you will be heading in the right direction!  So let’s do this!

Tabata Tuesday workout:

Move 1: High Knees (either running or marching – bring those needs up as high as you can!)

Move 2: Bicycle crunches (or regular crunches)

If you need a reminder on how to complete the Tabata workout, check out this post.

Let me know in the comment section when you have completed your challenge.



2 responses to “Measuring Calorie Intake

  1. This is too good and very useful. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I would love to add a calorie count for each of my recipe posts 🙂


    • With a little (or maybe a lot – depending on the ingredient list) math you can calculate recipe calorie counts. There are also websites out there that will give you a calorie count estimate for recipes.
      Best of luck! I’m hoping to try one of your tasty recipes soon!


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