Easy Calorie Counting

From Jillian Michaels

When it comes to losing weight, "calories in/calories out" is the name of the game. Burn more than you consume -- it's that simple. But how do you know how many calories you consume in the first place?

Getting an accurate calorie count is easy on days when you can measure all your meals and snacks with the help of a measuring cup and scale. Once you've done all the scooping and weighing, you can get the number by adding up the calories based on your portion sizes. But how do you estimate calories when those tools aren't available?

If you're eating out, here are some useful tips for assessing portion sizes:

  • The size of your fist is roughly equal to a 1-cup serving of cereal, wild rice, black beans, and most other grain foods.
  • The size of your thumb is roughly equal to 1-ounce serving of cheese.
  • The center of your palm of your hand, without fingers, is roughly equal to a 3-ounce serving of fish, chicken, beef, or other meat.

  • Easy, right? Give yourself a hand — no pun intended — and start measuring!

    Does the thought of counting calories freak you out? Don't worry. You don't need to be a mathemetician to figure this stuff out. Why not buy a calorie-counter book? These completely affordable guides list calories for many common foods based on brand and portion size.


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