Q:

# How Do You Calculate the Calories in the Food You Eat?

A:

Calculate the calories you consume daily by measuring portions, reading labels and adding it all together. The amount of calories you need varies by your age, height, weight and nutritional needs.

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1. Measure the portions

Determine the portion size you consume, either by weighing the food on a food scale or finding the volume with a measuring cup or a measuring spoon. Food labels have the amount of calories for one serving.

2. Interpret the food label

Read the top of the food label to see the calories per serving. For example, one serving may be 3 ounces and 200 calories, while another food label may have a single serving at 100 calories for one-half cup of food. Other foods may have serving sizes by the number of pieces to eat, such as 10 crackers for 100 calories. If the food does not have a food label, find an online source such as WebMD, Calories Count or Self magazine's food search databases.

3. Calculate calories

Compare your serving size to the recommended serving on the food label. For instance, if one serving is 100 calories for 5 ounces and you eat 10 ounces of the food, that is 200 calories. If you just eat one-half of a serving of the same food, that is 50 calories for 2.5 ounces.

4. Add it all up

Determine calorie counts for each individual food you eat. Then, add all of the foods together for the total calories you consume in a day.