General Question

Sneki2's avatar

Can a number of calories be measured in grams?

Asked by Sneki2 (2447points) July 15th, 2017

For example, 200 calories is x number of grams?

I found some app where you enter what you’ve eaten and it calculates, in detail, how many calories did you enter. So, if you enter your weight and target weight, it can calculate how much do you need to burn, or how much you’re allowed to eat today.
It said I can eat 284 calories today to in order to reach the target weight.

The thing is, I’m about to attend some gathering, I’ll be served food, and I have no idea how many calories will be in there.

How much, in grams, approximately, should I eat in order not to overeat?

Considering the meals in all gatherings here are more or less the same, I expect stuff like a soup, grilled meat (probably pork or lamb) and cake. I assume I should avoid sodas and sweets but what about the rest?

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33 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

To be accurate you need to know the ratio of fat, carbs, protein and alcohol. (You can call fiber zero). Each one has a slightly different calories per gram value But you can get close.
Fat: 1 gram = 9 calories
Protein: 1 gram = 4 calories
Carbohydrates: 1 gram = 4 calories
Alcohol: 1 gram = 7 calories

Sneki2's avatar

Thank you.

zenvelo's avatar

Trying to guess while at a gathering is widely inaccurate. So using the info @LuckyGuy posted, eat vegetables and proteins, as lean as possible, and stay away from starches (carbohydrates). No potatoes, no rice, no bread.

And sauces are sneaky, they tend to have hidden fats and hidden carbohydrates, so avoid them too.

Avoid dairy; too much lactose even in the fat free versions.

Be discerning with soup. Many soups have flour or cream, and also carbs such as potatoes or rice. But a clear soup with vegetables can be healthy while also filling.

And be discreet with desserts, a bite or two but no more.

You don’t say if you are working on losing weight on a long term ba sis, but what I have laid out will help anytime you eat away from home.

janbb's avatar

I would also counsel to try to eat half portions of what you are served if at all possible.

Stinley's avatar

Eating out when you are logging what you eat is very tricky. If you can avoid it and eat at home, you can weigh and measure everything. This is the key to losing weight. Monitor every mouthful.

Of course you can’t become a hermit and avoid all social eating arrangements. Also you will get better at working out what foods kill your calorie allowance and what don’t. But if you follow what others have said above and eat mostly veggies and soup you should be fine.

Good luck with changing your eating habits. It takes a while to put on the weight so give yourself plenty of time to reduce it.

kritiper's avatar

It depends on what type of food you end up eating. Having a calorie counting note book with you would help to estimate the amount of calories in certain dishes, and what a normal serving size is for that dish.
Usually, calories are measured by BTU’s, or how many are required to heat a certain amount of water to a certain degree. So one couldn’t say that 1 gram of lettuce would heat as much water as 1 gram of sugar, or 1 gram of fat.
How to eat less calories and still feel full?? Eat more vegetables/fiber/bulk.

Soubresaut's avatar

I think I read the OP wrong, so I wanted to check… Sneki, did you mean that you had 284 calories remaining in your count for that day, or 284 calories total for the whole day?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, if they offer veggies, like corn, eat that first. Eat sides first and the meat last.

Yes, I’m curious about that 284, too.

Sneki2's avatar

remaining. I need around 2000 for a day.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Remaining? You’ll get that many calories in, like, 2 ribs.

JLeslie's avatar

Remember that most restaurants prepare vegetables with fat, so even that is difficult to calculate when you eat out. American chain restaurants have the calories listed on their website.

I like having a little book in my kitchen to look up calories.

Dutchess_III's avatar

He’s not going to a restaurant

Dutchess_III's avatar

I am wondering, though, why you didn’t plan your meals earlier in the day around this function you’re going to, and cut back then? Most cook outs I figure about 800 to 1000 calories so….I pretty much don’t eat that day before then.

Sneki2's avatar

I forgot.

It’s over now, I managed to approximately calculate what I’ve been eating.

JLeslie's avatar

If not a restaurant then it’s easy to calculate calories. Just look up the ingredients of what you’re eating.

Soubresaut's avatar

Okay cool! That’s what I assumed, just wanted to make sure! Glad also you were able to stay within your goal! :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well @Sneki2?! What did you eat at the get together?

Sneki2's avatar

There was some soup with chicken meat. After that, there was pork meat with cabbage salad, and tomato and cucumber salad too. There was also cheese pie and later, the cakes. I shared one slice with my sister, so I took a few bites.
I only drank water.

When I entered the amounts, approximately, it said I needed to burn108 calories.

This is all approximately, by the number of servings and spoons and stuff. It may not all be accurate, considering I don’t know the exact amount of one plate of soup and two pieces of pie.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Two pieces of pie?! One wasn’t enough? Remember the desired number is your goal. If you have more, you either have to short-change yourself tomorrow or work it off by exercise. An extra 100 calories is an extra 1 mile walk. Is it worth it? Not for me.
Look at it this way. If someone said they left a half a piece of pie a mile away and it was mine if I walked or jogged to get it, it would be eaten by the raccoons.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Did you eat the pork meat the cheese pie and the cake? What kind of dressing did you put on the salad? And are you saying you ate two pieces of pie?

janbb's avatar

@Dutchess_III For someone who professes to not enjoy or care about food, you seem awfully interested in the details of @Sneki2‘s meal. Since she was asking about calories and feels she stayed within her allotted amount, why does it matter to you what she ate?

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

@Sneki2, I find using Myfitnesspal helpful. It has a really good database of different foods and brands. It costs nothing to use too. You can download it to your phone and keep track of your food and exercise.

Keep in mind, weight loss is driven mostly by what we eat. Exercise is important to our overall health, but if you want to lose weight, what you eat (or don’t eat) is the priority.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Because @janbb, if she ate 2 pieces of pie and half a piece of cake as well as the main meal of pork and cheese and salad (most dressings are calorie heavy) then she was well over 380 calories, just with the pie alone (assuming it’s my idea of what a pie is,) which was her question.
I need to know in the interests of answering the question.

I’m going to check out your link too @Earthbound_Misfit.

janbb's avatar

But she said what she ate a few posts back.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Might keep @LuckyGuy‘s list handy (I added sugar.)

Fat: 1 gram = 9 calories
Protein: 1 gram = 4 calories
Carbohydrates: 1 gram = 4 calories
Alcohol: 1 gram = 7 calories
Sugar 1 gram = 4 calories

So if you broke your pie down the crust would have carbs and fats in it, but you have to be able to eyeball how much of each, and also know how a pie crust is made. I know that a pie crust is made of flour and fat of some kind. That fat can make a HUGE difference.

Yesterday I mentioned how shocked I was to learn the difference in calories between a McDonad’s English muffin, which is what most of their breakfast sandwiches use, and a McDonalds.biscuit (which you can request instead.) A muffin has 67 calories. A biscuit has 267!! The only difference is the fat content.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You know @Sneki2, with Google available to you, I don’t know that you have to do all that mental measuring. I did when I changed my eating habits because we didn’t have the internet. But now all you have to do is type in your stuff.
I don’t know what kind of pie you had, but I just typed in one slice of apple pie, and there was the average calories in a slice. 300 calories.
Again, not know what was in the soup, I asked how many calories in a plate of chicken soup.. The answer (rounding up) is 100.

@janbb, she listed what the menu was, but she didn’t tell us what or how much she ate. And then, at the end of her post she mentioned “This is all approximately, by the number of servings and spoons and stuff. It may not all be accurate, considering I don’t know the exact amount of one plate of soup and two pieces of pie.” @LuckyGuy caught that first (I didn’t) and asked if she had two pieces of pie.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The more I think about the actual question, the more I have to say “No, you can’t count calories in grams.”
Take the pie for instance: For the crust you have to calculate the calories in the flour (carbohydrates) and the calories in the fat used. Then guestimate the multiplication that comes with counting the entire grams in the crust and the fat.
Then you have to try and figure the grams in the sugar in the filling, and multiply that.
Then you have to add the crust and filling together. Google does that for you.

Sneki2's avatar

Oh, ok, sorry for askinng.

“Google it” dismissal? Really? You could’ve just not answer if you find it a stupid question.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

It wasn’t a stupid question. There are so many systems for evaluating what you eat, it can be confusing. Have a look at the app I suggested. It not only helps you calculate your food consumption, but it does offer breakdowns for the percentage of fat, protein, carbs etc. as well as the calories.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Sneki2 Using those magic number I gave you above you can estimate the calories in other foods. It is fun to see how close you are. Remember, pure sugar counts as carbohydrates.

How many calories in 25 grams of butter. Hmm… let’s assume it is all fat… so 9 x 25 = 225.
Let’ check ... I just looked it up and saw 179. That is close enough. Apparently it has some protein as well.
You can do this for cookies too. Assume 50% sugar 5% fat You will be very close.

Once you know, you know!
Great Question!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I did not think it was a stupid question @Sneki2. I thought it was a very good question. I’ve been counting calories for 30 years. But asking Google how many calories are in a piece of apple pie is a hell of a lot easier than estimating the number of carb grams in the crust, the fat grams in the crust, then the sugar / carb grams in the filling and then adding that up altogether.
And then on to the chicken soup.
And the cheese pie.
You’ll be starved to death by the time you gets it all added up! Plus you’ll more than likely give up out of frustration.

With experience you’ll eventually be able to eyeball your food to come up with a close approximation of the total calories in it. But it takes experience and perseverance.

Generally speaking, a piece of bread has 100 calories.
A slice of American cheese has 100 calories.
A tablespoon of fat has 100 calories.
A tablespoon of sugar has 100 calories.
^^^ These are high. But rounding up is a good idea.

I wish I’d had Google when I started. As it was, I read the labels and memorized them until it became second nature to just know my calories.

I wish you luck. And I’m glad you’re taking this step. It’s a very important one, IMO.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@LuckyGuy, I don’t think you want to confuse people with the metabolic process of carbs / sugars. I mean, take a slice of bread, 100 calories. But you pile up sugar to equal the size of a slice of bread you’re going to have a hell of a lot more than 100 calories in that pile of sugar!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Now, I’m off to get 150 calories of starch and sugar for breakfast (a McD’s hashbrown.)

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