The Easiest Way to Estimate the Calories in a Food

Alykhan Gulamali
Atomic Improvement
Published in
2 min readAug 10, 2022

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Photo by Juan José Valencia Antía on Unsplash

The easiest way to find out how many calories are in certain foods is to look them up on MyFitnessPal.

MyFitnessPal has the largest database of foods with calorie counts on the web, so chances are they will have the exact food you’re looking for.

If they don’t have your exact match, you can substitute one of their generic food items or a similar item from another brand or restaurant as an estimate.

On this page, they have a search feature where you can look up any food.

You don’t have to be a user, but I do recommend signing up and tracking your calories for at least a few weeks because it’s a good skill to develop.

Since many MyFitnessPal foods are user-submitted, not all calorie counts will be accurate.

You should do a quick “reasonability check” on the calories after you look them up.

For example, if I see a quarter-pound cheeseburger listed at only 100 calories or an apple listed at 500 calories, I know that these are not correct.

As you gain more experience looking up calories, you’ll gain a better sense of what’s reasonable.

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Alykhan Gulamali
Atomic Improvement

Author of Calorie Counting Made Easy and The Effort Matrix. Over 4M views in health, finance, and productivity. Trying not to suck at life.