Calorie Calculator: How to Calculate Food Calorie and Daily Calories Intake

This calorie calculator can be used by all the families as a food calorie calculator or daily calorie intake calculator. There are various features of this app but this article will focus on the three modules that are used to calculate calories. They are

Module 1 – Calculates recipe nutrition and is food Calorie Calculator

Module 2 – Make my meal plan provides daily calories intake along with nutrition intake

Module 3 – Provides detailed nutritional status and is a comprehensive calorie calculator

Let us see them one by one.

Module 1 – Food Calorie Calculator

This calculator is the simplest of the three modules and is used to find our calories in the food prepared. You can also find out calories in foods such as bananas or calories in an apple that is added as a meal.

Highlights of module 1 food Calorie Calculator

  1. Calculates calories and nutrition in your food or recipe
  2. Can calculate recipe or plate nutrition as per serving
  3. Supports 7 different regional languages other than English, if you know the local name of that vegetable, you can simply type it in English to select the food. The image on the left side may help you identify the food. 
  4. Need to record the weight of ingredients properly to get more accurate results. If you want to calculate food calories, you must know their actual weight of foodstuff that is being used in making the recipe.
  5. To use the daily calorie intake calculator – module 2, you must prepare your recipes by using this food calorie calculator as they form part of your meal plan.

How to use module 1 as a food Calorie Calculator

The calculator is part of calculating recipe nutrition in the app. When you enter the app the first module is on the top left side displayed as “Calculate Recipe Nutrition”. In that, you can go to calculate recipe nutrition.

In order to use it as a food calorie calculator, you must use it to calculate calories in a single food. 

Specify the recipe name as the name of the fruit or vegetable, then write the number of people sharing that food. Then select the food from the food list. You can type the food name known to you in your local language and enter its weight and hit the calculate button. 

For example, I am showing you here how to calculate banana calories. I have brought 1 kg bananas and it contained 10 bananas. Hence the weight of 1 banana is approximately 100 grams. The weight of peeled banana as measured is 78 grams so I am calculating calories in 78 grams bananas with 1 single serving.

Using module 1 as a recipe calorie calculator

When you are using it as a recipe calorie calculator you will have to remember the following things

  1. You must know all the ingredients required for the recipe in order to get better results, nevertheless, it can work out with fewer or all the inputs with equal skills.
  2. Serving size is critical, if you are making a dough of 250 grams and making 10 rotis of it, then the total serving becomes 10, alternatively, you can just input the number of people as 3 to get the calories shared by three people.
  3. This module can count calories for recipe ingredients as low as 1 gram. However, there are certain limitations to calculate calories of food weighing below 1 gram.

Write the recipe name, then pen the number of people sharing that recipe. Then select from the food list the ingredients that form the recipe. You can type the food name in your local language and enter its weight and hit the calculate button. 

For example, I am screening you here on how to calculate the calories of a single serving of dahi vada. I am using the following split green gram (Mung Dal) – 30 g (3 spoons), chickpeas flour (besan) – 5 g (1 tsp), split black gram (Urad Dal) – 30 g ( 3 spoons), green chili as per taste, curd (low fat) – 200 gm (for a half serving 100 gm), oregano, red chili flakes, carom seeds powder, cumin seeds powder. However, I have used a pinch of oregano, salt, red chili powder that cannot be measured in grams, so I have not added this ingredient while calculating calories in the recipe. For measuring calories of spices, it is recommended to use module 3 of the calorie calculator that counts consumption for a month instead of this food calorie calculator.

 

This food calorie calculator module also provides nutritional information of more than 30 + nutrients including macro and micronutrients. Further, you can also compare results with standard RDA values of a young adult.

Module 2 – Calorie Intake Calculator

With this module, you can design your meal plan to create a calorie deficit meal for the day. This module is very helpful for people who want to design their limited-calorie diet. This module 2 along with the module 3 calorie calculator can be also used as a calorie deficit calculator. This module currently does not come with a BMR calculator which is available here. Readers are advised to find out their BMR and calories required per day and then design their meal plan accordingly using this calorie intake calculator.

Highlights of module 2

  1. Provides calorie intake for the entire day based on food selection thereby showing you calories intake vs calories required
  2. A great tool to analyze and monitor your daily diet plan and monitor calorie intake. You can also use this tool as a calorie deficit calculator by manually calculating the difference between the calorie intake and RDA.
  3. Comparison of nutrition is limited to the values of an adult male. Here if you are a female or old person, you cannot compare your calorie intake against your standard references or the nutritional requirements as the comparison is limited to the RDA of a male person.
  4. You need to prepare your recipes before you add them to your meal plan. There is no option to select the recipes from the ready-made box and add it here in the calorie intake calculator. One must design their recipes if they want to calculate their daily calorie intake from the foods.
  5. The meal plan data cannot be stored – Whenever you calculate the new calorie intake the old data resets automatically. Hence long-term analysis is not possible in this calorie intake calculator.

How to use a calorie intake calculator?

This calorie deficit calculator is embedded in the diet plans section of the app. When you enter the section, you will find a button to make my meal plan. You will find two options, one is “add to my meal plan” and second is “My meal plan”.

It is assumed that you have already prepared recipes for your addition to the calorie intake calculator. If not use the Food calorie calculator module 1 mentioned above and calculate recipe nutrition first.

Seven meals have been envisaged, they are namely, early morning – 6:00 am to 7:00 am, breakfast – 8:00 am to 9:00 am, mid-morning – 10:30 am to 11:30 am, Lunch – 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, evening – 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm, Dinner – 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm and bedtime – 9:30 to 10:00 pm. So one has to add their meal of the entire day in these categories to establish calorie intake. These recipes must be prepared in the calculate recipe section before adding them to this module. 

For a regular lunch including lentils stew, roti, rice and curry one needs to calculate them separately and add their portion size here.

One must take caution while assuming portion size otherwise the calorie intake calculator may give the wrong result. Say you have made a dough of 250 grams and prepared 10 rotis for the family of 3 with 4 rotis to the adults each and child 2 rotis, and in calculating recipe nutrition, you have mentioned portion size as 10, then the recipe calculator will show calories for each chapati. Therefore, while adding into the meal plan, you have to add rotis 3 to 4 times in the lunch menu as per your consumption.

On the other hand, if you have made a dough of 250 grams and prepared 10 rotis calculating recipe calories and you have mentioned portion size as 3, then the recipe calculator will show calories for 3 serving only which means the total rotis are equally divided in 3 servings. Here when you add rotis to your lunch, you have to add it only once because now the total dough is divided into only 3 equal servings. As an idea, you can prepare complete thali in a single recipe by adding all the ingredients used to each dish and dividing it by the number of people eating it. Consequently, care must be taken in recording portion size to get more realistic results.

To demonstrate, I have added for reference 1 cup milk in the early morning time, then 1 serving of banana oats smoothie at breakfast, and an apple during mid-morning. For lunch, I have prepared a separate thali where I have added a simple low-calorie thali that I did prepare earlier. For the teatime, I am adding 1 whole boiled egg and 1 egg white, and for dinner, I am envisaging 1 serving of steamed dahi vada. Since this meal would be sufficiently heavy for me, I am not adding any beverage for bedtime.

Once the foods are selected, one can hit “Day meal Nutrition” to get the results of total calories intake and total nutritional intake of the day as follows.

You see now that my daily calorie intake is 1215 kCal against an RDA of 2000, so the calorie deficit calculator is showing a calorie deficit of 800 kCal. As far as proteins are concerned, despite being low in calories, my meal plan is giving me sufficient proteins. Carbohydrates are also in range as the fats. Similarly, you can compare the nutritional deficit for other 25+ nutrients and see if any improvement is needed. This is the best way to calculate calorie intake and measure calorie deficit with your recipes.  Please note that the values of RDA for Total free sugar, cholesterol, Potassium, and Sodium had a typographical error while writing this article and the app owners have been informed about it. The same shall be corrected in due course of time. Readers are advised to review their RDA requirements indecently.

Module 3 - Comprehensive Calorie Calculator

This module is the most comprehensive type of calorie calculator as it calculates calories as well as other nutritional requirements based on the monthly food staples that we bring. This calculator operates differently than the calorie intake calculator and food calorie calculator mentioned above. A little lengthy process to follow here, but it gives very good information about our calories intake, calorie deficit, nutrition intake, and nutrition deficit averaging for the entire month.

Highlights of module 3

  1. You can calculate calories intake average for the entire month which fairly averages peaks of calories
  2. Calculates average nutritional intake for the month based on the monthly ration that you bring from the supermarket. This method of nutritional analysis gives factual information.
  3. No need for microscopic measurements for the ingredients as food measurements are taken monthly. This data is fairly constant and may be available from the bills.
  4. Calorie intake and nutritional intake for up to 6 family members can be generated
  5. Facility to individually apportion food and its serving pattern – If you don’t like a particular food that entry can be eliminated from your portion.
  6. Independent analysis table for every individual and its comparison with recommended daily allowance. It also gives a graphical representation of a high, low, or normal diet for a particular nutrient.
  7. Storage of Nutritional analysis data independently – you can store the diet Kundali report for your family every month for detailed review and analysis.
  8. A wide variety of foods that are eaten independent of recipe or meal plan can be added in this module.
  9. The most comprehensive module of calorie calculator in terms of scope 
  10. Short term / weekly analysis not possible

The first step is to make a list of monthly grocery items that you purchase like the one below.

Monthly ration

  1. Whole wheat flour – 5 kg
  2. Rice milled – 10 kg
  3. Red gram – 3 kg
  4. Split black gram – 1 kg
  5. Split green gram – 1 kg
  6. Whole green gram – 300 gm
  7. Chickpea flour – 300 gm
  8. Onions – 4 kg
  9. Potatoes – 4 kg
  10. Milk – 30 liters (kg)
  11. Curd – 10 kg
  12. Ghee – 1 kg
  13. Groundnut Oil – 3 liters
  14. Tomato – 5 kg
  15. Cucumber – 4 kg
  16. Okra – 2 kg
  17. Brinjal (eggplant) – 1 kg 
  18. Carrot – 2 kg
  19. Capsicum – 1 kg
  20. Panner – 1 kg
  21. Cheese – 500 gm
  22. Bottle gourd – 2 kg
  23. Pumpkin – 2 kg
  24. Mint leaves – 300 gm
  25. Coriander leaves – 600 gm
  26. Curry leaves – 100 gm
  27. Green chili – 250 gm
  28. Ginger – 500 gm
  29. Turmeric – 100 gm
  30. Red chili powder – 100 gm
  31. Cumin seeds – 200 gm
  32. Coriander seeds powder – 200 gm
  33. Asafetida – 50 gm
  34. Cashew – 200 gm
  35. Dates – 400 gm
  36. Mustard seeds – 40 gm
  37. Sesame seeds – 400 gm
  38. Almonds – 300 gm
  39. Watermelon – 2 kg
  40. Banana – 1.2 kg
  41. Cardamom – 20 gm

I have listed above the monthly ration that I bring from the grocery store. Some of the items that I bring daily such as milk and curd have been converted into their monthly figures to accommodate the calorie calculator module. There are many other items you might have in your mind. You can add most of them here in calculating your calorie intake and actual nutrition you are receiving. Make sure that you are assuming the correct weight of food items for the month in which they are consumed. Do not add the food parts that are being carried over to the next month. 

For the sake of clarity, this calorie calculator app does not account ready to eat foods such as pizzas, burgers, sugar drinks, or ice creams as it is difficult to add exact nutritional information for them.

Since I have declared my serving pattern at the start before entering the foods, the calorie calculator app will apportion the same values by default to all the food items.  

First thing first is you have to create your family in this module and enter the details of your family members. The details shall include name, age, gender, weight. For females, pregnancy and lactation options are also provided in this calorie calculator module. This data is used to establish your nutritional requirement or RDA.

Family Members:

Sr

Name 

Gender

Age

Height

Weight

Serving pattern

Pregnancy condition

  1.  

Ashish

Male

40

173

77

45%

NA

  1.  

Smriti

Female

35

165

68

35%

NA

  1.  

Mrutyunjay

Male

5

100

20

25%

NA

The point to remember is you need to establish a serving pattern of the total family members as 100%. This is under the assumption that whatever foods that you are entering here for the sake of calorie calculations and nutrition calculations are being consumed 100% among the family members in the declared serving pattern or portions. The picture of the serving pattern was changed to 45%, 35%, and 20% respectively to make it 100%.

Once you enter the family data and serving pattern, the next step is to enter monthly ration (staple food) data in an organized manner in the calorie calculator app. In this module 3, the food is entered into 8 different subgroups that make it easy to categorize their staples. They are cereals & grains, pulses & legumes, dairy & oils, fruits, nuts & seeds, spices & sugars, vegetables and lastly meat & seafood. All the monthly food data has to be entered into these categories. For example, I am entering whole wheat flour – 5 kg and rice milled – 10 kg into cereals. If you are bringing white bread or brown bread from the market you can enter them too here. The list of other cereals is given in the left column, one can scroll and select or search the entries as per convenience. You will have to make entries into grams or kg. This is the most crucial part as most people make mistakes in the unit of measurements. 

Every time you enter the grocery input, you will be asked to verify the serving pattern apportioned to each family member. There may be cases where one of the family members may not be liking any vegetables, so in that case, you can change the serving pattern accordingly. For example, I am putting 0% serving of brinjals on my son. This means he is not eating that food, so the nutrition through brinjals will not accrue to him. As mentioned above the serving pattern sum has to be 100% so the serving pattern of the husband and wife is recorded as 55% and 45%.

Once the entries are made, you need to come out of that category by hitting the save button. You will notice that the cereals & grains category has been turned blue and a checked symbol too. This entry is now stored and will be in your app until your next edit.

Similarly, you can add food entries for legumes & pulses. Legumes & pulses category contains all the gram in split or whole form. This category also contains dry beans such as moth beans or field beans. So if you are using them too in your diet, you can add them to this category and save them to exit. If you do not save, the food data may not be added.

The next category is for dairy and oils, so dairy products such as milk, curd, cheese, ghee, and oils can be added here. I generally use groundnut oil, so I have added groundnut oil for the month as 3 liters. Look for the notification of “food list saved successfully”.

In the same way, you need to add foods in the other categories of nuts & seeds, spices & sugars, vegetables, and meat & seafood. Make sure you get the notification of “food list saved successfully” once you save the foods. Since we are vegetarians, I have omitted to add any meat and seafood.

Once all the categories are marked you will have the option to review entire monthly staples when you hit the review button. You can swipe right to edit the food entries or swipe left to delete them. You can also search for additional food items that you missed by hitting the search button and then hit the “Generate Diet Kundali” button.

The calorie calculator will generate the detailed diet chart of every individual. Once the diet chart is generated, you will be taken to the page where all the family members’ diet charts are available, you can check their calorie intake individually along with other nutritional intakes. The actual calorie intake and nutrients intake is represented in blue color whereas the acceptable food range is mentioned in grey color below the actual values. For a better understanding of the nutrition and if your monthly ration gives you sufficient nutrition or not, a signboard is also flashed on the right side indicating if your diet is below recommended daily allowance or sufficient.

If your vitamin and minerals requirement is below daily values, the signboard will show “Low” in red. If your nutritional requirements are met and just above RDA the sign will show “Normal” in yellow in front of that particular nutrient. If nutrition is well above RDA and below ODA i.e. optimal daily allowance, the sign will show as “High” in green color. Readers are advised to interpret the nutritional guidelines to range on their own as they differ from person to person as per their age, gender and weight.

The advantage of using module 3 of this calorie calculator app is you can find the nutritional status of your entire family and find out the necessity of immediate nutritional attention if any, to your loved ones. It may occur to you that your nutritional requirements may be relatively less critical than your relative who may be diabetic but consuming more carbs.

Once the diet chart is prepared you can cross-check which nutrients that you are deficient in. The list of nutrient-rich foods is given in the app for the ready selection for viewers into their diet. Now you can generate a new diet Kundali where you can edit your food choices by adding nutrient-rich foods or cutting down high carb high fats foods and check again for the changes in calories and nutrition by generating your diet Kundali again. 

The accuracy of this calculator is dependent upon how accurately or closely you can record your food consumption and serving pattern. The nutritional data is more or less established save manual typo errors. The first nutritional chart takes anywhere between 30 to 60 minutes depending upon your prior work of recording food entries. For the subsequent calorie calculations and iterations, it may take less than 10 minutes to generate your diet Kundali.

Analysis of results of the Calorie Calculator

I have made the entries for my family and this nutritional status or calorie calculator result is being analyzed for myself. It is clear from the calories result that my daily recommended energy intake shall be 2000 kCal whereas I am taking 1950 kCal through my diet that is averaged for the month. This diet would help me maintain my current weight provided I do not make any daily or weekly additions to my meals that are not recorded here. Even my serving or sharing size which currently at 35%, it increases to 40%, may lead to intake of additional calories which I must burn to maintain my weight, failure to which may lead to weight gain.

As far as proteins and carbs are concerned, I am taking nearly 60 grams of proteins which is nearly equal to my daily requirements. Carbs and fats are on the higher side nevertheless the total calorie intake are nearly the same as my daily calorie requirement.

I am also taking a decent amount of fiber in my diet which is helping me manage my current weight, helping my bowel movement.

However, my daily intake of vitamin A and vitamin B complex, and vitamin C is very low. Almost all vegetarians have vitamin B deficiency and hence it is advisable to go with a Vitamin B and Vitamin c supplement. My vitamin D intake is normal along with Vitamin K, Calcium, and phosphorus. Further, vitamin E and Irons are on the lower side with a healthy reserve of magnesium. Other minerals such as copper, manganese, molybdenum, zinc, chromium, and selenium are in the healthy range but soluble fiber which shall be a minimum of 10 grams is lacking by 3 grams. Soluble fiber helps maintain healthy cholesterol and sugar levels.

Similarly, you can analyze the nutrition and calories of your family members using this calorie calculator app. Readers are advised to confirm RDA and ODA values for their respective regions. 

Summary – The calorie calculator module can be used for a great benefit by the people as they are free to use. You can use the Food calorie calculator to calculate calories in a particular or use it as a recipe calorie calculator to calculate calories in your recipe. You can use the “Make my Meal Plan” module as a daily calorie intake calculator by using your recipes. Lastly, you can use the “Diet Chart” module 3 to average out calorie intake for the entire month that covers most of the small food items such as seasonings or spices

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