Make Your Calories Count

By Katie Cardner

Calories calories, calories – it seems as though that’s all we hear about these days. Counting calories may be a good way to make sure you aren’t overeating, but many people are looking at calories all wrong! We focus too much on the quantity of calories we consume, rather than the quality of calories we consume. It’s time for a new outlook on the way we make our calories count.

The average person should consume about 2,000 calories a day. We usually reach for the “low-calorie” options of foods when we are trying to eat healthy, but just because something is lower in calories does not mean it has a higher nutritional value.

For example, a 100-calorie pack of cookies may seem like a healthier option for a snack, but they are still cookies. You have to start asking yourself: what does this food do for me? Yes, your taste buds will thank you, but will your cardiovascular system appreciate this snack? Will this snack make your skin healthier? Will you feel fuller for longer? Probably not. There are plenty of snacks out there that are 100 calories, but provide more nutrients for your body!

100 calories from cookies versus 100 calories from apples is a HUGE difference in terms of how much food you are able to eat. 3 cookies versus a whole medium apple will make an enormous difference, not only in your belly, but everywhere else in your body.

We need to stop focusing so much on calculating our calories each day. Instead, ask yourself these questions when you look for a snack:

• How much fiber have I eaten today?
• Have I had the right amounts of fruits, vegetables,
and protein today?
• How much water have I had today?
• Does this food benefit my body?
• Am I over my daily sugar limit?

Six 100 calorie portions showing the size difference between a cupcake, lettuce, apple slices, celery, carrots, and truffles.
100 calorie portions of different foods. Top row from left to right – half a chocolate cupcake, 1 medium apple, 3.125 cups celery. Bottom row, left to right – 15 cups of lettuce, 1.25 cups of baby carrots, 1.33 chocolate truffles. Choose wisely!

If you’re having a tough time listening to what your body
needs instead of what your body wants, try one of our great
resources at HAC!

We offer full nutrition counseling services, both in-person and online, as well as a number of great programs and resources through our Registered Dietitians, Jeannie Versagli and Ashley Boyer. For more information on getting started, contact Rachael Ling at


Hockessin Athletic Club opened its doors on June 10 2007. Boasting over 100,000 sq. ft., a 5-pool aquatics complex, and over 200+ weekly group and aqua fitness classes, it is Delaware's premier fitness destination. 100 Fitness Way, Hockessin, DE ·

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