Check out our 200 calorie food chart to show you the differences between foods that will fill you up versus those that will lead you craving more.
Ever wonder what 200 calories looks like? Probably not. Research shows that most Americans don’t have a grasp of how many calories they should be eating or how many calories they routinely eat for their meals and snacks. For example, did you know that your between-meal snacks are supposed to be limited to about 200 calories, if you’re an average woman?
Unfortunately, most snacks adults eat contain more than 200-calories, and many are nothing more than a lot of sugar and saturated fat. Once study published in Public Health Reports found that the average calories per day from cookies, candy, salty snacks, soda, and alcohol was 438 in Los Angeles and 617 among adults in Louisiana. Snacking on foods like soda, candy, ice cream, salty snacks and baked goods will leave you unsatisfied and craving more soon after eating.
For losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight, you want foods that will help keep you fuller for longer. Those foods tend to be options that provide a lot of volume–or bulk–for their calories. That’s why diets rich in fruits and vegetables are so important for losing and maintaining a healthy weight–they have the best nutrient-to-calorie ratio of most foods. That is, they’re nutrient-rich and calorie-poor. To see this first-hand, here’s what 200 calories worth of several different foods looks like look at the food charge below.
It’s obvious from the chart to tell which is more filling: 20 gummy bears versus 2 large apples? 4 1/2 kiwis or 2 oz of cheese? 7 oz of turkey breast or an ounce of butter? The concept is based on volumetrics, which shows that most of us eat the same volume of food every day because our stomach lining has so-called stretch receptors so that when a substantial volume of food is in the stomach, it will trigger the stretch receptors that tell the brain that you’re full. The better bets are all of the items that have a lot more size to their 200-calorie serving. (Answers: Apples, eggs, kiwis, turkey, broccoli.)
Huth PJ, Fulgoni VL, Keast DR, Park K, Auestad N.Major food sources of calories, added sugars, and saturated fat and their contribution to essential nutrient intakes in the U.S. diet: data from the national health and nutrition examination survey (2003-2006). Nutr J. 2013 Aug 8;12(1):116. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-12-116.