Keeping Up with the Calories

How are you keeping track of your intake?

With the fast-paced lives most of us lead today, it is much more convenient to grab on-the-go meals from restaurants and food markets around town than eat at home. That said, keeping track of our caloric intake is a challenge. Restaurants are always offering more value for money: larger portions of our favorite dishes, tempting lunch deals, bigger and better meal combos and even complementary drinks or dessert. This makes it easy to lose track of calories and eat much more in a single meal.

People in Saudi Arabia today consume around 60 percent more calories than they used to since 1971. High calories usually come from sugar-sweetened beverages, energy drinks, confectionery, sweets or deep-fried and fast foods. These foods take up a large portion of our daily energy needs but still don’t provide all the essential vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, the increase in food portion sizes over the past few decades is much to blame. Whether it food from restaurants or grocery stores, portion sizes today are as much as five times bigger than they used to be! Studies show that people eat more than their usual when offered larger portion sizes.

Although calories are not the whole story when it comes to healthy eating, it’s always good to keep track of total calories, since they are a decent indicator of how much you’re eating throughout the day. Your calorie needs will differ depending on several factors such as gender and age. In general, aim for 400-500 calories per meal and 100-150 calories per snack. Thankfully, there are a handful of restaurants around Jeddah that actually mention calorie counts on their menus.portion-size-infographic

Count Calories Here

  • Orgalicious: Offers healthy options and a delicious salad selection, and uses fair-trade, local and mostly organic ingredients. The menu mentions carbohydrate, fiber, and protein counts and gluten-free options.
    Location: Abdulrahman Al Dakhel St., Al Nahda Dist.
    Mob: +966-557772346
    Instagram: orgalicious_ksa
  • Lion’s Share: Has a varied menu with many items to choose from. The menu also mentions macronutrient counts (carbohydrates, protein, fat) for each dish.
    Location: Abdulrahman Al Dakhel St., Al Nahda Dist.
    Tel: 920027333
    Instagram: lionsshare_sa
  • The Green Kitchen: Offers a nice selection of calorie-conscious meals and a fabulous “make your own salad” section if you’re feeling creative.
    Location: Al Juhd Al Mukhlis St., Opposite Sands Hotel
    Mob: +966-535004050
    Instagram: tgk_ksa
  • Fire Grill: Has delicious “create your own” Mexican burritos to tickle your senses along with detailed calorie counts and nutrition facts for all ingredients on the menu.
    Location: Etoile Center, King Abdulaziz Rd.
    Mob: +966-554350052
  • Cheesecake factory: Their Skinnylicious light menu lists a general “less than” calorie count and contains a nice selection of dishes.
    Location: Tahlia St.
    Tel: +966-12-2617010
  • Zero Fat House: Has a large selection of foods perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Portions are huge and some dishes have very high calorie counts, so these might be great for sharing!
    Location: Prince Sultan Rd.
    Tel: +966-12-234-9554

You can also download smartphone apps to keep track of your daily caloric and nutrient intake.

Happy eating!

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