Use the NHS website's calorie checker to look up the calories of more than 150,000 different foods and drinks quickly and simply.
For quick access to the calorie checker on the go, save this page to your mobile device's home screen, just like an app.
Online calorie counters are one of the easiest ways to track your calories if you're following the NHS weight loss plan.
Use the calorie checker to tot up your day's calorie intake, and add this information to your food and activity chart (view sample PDF, 545kb).
Our calorie checker's 150,000+ database lists the calorie and fat content of:
- generic foods
- branded products
- meals from around the world
- alcoholic drinks
- restaurant meals, including fast food chains
Your daily calorie allowance on the NHS weight loss plan is 1,900kcal for men and 1,400kcal for women.
If you want a more personal recommended calorie intake tailored to your individual circumstances, use the BMI calculator.
It's also a good idea to get used to reading food labels to find out the calorie content in packaged food and drink.
Calorie counting in practice
Here are some practical examples to show you how to work out the calorie content of your meals, snacks and drinks.
It's easy to find the calorie content of a wide range of snacks. Use these examples to help.
Use an online calorie counter to find out the calorie content in fruits. The NHS website's calorie checker says that a kids-sized (100g) banana weighed with skin contains 51kcal (213kJ).
Use food labels to find out the calorie content in any packaged foods. Look for the "per bar" or "per packet" figure. A 2-finger KitKat contains 106kcal (443kJ).
If scones, pastries and muffins come in a packet, use the food label. Some cafes and restaurants have calorie labelling in-store, on their menus or online.
If you're grabbing lunch on the go, it'll often consist of a number of packaged foods, perhaps accompanied by a piece of fruit.
For example, you might choose a sandwich, a bottle of orange juice and a banana.
Simply use food labels and an online calorie counter to find out the calorie content of each part of your lunch.
Tesco Healthy Living roast chicken salad sandwich: 294kcal (1,243kJ)
apple: 47kcal (196kJ)
Grand total = 341kcal (1,439kJ)
Buying food from your work canteen or a cafe can make it harder to work out calories.
Some cafes and restaurants have calorie labelling in-store, on their menus or online.
Cooking from scratch
When cooking from scratch, you can work out the total calories by adding up the calorie content of each ingredient.
You'll need to use food labels, kitchen scales to weigh ingredients, and an online calorie counter.
Say you're making spaghetti bolognese for 4 people. Use a non-stick pan so you only need to use a tablespoon of oil to fry the ingredients.
The bolognese sauce contains lean beef mince, onions, chopped tomatoes, carrots, vegetable stock, olive oil, and herbs and spices.
- 280g of dried wholewheat spaghetti: 975kcal (4,075kJ)
- 200g of lean beef mince: 342kcal (1,429kJ)
- 2 cans of 400g of chopped tomatoes: 192kcal (802kJ)
- 1 onion: 55kcal (230kJ)
- 2 carrots: 70kcal (292kJ)
- a tablespoon of olive oil: 119kcal (497kJ)
- vegetable stock, herbs and spices: the calorie content is almost zero and can be ignored
The total calorie content of this recipe is 975 + 342 + 192 + 55 + 70 + 119 = 1,753kcal (7,327kJ).
If you eat a quarter (1 serving), you'll consume 1,753/4 = 438kcal (1,831kJ).
Page last reviewed: 5 December 2016
Next review due: 5 December 2019