Recommended Discretionary Kcals
for the 2400 Calorie Diet

Article by Diet Bites

The amount for this plan equals 362 discretionary calories.

This number is an estimate of the potential calories that can be leftover after all of the food group serving recommendations have been satisfied. These leftover kcals can be used to choose foods that you enjoy but the choices should remain healthy - low in fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol content.

When a Carrot Is Not a Carrot

So the discussion we're having is all about these extra caloric values - and how you can use those 'unused' values for foods that you enjoy. Still, you cannot exceed your daily total for the day or you'll be veering off of your weight loss plan. Therefore, if you desire have a few leftover kcals to work with, you'll need to plan your meal plates and snacks wisely.

The most influencing factors are:

1. The food itself. Let's take a look at the healthy Vegetable Group housed within the American Food Pyramid.

You know the foods that reside therein - carrots, beets, turnips, potatoes, corn, squash, lettuce, collard greens, onions, mushrooms, Swiss chard and so forth. They all contain different caloric values. A cup of diced raw potato contains 58 kcals while a cup of Iceberg lettuce contains 8 kcals in its chopped form. Each count towards a serving in the Vegetable Group. And other Food Groups are presented with the same challenge - as not all choices are equal in energy values.

In addition, some choices hold more of certain vitamins or minerals; some contain more satiety powers to quell hunger while some have more dietary fiber and protein content.

To compound these challenges, let's look at yet another element of the Dietary Puzzle.

All of these vegetables have sisters and brothers. There isn't just one variety of potato - rather several. Each contain their own unique nutritional properties, including caloric values. One cup of diced portabella mushrooms contain 19 kcals while one cup of white button mushrooms contain 15 for pieces or slices.

The values between these two are at the most minimal level and aren't enough to impact body to a substantial degree.

However, where other foods are involved - the differences can be much greater. For example, one cup of cubed butternut squash contains 63 kcals while the same amount of zucchini squash holds 21 kcals. The butternut contains three times the caloric values of the zucchini.

Where other selections are concerned - such as potatoes and corn, the values will reveal even more substantial differences.

Simply put, when planning the meal plate if the dieter chooses the selections that are highest in kcal values rather than ones in the low to medium ranges, their daily total will be met much quicker. By mixing things up and opting for foods from low to high kcal values, it will allow more room at the end for excess kcals - those discretionary calories.

2. The cooking method used for preparation. When we add batter, dips and oils to our food, it influences kcals as well as the quality as vitamin and mineral content is disturbed.

3. Additives to the foods that are used for the meal plates such as salad dressings, sauces, sweeteners, gravy and dips.

In Summary

The method in which we prepare our foods before they hit our meal plates and bowls truly matters. When we begin adding things to the natural food, we are doing about the same thing as manufacturers to; we are refining the food. The more processed the food becomes, the more calories will be contained therein more often than not.

2,200 Kcal Plan | 2,400 Calorie Diet

2,600 Kcals | Example of 2,800 Kcal Plan

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