Count Your Calories: Here’s How Your Average Indian Lunch Thali Features On The Calorie Chart

Count Your Calories: Here's How Your Average Indian Lunch Thali Features On The Calorie Chart

One of the thumb rules for weight loss is to keep a track on your calorie intake. If you are on a weight reduction diet or are even remotely aware of the diet and fitness world, you may have heard the most common weight loss advice of burning calories is to burn fat. Calorie is a unit of measurement indicating the amount of energy released when the body breaks down (digests and absorbs) food. As the food breaks down and is digested, it releases calories. When it releases more calories than needed by the body as energy to sustain, the extra calories get stored as fat. As long as your body is using up all the calories released by the food you eat, you are able to maintain your weight, but whenever there is an imbalance, you have a greater tendency to gain weight.


All food sources has calories which goes on to act as the source of energy in your body. A gram of protein has four calories. One gram of fat has almost double the amount of calories – nine calories. That is a rough breakdown of calories by each food source. But ever wondered how many of these calories are taken by you in an average Indian lunch thali?


Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Dutta says,”the general thumb rule as far as daily calorie recommendation goes is 1900 calories for women and 2100 calories for men.”


She further deconstructs the calorie count of our regular lunch staples, according to ‘Nutritive Value’ by National Institute of Nutrition(NIN)


1.Small Phulka : A small to regular-sized phulka has about 70 calories, says Dr. Rupali.


2. A bowl of cooked rice: 1 bowl of cooked rice has about 136 calories and a plateful of cooked rice has 272 calories, which is about 60 to 80 grams a plate.

fried rice with soya chunks

1 bowl of cooked rice has about 136 calories

3. One Chapatti and One Parantha: 1 medium chapatti made with 20 grams of atta (whole wheat atta) has about 70 calories, while 1 large chapatti made with 30 grams of atta will have about 100 calories. On the other hand, 1 large plain parantha made with 30 grams of atta had about 121 calories and a portion of stuffed Aloo Parantha will amount to 210 calories.

roomali roti

1 medium chapatti made with 20 grams of atta has 79 calories

4.One Bowl of Cooked Dal :1 bowl of cooked Moong Dal, say about 30 grams of dal,would come up to about 104 calories. The calories in other dals may slightly vary. It is always advisable to go for whole variety of dals over the refined ones to have maximum nutritional benefit.

moong dal 625

About 30 grams of dal, would come up to about 104 calories

5.Dry Veg Sabzi: A bowl of dry sabzi of bhindi, potatoes or cauliflower adds roughly upto 150 calories.


6.Dahi (curd): 100 grams of curd contains about 100 calories, so about bowl ( 30 to 50 grams) of curd would add upto mere 50 calories a day. Curd has an instant cooling effect on the body. It is a storehouse of good bacteria and aids in digestion. It also happens to be good for your heart.

hung curd

100 grams of curd contains about 100 calories

7.Chicken Curry: A bowl of chicken curry adds upto 120 calories approx. Dr. Rupali adds, ” It is actually depended upon how you cook it , the preparation can take the count upto 200 to 240 calories too.”

andhra chicken curry

A bowl of chicken curry adds upto 120 calories approx

8.Fish fry: Fan of greasy fish fries? Watch out as about 3 ounces(85 grams) of it may amount to 190 to 210 calories. However that doesn’t mean you rule out fish off your diet, if prepared healthy, cooked fish are a great source of proteins, and omega 3 acids.


9.2 Piece Besan Barfi: Fond of some meetha after your round of meal? It is natural for our bodies to crave something sweet after meals. But make sure you make wise choices when it comes to dessert. About two pieces of besan barfi can amount upto 220 calories.

besan barfi

About two pieces of besan barfi can amount upto 220 calories

10. One piece of fruit cake: One piece of fruit cake can give you upto 70 calories.


It is always good to be aware of your overall food intake. The above listed count is only a rough and approximate amount, the real play is in the preparation of the dishes and the portion consumed. Deep fried and greasy foods will automatically increase the calorie count to perhaps double the approximate count. Try baking or shallow frying to attain maximum benefits. A bowl of boiled vegetables and an addition of salads may also make your daily lunch healthier and wholesome.




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