13 Ways to Eyeball Calories at the Cookout

Got the cooler? Bug spray?
We’re all trying to squeeze in one more picnic before summer packs up. But it’s hard to stay nutritionally mindful as you share the bucolic scenery with ribs, potato salad, homemade brownies, and a few cold beers. Without the handy calorie counts posted like they are at the Starbucks counter, your plastic fork is left to go tub-diving blind.

For those who would like a little guidance, here are tips for eyeballing the calories and fat grams of common picnic foods, courtesy The Nutrition Twins, Tammy Lakatos Shames and Lyssie Lakatos, authors of The Secret to Skinny and Fire Up Your Metabolism. To make things easy, they chose all the equivalents from items you probably have in your purse.

Print this out and pack it with the folding bubba chair:

Spare rib = 2 thin combs stacked on top of each other 220 calories, 17 grams of fat (6 grams of it saturated)

Corn on the cob = round hair brush (the bristle part)   60 to 70 calories, 1 gram of fat
Add butter (= MAC eye shadow case): total is 170 calories, 12.5 grams of fat

Burger patty = three lipsticks (tubes or round gloss tubs) laid out next to each other  220 calories and 10 grams of fat  With a bun, it’s 420 calories and 13 grams of fat.  Ketchup (a squirt = ChapStick) adds 28 calories.

Hot dog = three lipsticks (the long way)   150 calories, 13 grams of fat
With a bun it’s 260 and 14.5 grams of fat

Fried chicken drumstick = something that fits into a soft glasses case
120 calories and 7 grams of fat

Sliced turkey breast = pocket-sized Kleenex  118 calories, 2 grams fat

Sliced ham = pocket-sized Kleenex  180 calories and 10 grams fat

Potato salad = small coin purse 180 calories, 10 grams of fat

Cornbread = iPhone 173 calories and 4.6 grams of fat

Pasta salad = travel-size Tylenol bottle
75 calories and 5 grams of fat

Sweet ‘n Salty Chex Trail Mix = nail polish bottle 100 calories and 3 grams of fat

Brownie = Altoids box
150 calories and 8 grams of fat

Chocolate chip cookie = blush compact 105 calories, 14 grams of fat