How Many Calories Does a Burger Contain?

Hamburgers are one of the most popular fast-food meals around the world. They are a complete meal providing you with enough energy to do work. They are convenient to eat anywhere because you can carry them. They are easily available from probably any street corner and most of all, they are unquestionably delicious.

The number of calories will depend on the type of meat, sauce, and bun used, as well as size. A typical regular whole burger with a single patty with sauce and bun would normally contain about 250 calories at an average.

In spite of this, nutritionists advise against making burgers a regular part of your diet. They suggest that eating burgers should only be for occasional treats because of their effects especially their impact on weight gain. The issue of weight gain primarily lies in the number of calories contained in hamburgers.

What is your concern? Health or Diet?

Health and diet are two different concepts that are closely intertwined. A proper diet is a vital component of your health because you are essentially what you eat. The food you eat has a tremendous impact on your weight. And the more you gain weight, the most likely that you become unhealthy and prone to different diseases.

Hamburgers are not absolute evil when it comes to diet. However, you must be cautious about the number of calories of the hamburger that you eat because it is directly proportional to the amount of weight that you can potentially gain.

A calorie is a unit of energy. 200 calories essentially mean 200 units of energy. If you fail to consume or use that energy, then that energy becomes fat which results in weight gain. The more calories you intake, the greater the weight you can gain unless you burn those extra calories through work out or any physical activity. Thus, it is worthwhile for you to know how much calories does your favorite juicy hamburger contains.

Amount of Calories in a Regular Burger

A typical regular whole burger with a single patty with sauce and bun would normally contain about 250 calories at an average.

If you opt for a larger meat patty, the calorie count increases as well because the patty makes up for a large portion of the burger’s calorie content. A larger patty may also require a larger bun and more condiments which also add up to the calories. Thus, doubling the size of your patty will more likely more than double the amount of calories of the burger which can kick up to 550 calories. As you put more extra fillings like cheese and bacon, which makes the burger special and tastier, you can expect the calories to bloat to as much as 700 calories.

Not all hamburgers are the same nor taste the same nor make you fat in the same way. The bigger and better-tasting it is, the more likely that its calorie content is also higher.

The Types of Meat

When it comes to counting calories in hamburgers, the type of meat used in the burger is a key consideration because the bulk of the calories of hamburgers lie on the patty. Among the type of meat used to create burgers include beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, salmon, and veggie meat. Each type of patty contains different calories.

For purposes of comparison, all the patties are set at 100 grams.

Type of meat used for pattyAmount of calories
Beef 200
Pork 260
Chicken 150
Turkey 160
Lamb 250
Fish (Salmon) 140
Veggie Meat 170

Note however that these are just average calorie content of a 100-gram patty of the different types of meat.

Other factors can increase the calories of the patty because of the fat content of the ground meat. As a rule, the leaner the meat used for the patty, the lower its calories. Meat with more fat content would result in higher calories. This especially applies to beef and pork. For instance, if you have a 100-gram beef patty that contains 20% fat, its calorie content would spike to as much as 290 calories. And this is not the only thing that you should worry about. The higher the fat content of the meat also means that it contains more saturated fats. This type of unhealthy fat can, in turn, increase your level of cholesterol which can cause heart diseases.

In the case of turkey, chicken and fish patties, their fat content may not be as significant. For the veggie patty, on the other hand, the different vegetable contents of the patty would impact the number of calories. Ingredients such as soybeans, nuts, grains, mushrooms, and tofu can make the veggie meat calories to as low as 70 calories to as high as 180 calories.

Based on the foregoing data, hamburgers that use chicken, fish, turkey, and vegetables as patties generally have fewer calories compared to hamburgers that use red meat patties like beef, pork, and lamb.

Fast Food Burgers

Fast food restaurants are the Mecca of hamburgers. Most of them make their mark in the industry with the type of burger that they carry. Some fast-food hamburgers have become so popular that brand names of some burgers have become slang terms to refer to burgers such as Big Mac, Whopper, and Burger King.

A regular cheeseburger in a fast-food restaurant contains around 370 calories. To breakdown its calories contents, the regular 100-gram beef patty contains 200 calories. The usual burger bun contributes around 100 calories. The slice of cheese puts an additional 50 calories, while the additional condiments like ketchup, tomatoes, and others append 20 more for a total of 370 calories. Depending on the type and amount of condiments you add, calories will further slightly increase. For additional information, a tablespoon of mayonnaise can add up to 100 calories.

Fast food restaurants are especially known for creating the juiciest, tastiest and most indulging hamburgers in the world without much ado about calories. Unfortunately, nutrition is the least of their concerns. Some hamburger brands are so high in calories that they almost cover all your calorie needs in a day in just one meal. For instance, Carl’s Junior’s Thickburger El Diablo contains 1300 calories and Johnny Rockets’ Bacon & Cheddar Double Cheeseburger contains as much as 1800 calories, which is just 200 calories away from the average amount of calories that a regular person must eat in a single day.

While at this, you might as well familiarize yourself with the calorie content of the most popular burgers that you most likely love. The regular cheeseburger from McDonald’s has around 270 calories but its celebrated Quarter Pounder with cheese has 518 calories. The popular Whopper with bacon and cheese from Burger King has 722 calories while Wendy’s Baconator has 920 calories.

But that’s just the hamburgers. Fast food chains usually serve burgers in combos with fries and sodas. Just so you would know, a typical serving of French fries would contain 250 calories including ketchup or mayonnaise while a 330ml of regular Coke adds 140 calories. Thus, a single combo meal in the fast-food chain would amount to almost 1000 calories already.

Home-Made Burgers

Home-Made Burgers allow you to control the number of calories that you pack in your burger. You can either go low or go high. You can decide what type of meat you use as patties. You can select how lean is the meat you are going to use. You can determine the size of serving as well as define any additional condiments that you are going to add to your burger.

Ideally, home-made burgers have lower calories than fast-food burgers. On average, they contain around 350 calories. Moreover, they are generally considered healthier because they contain fewer preservatives, additives and other stabilizers. You can further make home-made burgers healthier by making changes in the ingredients.

One way to reduce the calories of your home-made burger is by reducing the size of your meat patty. Instead of using 100 grams of meat, you can opt for just 70 grams that will immediately decrease the number of calories in the patty by 30%. Instead of using pure beef or meat, you can alternatively add vegetables in the patty such as carrots and mushrooms, which can significantly reduce calories from meat. You can also choose ground beef meat, or grass-fed meat, or organic products, etc. The way you cook also affects calories. Instead of frying the burger patties in oil, you can grill the burger to reduce its fat content as well as its calories.

Another nifty trick to lessen the calories is by switching to wheat bread instead of the standard burger bun. Wheat bread is rich in fiber, which makes it a healthier alternative. If you are a true meat lover, you can also choose to do away with the bun altogether and enjoy a flat burger. A flat burger is freed of calories from the burger bun.

Finally, you can control what toppings are added to the burger. Instead of putting too much ketchup or mayonnaise, you can instead pack tons of tomatoes or grilled vegetables like peppers and onions in the burger to lessen its calories.

Enjoy your Burger!

The calories in hamburgers are not really much of an issue as long as you remain physically active in life or you regularly perform fitness exercise. Like any other food, eating hamburgers should simply be in moderation. What you should do is to quit worrying about your calorie intake completely. Over worrying is even more dangerous to your health. And secondly, you are meant to enjoy life so you should stop restricting yourself with too much worry and just enjoy the best things that life can offer like the juicy hamburger.

Scott Wagner

I'm Scott Wagner, one of the guys behind BestBurgerGuide.com. I am totally passionate about the world of Burgers and BBQ, especially when I have friends visiting my backyard during a summer sunny day! Here I decided to share my passion with you!

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