Spices Have Calories Too!

We all want to toss a lot of spices on our food but it is important to know about calories in spices! Some spices have calories even if it’s not listed on the label. As long as the serving size listed has less than 5 calories, the manufacturer can list that it contains 0 calories even though it may actually have 4.

Usually spices and seasonings use 1/4 of a teaspoon as their serving size, so check the label carefully when counting. If a spice lists calories as 0, but 4 calories is really what is in the serving then in doing the math 4 calories in 1/4 teaspoon = 16 calories in 1 teaspoon. They are fine to use, but just keep in mind this little known fact the next time you want to overload on spices, especially if you are close to your 500 calorie limit.

We need to account for every calorie, no matter how minuscule it may seem. Here is a sample of some spice calories:

1Tbsp. Onion Powder = 22.54 calories
1Tbsp. Garlic Powder = 27.91 calories
1Tbsp. Chili Powder = 23.55 calories
1Tbsp. Paprika = 19.94 calories
1Tbsp. Poultry Season = 11.36 calories
1Tbsp. Oregano = 13.77 calories


  1. Ashlan_valor on June 16, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    These spices you mention above. Can we use them in P2 or do we have to stay strictly to the protocol of the Dr. that does not mention these as part of our choices? 
    Thank you. I am getting a much better handle on this. It also helps me to help my friend that I am bringing along on this journey with me. 

    • Shawna Culp on June 17, 2011 at 4:05 am

      He says all spices are fine, just watch for hidden sugars

    • Anonymous on September 28, 2011 at 8:57 pm


  2. Idahogirl56 on September 28, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    You just burst my bubble! Dang!

  3. Leela on October 13, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    I am not vegetarian but do not prefer meat. What can I replace meat with .
    Can we use green peppers . I have been on the diet for a wk. and lost 5lbd.

    • admin on October 15, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      You can substitute meat for 1/2 cup of cottage cheese or 1 whole egg and 3 egg whites. only pepper flakes can be used as a spice.

  4. Allison on May 16, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    I bought the package deal that came with your spices, do you have the calorie breakdown for them? Can they be used in phase 2?

    • admin on May 29, 2020 at 12:13 pm

      yes you can use in p2. The calories are based on use but the average use it is approx 12-16 cal per TB.

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