You could get 500 calories in a bowl, depending on the recipe. The same goes for other meaty stews, which are often loaded with fatty beef or sausage and topped with gobs of cheese. Yet, chili and stew can be good choices when made right. Use small portions of lean meat, plenty of beans, vegetables, and spices, and just a sprinkle of low-fat cheese. In restaurants, check the calorie count before ordering.