How many calories in a Carl’s Famous Star with cheese?

Carl’s Jr. is a fast food restaurant chain that is known for its charbroiled burgers and crinkle-cut fries. One of their most popular menu items is the Carl’s Famous Star with Cheese. This burger features two charbroiled beef patties, two slices of American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sliced onions, dill pickles, and Carl’s “special sauce” all on a seeded bun. With its double patties and cheese, this burger clocks in at quite a few calories. So how many calories are actually in a Carl’s Famous Star with Cheese? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

Nutrition Facts for a Carl’s Famous Star with Cheese

According to the Carl’s Jr. website, here are the nutrition facts for a Carl’s Famous Star with Cheese:

Calories 790
Total Fat 43g
Saturated Fat 16g
Trans Fat 1.5g
Cholesterol 145mg
Sodium 1430mg
Total Carbohydrates 49g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugar 12g
Protein 48g

So as you can see, a Carl’s Famous Star with Cheese contains 790 calories. That’s quite a high calorie count for a single burger! The bulk of those calories come from the fat content, with 43g total fat and 16g saturated fat. All of that cheese and those juicy beef patties add up fast.

Daily Calorie Needs

To put the 790 calories into perspective, we need to look at general daily calorie needs. The average sedentary adult male requires around 2,400-2,600 calories per day to maintain weight. For an average sedentary adult female, the recommendation is 2,000-2,200 calories per day. Of course, calorie needs do vary based on age, body composition, and activity level.

But using those average numbers, a Carl’s Famous Star with Cheese supplies nearly a third of the daily calories for an average sedentary man. For an average sedentary woman, this one burger would provide close to 40% of her total daily calorie needs.

Clearly, this is a very high-calorie meal choice. Even for more active individuals, this burger still makes up a sizable portion of one’s total daily calorie intake.

Calories in Other Menu Items

To provide more context, let’s compare the calories in a Carl’s Famous Star with Cheese to some other items on their menu:

Menu Item Calories
Famous Star with Cheese 790
Bacon Swiss Crispy Chicken Sandwich 720
Jalapeño Double Cheeseburger 650
Son of Baconator 630
Spicy Chicken Sandwich 470
Crispy Chicken Tenders (3 pieces) 460
Charbroiled Chicken Salad 350
Junior Cheeseburger 290

As you can see, most of the sandwiches and burgers range from 600-800 calories. That puts the Famous Star on the higher end, but not outrageously higher than the other options. The chicken based meals and lighter salad offer lower calorie alternatives.

Nutrients in a Carl’s Famous Star with Cheese

Beyond just calories, let’s examine some of the key nutrients in a Famous Star with Cheese:

Protein – With its two beef patties, this burger supplies 48g of protein. That represents a substantial amount, providing almost a full day’s protein in just one sandwich. Protein takes longer to digest, helps you feel fuller, and assists in building muscle mass.

Fat – As mentioned earlier, there is a whopping 43g of total fat in this burger. So about two-thirds of the calories come from fat. The majority is unsaturated fat, but it still contains higher levels of saturated fat and trans fat.

Carbohydrates – There are 49g carbs in a Famous Star. The bun obviously contributes significant carbs. There is also 12g of sugar, adding to the carb load.

Sodium – With 1430mg of sodium, this burger is very high in salt content. That’s over half the recommended daily sodium intake.

Vitamins & Minerals – The tomato, lettuce, pickles, and onions provide small amounts of potassium, vitamin C and vitamin K. But the nutritional value is quite minimal.

So in summary, you get a lot of calories, protein and fat without many beneficial vitamins or minerals. The high sodium and saturated fat content are downsides as well.

Tips for Reducing Calories

If you want to enjoy a Carl’s Famous Star but reduce the calorie impact, here are some tips:

– Order it “protein style” – this replaces the bun with lettuce for major carb and calorie savings

– Skip the cheese to shed about 90 calories

– Ask for just one beef patty instead of two to cut almost 200 calories

– Order a side salad instead of fries

– Opt for a lower calorie beverage like water or unsweetened iced tea

– Share the burger with a friend or eat half now and save half for later

– Add extra veggie toppings like lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles for more volume

Even with some simple modifications, you can bring down the total calorie content substantially. Just being mindful of portions and sides can make a big impact too.

Healthier Fast Food Options

Beyond just ordering modifications, you can also choose lower calorie items at Carl’s Jr. Here are some examples of healthier menu options:

– Charbroiled BBQ Chicken Sandwich (440 calories)

– Charbroiled Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich (400 calories)

– Baked Chicken Sandwich (310 calories)

– Charbroiled Chicken Salad (350 calories)

– Burger Salad (260-520 calories depending on toppings)

– Veggie Burger (350 calories)

Focusing on grilled chicken, salads, and veggie burgers can keep your meal under 500 calories. Pairing these choices with water and easy on condiments leads to a much lighter fast food option.

Should You Eat a Carl’s Famous Star with Cheese Every Day?

At 790 calories apiece, Carl’s Famous Stars with Cheese are not meant to be eaten daily. Even for those with higher calorie requirements, this high-fat burger constitutes an indulgence. If trying to maintain a healthy diet and weight, it should be limited to occasional consumption. Enjoy it as a weekly treat meal, but not part of your daily habits.

For the average woman trying to consume 2000 calories a day, fitting in a 790 calorie cheeseburger would throw off that day’s entire diet. It would either cause you to far exceed your calorie goal, or require barely eating anything else that day. Neither scenario is ideal for balanced nutrition.

While an occasional splurge on a delicious Carl’s burger is fine, making it a daily meal consistently can lead to weight gain in the long run. It could also increase cholesterol and sodium levels beyond healthy recommendations. Moderation is key when indulging in such high-calorie options.

Comparison to Other Fast Food Burgers

Carl’s Jr. is certainly not alone in offering high-calorie burgers. Here is a comparison of how the Famous Star stacks up against popular burgers from other major chains:

Burger Calories
Carl’s Jr Famous Star with Cheese 790
McDonald’s Big Mac 540
Burger King Whopper 670
Wendy’s Baconator 930
Sonic SuperSonic Cheeseburger 870
Five Guys Bacon Cheeseburger 1,120

The Famous Star is certainly up there, with more calories than a Big Mac but less than a Baconator. It’s right in line with other double or triple patty cheeseburger offerings. Wendy’s Baconator and Five Guys Bacon Cheeseburger take the top spots for highest calorie count.

When you start doubling up on beef patties and adding piles of cheese and bacon, the numbers add up fast. In general, simpler single patty burgers or grilled chicken are smarter nutritional choices. But for indulging in a serious calorie and fat splurge, Carl’s iconic burger holds its own.

Nutritional Value of Burger Components

To better understand where all those calories come from, let’s break down the nutritional value of each component of a Famous Star:

Beef Patties – The two patties account for at least 300 calories and 24g protein. They also provide about 18g fat, including saturated fat and cholesterol.

Bun – The seeded bun adds roughly 200 calories entirely from carbohydrates. It offers little protein, no fat, and provides fiber.

Cheese – Two slices of American cheese contribute around 180 calories and 14g of fat. Cheese does provide some calcium, but is high in saturated fat.

Sauce – Carl’s “secret sauce” probably includes mayo and ketchup, costing around 80 calories and 5-8g fat.

Onion/Pickle – These vegetables offer minimal calories. They provide crunch and some trace nutrients.

Tomato/Lettuce – Also very low calorie. Contribute a small vitamin and antioxidant boost.

As you can observe, the bulk is really coming from the large beef patties and cheese. Limiting those elements can lead to the greatest calorie reductions. The veggies make up an extremely small portion of the total.


To conclude, a Carl’s Famous Star with Cheese contains an impressive 790 calories. That represents nearly half the recommended daily intake for an average sedentary woman. With 43g fat and 16g saturated fat, this burger delivers a huge dose of calories and fat.

The protein and sodium content are also quite high. While an occasional indulgence is fine, this burger should be enjoyed in moderation. Simple customizations like skipping the cheese or bun can reduce the calorie impact. Being mindful of portions and sides also lessens the total damage.

When compared to similar hearty burgers from other chains, the Famous Star is around the middle of the pack. It all comes down to being smart about indulging in these high-calorie, high-fat treats. As an occasional meal, you can work it into an overall healthy diet. Just don’t make it an everyday habit if you want to maintain good nutrition and your waistline.

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