What Does 300 Calories Look Like?


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  294 comments   :  149,947 Views

Quality and quantity often face off in the battle of the bulge.

Do you choose the smaller, more calorie-dense meal or the larger, less calorie-dense meal?

Do you splurge on a cupcake or stick with your snack of yogurt, granola and berries?

What if we told you that you didn't have to choose? You can have it all--a filling, healthy meal--for only 300 calories! Read on to find out how choosing healthier, more nutritious foods--at home and away--means you can eat much more food and still lose weight.

Wonder what 300 calories looks like? 300 calories look drastically different when you're eating in instead of dining out. Check out these 18 meal comparisons to see for yourself, then share this post with your friends on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter!

Breakfast: 300-Calorie Meals & Portions
Here are three morning meals that each weigh in at 300 calories. Healthy and quick homemade meals (left column) pack whole grains, fresh fruit, and protein--a filling combination that will keep you fuller longer. You could only eat a fraction of the comparable restaurant meals (right column) for the same number of calories. Get more healthy breakfast ideas here.

Lunch: 350-Calorie Meals & Portions
These midday meals contain 350 calories each--the perfect amount to keep you going without wrecking your diet. Packing one of the homemade lunches on the left doesn't take long, and look at all those low- cal and filling veggies you'll get! Notice how seemingly healthy options like the restaurant foods on the right can be very misleading! Those 350-calorie portions are pretty small. Pack a healthier lunch with these tips.

Dinner: 400-Calorie Meals & Portions
Many people consume a larger meal at night, so we picked 400-calorie dinners here. By combining whole grains with lean protein and vegetables, these homemade dinners (left column) are a snap to prepare--and they'll keep the late-night munchies at bay! In contrast, the high-fat and high-calorie meals on the right don't offer much in the way of nutrition or volume. Get thousands of healthy dinner ideas at SparkRecipes.com!

The bottom line is that you can eat more and lose weight when you know how to pick the right foods and the right portions. Use the images and portions above as a guide to create your own healthy, diet-friendly and nutritious meals every day!

Are you surprised by how much (or little) you can eat for the calories, depending on which foods you choose? Which meal was most shocking to you?

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  • 244
    Glad I came across this article. I struggle with eating right and this helped to motivate me that I can do it. I have learned a few tricks along the way but always looking for ways to stretch my calories in the best way for my body! - 3/21/2013   9:54:39 AM
  • 243
    Gasp!!! That tiny, little slice of Sbarro pizza is 300 calories? Have to admin my portion meter was a bit off on the eat-out pizza. That kind of thing will be relegated to an occasional splurge. - 3/13/2013   7:42:18 PM
  • 242
    Just saved the images on the home screen pf my mobile to constantly remind me of these and cigarettes.

    Thanks a tonne. - 3/10/2013   4:35:51 AM
  • 241
    Thanks so very much!!! I showed this to my daughter in the hopes that she would see I'm not crazy... - 3/7/2013   6:36:02 PM
  • 240
    I read and re-read this article a bunch of times & shared it, too. It's still my favorite article on Spark! - 5/13/2012   9:36:13 AM
    It is very well designed. Thanks for sharing.

    - 9/13/2011   10:53:22 PM
  • 238
    Wow, so amazing how different the sizes are! - 9/6/2011   11:11:01 PM
    I can't live with that kind of portion. Regards, http://www.bladderinfectionguide.co
    / - 4/21/2011   11:21:25 AM
    Still one of my favorite articles. - 3/2/2011   11:52:26 AM
    thanks alot......this is very inspiring and helps in creating more home made choices for the meals
    - 9/22/2010   8:52:25 AM
  • 234
    THANK YOU!!! - 9/21/2010   1:05:07 PM
  • 233
    It makes you think twice b4 wanting to go out to eat. Just another reminder the big chains aren't in it for the health of it, rather to get you addicted to the food and make profits. Better off cooking at home so you see how it's prepared and what goes into it. - 9/21/2010   11:48:36 AM
  • 232
    This is awesome! Thank you so much!!! - 9/21/2010   11:02:58 AM
  • HOLLY404040
    My choice of meal depends how I feel. I want to make stuff that and not worry about calories it helps when their are good things in the house. - 9/15/2010   2:28:21 PM
  • 230
    What a great article.....It really does pay to eat at home, the difference in portion size from home to eating out alone makes it great.....But you will also save a bunch of money eating in. It really helps seeing the difference in pictures rather than just reading about it. - 9/15/2010   3:12:45 AM
  • 229
    300 calorie for all that food that's great i well keep all this in mind - 9/14/2010   10:42:48 PM
  • 228
    This was a great article, I loved seeing the different meal ideas! I emailed this to myself as a reminder that you can have great food without all the calories! - 9/14/2010   5:55:12 PM
  • 227
    Wow! Thank you for the pictures. Great examples of the difference between preparing your own food and relying on restaurants. - 3/16/2010   10:54:22 AM
  • 226
    This looks good. - 3/12/2010   1:01:35 AM
    These are very important blogs or comments to explore. The quality of caleries is related to the proper fueling , healing, and sense of well being of our bodies. The controversies will eventually get run to earth and sorted out. - 2/24/2010   8:26:18 AM
  • 224
    Thanks for this article. This is eye opening. - 2/19/2010   5:38:26 PM
    What a great article! I was reminded just this week how seemingly healthy restaurant meals can be calorie and SODIUM loaded. When I looked up the nutritional content on the 5 inch veggie sub I ate yesterday, I was SHOCKED. I usually pack a cooler with healthy fare, but didn't make the time yesterday...This article reminds me how important it is to have control over what you put into your body! - 2/18/2010   1:31:52 PM
  • EMJAY5876
    Great viuals to bring the point home! I really like the idea of combining 1 egg with 2 egg whites. I never thought of that before, and it's a great way to add the flavor of the yolk without adding extra calories. Thank you! - 2/17/2010   10:52:45 AM
  • 221
    Great visual! A little bummed about the Panera sandwich/soup combo, but it is better to be informed than to self-sabotage. - 2/17/2010   10:44:47 AM
    Excellent article. I only wish I could print it out. Haven't found a way to print blogs with my computer so disappointing. - 2/17/2010   9:29:48 AM
    I can't belive that PF Chang's food have so many calories. That is very disappointing. However, I can't wait to try the other plate. - 2/17/2010   6:11:00 AM
  • 218
    It's all about the choices! - 2/16/2010   6:05:54 PM
    I think the tomatoe soup and sandwich was the biggest shock - 2/16/2010   1:29:09 PM
  • 216
    This is cool ! this is my latest eating plan. thanks LOL - 2/16/2010   10:50:41 AM
    My husband took me out to eat on sunday....I am shocked at how many more calories something you get when you eat out has in it when you can make a similar dish at home at less than half the calories...I would have preferred him making me dinner. BUT the kids were home so how romantic would that be? - 2/16/2010   9:04:33 AM
  • 214
    shocking reminder; worthwhile reading - 2/16/2010   8:30:40 AM
  • 213
    I think this is one of the best articles on SparkPeople. I remember it last year and used some of the ideas. Will have another look at the recipes again. Thanks. - 2/16/2010   1:57:45 AM
    food looks so good on the left. the portion comparisons say so too. mmmmm. - 2/16/2010   1:14:18 AM
  • 211
    great reminder in regards to how much more healthier the right food choice can be. The volumne alone speaks loud and clear when you view the pictures. Most of the wrong choices have very tiny portions. Excellent visual! - 2/15/2010   11:10:48 PM
    This is really amazing! I didn't know I could have so much for the ssame amount of calories! - 2/15/2010   7:17:41 PM
  • SALLY102
    this will help me make better choices when eating out. Thanks - 2/15/2010   5:12:10 PM
  • 208
    wow! Definitely makes you re-think your dinner plans... haha - 2/15/2010   4:38:16 PM
  • 207
    Here is another site that took pictures of 200 calorie portions of 200 common foods. Again having a visual representation of this is very helpful.

    - 2/15/2010   4:07:38 PM
  • SGL1966
    Great info!!!!!!!!! Thank you! I just posted it on my facebook for others to see. Amazing what something so small and innocent looking can have in it! - 2/15/2010   2:46:27 PM
  • LILAC175
    WOW! That leftover Chinese food in the fridge is on it's way out. I'm in my first two weeks and becoming "aware." Wow! - 2/15/2010   1:47:56 PM
    This is a wonderful way to figure out what is best to eat. Hip hip hurray - 2/15/2010   1:00:25 PM
  • 203
    wow!! what a great article. thanks for putting it into perspective! - 2/15/2010   12:04:33 PM
  • 202
    Thank you! Bless you! I want a Cook Book just like this and has recipe for Complete meals ranging from 200-300calorie each!! (Print ... print ... print)
    This is hanging on my fridge. I DO NOT hang stuff on my fridge but this is... thank you! - 2/15/2010   11:28:17 AM
  • KLS1669
    Wow that really puts it into perspective - I'm saving this article as a reminder - 2/15/2010   10:07:43 AM
    This is very interesting and informative! I think the most shocking meal is the eggs meal vs. the bob evans omelet. Wowzers! - 2/15/2010   9:26:01 AM
    Sure makes me think about those calories. Thanks! - 2/15/2010   8:30:04 AM
  • 198
    Yes I knew this, but life happens and I had just forgot! This was a great reminder! I kepted this blog to continue to remind me! Thanks - 2/15/2010   6:39:55 AM
  • 197
    ahhhh WOW! That is all I can say. - 2/15/2010   4:13:25 AM
  • 196
    This is a great article - I need to look at these pictures every time I feel the need to dine out! - 2/15/2010   1:47:56 AM
  • 195
    The images are great! I'm such a visual person ~ Great article - 2/14/2010   11:09:12 PM

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