What Things Weigh: Measure Your Progress With Real-World Items

By , SparkPeople Blogger
"I need to lose a ton of weight!"
"I don't even know where to start."
"All that work and I've only lost three pounds?!"
If any of these sound familiar, you know how frustrating it can be when you have a lot of weight to lose—especially when the scale seems to be moving in slow motion. Instead of getting fixated on the number at your feet, try using visualization as another way to measure your progress. By comparing how much you've lost to actual, tangible items, suddenly those small steps forward will feel much larger.
We love the list that our member NUMD97 posted in her SparkPeople blog about what things weigh. Below, we've included many from her list, and thrown in a few others for good measure. Are any of these surprising to you?
Things That Weigh One Pound
  • A package of butter (with four sticks)
  • A football
  • A salami
  • A shoe
  • A package of bacon
  • A box of brown sugar
  • Three medium-sized bananas

Things That Weigh Two Pounds
  • A pineapple
  • A quart of water
  • A rack of baby back ribs

Things That Weigh Three Pounds
  • A steam iron
  • A box of wine
  • A can of Crisco shortening
  • A two-slice toaster

Things That Weigh Five Pounds
  • Mr. Coffee 12-cup coffee maker
  • A two-liter bottle of soda
  • A bag of sugar 

Things That Weigh 10 Pounds
  • A large bag of potatoes
  • A six-foot aluminum step ladder
Things That Weigh 15 Pounds
  • A 19-inch flat screen TV
  • 2,000 paintballs
  • Medium bag of dog food
  • 10 dozen large eggs
  • A bowling ball

Things That Weigh 20 Pounds
  • A car tire
  • A karaoke machine
Things That Weigh 25 Pounds
  • An average two-year old toddler
  • Three gallons of milk 

Things That Weigh More Than 25 Pounds

  • 30 pounds is equal to the amount of cheese an average American eats in a year
  • 33 pounds is equal to a cinder block
  • 36 pounds is equal to a mid-size microwave
  • 40 pounds equals a five-gallon bottle of water or an average human leg
  • 44 pounds equals an elephant's heart
  • 50 pounds equals a small bale of hay
  • 55 pounds equals a 5,000-BTU air conditioner
  • 66 pounds equals the fats and oils an average American eats in a year
  • 70 pounds equals an Irish Setter
  • 77 pounds equals a gold brick
  • 90 pounds equals a newborn calf
  • 100 pounds equals a two-month old horse
  • 111 pounds equals the red meat an average American eats in one year
  • 118 pounds equals the entire Encyclopedia Britannica
  • 120 pounds equals the amount of trash the average person throws away in a month
  • 130 pounds equals a newborn baby giraffe
  • 138 pounds equals the amount of potatoes an average American eats in a year
  • 140 pounds equals the amount of refined sugar an average American eats in a year
  • 150 pounds equals the complete Oxford English Dictionary
Which of these surprised you the most? If you have any other shocking weight comparisons, share them below in the comments!

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Good info! Report
EVIE4NOW 5/8/2020
interesting perspective. thanks Report
CINDYLOU77777 1/24/2020
Interesting Report
RREDFORD5 12/8/2019
I love this! Thank you! :-) Report
MATEFRE 12/1/2019
According to CreditDonkey, the average car weighs 2,871 pounds.

250,000 quarters weigh more than an average car then.

Formula for finding out how many pounds are in a specific amount of quarters:

5.67 grams (because one US quarter weighs 5.67 grams these days) * quantity / 1000 (because of having to convert from grams to kilograms) x 2.204 (because of having to convert from kilograms to pounds)

For example:
5.67 * 250,000 / 1000 x 2.204 = 3124.17 pounds. Report
KATHYJO56 11/14/2019
Interesting Report
AALLEY2 11/14/2019
I love this perspective! Report
PICKIE98 11/14/2019
A shoe only weighs ONE pound? I am glad I remove them at the doc's office to be weighed Report
ETHELMERZ 11/14/2019
This is always interesting, every time women’s magazines do an article like this. This author seems to have a lot of women’s magazines at her house, from decades ago. Report
Thanks! This one was just great! Report
thank you Report
Have you noticed the five-pound bag of sugar has "lost" a pound? Report
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
Good need-to-know information! Report
Very interesting, I have always wondered what a gold bricks weighs! LOL Report
Enjoyed this list. Man, if I am ‘average’, I eat way too much sugar. Report
If I am an average American then I eat 10pounds more of sugar than a baby giraffe weighs. That is astonishing! I am not going to be an average American anymore. That is just too much sugar. Report
This was great! It is interesting that a bag of sugar weighs 5 pounds, but if one were to eat the whole bag, it would cause the body to probably gain more than 5 pounds! Mind blowing! Report
Great article Report
lol I was hoping to see comparisons that show ounces not pounds! Report
This is an interesting way to think about pounds lost. Report
Didn't know this Report
Thanks. Report
Thanks. Working to lose a cinder block of weight is how I'll think of it from now on. Report
66 pounds of fat and 140 pounds of refined sugar, wow, that's crazy and mind blowing. Report
I'm glad my new microwave doesn't weigh your 36 pounds. I would never have bought it if it had. Report
Great article. Thanks. Report
A great reminder!!! Thanks! Report
I love this! I wouldn't want to try to carry 5 bags of potatoes around, but I did carry that much weight for years. My goal is to lose 10 more bags of potatoes. lol Report
I love this! I wouldn't want to try to carry 5 bags of potatoes around, but I did carry that much weight for years. My goal is to lose 10 more bags of potatoes. lol Report
Without meaning to sound over critical,I think this would be better if one stuck to readily available objects. I don't know of a lot of people with a spare gold bullion or elephant's heart kicking around Report
In some ways, this doesn't help. I need to lose a newborn calf?! Report
Interesting! Report
Thanks Report
i have lost an elephants heart and still have an air conditioner to lose. Thanks for the fun info. Report
thanks for this post a must safe in my files Report
I am approaching 200 pounds lost. It amazes me that I have lost the weight
of many adults, or 8 2-year old toddlers. It is amazing and sobering at the same time. Report
What about cat litter? The box I usually get is 14 pounds and the fact that I can divest myself of the equivalent of TWO boxes and still be overweight is daunting; however, I've done it before and I just need to keep thinking what a relief it is even putting ONE of those boxes down after I've been lugging it around for awhile! -Whew!- What an eye-opener! Report
Amazing. Report
Thank you, Melissa, for the shout out about my blog, "What Things Weigh - Something To Think About". I was wondering why I was suddenly getting comments about an old blog, and now I know why! Your sending traffic my way gave me the opportunity to reread that blog again. It still remains timely. I hope Sparkers get some sense of what they have been carrying around, and to never again say, "I lost only one pound!" Progress is always progress.

Thanks again, Melissa,

Nu Report
Great information. The thing that suprised me is the amount of sugar a person eat in a year. Report
Wow! Love this and had to share it!! The car tire surprised me. I've lost an average 2 year old, but like to think that I've lost a car tire and a 19" flat screen! Really, thinking of losing a car tire makes me very happy! Report
This is great! Thank you so much! Report
Thank you. Report
Thank you for some eye openers. It's good to do comparisons like this as it puts the weight one has lost into a great mind picture! Report
Wow - I need to lose a whole person (about 140 pounds) and so far I lost the leg already. Odd when you think of it that way but it's progress. Report
Interesting Report
Who Knew? Report