The SparkPeople Blog

What Does 300 Calories Look Like?

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
4/25/2013 12:00 PM   :  279 comments   :  86,481 Views

See More: healthy eating,
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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Comments

  • 279
    This article is accurate and very helpful , and I am glad I read it. We are portion challenged ( guess that is the words I will choose to use today for this) and we so need to learn about what is correct and helpful to acquire some education on that. - 2/6/2014   5:42:59 PM
  • 278
    These photos just prove to me how much we don't know about calorie content in food. No wonder we have an obesity epidemic in America. And the least educated will be the most affected. Spark People is a great place to learn about food and it's contents. I learn something new (not just about food) on SP every day. This place is awesome!!! - 12/10/2013   1:55:18 PM
  • 277
    I used to eat food like on the right column, it is pretty eye opening when you compare the differences. Especially I used to eat microwaveable meals, but I know that sodium is ridiculous. Thanks for the article! - 11/19/2013   4:36:09 PM
  • ACHAVIS2
    276
    This article is very helpful. So many times I've eaten out and selected what I thought was a healthier choice only to find out I was eating a days worth of calories in one meal. - 10/30/2013   10:00:23 AM
  • 275
    Wow...just WOW! This article is a keeper. Thank you! - 6/16/2013   4:17:38 AM
  • 274
    I have been with Spark for three years and this is my favorite article. A picture is worth a thousand words. I think the meals were comparable to one another. I also like the ideas for meals given here. However, I would have like the breakdown of the meals including the amount of protein, fiber, sodium, etc. Overall I liked the article and will use the information. - 5/28/2013   1:19:25 PM
  • 273
    Whoa, this is craziness! Thanks for this info! - 5/23/2013   7:18:11 PM
  • 272
    this is awesome! - 5/23/2013   7:08:06 PM
  • 271
    I need to put this on my fridge! I am not that great at home cooking, but boy oh boy, these pics make me want to step up my cooking skills! - 4/30/2013   10:03:27 PM
  • 270
    Proof POSITIVE that there is something to be said about home cooking vs restaurant meals. Still, very disheartening for those of us that have been in denial for so long. No more. Starting today I have a whole new outlook with a whole new purpose, and now with SparkPeople to help me on the way! - 4/30/2013   7:06:19 PM
  • BARNEYGIRL44
    269
    This is startling if not surprising....good to look at for sure!!! - 4/27/2013   9:47:39 PM
  • 268
    This really puts things into perspective! Eat smart, eat healthy! - 4/27/2013   11:13:25 AM
  • 267
    Good reference!
    - 4/26/2013   2:52:45 PM
  • 266
    Oh my gosh - this really puts things into perspective, espeically the Panera sandwich. That's one of my favorites! Guess it's time to find the healthier make-at-home version! - 4/26/2013   1:28:05 PM
  • 265
    SAKS2011, that is the calories for the *stuffed* pizza slice. Not a regular slice of pizza there.
    I think I'd faint if I only ate the 1050 calories that is listed here totaling the three meals. Even adding in snacks. I exercise too much to go so low. These portions are tiny! - 4/26/2013   8:48:55 AM
  • 264
    Thank you, the photos are an excellent reminder for me! - 4/26/2013   7:14:31 AM
  • 263
    THANK YOU FOR POSTING OLD ARTICLES! It is good to have reminders of good information. - 4/26/2013   12:04:13 AM
  • 262
    PLEASE STOP re-posting OLD articles or let us get POINTS if you are going to repost them!!! - 4/25/2013   10:31:37 PM
  • ETHELMERZ
    261
    This is one of the best reports you have featured, Bravo!!! Some women's magazines have been showing the same thing, and Diabetic magazines have too, great report!!! - 4/25/2013   10:14:32 PM
  • SALYMANDER
    260
    This was very motivating to me. Sometimes I am frustrated when I feel I can't eat what I want --looking at these, the healthier, low cal meals look just as good or better than the restaurant. Just points out you don't have to be "deprived"--eating healthier can be just as yummy. - 4/25/2013   10:00:09 PM
  • 259
    Very motivating article. What a great incentive to eat at home where you have more control over what is in your food. I love to eat out and hate cooking, but articles like this remind me why it is so important. - 4/25/2013   5:54:59 PM
  • 258
    OMG!!!!!! when at the airport after TSA, during meal time, i always ate a slice of sbarro pizza. i know pizza is bad, but, didnt realize its almost 1000 cal for one single slice!!! holy cow.... - 4/25/2013   5:14:36 PM
  • 257
    I agree LEESAAB! - 4/25/2013   5:03:20 PM
  • 256
    As someone who enjoys eating, I really love posts like this. - 4/25/2013   4:29:30 PM
  • 255
    I like this, but I feel like you cheated by picking a lot of really unhealthy options to represent the restaurant meals, while sticking with only healthy options for the home cooked meals. It would be more useful if you had compared apples to apples, or healthy-appearing home-cooked meals with healthy-appearing restaurant meals. - 4/25/2013   4:16:30 PM
  • 254
    wow, great to know! thanks! - 4/25/2013   4:13:04 PM
  • 253
    Wonderful article. It keeps me on task. - 4/25/2013   4:06:34 PM
  • JAMTART9
    252
    I like the premise of this article. However for those of us who are trying to meet macro goals, it would be helpful if you listed the nutritional contents of the home-made meals. Thanks! - 4/25/2013   3:44:44 PM
  • 251
    It's great to see this and be reminded that eating healthy does not mean you have to starve yourself. Look at how much delicious food those "light" plates have! - 4/25/2013   3:22:34 PM
  • 250
    While the message of the article is well meant, I notice that the staging of the meals is used to make the differences seem larger. In some cases (the omelette, hotcakes and pizza particularly), if you were to display the higher calorie meal portion in the same way as the lower calorie one (each slice/piece clearly separated), they would look much more similar in volume. Of course, the restaurant images are only fractions of what would be served as a "full portion", so you always need to be mindful when going out to eat! - 4/25/2013   2:51:44 PM
  • 249
    Dang, I am amazed at the calorie differences! - 4/25/2013   2:09:14 PM
  • CELTICMAID
    248
    I was shocked by the chicken takeaway, the soup portion and the pasta meal.
    OOOh I need real help here - I eat PERFECTLY except it is that portion control that's wrecking it all!Not perfect then................ - 4/25/2013   2:00:08 PM
  • 247
    Just love this - those look like what I eat everyday :) I am on the right track - Sometimes , I feel like I am cheating eating all that wonderful food - Thanks for making feel and look good !! LiL Racer - 4/25/2013   12:37:09 PM
  • 246
    Thanks! A real eye opener... - 4/3/2013   8:56:49 AM
  • 245
    I am SO glad I read this! This is not only incredible and eye-opening but the "eating at home" foods are affordable to keep on hand! I pinned this to my fitness board!! Thanks!! - 3/27/2013   8:36:31 PM
  • 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
  • DOMEMALL
    239
    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
  • KENBAN
    237
    I can't live with that kind of portion. Regards, http://www.bladderinfectionguide.co
    m
    / - 4/21/2011   11:21:25 AM
  • DRAYZIE
    236
    Still one of my favorite articles. - 3/2/2011   11:52:26 AM
  • REEEREEE
    235
    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
    231
    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

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