What Does 300 Calories Look Like?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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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wow, great to know! thanks! Report
Wonderful article. It keeps me on task. Report
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! Report
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! Report
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! Report
Dang, I am amazed at the calorie differences! Report
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................ Report
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 Report
Thanks! A real eye opener... Report
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!! Report
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! Report
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. Report
Just saved the images on the home screen pf my mobile to constantly remind me of these and cigarettes.

Thanks a tonne. Report
Thanks so very much!!! I showed this to my daughter in the hopes that she would see I'm not crazy... Report
I read and re-read this article a bunch of times & shared it, too. It's still my favorite article on Spark! Report
It is very well designed. Thanks for sharing.

Wow, so amazing how different the sizes are! Report
I can't live with that kind of portion. Regards, http://www.bladderinfectionguide.co
/ Report
Still one of my favorite articles. Report
thanks alot......this is very inspiring and helps in creating more home made choices for the meals
THANK YOU!!! Report
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. Report
This is awesome! Thank you so much!!! Report
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. Report
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. Report
300 calorie for all that food that's great i well keep all this in mind Report
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! Report
Wow! Thank you for the pictures. Great examples of the difference between preparing your own food and relying on restaurants. Report
This looks good. Report
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. Report
Thanks for this article. This is eye opening. Report
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! Report
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! Report
Great visual! A little bummed about the Panera sandwich/soup combo, but it is better to be informed than to self-sabotage. Report
Excellent article. I only wish I could print it out. Haven't found a way to print blogs with my computer so disappointing. Report
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. Report
It's all about the choices! Report
I think the tomatoe soup and sandwich was the biggest shock Report
This is cool ! this is my latest eating plan. thanks LOL Report
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? Report
shocking reminder; worthwhile reading Report
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. Report
food looks so good on the left. the portion comparisons say so too. mmmmm. Report
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! Report
This is really amazing! I didn't know I could have so much for the ssame amount of calories! Report
this will help me make better choices when eating out. Thanks Report
wow! Definitely makes you re-think your dinner plans... haha Report
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.

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! Report
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! Report