Food Choices

What Do 300 Calorie Meals Look Like?

Need help visualizing appropriate portion sizes? This guide will help by showing you the amount of food 300-400 calories looks like on a plate.

Breakfast Meals

English Muffin Breakfast – 394 Calories

English Muffin Breakfast

1 whole wheat English muffin
2 pats low fat butter
1 hard boiled egg
1/2 cup of fruit
8 oz fruit juice
8 oz water

Cereal – 300 Calories

Cereal Breakfast

1 cup of cereal
8 oz 2% milk
1 banana
1 coffee or tea

Oatmeal – 345 Calories


1 cup (cooked) oatmeal with raisins
½ cup of fruit
1 cup coffee or tea
1 small banana

Scrambled eggs – 360 Calories

scrambled eggs

2 scrambled eggs
2 strips of turkey bacon
1 piece whole wheat toast
1 pat of low fat butter
1 coffee or tea
8 oz water

See our recipe for power eggs here.


Baked potato – 305 Calories

Baked Potato

1 medium baked potato
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons salsa
1 cup sliced melon
12 oz water

Roasted Veg. Salad – 373 Calories


3 cups mixed greens
1 cup sweet potato
1 cup eggplant
1 cup red bell pepper
3 Tbs lite honey mustard

Soup – 350 Calories


1 bowl of soup
1 small tossed salad
2 tablespoons reduced fat oil and vinegar dressing
12 oz water
4 saltine crackers

Chicken Salad – 350 Calories

Chicken Salad

1 large tossed salad
2 tablespoons reduced fat oil and vinegar dressing
6 oz sliced chicken
1 cup of low fat wheat thin crackers
12 oz water

MORE: Quick Lunches for under 400 Calories


Chicken – 345 Calories


6 oz of chicken
1 cup of green beans
2 pats of low-fat butter
1 small tossed salad
2 tablespoons reduced fat oil and vinegar dressing
12 oz water

Grilled Eggplant – 323 Calories


1 cup eggplant
1/4 avocado
Asparagus (10 spears)
3 whole wheat crackers
1 Tbsp olive oil and seasonings

See our low calorie eggplant parmesan recipe here.

Fish – 365 Calories

Fish Dinner

6 oz broiled white fish
1 cup of mashed potatoes
1 pat of butter
1/2 cup of peas
8 oz diet iced tea

Tortellini – 366 Calories


3/4 cup tortellini
1/2 cup marinara
1 cup mixed vegetables

See our easy eggplant primavera recipe here.

Chicken and Rice – 395 Calories

chicken and rice

6 oz cooked chicken
2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce
1 cup of mixed vegetables
1/2 cup of brown rice
1 small tossed salad
2 tablespoons reduced fat oil and vinegar dressing

Stuffed Butternut – 376 Calories


1/2 small butternut squash (2 cups)
1/2 cup quinoa (prepared)
1/2 cup red bell pepper
1/2 cup onion
curry seasoning
1/4 cup lite coconut milk

Think you can estimate calorie amounts?

I can’t. It’s too hard.

It’s one of the reasons why it is so hard to eat healthily.  Most meals you buy out are far more calorie-dense than what you thought.

If you don’t believe me – check out a standard Starbucks Hot Chocolate. It’s 440 Calories. Even you ask them to hold the whipped cream, it’s still 360 Calories.

What happens when you combine that with a snack? Maybe a small chocolate croissant.

Ouch! That’s another 340 Cals.

Looking for some easy ways you can save a lot of calories in your everyday cooking? Learn how cook healthy.

Meal prep can be a great way to have portioned meals waiting for you in the fridge and helps take out the guesswork. Here’s a good meal prep guide that explains the process.

The Challenge

Most of these photos are from a doctor who had prepared a diet for his patients. He felt it was easier to show them the pictures.

I think the doctor’s done great here. Although there are some items I don’t like. Low-fat butter? What is that? Reduced fat oil?

I don’t like frankenfoods. Better to have the real thing, but in moderation.

What do you think?

Did you spot some meals that didn’t quite fit?

The ones with the colorful plate.

They were made by one of our writers here – Ted. I think they are much more enticing than the doctor’s photos. You can see all his recipes here.

Any better ideas?

MORE – 10 Quick Snacks for under 200 Calories

Ted Kallmyer is an ISSA certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, is an expert macros coach, and the author of The Macro Solution. If you need personal help reaching your weight loss/fitness goals see his nutrition & macros coaching options. Follow Ted on Instagram
Last Updated: August 23, 2021


  1. Kathleen Marks

    What is low-fat butter?

    • Ted Kallmyer

      Low-fat butter is butter or flavored plant fat that’s been whipped with air and water. If you use real butter just use half the amount.

  2. Sadia Saleem


  3. Kelsey Vere

    This is super helpful! And I totally agree – better to have the real thing in moderation. The only thing I wish was changed was the mashed potato dinner and the baked potato lunch. I have PCOS and have always been told to avoid white potatoes. I’m not 100% sure if sweet potatoes or yams are a better alternative but if they are, I’d love to know how to make a deliciously savoury baked yam lunch receipt or a mashed yam dinner recipe. I’m not a fan of the sweetness in the potatoes so that’s why I’m looking for more of a savoury palette.

    • hope it helps

      could try adding a bit of brown sugar or the likeness of it for the mashed potatoes. i found that helped it may change the calorie count by a bit but i think the type of “sugar” im thinking of was zero calories i cant remember the name though

  4. disqus_u1h8URlpUx

    10 mini wheats, lil milk, 1 strawberry, pinch of raw mixed nuts, 3cm havarty cheese block, celery sticks. Boom. Slightly under 400 calories.
    I lost 10 pounds recently.

  5. Lili Grace

    Anyone have any meal ideas for a vegetarian that are 200-300 calories? I eat eggs, just not meat. Thanks!

  6. barry

    What person don’t eat meat

    • Twinflame Byond

      vegetarians and vegans.

    • Larry


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  8. Michelle

    Thanks for the ideas, I’ll use them in my meal planning! One of my new faves is two slices of toasted Ezekiel 4:9 flax bread (160 cals., in freezer section of the supermarket), half an avocado, mashed (approx. 150 cals, depending on the size of the avocado!), and a boiled egg, cooled and sliced (70 cals.). For 380 calories, this will fuel your morning or afternoon!

  9. BeautyandFitnessGuru

    Thanks for such a clear presentation of 300 calorie meals. This pictures makes it easier to approximately gauge my meals and not go overboard.

  10. CurryDesignsHandmade Jessica C

    Love your recipes. I’m always looking for new ideas for low calorie meals. I made a website called just so that I can save my recipes and share them with everyone. They are very simple recipes.

  11. Fitbodybuzz

    Really useful list. These meals are good examples that a low calorie meal can be very delicious.

  12. Jorge Jurado

    Thanks for this post, deff have more ideas for breakfast now 🙂

  13. Treacle234


  14. ceo

    Thanks! I have to a project for school on a 7 day healthy meal planner and this website sure worked 😀 ^0^ 😀 ^3^ =)

    • Ceo


    • Ted

      Glad we could help Ceo! All the best with your project!

  15. Jessica Hellaine

    Awesome list, thanks! 🙂 Easy to make, see, AND helped make my grocery list a lot simpler, haha.

    • Ted

      Glad it helped Jessica!

  16. Donna Freeman Cook

    Ok… this actually sounds doable…. Thank you for adding the pics… wish me luck…I’m using this as a guide starting tomorrow

    • JamesF

      Good luck! And please let us know of any other low calorie creations you come up with.

  17. klove

    Thanks for doing this! Helps me out a lot. Getting more aware on how my plate should look 😉

    • Ted

      You are so welcome, we are glad it was useful for you and we wish you all the best with eating more healthfully.

  18. Rayca

    Thanks for this post. I just want to know what it looks like. These are mostly foods I eat and now I know that I may be consuming a little more or less, depending on how many oz., or pats or type of veg., dressing, etc. Excellent visual.

    • Ted

      You’re welcome! We’re glad you found it useful.

    • StoneDiesel

      I have been using Calorie Calculator bestcaloriecounter(dot)com, an app all about fitness and balanced diet.This information too aids well visually

  19. Big Dave

    I like a toasted whole grain English muffin (110) with a pat of real butter (100), an over easy egg (70), and a thin slice of provolone (40). Makes for a tasty 320 calorie sandwich thats quick, easy, portable, and provides a pretty good energy kick. I have been trying to keep my regular meals under 400 calories, and between meal snacks (usually fruits and nuts) under 100 for the last few months and have dropped almost 30 lbs in the process by only changing my diet. Thanks for the ideas!

    • Ted

      Great job! and thanks for the great breakfast suggestion!

    • Rayca

      Yum. That does sounds good. I forgot all about English muffins. I’m sick of bagels.

  20. Laura

    Amazing post! love this!! I have been doing fitness shows for 5 years now and trying to teach my friends and colleagues healthy eating using measurements is difficult- love the visual aspect !!

    • Ted

      Thanks! Glad you liked it. Yes, much easier to judge portions if we have examples to follow.