Is 300 Calories A Lot? A Nutritionist Explains

When you are counting calories, it can be extremely helpful to not only understand exactly what 300 calories looks like, but to know whether or not this number of calories is considered a lot for a meal.

Is 300 calories a lot? 300 calories would not be considered a lot for the average person, and would only be considered a lot for someone with a daily caloric intake of 1200 calories or less. However, you can make 300 calories more filling if you’re choosing low-calorie, high-volume foods.

It’s important to understand why 300 calories can sometimes look like a lot of food and other times look like barely any food at all. If you’re trying to reduce your calorie intake, then you’ll want 300 calories to be more filling.

In this article, we will discuss:

  • What does 300 calories look like?
  • Why 300 calories can look so different
  • Is 300 calories too much to eat or not?
  • Tips for eating 300 calories and feeling full

What Does 300 Calories Look Like? 8 Examples

300 calories can be made up of all sorts of different food combinations, some appear like large servings and others very small serving sizes. 

Below are 8 examples of what 300 calories can look like:

1. Protein Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bowl

protein peanut butter oatmeal bowl
  • 1/3 cup quick oats
  • ½ scoop of protein powder
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • ½ sliced banana
  • Cinnamon

Calories and Macros

Calories: 304 calories
Protein: 19 grams
Carbohydrates: 37 grams
Fat: 11 grams

2. Egg Scramble with Toast

  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup chopped mushrooms
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ½ oz 2% cheddar cheese
  • 1 slice whole grain toast
  • 1 tsp butter (for toast)

Calories and Macros

Calories: 309 calories
Protein: 18 grams
Carbohydrates: 20 grams
Fat: 19 grams

3. Chicken Sweet Potato and Broccoli

  • 3 oz grilled chicken breast
  • 4 oz roasted sweet potato
  • 8 oz roasted broccoli
  • 1 oz of sliced avocado

Calories and Macros

Calories: 304 calories
Protein: 25 grams
Carbohydrates: 41 grams
Fat: 6 grams

4. Turkey and Swiss Wrap

turkey and swiss wrap
  • 2.5 oz sliced turkey
  • 1 oz swiss cheese
  • 1 whole grain tortilla wrap
  • 1 oz sliced tomato
  • 1 pickle
  • ½ cup chopped spinach
  • 1 tsp honey mustard

Calories and Macros

Calories: 303 calories
Protein: 24 grams
Carbohydrates: 26 grams
Fat: 11 grams

5. Ground Bison and Rice Bowl

ground bison and rice bowl
  • 3 oz lean ground bison
  • 1/3 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • ¼ cup corn kernels
  • ¼ cup salsa

Calories and Macros

Calories: 300 calories
Protein: 21 grams
Carbohydrates: 28 grams
Fat: 10 grams

6. Sliced Apple With Almond Butter

sliced apple with almond butter
  • 1 honey crisp apple, sliced
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • Cinnamon for topping

Calories and Macros

Calories: 298 calories
Protein: 7 grams
Carbohydrates: 36 grams
Fat: 17 grams

7. Hard Boiled Eggs and Rice Cakes

hard boiled eggs and rice cake
  • 3 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 basil and tomato rice cakes

Calories and Macros

Calories: 305 calories
Protein: 17 grams
Carbohydrates: 17 grams
Fat: 18 grams

8. Steak and Asparagus

 steak and asparagus
  • 3 oz sirloin steak
  • 10 asparagus spears
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 0.5 oz low fat feta cheese

Calories and Macros

Calories: 304 calories
Protein: 29 grams
Carbohydrates: 6 grams
Fat: 18 grams

Why 300 Calories Can Look So Different

300 calories of food can look very different depending on the types of foods that you choose in your meals. The main reason for this is the calorie difference between foods that are high in fat, versus foods that are higher in protein and carbohydrates.

For example, every gram of carbohydrate and protein contains 4 calories. In contrast, 1 gram of fat contains more than double the number of calories at 9 grams.

This is why, if you are eating a 300-calorie meal that is high in fat, there is going to be less food overall in that meal compared to a meal that is low in fat and high in protein and carbs.

For this reason, those who are trying to eat 300 calories and stay full for longer should prioritze filling foods that are lower in calories and take longer to digest, like foods rich in protein and fiber (meat & veggies).

Those who don’t want 300 calories to keep them full should prirotize higher calorie foods like fats (nuts & oils), and foods that digest quickly like sugar. 

Is 300 Calories Too Much to Eat or Not?

While the number of calories that a person should eat in one day or in one meal is going to vary depending on individual calorie requirements, it is pretty safe to say that most people should be able to eat 300 calories in one meal without it being too much.

300 Calories As A Meal 

If someone has a lower caloric intake because they’re dieting or they just require fewer calories to maintain their weight, then 300 claories could be equivalent to a meal for these individuals.

For example, if a 30-year-old woman who is 5’4” tall and 125 pounds had a daily calorie requirement of roughly 1800 calories per day, then she would need to eat approximately 6 meals a day that each consisted of 300 calories in order to meet her calorie goal.

For this woman, eating 300 calories in one meal would be considered an adequate intake, as long as she was planning to eat multiple meals throughout the day to meet her calorie needs. If she wanted fewer meals per day, then her meals would be higher than 300 calories.

300 calories as a meal would only be too much for someone with a very low intake (1000 calories per day) for a very specific purpose, like a bodybuilding competition. 

Related Article: How To Eat 1000 Calories A Day & Feel Full

300 Calories As A Snack

If someone has a much higher daily calorie requirement, eating 300 calories would likely not be enough food to make up a meal. Instead, 300 calories would be more appropriate as a snack.

For example, if a 30-year-old male bodybuilder who is 6’2” tall and 210 pounds wanted to maintain their weight, they would need to eat around 3100 calories a day.

If this man wanted to eat 6 meals per day, each meal would need to consist of at least 510 calories for him to meet his daily calorie goal, so a 300-calorie meal would be insufficient.

Instead, it’s more likely that this individual would eat 300 calories as a snack to help him reach his daily caloric intake. Perhaps he needs a 300-calorie snack because he was 300 calories short in his meals to achieve his 3100 calories total.

300 Calories Per Day 

While there are many people who would be able to consume 300 calories in one meal, this is not even close to enough calories if this is all you are consuming in a day.

Most people require at least 1200 calories in order for their body to perform basic functions like breathing, so eating only 300 calories in a day would be considered very unhealthy and even dangerous to your health.

Tips For Eating 300 Calories

Tips for eating 300 calories

The following tips for eating 300 calories are to help you stay full and satisfied; however, if you’re having 300 calories as a snack because you have a high intake, then you probably don’t want 300 calories to keep you full, so it would be better to do the opposite of these tips.

Here are 5 tips for eating staying full and satisfied while eating 300 calories: 

  • Focus on eating high-volume foods that are rich in fiber
  • Limit your intake of high-fat food sources
  • Avoid processed foods that are heavy in sugar and fat
  • Go for low/ no calorie sauces and condiments
  • Eat lean sources of protein

1. Focus On Eating High Volume Foods That Are Rich In Fiber

When you are constructing a 300-calorie meal, focus on filling your plate with whole foods that are high in volume and fiber, while also being low in calories. Filling the bulk of your plate with these types of foods will help to keep you feeling fuller for longer, without sacrificing any calories.

Great examples of foods that are high in volume and fiber are vegetables such lettuce, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, green beans, cauliflower, zucchini, celery, mushrooms, and onion. You can also include lower sugar high-fiber fruits such as berries, grapefruit, cantaloupe, and apples.

2. Limit Your Intake Of High Fat Food Sources

Although it is important to ensure you are consuming enough fat during the day, eating too much fat in one sitting can pack in a ton of calories, without any fiber or volume to keep you full.

For example, approximately 1 tbsp of olive oil (120 calories) contains roughly the same number of calories as about 2.5 cups of strawberries (121 calories). The strawberries are going to have you feeling much for full in comparison to the small amount of olive oil.

 For this reason, it is important to ensure that you are eating moderate amounts of fat (even healthy fat) when eating a 300-calorie meal. Ideally, you want to get around 20-30% of your calories from fat, so in this meal that would equate to around 6.5-10 grams of fat.

3. Avoid Processed Foods That Are Heavy In Sugar And Fat

It’s best to avoid processed foods that are high in sugar and fat when your goal is to reduce calories and stay satiated because these foods are high in calories but low in nutrients and fiber, which can contribute to a lack of fullness and hunger shortly after eating.

For example, eating one Oh Henry bar (approximately 57 grams) that contains roughly 240 calories and 1 gram of fiber will not keep you as full for as long as the equivalent calorie amount of half a cup of oatmeal.

Foods that are highly processed will also typically contain a lot of additives, including sugar and unhealthy fat, which may not be the best option for your health.

Since the oatmeal contains no added sugar, and a whopping 7 grams of fiber, this makes it the optimal food choice in comparison to the processed candy bar.

4. Go For Low / No Calorie Sauces and Condiments

When you are looking to flavor your 300-calorie meal, opt for lower-calorie condiments instead of sauces that are packed with fat and sugar. Getting the majority of your calories from your food, rather than your condiments will help to ensure that you feel full and satisfied.

Great low-calorie condiments to utilize are mustard, low sugar ketchup, salsa, soy sauce, hot sauce, and balsamic vinegar. 

The high-calorie condiments that are best to avoid are creamy dressings, mayonnaise, and barbeque sauce.

5. Eat Lean Sources Of Protein

When you are choosing a protein source for your 300-calorie meal, it is best to opt for leaner sources of protein to avoid the extra calories that high-fat protein sources contain.

Great lean sources of protein to include in a 300-calorie meal are foods such as chicken or turkey breast, egg whites, white fish, protein powder, low-fat dairy products, and lean cuts of red meat

Frequently Asked Questions

Will 300 Calories Fill You Up?

Eating 300 calories can be very filling provided that you are choosing whole unprocessed foods that are low in fat, but high in protein and fiber. Lean meats and non-starchy vegetables are great to include because they will help keep you full, without the extra calories.

Is 300 Calories A Lot For a Snack?

Whether or not 300 calories is considered a lot for a snack is going to depend directly on your individual calorie needs. If your daily intake is below 1600, then 300 calories is a lot for a snack; but if your intake is above 2000, then 300 calories is reasonable for a snack.

Is 300 Calories A lot For Breakfast?

300 calories is a reasonable number of calories for breakfast as long as you calculate this meal into your daily calorie requirements. Furthermore, if you choose foods that are high in protein, high fiber carbohydrates, with moderate amounts of fat, this 300-calorie breakfast should keep you full and fueled for hours.

Is 300 Calories A Lot For a Drink?

300 calories is a lot of a drink since the calories found in most beverages are not accompanied by any fiber and would do very little to keep you full and satisfied. For this reason, it is best to stick to beverages that have little to no calories, while trying to get your calories from food.

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About The Author

COLBY ROY

Colby Roy is a holistic health and nutrition coach. She is certified through Precision Nutrition and the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and has a passion for all things nutrition and healing the body. More specifically, Colby likes to work with clients who want to optimize their gut health and energy levels.