Estimating Portion Sizes Can Go A Long Way

estimating macros and portion sizes

There are times when you're unable to be 100% accurate with reporting your meals, or parts of meals. However it is still massively beneficial to give your best estimate at what you have based on cues you can tell from the meal. Here is why.

Estimating your portions goes a long way and the more consistently you weigh and measure your food the better you get at eyeballing what ~150 grams of rice and ~200 grams of chicken looks like. This becomes super beneficial when you don't have the opportunity to weigh your food or if you don't want to be that person who brings their food scale into the restaurant. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This right here was one of my favorite meals during my summer spent in Bali. There's lots of vegetables, high in a lean protein source, and I really like white rice.

I would eat this eat this multiple times weekly so it built a custom recipe in Cronometer estimated from what I thought the portions might be. I used this for about two weeks until I finally remembered to bring the food scale in weigh everything.⁣

I have to admit I'm pretty damn proud of my estimating skills here. My estimated meal (701 kcals) was within a 7% margin of error of the values of the actual recording (768 kcals.)

estimated macronutrients cronometer
actual macronutrients cronometer

Carbohydrate and fats were almost spot on and I shorted myself on protein a bit. Taking into consideration that most carbohydrates and fats are most often under-reported and protein is over-reported I'm happy to be directly on the opposite end of the spectrum. At the end of the day I'd been eating an extra ~15 grams of protein more than I thought.⁣

Understanding what portion sizes look like for you, and leveraging these when you're on the go, traveling, or unable to actually measure will go a long way. Practice better than you would be without the practice.

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