# What if you want to weigh, but portion sizes are in cups?

Posts: 616 Member
Both on the back labels of boxes (like bran flakes) and in the MFP database, a lot of foods are presented in cups or tablespoons. I keep seeing on here that weighing your food is more accurate than measuring -- I believe it.

But what do you do when every portion/calorie listing assumes you're measuring it?

## Replies

• Posts: 167 Member
I do math! Say the back of the box says a serving is 1 cup, it'll usually list he weight they're using for their cup, lets call it 85g. I measure out 115g. 115/85=1.35
So in MFP database, I would choose the 1 cup serving and input 1.35
• Posts: 554 Member
I do math! Say the back of the box says a serving is 1 cup, it'll usually list he weight they're using for their cup, lets call it 85g. I measure out 115g. 115/85=1.35
So in MFP database, I would choose the 1 cup serving and input 1.35

This. I rarely find a food container for dry foods that doesn't include a gram or oz equivalent for its serving. May take a little extra work but it's worth it.
• Posts: 616 Member
Oh. On the box it lists the weights they're using?

Um.

Okay, sure. I read labels! Dum dee doe dee dum dee doe.

Seriously, thank you very much.
• Posts: 17,890 Member
Not necessarily that easy. I have a bottle of olive oil here that contains 250 ml (millilitres) and the nutrition information label only has values per 100 grams. Luckily olive oil is a standard food item that I can find in any Food Composition Table, but I can imagine there be products where you would have to pour the whole damn contents into a clean bowl and weigh it, and then do the math. And then force the contents back into the tube, bottle, bag and so on
• Posts: 16 Member
I posted about this in another thread about ice cream servings but I have come across at least one brand of ice cream where the serving is given in cups but then also given in mls rather than grams, which seems a whole lot like stating the obvious. But I suppose that's likely to be rare and only where you have those sort-of liquid, sort-of solid items.

In the case of the ice cream, I knew the volume the container was supposed to have, and I knew the volume per serving, so I knew the number of servings per container. All I had to do was find out the weight of the contents of the container (I was lucky enough to have both empty and full containers on hand for this) and then divide the weight by the number of servings to get a more accurate weight per serving. It won't be perfectly accurate because the container might be slightly over- or under-filled compared to the given container volume, but in this case it will give you a better way of serving ice cream than packing it into cups, squashing out all the air and getting a serving and a half for every 'serving' like I was foolishly doing.

But most of the time you'll have a gram weight given, so always go with that rather than the cup measure. There's nothing to stop you from measuring things into cups if you need a given volume of something for a recipe, but then weigh it so that you can record it in grams rather than cups.
• Posts: 16 Member
Not necessarily that easy. I have a bottle of olive oil here that contains 250 ml (millilitres) and the nutrition information label only has values per 100 grams. Luckily olive oil is a standard food item that I can find in any Food Composition Table, but I can imagine there be products where you would have to pour the whole damn contents into a clean bowl and weigh it, and then do the math. And then force the contents back into the tube, bottle, bag and so on
In this case, wouldn't you simply pour out whatever amount you needed to use each time, weigh it in grams, and then record it in accordance with the nutritional info given in grams?
• Posts: 17,890 Member
Not necessarily that easy. I have a bottle of olive oil here that contains 250 ml (millilitres) and the nutrition information label only has values per 100 grams. Luckily olive oil is a standard food item that I can find in any Food Composition Table, but I can imagine there be products where you would have to pour the whole damn contents into a clean bowl and weigh it, and then do the math. And then force the contents back into the tube, bottle, bag and so on
In this case, wouldn't you simply pour out whatever amount you needed to use each time, weigh it in grams, and then record it in accordance with the nutritional info given in grams?

That's also a way to do it... Now I feel a strange mixture of stupid and enlightened. Thank you :flowerforyou:
• Posts: 616 Member
Now I feel a strange mixture of stupid and enlightened. Thank you :flowerforyou:

YES YES YES THIS ^^^
• Posts: 1
Just measure it the first time,then weigh it. Then you have both measurements. Weigh the measuring cup empty then again when full.
• Posts: 726 Member
You are confusing weights and measures. Some foods should be weighed - meat, pasta (before cooking), etc. Other foods are meant to be measured. If the nutrition label has the food in cups - measure it with a measuring cup. If it's in ounces - weigh it. Weighing a food that should be measured, and vice versa, will give you incorrect information.
• Posts: 16,913 Member
There is a lot of over complication in this thread.
• Posts: 7,725 Member
You are confusing weights and measures. Some foods should be weighed - meat, pasta (before cooking), etc. Other foods are meant to be measured. If the nutrition label has the food in cups - measure it with a measuring cup. If it's in ounces - weigh it. Weighing a food that should be measured, and vice versa, will give you incorrect information.

The key here is if it gives cups *and* weights, you're probably better off ignoring the cups especially if you weigh conscientiously already.
• Posts: 386 Member
Just measure it the first time,then weigh it. Then you have both measurements. Weigh the measuring cup empty then again when full.

Then you are just transferring the potential error involved in using cups to a grams measurement. It's no more accurate. It's better (and less work) to just use the grams listed in parentheses on the back of the package.
• Posts: 616 Member
Yeah. I am being as conscientious as I can about tracking what goes into my mouth, and if it takes a little math to convert 1 cup to 50 grams (or whatever), I can do that.

I just never read the label carefully enough to see the grams part. I would see "serving size 2/3 cup" and calculate from that, and then worry because what if I'd packed it too closely or something.

And since I'm small, and oldish, and recovering from a really craptastic injury so I can't do a lot of high-burn activities or weights, I don't have a lot of wiggle room in my calories. So that's why I asked. So now I can weigh solids, measure liquids, tare containers, and just generally do stuff I should have learned to do in junior high school. :-P
• Posts: 7,725 Member
Yeah. I am being as conscientious as I can about tracking what goes into my mouth, and if it takes a little math to convert 1 cup to 50 grams (or whatever), I can do that.

I just never read the label carefully enough to see the grams part. I would see "serving size 2/3 cup" and calculate from that, and then worry because what if I'd packed it too closely or something.

And since I'm small, and oldish, and recovering from a really craptastic injury so I can't do a lot of high-burn activities or weights, I don't have a lot of wiggle room in my calories. So that's why I asked. So now I can weigh solids, measure liquids, tare containers, and just generally do stuff I should have learned to do in junior high school. :-P

That's odd. I was told junior high was all about eating twinkies all day :ohwell:
• Posts: 616 Member
That's odd. I was told junior high was all about eating twinkies all day :ohwell:

D*mn it, see, *this* is what I missed by having two university professors as parents. Those hours I wasted in geometry class are hours I will never get back, and the metabolism I wasted on not eating Twinkies is long gone.