How To Calculate Serving Size

There are plenty of different reasons why somebody would want to know how much a serving of their meal is.

How To Calculate Serving Size

For one, calculating the serving size helps us to know how much we’re eating at a given time.

Better yet, it allows us to see how many calories we are eating, as well as the levels of fats and carbohydrates we’re getting.

For people trying to lose weight, calculating serving sizes is a great way to keep on top. 

But how do you calculate a serving size?

Many packaged foods will have nutrition labels on them to help tell us, or recipes that we follow might have information on the serving size and the contents.

However, this won’t always be the case, and you’ll especially be left to your own devices when it comes to making home recipes.

Therefore, you’ll need to find ways to measure the serving sizes and calorie counts.

That’s where we come in! In our handy guide below, we’ve got information on how you can calculate your serving sizes whenever you need to.

On top of that, we’ll also tell you how to calculate the amount of calories that you or your family are getting from it. Read on!

How To Calculate Serving Size

There are a few steps that you can apply to any of your meals that will allow you to not only calculate the correct serving sizes, but work out how many calories are going to be in them too. 

Step One: Weighing Your Food

This first step is essential, because you won’t be able to properly divide the recipe up into individual servings until you’ve done it. But how do you weigh the meal?

To begin with, before you actually start cooking your delicious meal, weigh the tableware that you’re going to be serving it in.

Perhaps the food is going to be put onto a serving platter, or maybe you’ve made something that’s going to sit in a dish.

Whatever it is, weigh the utensil first and write down the measurement. 

The reason that you’re doing this before you’ve added the food is so that you can later subtract this figure from the overall served food’s weight, in order to get the total weight of the food itself.

If you weigh your meal and its dish, then subtracting the weight of the dish will give you the weight of the food itself. 

You’ll want to be extra careful when weighing, because it’s important to get accurate figures if you’re calculating for eaters with health conditions.

For example, you’ll want to know the precise serving weights when it comes to calculating them for a diabetic.  

Step Two: Dividing Your Recipe Into Separate Servings

How To Calculate Serving Size

Now that you’ve got the weight of the final meal (subtracting the weight of the tableware of course), you can use it to work out how much each serving is going to weigh.

If you’re working from a recipe, then it will typically list how many people the overall meal will serve, and you should use that.

For example, if the recipe lists that it “will serve seven”, then it’s going to serve seven people. 

In this case, take the weight of the overall meal and divide it by seven. The number that you are left with will be the average serving size for it.

The number will usually have plenty of digits to it, so it may be a good idea to round it up a little to make it clearer and more manageable.

Once you have done that, write the number down.

Let’s use this method with a specific example. Imagine that you’re following a recipe for a casserole. The recipe says that the casserole, if you follow it properly, will serve seven people.

You make the casserole, weigh it in the dish, subtract the weight of the dish, and have the total weight of the food: 80.45 ounces. 

To work out the weight of the average serving size, simply divide the weight of the food by the amount of servings. For this, that’s going to be 80.45÷7.

This equals 11.49, leaving off the further digits. That number is pretty close to 11.50, which is a lot more memorable, so let’s round it up. 

The final serving size in this case is 11.50 ounces. 

Step Three: Calculating The Calorie Content 

If you want to work out the amount of calories that are in your meal, there’s a fairly easy way to do it. 

Simply look at the recipe and all its ingredients, and add up the calories that each ingredient has.

It may take a while, depending on how many ingredients were in the recipe, but it is at least very straightforward.

However, be sure to include everything! It may seem obvious, just adding up each key ingredient, but you need to make sure you add everything.

This includes ingredients that you just take for granted, using for most recipes.

We’re talking about things such as butter or cooking oil, small ingredients that are essential but will often go unnoticed.

Some of these can be surprisingly high in calories, so it’s extra essential that you include them in the overall count.

Step Four: Eating By Calories

Finally, you can use that total calorie count to get calorie-specific servings. 

Imagine that you want each serving of your meal to be 300 calories. To get servings equal to this, simply divide your overall calorie count by the amount you want per serving.

For example, if the total count was 1532 calories, you divide it by 300. This equals around 5.1.

Round that down to 5, and you’ll have your amount of servings – with each roughly 300 calories.

Final Thoughts

Calculating serving sizes is important – use our guide to do it easily!

Jenna Priestly