Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spending Your Four Pounds

Here's a fun little fact from my Precision Nutrition course:

The average person feels satiated at approximately 4 pounds of food per day.

Of course, when we use food as an emotional pacifier, we never feel full.  But physically speaking, most people need to ingest about 4 pounds per day to feel "satisfied".  Not stuffed, not starved.  This isn't new news.  People have been talking about nutritional food density and volume for a long time but the 'four pounds' is interesting to me.

The study actually came back at 3-5 pounds of food depending on body size.  So I'm probably around 3.5 lbs and my husband might be 4.5 but for practical purposes, I'm sticking to 4 pounds.  Plus, it's probably more realistic - I'm an eater! to spend the 4?   Does your 4 pounds contain 3000 calories? 1000?  Does that 4 pounds of food contain the nutrition necessary to fuel your workouts, rebuild your muscle tissue and aid in digestion?  


My lunch today was a skillet FULL of broccoli florets, shelled edamame and half a brick of cubed tofu. It weighed 1 pound but came to just under 300 calories.

A Burger King Whopper with cheese weights weighs just under 1/2 pound and totals 1010 calories  (670 without cheese).  4 pounds of Whopper would add 8080 calories to your body.

Obviously, a Whopper isn't on my list of options but there are some vegetarian options that make me ask the question "Is this a good way to spend my 4 pounds?"

-   1/2 pound of pasta cooked (no sauce - no nothin) is approximately 250 calories

-   1 Field Roast sausage is under 1/4 pound and comes in at 240 calories

-   1/2 pound of Vegan chocolate cake is approximately 460 calories  (an 8 oz slice - not huge)

Spending a 1/2 pound on pasta, as lovely as that would be, would yield only trace amounts of protein, vitamins or minerals.  Whereas my lunch skillet aided my body in all those areas. 

Where nutrition is concerned, the subject matter can always go deeper and there are many things to consider. Sometimes the information can be paralyzing, even for a nutrition junkie!  If you're feeling overwhelmed, framing your daily intake with the intent to maximize those 4 pounds can help to turn down the nutritional noise.  Just remember to 'spend' wisely.


  1. Four pounds?! That sounds like so much food. This will stick in my head a lobg time and really help me to stop and think! Thanks for you research Lauren! :-)