Welcome to Day 1 of the #800gChallenge! If you are participating in the challenge and did not receive an email from EC over the weekend about logging your scores, email her. Data for each day are due by midnight on the following day.
We will post weekly educational content regarding the #800gChallenge to make it sustainable and optimal for you.
What’s in a Cup?
Many have not tracked their mass of fruits and vegetables only – particularly in grams. Understanding what 800 grams (g) “looks like” in terms of measuring cups can help individuals visually conceptualize and plan for their day.
A very general approximation across most fruits or vegetables is that a measuring cup runs ~100g. So 800g of fruits and vegetables is approximately 6 cups. And a cup is about the size of an average adult closed fist, which can help with “eyeballing” (below).
Here are some examples of grams in a cup:
- Apple (slices) – 109g
- Bell pepper (chopped) – 104g
- Cucumber (halves) – 103g
- Grapes – 154g
- Roasted yams (cubed) – 131g
- Sliced strawberries – 121g
Unfortunately, a cup of leafy greens does not follow the same mass equivalent. A good approximation for leafy greens is that a packed cup contains only ~25 g.
The expectation for the #800gChallenge is that when you are at home or work, you are weighing and measuring your fruits and vegetables. However, we want this challenge to transcend rules and be implemented for real, positive dietary habits. As such, if you are out at a restaurant or visiting say, extended family who is not used to your diet particulars, you can eyeball those fruit and vegetable sides or salad greens. No need to cause a scene by pulling out the scale.
We do expect that you will use information from restaurant websites or menus where available (e.g., Chipotle). The consistent weighing and measuring at home and work will help ensure pretty good accuracy for eyeballing on sporadic occasions, while also preventing a scene when you have done your due diligence by ordering the side of broccoli.
Remember, greens are very light! An entire bag or box of salad greens purchased at the grocery has ~140g, which means side salads might be not more than 25g-50g (the closed fist “measurement” can be useful here). Finally, a standard serving size of vegetables at restaurants is ~75-85g (1,2).
Virtually all combinations of 800g of different fruits and vegetables can all fit on a standard dinner plate, but no one sits down to that type of volume at one sitting. Assuming you are eating three main meals, one way to tackle this challenge is to plan for two cups of fruits or vegetables with each meal and as many leafy greens as you want. With that plan, you should consistently hit that #800g target!
- Condrasky, M., Ledikwe, J.H., Flood, J.E., & Rolls, B.J. (2007). Chef’s Opinions of Restaurant Portion Sizes, 15(8), 2086-2094.
- Reinders, M.J., Huitink, M., Dijkstra, S.C., Maaskant, A.J., & Heijnen, J. (2017). Menu-engineering in restaurants – adapting portion sizes on plates to enhance vegetable consumption: a real-life experiment. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14, 41. doi 10.1186/s12966-017-0496-9