The Bariatric Foodie Guide to Food Measurements

~by  Nikki

I’m a baking fanatic. Jen is not. So it’s no surprise that I am completely obsessed with measurements while Jen cooks more intuitively. I would imagine most cooks are like Jen. I mean really…do you always measure a tablespoon or do you sometimes throw a “pinch” of something in your cooked recipes?

Even though we cook differently, Jen and I both agree it’s important to have a starting point of measurements for recipes. Why? Well because cooking is very “trial and error.” If you take measurements and something goes wrong, you know how much you used and can adjust. Also, it takes us post-WLS folk a minute to be able to eyeball any portions so it’s good to get in the habit of KNOWING what a tablespoon, ¼ cup, etc. looks like.

To that effect, we’re here to help with some simple conversions. We post recipes based on what we can eat, but we understand it’s not the same for everyone. And then there is the dreaded nutrition label. Sometimes it’s hard to determine how much you ate of something based on the serving size on the label. I mean after all, what if the serving size is a half cup and you only ate two tablespoons???

So here’s how to break things down (or build them up) if need be:

Teaspoon conversions

1 teaspoon = about 4.2 grams
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
6 teaspoons = 2 tablespoons
12 teaspoons = ¼ cup
24 teaspoons = ½ cup
48 teaspoons = 1 cup

Tablespoon conversions

1 tablespoon = half an ounce
2 tablespoons = 1 oz. (or 1/8 cup)
4 tablespoons = ¼ cup
8 tablespoons – ½ cup
16 tablespoons= 1 cup

Ounce conversions

2 ounces = ¼ cup
4 ounces = ½ cup
8 ounces = 1 cup
16 ounces = 1 lb.

A note to our non-American readers (and Google tells us there are a good deal of you…and not just in Canada!): we understand this information might be quite useless to you. We debated whether to go into the metric system with our tutorial but figured this–if you’ve been following the blog this long and cooking with us this long, you are pretty adept at converting from the metric system to the system we use here in the states. We’d probably do more damage than good trying to teach you anything in that regard.

Now, having said all that…there is the matter of liquid versus solid measurements. Guidance on this varies, but our advice is this. If it can pour out of something, use liquid measurements, if it can’t, use solid measurements. For liquid measurements you’d use measuring cups and spoons. For solid food measurements you’d use a food scale.

This is for the purposes of a recipe of course. My good friend Pam always tells me that the pouch doesn’t care so about how much food weights as it does about how much space it takes up (or is it the other way around?).

And especially for those folks who love our protein shakes, we have a few more conversions for you:

1 pump sugar-free syrup = 1 tablespoon
1 cube of ice = 1 oz. of water
1 packet of Splenda = 1 tsp. of Splenda

We hope these handy-dandy measurements will serve you well, not only in making our recipes but in your own food adventures. Now that you’re all “edumacated”…go play with your food!


  1. good post! many of us use measuring cups and measuring pitcher with measurements in American and metric. thanks for thinking of the greater group. now if we can just get kosher (not just the actual food but in kosher one does not mix meat and dairy together) into the format.

  2. Mikimi, that’s actually something that’s been on my mind. I am not super aware of the Jewish calendar, but I feel like there are times during the year when kosher tips and recipes would be helpful. Might you consider being our kosher advisor? I must admit I didn’t know about the meat/dairy mixing and there’s probably a million other things I don’t know. Let me know if you’d be willing to help!

  3. I can certainly try.
    Another site to do with Judaism, Holidays and recipes (and I am not trying to convert anyone)
    Thank you gals!

Sahifa Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.