How to Weigh Potatoes for Accurate Calories (Easy Guide For Correct Tracking)


Potatoes are my favorite vegetable, and they are so versatile. But, how do you accurately weigh them for calorie content?

The best way to accurately weigh potatoes is to use a food scale when they are raw, before cooking due to loss in water content and weight in the cooking process.

Let’s talk a little bit more about the process, it is quite easy.

How to Weigh Potatoes for Accurate Calories

The best way to weigh potatoes is by using a food scale. Using a food scale is more efficient and accurate because you can weigh the entire potato, including the skin.

When weighing potatoes on a food scale, be sure to:

  • Use a digital scale for more accurate measurements
  • Place the potato on the center of the scale
  • Zero out the scale before adding the potato
  • Weigh the potato in its whole form
  • Weigh the potato in grams, not ounces

Once you have the weight of your potato in grams, you can figure out how many calories are actually in your potato by looking up the caloric content per amount of grams in a calorie tracking app or using this easy table below.

It is important to know what type of potato you are eating because the calorie contents will vary depending on the type of potato.

You will then track the caloric content of the potato BEFORE cooking it, because potatoes will lose a tiny amount of water and nutrient content after they are cooked.

Type of PotatoGramsCalories
Red Potato79103
White Potato78100
Russet Potato85111
Yellow/orange potato80106
Sweet Potato7493

As you can see, the calorie content of potatoes varies depending on the type of potato.

The weight and caloric content will also change depending on the size of the potato. For example, a small red potato will have fewer calories than a large red potato.

Now is a great time to start being able to identify different types of potatoes!

Should You Weigh Potatoes Raw or Cooked?

You should weigh potatoes when they are raw, not after you cook them. This is because the weight of a potato will change after it is cooked, due to the loss of water, and the calorie content will be slightly different.

This is not due to the fact that potatoes actually lose CALORIES when they are cooked, the calorie content will stay roughly the same.

It is actually due to the fact that they will not weigh the same, so if you weigh a cooked potato and your calorie app says the potato has a certain amount of calories, this may be inaccurate because now the potato weighs less after it decreased its water content.

When potatoes are cooked, they lose water content and the nutrient content inside the potato are changed very slightly in the cooking process.

For example, a raw Russet potato that weighs 85 grams will lose about 12% of its weight after it is boiled and becomes a cooked potato. This means the cooked potato will weigh around 74 grams.

So, if you are tracking the calories in potatoes, be sure to weigh them when they are raw and look up the calorie content for raw potatoes.

What About Weighing Baked Potatoes?

If you are eating a baked potato, you should still weigh it before baking as the potato will still lose some water content when it is baked in the oven.

There is really no difference here. Just be sure to use the weight of the raw potato when looking up the calorie content, as a baked potato will have fewer water content than a raw potato,

A baked potato usually contains even less water content than that of a boiled potato as potatoes lose a different amount of water content depending on the route of which they are cooked.

A raw Russet potato that weighs 85 grams will weigh around 80 grams after it is baked.

Should You Weigh Potatoes Peeled or Unpeeled?

You can weigh potatoes with or without the skin. If you choose to weigh them with the skin, keep in mind that the calorie content will be slightly higher than if you weighed them without the skin.

The nutritional value of a potato is largely unchanged whether it is cooked with the skin or peeled before cooking.

However, potatoes with the skin on have more fiber and other nutrients. I always make sure to eat my potato skins. Not only do I know they have more nutrients, but I just love the texture you get with the skin on and intact.

You are in all truth not likely to save on any calories by peeling the skin off your potatoes, and might actually be missing out on some great vitamins and minerals!

In fact, did you know eating the potato skin will provide more fiber, vitamins, minerals and even phytochemicals than eating just the flesh?

Check out the nutrient vitamin content of potato skins!

  • Vitamin C: 8 grams
  • Calcium: 20 milligrams
  • Potassium: 332 milligrams
  • Magnesium: 25 milligrams
  • Phosphorus: 59 milligrams
  • Manganese: 0.4 milligrams
  • Iron: 4 grams
  • Zinc: 0.3 milligrams
  • Copper: 0.5 milligrams

You might want to think twice next time before peeling off your potato skins in order to save on calories.

What About Weighing Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are a bit different than regular potatoes, as they have a lower calorie content and a higher nutrient content. Seems strange doesn’t it?

A sweet potato that weighs 74 grams will have 93 calories, while a Russet potato of the same weight will have 111 calories.

Sweet potatoes also have more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than regular potatoes.

As for figuring out calorie content compared to regular potatoes, things are pretty much the same.

You should still weigh the sweet potato raw before you cook it, with or without the skin. Just be sure to use the appropriate weight when looking up the calorie content.

The only difference is that a sweet potato will have fewer calories than a regular potato of the same weight.

Will I Gain Weight If I Don’t Weigh My Potatoes?

You are not likely to gain weight if you do not weigh your potato as most estimations are not highly inaccurate.

However, your eye for judging may be inaccurate.

If you have a huge potato and you are highly misjudging its size, then you may be off by 100-200 calories, si if you do have a food scale it would be best to use one for higher accuracy of the calorie content of your potato.

You can avoid eating excess calories when not weighing potatoes by rounding up a bit. If you are not sure the exact weight or size of the potato is the same as what the calorie estimation you are finding is saying, just round it up a bit.

You can also make sure to consume slightly less calories in other foods that day to make up for the possible inaccuracy of the potato.

However, if you are on point with the calorie content of all other foods you are eating, the inaccuracy of the calories from potatoes are not going to make a drastic difference.

If you are in a super amount of doubt, just purchase a food scale. I got mine for very cheap on Amazon.

In Summary

Weighing potatoes accurately for calorie content is easy with a food scale. Just be sure to weigh them raw before you cook them, and if you can, leave their skins on!

You want to be as accurate as possible when tracking your calories in a calorie deficit to lose body fat, so using a food scale is the easiest way.

Food scales are relatively inexpensive as well, so you might want to look into purchasing one.

And that’s all there is to it! Weighing your potatoes before you cook them will help you stay on track when counting calories.

Check out this article: How to Accurately Count Calories in Cooking Spray