January 18, 2012

The importance of a food scale…

Let me start off by writing that I adore my food scale. For me, there is just something about knowing exactly how much of a food I am eating. I love it because I can manipulate how much I eat, and my calories, by using my food scale. If you are in the market for a food scale, let me suggest a few things.
First of all, don’t spend a fortune. There are great options out there for less than $25. You do not need a fancy food scale to get the results you need in order to control your portions. One thing I do recommend is that you buy a digital scale. It is easier to keep calibrated and therefore more accurate. Also, it’s easier to clean and more sturdy. The only downside of a digital scale is that it needs batteries, but if you are only using the food scale to measure your meals and then turning it off, the batteries will last you a long while.
A second suggestion that I would like to point out is to make sure that the food scale has the ability to weigh in both ounces and grams. Otherwise, you will constantly have to do the conversion in your head or with a calculator and paper. I don’t know about you, but my life is very busy and I try to make counting calories as quick and painless as possible. I won’t deny that if push comes to shove, I will do the conversions, but I much rather push a little button on my food scale and switch it between ounces and grams. Also, this makes it easy to weigh international foods which usually give a serving size in grams vs. ounce. We Americans are the odd man out when it comes to measurement units, thus it is not uncommon to find that food is measured in grams.
Another suggestion in regards to finding a good food scale is to make sure the scale has the tare function. A tare function enables a scale to account for the weight of a container or plate and display only the additional ingredients that you add to the container. For example, if I was making a salad and I’ve already measured out my spinach and have it in a bowl and want to make sure that I only add 3.5 oz. of chicken, I would put the bowl with the spinach on the scale and then press the tare button and zero out the scale. Then as I add my chicken, the only thing that is weighed by the food scale is the chicken. THIS IS A MUST ON ANY FOOD SCALE!!! I don’t know how to stress this more. This is the feature from heaven. It allows you to make a multi-ingredient meal while measuring out every single ingredient individually without using a million plates for each ingredient or having to keep wiping down your food scale after every ingredient to prepare it for the next ingredient. This feature is the best thing since sliced bread when counting calories. It makes life so simple and quick.
With all the above suggestions you should be able to find a good food scale for not too much $$. I bought mine about 3 years ago at Target for $19.99 on sale from its regular price of $24.99. I have included a picture solely for the purpose of giving my food scale major props for being such a reliable tool…ha! I told you I adore my food scale!
Isn't she pretty?

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