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Using a Food Scale

Should I Get a Food Scale?

Here's a question that FitSugar reader ShelleyHFan is asking in our Get Fit For 2010 group.

Salter at ShopStyle

I think that I am getting too much protein and not enough veggies, in addition to dinnertime when I'm not sure if I have too much or too little of all these things (like rice, the meat, and veggies) on my plate. I was wondering if a food scale would help me out somehow with measuring portions and such. I've never even thought to use one (wish I'd had the idea years ago!) and I don't know how they are used exactly.

Do I have to get a really expensive one or can I get a $30.00 scale? (I saw one at Bed, Bath and Beyond for about that much.) Do you have one you would recommend? Even though I'm looking at an inexpensive one, is price important? I'm open to different price points from affordable to relatively expensive ones. So if you can recommend one that would be great.

Lastly, if you have a food scale do you find it helpful? Do you use it often?

Thanks for you input!

Share your fitness goals, advice, and encouragement in the Get Fit For 2010 community group. Be it losing weight, running a marathon, or eating a balanced diet — we're here to help and listen. And your posts might end up right here on FitSugar!

Join The Conversation
komler komler 7 years
I think ratios might be the helpful way to go about it, if you're only concerned with that. If you're concerned about meal-size in addition to ratios of veggies vs. protein, I would definitely get a scale. I don't think price matters when it comes to scale, so get one you can afford (I got my digital scale, which can be set at zero with a bowl on top, at IKEA. I can see that it retails for about $25 in the states. I'm very happy with it.) What I might use a scale for is to measure how much a cup of oats weigh, for example, as the nutritional index on the side goes for weight instead of volume. Much easier to see how much I'm getting instead of guessing about it.
DivaDivine DivaDivine 7 years
I use my measuring spoons/cups all the time. I don't eat meat so I never have to use a scale but if I did, I'd buy one. You need to know what foods look like in weight so you can eyeball better when you're in a situation where you don't have access to a scale (like a restaurant or a dinner party).
2muchtv 2muchtv 7 years
I have an old post office scale that we use in the kitchen. If you're going to go digital, it should tare. Mine goes between grams and ozs, which is convenient. It was good for getting an initial idea of portion sizes, but after a week of monitoring, I knew portion sizes and could eyeball it. Now I use it for measuring boxed mixes and pasta if I'm not using the entire box. I don't use it that often. If you think it's worth 30 to get an idea of portion sizes that will apply for the rest of your life, then it's worth it. But you will not be using it everyday, so if you could borrow, you're better off. Some are pretty cheap on craigslist.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I don't use a scale most of the time. I generally eyeball my protein portions pretty accurately and I don't measure my fruits or veggies.
kisseskerryann kisseskerryann 7 years
I have a Martha Stewart digital food scale that I got at Macy's for $40. A bit pricey, I could have done a better job at looking for a better price but I absolutely adore it and I use it when I prepare all of my meals and snacks.
scorpstar77 scorpstar77 7 years
Mine was about $10, is digital, tares, and hasn't run out of battery power yet in the 3 years I've had it. I use it often enough that I think it was worth $10 - sometimes I use it to weigh mail, too, when I have to mail a small package :)
CBirck CBirck 7 years
I love mine! I had a old weight watchers one, non-digital, that was great but upgraded to a digital Salter one for about $20. I use it for everything!
jultritz jultritz 7 years
PS - the Eat Smart one does tare (I called it zeroing out but that is not the official term). I use it daily and sometimes more than once per day and it is really small and lightweight so I stick it up in a cabinet and pull it down each time I use it. I can't say enough for my little red kitchen scale!
jultritz jultritz 7 years
I did pay $25 for mine but no shipping and not tax since I got it on Amazon. I am really amazed at how much I use it and what an impact it has had on my diet. Instead of guesstimating an ounce of hummus at 2 tbsp, I put my container on the scale, zero it out, put in an ounce of hummus and then I am ready to take it to work with me. As you will see from the over 900 reviews and five star rating, I am not the only one who loves it!
lekatvt lekatvt 7 years
I just recently bought a $30 digital scale at target. I had a dial scale but I couldn't tell what it was pointing at. One angle it would look like 3 another angle it would look like 5 so I went digital. I was not good at eyeballing anything. I thought 4oz of chicken was a whole breast. In fact, it's half a chicken breast. I have been eating way more than I should be and the food scale has helped let me see realistically what portions are. I specifically use it weighing lunch meats for sandwiches or to control portions of packaged items like cereal. If you are no good at eyeing things like me, then the scale helps.
Chrstne Chrstne 7 years
I have found a food scale to be helpful, but I don't think it's totally necessary. If you know the "rules" for portioning, you should be okay without one, but since I like to be as close to 100% sure about the portions I'm eating as possible, the food scale really helped me. I got the Chefmate 3-in-1 food scale pretty cheaply, around 30 some-odd dollars, it works well and I use it everyday.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I have one. Mine is inexpensive, too (under $10). I use it every day.
wildsngrny wildsngrny 7 years
As a science teacher, I know a reliable digital scale does not need to be expensive to be effective. I've seen the one at BB&B, too, and it seems fine. The key (and what hinders me from having a food scale) is using it CONSISTENTLY to ensure I'm really getting the proper amounts of food. So if you (or other subscribers) are more like me (too busy to bother), 100lbs has it nailed, for sure. Thanks for sharing, chica!
krystles krystles 7 years
the previous commenter has a solution you should try before spending any money. the 1/2, 1/4, 1/4 rule is pretty much foolproof and helps you avoid having to measure anything. just make sure your protein is LEAN and realize that you can also sub fruit for the veggies. the rule works for every meal!
100lbsandcountin 100lbsandcountin 7 years
Not sure if I explained this clearly so I'll try again. take 1 small dinner plate. 50% of the plate = green veggies + 25% of the plate = starch + 25% = protein EQUALS 1 perfectly balanced meal. see here:
100lbsandcountin 100lbsandcountin 7 years
I like this one by fit n fresh! In general though, your protein should fit in the palm of your hand. that's about 4 oz. I suppose you can start measuring and eventually you'll get the hang of it. Also, if you take a small dinner plate (not the dinner plates from restaurants), first make a line down the middle so that you make two halves, then draw a line horizontally down the middle of one half to make two quarters. that half should be piled with greeen/leafy veggies. the 1/4 should be a starch like rice, and the other quarter should be your protein. Good luck!
lighthouselady lighthouselady 7 years
I have a couple of very cheap ones. I use them frequently. I want a digital one that I can "tare"
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