We all hear that cooking at home is key to keeping your weight in check. True, but if you’re not keeping your portions under control you can do just as much damage as you would eating out. Food scales are just one way to make sure you’re actually having a 4oz. portion of meat and not 10oz. (hey no judgement, I like to get my eat on with the best of ’em).
The food scale!
Why I love it:
1. It takes the guesswork out of proper food portioning.
2. Super easy to use.
3. On a scale of 1-10 on convenience of use, I rate it an 8.
5. Doesn’t take up very much space. Which is wonderful since space is at a premium in most kitchens.
Why use a food scale?
Whether you are trying to lose, or simply maintain your weight, portion sizes are the beginning, middle, and end. If you aren’t eating the right amount of food, things simply aren’t going to go your way.
Before I had a food scale, it was impossible for me to know if I was cooking up the proper amount of chicken, for example. I was left to check the label for the total weight of meat I bought, and try use my fraction skills to cut off the right amount.
When it comes to weight loss, all it takes is a couple hundred calories each day to keep you from your goals.
A food scale will never lie to you. And for something as challenging as weight loss, accountability is the key to success.
How can a food scale fit into my life?
For those of you who already make healthy eating choices, a food scale will help you make sure you’re eating the right amount of those healthy foods.
REMEMBER: JUST BECAUSE IT IS HEALTHY, THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT STILL CAN’T MAKE YOU GAIN WEIGHT. HEALTHY FOOD HAS CALORIES TOO.
Sorry, had to get that out. Whew, I feel better. Moving on.
Even if you aren’t eating very healthy (“healthy” meaning lean meats, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, but that’s a whole ‘nother series!), you can still use the food scale to see how much of the less healthy foods you’re eating.
A food scale can help you make sure that you don’t go overboard with your richer indulgences.
We all need to enjoy some of our favorite, more calorie-rich foods from time to time. It makes life worth living and keeps us from going crazy.
Where can I buy a food scale? What kind should I get?
I’m so glad you asked!
You should be able to find one in the kitchen section of your local department store. I purchased mine from Macy’s in the ever-growing Martha Stewart section.
Gotta love Martha.
A quick Google search showed that they are also available at other retailers like Target and Wal-Mart, to name a few.
If you don’t want to leave home, there is always Amazon, eBay, and other online kitchen retail stores.
The cost for one of these babies is between $15 and $50, the average price is around $25.
Mine retailed for $40.
Here are the main things you should look for in your scale:
1. A digital reading.
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to read the little lines on an analog scale. At least in my humble opinion, just give me the numbers, baby!
ps- Don’t you love my Vanna White-style pointing? I did it just in case you couldn’t see what I was talking about.
I got your back.
2. A high weight capacity.
This is not necessarily because you will be weighing a lot of food at one time, but you need to account for the weight of whatever dish you may be using to hold the food you’re weighing. And some bowls are darn heavy. An 11-lb capacity oughtta do it, that’s what mine is and I haven’t run into any issues yet.
ps- Sorry for the screen glare. I’m new at this whole “photography” thing, but I’m determined to get better!
3. A tare function.
This is vital in assuring you get an accurate reading. You don’t want that plate or piece of wax paper to factor in to the weight of your food, do you? I sure don’t, don’t cheat me out of my hard-earned calories, dernit!
4. A conversion function.
Man my finger looks creepy that close up.
Sometimes following a recipe or trying to measure out the serving size outlined on a nutrition facts label requires you to measure in grams. Don’t let a scale that only measures in pounds and ounces bring you down!
5. Not too big, not too small, and not awkwardly shaped.
For me, it is of utmost importance that I can stow away almost all of my kitchen gadgets and that they don’t clutter up my work space. For that, I believe the food scales with a bowl attached to them are awkward and a waste of space. I mean, who doesn’t have a bowl already? Plus, sometimes the food you are trying to measure won’t fit well into a bowl, like a large cut of meat or liquids.
Please note: The sample photo I used is not intended to throw Salter under the bus. While Salter makes great-quality products, I just wanted to use this particular scale as an example of one that isn’t very practical space-wise in the kitchen.
Here are a some scales that I recommend. I made sure to select one in each price bracket:
and Slightly Splurgey.
Do you like my price levels?
Thought you would.
Oh and please note, this is not a comprehensive list and there are many other great food scales out there, so shop around and better yet, do it in person so you can try before you buy!
All of the following can be found on Amazon.com (prices subject to change).
Why I like it:
Super Affordable: $12.95
Great minimalist design
Small: 8 x 6 x 1.8 inches
Tare and U.S./Metric readings
Weight capacity: 0.05 oz to 11 lbs.
Automatic shutoff after 3 min of non-use to preserve battery life.
Why I like it:
Small-ish: 7.2 x 9.2 x 1.8 inches
Tare (shown as a “zero” button) and U.S./Metric readings
An ingenious pull-out display, which is great when you are measuring something in a larger bowl or dish that might cover the reading.
Note: I’m not crazy about the 5-lb capacity, but I still wanted to show the scale for the awesome pull-out display feature.
Why I like it:
Slightly Splurgey: $44.41
Beautiful stainless steel design
Small-ish: 8.1 x 2.2 x 9.8 inches
Tare and U.S./Metric readings
Weight capacity: 11 lbs (I couldn’t find any description of how small of a weight will register on the scale).
The stainless steel cover is removable and dishwasher safe, making it easy to clean the scale without risking getting water inside the buttons.
So there you are, a full food scale lesson and lecture. I hope you feel enlightened and exhilarated!
If you want to do even more research, here is a great link to check out by the good folks over at Consumer Research.
Now you should have an understanding of why a food scale is imperative if you want to lose weight.
Food scales aren’t just good for weight loss though. They are a great with cooking in general to ensure you are using the correct amount of any ingredient. I always use it when preparing baked meatballs, for example, to keep from baking a batch that yields some large, undercooked meatballs with some small, overcooked ones.
Oh and I have no affiliations with Amazon or eBay or any of the companies mentioned in this post. So a big “You’re Welcome” to all of you whose products and websites I plugged.