How to use my new food scale, I need help!

pili90 Posts: 302 Member
Before this day I was always using cups, guestimating, and always leaving extra calories at the end of the day as a back up plan ( because I was afraid of overeating)

The thing is I have a new food scale, but I'm not so sure how should I use it....Today I tried using my scale and I ended up eating more than I used to, but I'm not sure if I'm using it right, common sense aside.

Here are my questions:

1.- Should I measure everything raw or cooked? Does it change the number? For example meat, rice, legumes
2.- If I'm preparing a meal, should I weigh the things separetly, and then all together? For example if I'm preparing mashed potatoes, I should wigh the potatoes raw, then cooked, then when mashed with the milk; or should I only weigh the ingridients and then consider only serving sizes (a cup of mashed potatoes)
3.- For pieces of fruit, should I cut them and then weight them or weigh them as they come. For example an apple, I never eat the center, but I never cut them either.
4.- Things like dressings, jams, cream cheese, etc how can I measured them? If I want to have a toast with raspberry jam and I measure it with a spoon, some of the marmelade will remain on the spoon....Or salad dressings such as lemon juice.
5.- How about things that come already "measured" such as eggs or slices of bread or cheese, do you weigh them as well? I always read here that you should weigh evrything, but things like those too?

Any extra suggestions will be appreciated....

Thanks for the help.

ps: My diary is open in case you want to check it out for any reason, but it is in Spanish.... If you have a question, ask away :)


  • malibu927
    malibu927 Posts: 17,565 Member
    1. Unless it states otherwise, usually raw
    2. However works for you, but you'll want to weigh the final product and then your serving to determine exactly what you're eating
    3. Again, whatever works. If you don't cut your apples, you can weigh it before you eat it, then weigh the core when you're done.
    4. They give gram amounts on the labels as well. If it's something more calorie heavy (i.e. peanut butter), you can place the jar on the scale, tare to zero, then dole out what you want. The amount that is gone is your serving.
    5. Generally, yes. They can vary as well (the bread I buy is often 3-5 grams off per slice, and at 120 calories that can cause some mistakes).
  • pili90
    pili90 Posts: 302 Member
    Thank you so much!! I was a bit lost here... I felt like a little kid with a new toy not sure how to play with it....
  • PaytraB
    PaytraB Posts: 2,360 Member
    1. Either way, just find the correct entry in the database (ie: "chicken, raw" or "chicken, fried")
    2. You can enter a recipe into the "Recipe" tab under "food". Divide it into portions and eat that much. Then it won't matter if you're a little bit over or under the portion size because when you've eaten it all, you've eaten all the entered calories. (ie: enter a casserole recipe with all the ingredients weighed; estimate that you will eat the casserole in 4 helpings; eat about 1/4 each time which will be 1 portion since you entered 4 portions for the whole)
    3. weigh the whole fruit. Those few calories won't matter and will give you a touch of wiggle room.
    4. You can tare your piece of bread (put it on the scale and zero it), then plop your jam onto the bread to get an accurate weight.
    5. weigh bread and cheese, luncheon meats, etc because those weights are always different. Just add "1 egg, large" (or whatever size) for an egg. You could weigh it if there's an entry with weight.

    In general, weigh as much as you can. It's an eye-opener for learning portion size. But realize that there will be times when you can't weigh your food (ie: a store-bought sandwich). By weighing what you can, you'll get good at estimating the weight of the things you can't weigh and be able to enter those foods fairly accurately.

    You should also "eat back" some of your exercise calories. Usually, people eat back around 1/2 of what MFP says they burned. MFP can overestimate calories burned, people can overestimate effort & time, etc. Eating back 1/2 give you a little bit of wiggle room again.
  • arditarose
    arditarose Posts: 15,573 Member
    Also, gotta love scooby explaining how to use a food scale. Shirtless of course.
  • iwantmydenimback
    iwantmydenimback Posts: 194 Member
    1. find an entry in the database that corresponds with the ingredient you have in front of you. you can find entires for baked chicken, etc. i personally prefer to weigh raw because i think it's more accurate.

    2. if you're using a recipe and you know the nutrition facts of the prepared dish, i'd just weigh out what you serve yourself. otherwise, yes, go ahead and weigh out everything as you're adding it and then add those numbers together and divide by the number of servings. then just dish up your desired serving size :)

    3. if i'm eating at home, i weigh the fruit before i eat it, remember the number, and then weigh the core/peel/etc. when i'm done and subtract out what i haven't eaten. if i'm taking fruit to go, i cut it up and weigh what i'm taking with me.

    4. i use negative measurements for things in jars. put the container on the scale before you turn it on, then turn it on and it should say '0.' then however much you scoop out of the container is how much you've used. try not to worry too much about the bits stuck to the spoon, it will drive you nuts if you think too hard!

    5. i'm lazy and don't weigh sliced bread, eggs, string cheese, individual pre-measured baggies of carrots, etc. i probably should be, but i honestly don't care that much and for me it would start to make me a little obsessed. you totally can if you want, i'm sure the results would be interesting.

    have fun with your new toy!
  • pili90
    pili90 Posts: 302 Member
    edited June 2015
    Thanks, I never eat back my calories because I'm not sure how much I burn... I don't think MFP numbers are too accurate and my nutritionist told me not to do it anyway... I have a bunch of conditions, so my doctor gave me specific guidelines....

    The video helped me a lot!! This is what I needed.... I know this was a silly question, so thanks for being so kind and understanding :)
  • mom216
    mom216 Posts: 287 Member
    Check to see your scale will zero out after you place a plate/bowl on the it. This feature helps - I place the plate on the scale, zero it out and then place the food I'm trying to measure. If I have multiple things like chicken, rice, and string beans - I can zero it out after each addition. It eliminates having multiple bowls, plates etc. My scale is made by Sharper Image & it wasn't very expensive. :)
  • pili90
    pili90 Posts: 302 Member
    Yeah it does that, that's what I did today, but I was still unsure about the whole process, thanks!

    by the way, what a lovely pup in your photo!