How do you use a scale for food?

Hello all,

So I am thinking about getting a food scale for the first time. Do you have any recommendations for a good cheap one? I am new to this and don’t know how to weight food. How do you find calories for specifics weights? Like for fruits and veggies? Do I just look up online how many calories in ounces or something? Also can I still use tablespoons and measuring cups for liquids? Usually I eat oatmeal so would I weight out the oats and the apple I put in them? Meat seems easy because the serving size is on the package usually. Thanks for any advice it is appreciated :)

Replies

  • wilson10102018
    wilson10102018 Posts: 1,306 Member
    Amazon $19wnqvd2ja2lvs.jpg
  • mantherzemail
    mantherzemail Posts: 3 Member
    Anything digital is usually better and easier to figure out. I have one from Walmart and paid $16 for it. It weighs in pounds and ounces. It's accurate and I usually put my plate or bowl on the scale and tare it out then weigh each good separately. It's a pain but once you figure out how much you're really eating, you shouldn't have to do it for life lol.

    You could get a scale that weighs in grams too which is for the people who want to be perfect on weight lol.
  • sargemarcori
    sargemarcori Posts: 199 Member
    a lot of the time, you can add foods to your log by weight. So you can add 1/4 cup of chopped apple, or you can add...number of grams. (full disclosure: I do not do well yet at weighing my food. My roommate kind of took over my food scale for bread-making.) it's a lot more accurate to log by weight, because the size of the apple pieces or whatever will determine how many fit in your measure, but they will always weigh the same.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,478 Member
    Amazon has lots of them. Brand isn't hugely important, IMO. Look for one that's easy to clean, big enough that an average plate won't hide the display**, sleek enough (if looks matter to you) to keep out on the counter all the time. You want it to have a tare function (zeros out the scale when there's something on it), to display negative values, and have a weight capacity that will allow weighing most of your regular pots/pans/baking dishes with food in them.

    ** You can put a stable bowl on the scale, put the plate on that, as a riser to reveal the display, if necessary, as long as it has good weight capacity.

    Ignore the title of this thread (it's a stupid joke/click bait-y), because what it's really about is how to use a scale efficiently to weigh food, for those that choose to use one:

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10498882/weighing-food-takes-too-long-and-is-obsessive#latest

    There are lots of good comments/tips from lots of people on that thread.
  • LiveOnceBeHappy
    LiveOnceBeHappy Posts: 227 Member
    I almost never use cups or measuring spoons anymore. The scale is so much easier and accurate. I put the piece of bread on a paper towel, set the scale to grams and zero it, and then spread the peanut butter on the bread on the scale, for example. Tonight, I had 4 oz spaghetti squash, 4 oz ground turkey, 4 oz of Raos marinara. I then added 1/2 oz cheese. One plate on the scale, and I zeroed it out with each added item. I added 15 grams of dressing to a bowl of lettuce. All of this is quick and easy compared to measuring cups and spoons! I do recommend having oz and grams as many items are in both.
  • sbelletti
    sbelletti Posts: 108 Member
    FYI... Just because a label has the weight on it, it's not always accurate. My soup cans, for example, always have MORE than what's in the label so the calories are higher than the label states. I weigh everything.
  • ehju0901
    ehju0901 Posts: 293 Member
    I bought this one and I absolutely love it.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0811RX62R/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Easy to use and small enough for me to put it in a backpack to bring to the office with me.
  • Cheesy567
    Cheesy567 Posts: 1,165 Member
    Which scale you pick doesn’t matter too much, as long as the most it weighs out is high enough for you. (If you make big batches of soup and things you might want one that goes to 20lbs or so?) Don’t break the bank on them. Easy to clean is a bonus. Light and small to pick up and toss all over the kitchen as i prep is a must for me.

    Give yourself some time to play around with it and figure it out. Figure out how to use both positive and negative values on it. “Tare” or “zero” means putting something on the scale, like an empty bowl, and re-setting the scale to weigh zero. Then you can fill the bowl with whatever you’re weighing out. You can set a full bowl and remove weight from it, too, to get a negative value.

    A tip for weighing out things you might lick the spoon for, like peanut butter— put the jar onto the scale and tare it to zero. Scoop out the 16 or 32g or however much PB you’re going to use. Go ahead and lick the spoon or knife, you’ve already weighed what’s on it. That takes care of a lot of the “bites licks and tastes” that can otherwise go unlogged.
  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 7,657 Member
    [quote="Cheesy567;c-46549173"A tip for weighing out things you might lick the spoon for, like peanut butter— put the jar onto the scale and tare it to zero. Scoop out the 16 or 32g or however much PB you’re going to use. Go ahead and lick the spoon or knife, you’ve already weighed what’s on it. That takes care of a lot of the “bites licks and tastes” that can otherwise go unlogged. [/quote]

    So much this!

    Two other things that were touched on:

    Units: Weighing in grams is more precise. If you use pounds/ounces, you usually also get tenths of ounces. One ounce is 28 grams, so 0.1 ounce is almost three grams. Weighing in grams, especially for oils, nuts, or other calorie dense things, will serve you better. Accuracy is the same, but precision is increased with grams.

    Capacity: Look for a scale with ten kilogram (22 pound) capacity. It's possible you want to weigh something heavy for a recipe, but even more than that, if you are going to create a recipe and you weigh all the ingredients, you can then weigh the final product to see how much you have. I have tare weights for all my cook pots. Most things I cook have water as an ingredient. If I know what all the ingredients are, when I create a recipe in MFP, I can call figure out how many servings to use by assuming a serving is 100 grams (or some number) and then figure out how many "servings" are in the pot. Having a larger capacity scale lets me do this for pots of soup or stew.

    Scales tend to be most accurate near the middle of their range, so I was concerned that my scale might not be good at small amounts. I did a comparison of a fairly light item - just a few grams - with a much more sensitive scale with a much lower capacity. I was pleasantly surprised that even my cheap scale is pretty accurate in the low range. A US nickel weighs about five grams. It should weigh exactly five, but it can get worn or build up grime.