The Kitchen Scale: My Favorite Tool for Eating Right & Losing Weight
Barbells are my favorite tool in the gym and my favorite tool in the kitchen is the kitchen scale. Personally, I have the appetite of growing teenager and the kitchen scale truly helps me keep track of proper portions when I know I could probably eat at least twice that amount!
Most people probably don’t have one in their kitchen yet, and I know this because most of my personal training clients don’t own one.
When I work with them, I always encourage them to get one, whether their goal is weight loss or weight gain. In addition to measuring cups and spoons (which most people already to have), consider yourself equipped and ready for action!
As Elissa pointed out in a previous post, learning to measure out your portions does get easier and ultimately you learn to estimate your calories when you aren’t in the kitchen.
There are lots of weight loss programs built around the concept of portion control. You don’t have to sign up for a food delivery program, or do Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or some other program to understand just how much food you really ought to be putting in your system.
So, what sort of kitchen scale should you get?
My very first one was a little $4 plastic one that I got from Target. You could spend as little as that amount on one (mine was great and even travels well, but cracked after too much use), or get something fancier like Kitrics Digitial Nutrition Scale, which has the ability to compute calories, calories from fat, carbohydrates, protein, fat, saturated fat, fiber, sugars, cholesterol, and sodium.
This product is a little more pricey than my $4 option, but is very popular, and most people seem genuinely pleased with their purchase (the Kitrics Digital Nutrition Scale received a 4 1/2 out of 5 star customer rating on Amazon.com).
If you’re the kind of dieter who needs precise information on nutritional content, the Kitrics Digital Nutrition Scale may be a good product for you.
You can precisely hit a daily calorie goal if you’re on a restricted diet and track and map out your protein/carb/fat macronutrient split.
Bodybuilders, figure athletes, fitness models, diabetics (who often need to track carb intake carefully), those following a low-sodium or low-fat diet, etc might benefit from the on-screen nutritional content displays that the Kitrics Digital Nutrition Scale offers (1,999 foods stored in the database, and you can program “unknown foods” in too!).
The one I own at home isn’t quite as cool as the Kitrics Digital Nutrition Scale, but it does the trick. I think I paid around $20 for it, the weighing plate is a nice stainless steel, and I’m happy.
The Kitrics Digital Nutrition Scale costs about $50 on Amazon.com, which seems pricey, but is far less than what you’d pay to have a dietician review your food log.
Bottom line #1: There’s a scale to fit your budget.
Bottom line #2: Learn what you’re putting in your mouth!
To succeed permanently in “dieting” and eating right for your lifestyle, it’s always important to equip yourself with the right tools and then use them to teach yourself how to estimate proper portions.
As with any “tool,” it’s important not to become 100% dependent on it. I know some clients who’ve had great experiences with places like Weight Watchers, but I also know many of them have gained the weight back. Those programs do a great job of holding your hand, handing you menu plans, and keeping you accountable.
But if the weight comes right back, do you really and truly understand portion sizes?
What have you learned and what has become a habit?
For me, using a kitchen scale helped me understand how much I really needed to eat. Weighing and measuring food may appear to be an extreme approach for some people, but it truly is a solid and basic way to understand portion size that has nothing to do with fad dieting or expensive memberships in a diet club or food delivery program.
Rather than a quick fix, it’s a good habit to develop, whether you’re trying to lose weight or not.