Calorie Counters - Measuring/food scale




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df180
05-29-2014, 08:58 AM
I don't wanna sound unintelligent, but please forgive me. It's been a long time since I was in school.

Most of the foods I eat are measured in grams, or ounces, or cups (like rice or something) and to be completely honest, a lot of the time it baffles me. I read online that you can't trust a measuring cup because of density of what you are eating. I'm not sure how to figure out how many calories I'm eating because I can't measure! To be honest, I've just been trying to eat small portions and I do my best to guess or come closest to what the package says. Is there something I can use?

I know people who use scales in their kitchen to help measure food. Is that something I should look into? Does anyone else have one? Can someone explain it a little better :dizzy:



Thank you, and please excuse my ignorance.


Silverfire
05-29-2014, 09:41 AM
Measuring cups work just fine for most things that fit well in measuring cups. Scales work those for things that don't (and really, everything else). Like say a chicken breast, or ground beef. Whole veggies. You get the idea.

I'd say that the scale is probably going to be the most accurate route to take. Calorie counting is never going to be exact, but the scale is probably the closest thing to it!

I have one and love it and use it regularly. There are hundreds of options out there. I have this one (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001KYSPHK/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1) I have had it for a couple years now and it's great! Totally worthwhile investment. Plus I LOVE the color!

I would recommend having one!

berryblondeboys
05-29-2014, 09:43 AM
Scales are a great idea. I use them for baking versus measuring cups all the time. I personally love the digital ones as they are so easy to use. I have one that weighs items up to 11 pounds (great for baking).

Salter is a really good brand.


Sassyinkpen
05-29-2014, 10:17 AM
I'm kind of in the same boat as you. I've been using measuring cups, and just sort of eyeballing things like meat - using some of the graphics online that give portion sizes based on the size of parts of your hand.

I just bought a food scale and have to learn when to use it.

Do you weigh meat before you cook it or after? I would assume after, but my hubby thought that might be really messy or wreck the food. (I don't care about the mess.)

I trust the measuring cups pretty well - I always make sure not to pack the food in tight, and to level it off. I figure that's close enough.

texscrapper
05-30-2014, 07:53 AM
If you can invest in a scale, I would suggest it! Most sales measure in g and oz. also look for one that you can "zero out". I always put my plate in the scale, zero it out, and then add my food right to the plate to measure.

Tarisaande
05-30-2014, 08:51 AM
Sassyinkpen, I would personally weigh meat before cooking, given the option. Different cooking times and techniques will result in a piece of meat that doesn't always weigh the same due to moisture content (i.e. medium burger vs well done burger), but it can still be used for a reasonable estimate.

As far as mess, yeah, it's a bit less messy to weigh the raw meat I guess, just more dishes to be cleaned because raw.

If you are buying packages of meat from the supermarket and are cooking the whole thing, you already have the total weight and can estimate from there. Especially in something like a stew or soup, when the ingredients are all mixed together, it's easier to know what you put in ahead of time (for the entire recipe) and divide by serving number to get calories.

Sassyinkpen
05-30-2014, 09:21 AM
If you are buying packages of meat from the supermarket and are cooking the whole thing, you already have the total weight and can estimate from there. Especially in something like a stew or soup, when the ingredients are all mixed together, it's easier to know what you put in ahead of time (for the entire recipe) and divide by serving number to get calories.

You ever have one of those DUH moments? I had totally forgotten about the weights on meat packages. Only some of our meat comes that way, but I'll remember that for those times when it does.

futureformerfisher
05-30-2014, 09:22 AM
My husband used to run a bakery (gee I wonder why I'm fat) and he refused to measure ingredients any other way than with a scale. He claims it's the only accurate way to know exactly how much you're putting into your recipes. I do use measuring cups and spoons, but now I use a kitchen scale for most everything.

I have a cheapy Taylor digital kitchen scale that I bought for $15 at the PX, which measures up to eight pounds in both ounces/pounds and grams. It has pretty good reviews and seems dead accurate to me. I didn't bother buying one with a bowl; I use a small Pyrex bowl that I already had and tare ("zero out") my scale when I'm using it. It's made measuring and tracking food infinitely easier. Also, it's small and takes up very little counter space, so I leave it out at the back of the counter I use to prepare food. You can find one pretty cheap at Wal-Mart/Target, so it's definitely worth trying it out!

Munchy
05-30-2014, 10:01 AM
My husband used to run a bakery (gee I wonder why I'm fat) and he refused to measure ingredients any other way than with a scale. He claims it's the only accurate way to know exactly how much you're putting into your recipes. I do use measuring cups and spoons, but now I use a kitchen scale for most everything.

I have a cheapy Taylor digital kitchen scale that I bought for $15 at the PX, which measures up to eight pounds in both ounces/pounds and grams. It has pretty good reviews and seems dead accurate to me. I didn't bother buying one with a bowl; I use a small Pyrex bowl that I already had and tare ("zero out") my scale when I'm using it. It's made measuring and tracking food infinitely easier. Also, it's small and takes up very little counter space, so I leave it out at the back of the counter I use to prepare food. You can find one pretty cheap at Wal-Mart/Target, so it's definitely worth trying it out!

I have what sounds like the same scale. I just can't imagine trying to figure out what - for example - 4oz of cheese is without it. Shredded it's supposed to be one cup (but often is almost 1.5 if you buy it pre-shredded). Also, things like mayo will list nutritional information for one tablespoon, but 14g is really more like a rounded teaspoon.

My experience with most measurements is that they're not accurate in their serving size approximation vs. the weight they list. For me, even 100 calories can mean maintenance vs. losing, so I've always weighed everything.

nonameslob
05-30-2014, 10:29 AM
I definitely recommend a scale. I use it here and there as a reminder of how much 6oz of chicken looks like, for example, and the rest of the time I can eyeball. It's not much more time consuming than measuring cups and much more accurate.

Also good to have around for mail and other small things that need to be weighed! And it makes converting recipes from UK to US measurements much easier.

summertime03
06-25-2014, 09:14 PM
I definitely recommend a scale. I use it here and there as a reminder of how much 6oz of chicken looks like, for example, and the rest of the time I can eyeball. It's not much more time consuming than measuring cups and much more accurate.

Also good to have around for mail and other small things that need to be weighed! And it makes converting recipes from UK to US measurements much easier.

I second the scale. Best to be as accurate as possible when counting.

MayoLover
06-26-2014, 10:01 AM
I have an Escali digital scale, love it. It really does make it easy to capture the data. The tare feature is the best.

underanalysis
06-26-2014, 10:44 AM
I have a scale and two sets each of measuring cups and spoons. I use the cups and spoons for things like veggies, rice, liquids, and sauces. I use the scale for things like meat and chips. I have multiples of everything so that if one gets particularly dirty I have alternatives :)

Koshka
06-26-2014, 01:05 PM
I use a digital scale. Get one where you can zero it out when you add ingredients. I always use a scale in preference to a measuring cup. For example, there was a popcorn I was eating that was something like a serving was 2 1/2 cups or 28 grams. Well, I was always measuring out 2 1/2 cups. One day I couldn't find my cup measure and I weighed it and 28 grams was way less than 2 1/2 cups! So, now I measure the weight. For bigger things I usually do ounces, but for smaller things grams is more precise.

Sassyinkpen
06-27-2014, 09:10 AM
I have a scale and two sets each of measuring cups and spoons. I use the cups and spoons for things like veggies, rice, liquids, and sauces. I use the scale for things like meat and chips. I have multiples of everything so that if one gets particularly dirty I have alternatives :)

I did this too! I'm forever trying to track down that 1/2 cup.

So far, at least, I'm finding that cups and spoons for most things is working just fine. I have a lot of weight to lose, so at this upper end I don't think I need to worry about accuracy as much because I'm still easily eating way less than I used to. I'm curious to see how that will change when I get to my goal weight - I'm sure I'll have to be more strict or more accurate. (I already have a food scale, too, so I'm all set)

Woodland
06-27-2014, 03:07 PM
The digital scale is my best friend when I'm counting calories. The internet search is also very helpful for finding nutrition information when I need to figure out calories in recipes.

jeminijad
07-15-2014, 01:57 PM
I find the measuring cup most useful for actually plating high calorie cooked foods. 1/2 cup of rice or potatoes, right on the plate.

I find the digital scale best for ingredients. Raw meat cuts in particular.

Liz46
07-18-2014, 11:26 AM
I use measuring cups/spoons, but also have a scale I use when I want exact measurement in grams or ounces. It's so much easier than guessing or "counting" things, such as I love to snack on cheese nips, occasionally. They are 140 calories per 29 crackers or 30 g. It's much easier to pour out a serving or half a serving with the scale than it is to count each cracker one by one. It's handy for measuring meats especially, or fruits, etc. I wouldn't do without mine and got it cheap, even with shipping, from Amazon. Mine also has a tare feature (for zeroing out). The brand of mine is Ozeri. I didn't check with Walmart first. I possibly could have spent less if I'd bought one from there. Mine works great. I haven't had it for long, so I don't know how long it will last. Hopefully for years to come.