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Old 05-29-2014, 08:58 AM   #1
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Default Measuring/food scale

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



Thank you, and please excuse my ignorance.
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:41 AM   #2
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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 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!
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:43 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:17 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:53 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:51 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:21 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:22 AM   #8
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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!
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Old 05-30-2014, 10:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by futureformerfisher View Post
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.
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Old 05-30-2014, 10:29 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:14 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:01 AM   #12
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I have an Escali digital scale, love it. It really does make it easy to capture the data. The tare feature is the best.
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:44 AM   #13
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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
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Old 06-26-2014, 01:05 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underanalysis View Post
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)
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