Should you weigh and measure your food portions?

Digital scale, measuring cups and measuring spoons on a wooden board from Gourmet Done Skinny

Yes! When trying to lose or maintain weight, it’s so important to weigh and measure your food portions. Since every bite counts when you’re trying to lose weight, you need to know how much that, “bite,” is.

Update 11/8/2021 – Since joining The Freedom Group, I no longer weigh and measure my portions, I eat until I feel lightly satisfied. But before doing this when I was with Weight Watchers, I found measuring weighing extremely helpful. Our society has gone overboard with portion sizes. We don’t even know what our body needs anymore. So I believe that weighing and measuring in the beginning of any program is critical. It’s amazing how little food our body really needs. We think it needs more than it does. Therefore until we get a grasp on what we really need, I think it’s important to weigh out your portions to get an idea of what is appropriate.

The Importance of Weighing and Measuring Your Food Portions

A little of this, and a little of that, can add up very quickly if you’re not careful. Often times I will hear people say, “Oh, I don’t count that,” or “It’s just a little bit.” Coffee creamer, ketchup, it all adds up. You would be surprised about how much that “little bit,” adds up in calories and points.

Tasting while you cook or trying, “just a bite,” counts!

When I first joined Weight Watchers (or WW as it’s now called) and started tracking what I ate, I couldn’t believe how much tasting I did while cooking. Of course I had to taste, but when I really stopped to add it all up, it was a lot! Did I need to taste a bite at every step? Probably not! I quickly realized just how much my “tastes” and “little bites,” were adding up. I immediately changed how I cooked. My new rule: only taste when absolutely needed! I probably save myself a few hundred calories just on that new rule alone.

Get yourself a kitchen food scale!

picture of a black food scale

Yes, a kitchen food scale (paid link) is really that important! By weighing your portions on a kitchen food scale (paid link), you know exactly how much you’re eating. Not sure how many points or calories an avocado is? Scoop out the avocado and weigh it! Want to put 2 oz of grilled chicken on your salad, weigh it! Need a little snack of nuts? Weigh it! My husband previously thought I was crazy, now he does it! Why? Because it works! You don’t go overboard if you weigh out your portions.

How to use tare

What is tare? You probably have seen this on a kitchen scale (paid link). What does it mean? It refers to tare weight – the weight of an empty container. I use a flat food scale that doesn’t have a container on it.

Black digital scale with white plate on a wooden board from Gourmet Done Skinny

I chose this digital kitchen scale (paid link) style because I like to be able to put a large plate on the scale for foods with bigger quantities such as meat. Because I use my own container (the plate) I need to subtract the weight of the plate off of the scale in order to determine how much the meat weighs.

Here’s how you determine “tare,” or the weight of your container:

  1. First turn on your scale.
  2. Place the container (plate or bowl) on the the scale.
  3. Push, “tare.” This will make your scale go to “0.”
  4. Add your food to the container. This will tell you how much your food weighs without the container. That’s it! Super easy! Now you know!
measuring cups and spoons on a wooden board

Use your measuring spoons and measuring cups for portions!

I actually have a few sets of measuring cups and lots of measuring spoons (paid link) – especially the 1 tablespoons. I use them all the time for things like light sour cream, crumbled bacon, light mayonnaise. Measuring cups are great for measuring out meal portions such as soup or foods like Instant Pot Korean Beef. It’s hard to guess, so don’t! Measure!

Set yourself up for success!

Now that you know the importance of weighing and measuring your portions, you can make a conscious effort to really put it into practice. By weighing and measuring your portions, you’re setting yourself up for success! You can do this!

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Amy Lawrence

Amy Lawrence is passionate about good food, losing and maintaining weight. She has combined her talents and love of cooking to produce delicious healthy recipes to help her followers stay on track. A military brat who has lived all over the U.S and Germany is an example for women who have had many successful careers in life, including special ed teacher, tea room owner, cookbook author, and publisher.

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