Become friends with your food scale!

Meet your new best friend….the food scale.


If you are heavily over weight (like me), a food scale is a must! I readily admit, I have had a food scale for years, but never used it for food. What did I use it for? Well, mostly for weighing my packages that I planned on shipping via priority mail. It’s great for that! Then I began the true efforts to gain control of my eating habits and realized the scale would be my perfect partner in this journey.

I can not even begin to tell you how many times I hear people say that they are eating healthy foods, they stay away from junk food, and yet they still can’t lose weight. Let me introduce you to portion sizes! Yes, you have heard this over and over, but have you ever really taken the time to understand exactly what that means?

Lets say you are going to have “some” or “a bowl” of ice cream. I’ll use my favorite which is chocolate peanut butter cup from Stewart’s Shops.

  1. If your bowl looks like this, then good job! You have one serving of this ice cream, which is a hefty 210 calories, for a 1/2 cup or 71 gram serving of this particular brand and flavor.Ice_cream1


2. If your bowl looks more like this, then you have approximately 2 servings which comes out to 420 calories in your bowl or eye ball measurement of “some” ice cream. 420 calories is pretty much equal to my entire lunch on a daily basis and is by no means a “snack.”Ice_cream2


3. Last, if your bowl looks like this one (which mine certainly did in the past), you have approximately 3 servings of this particular ice cream which comes out to 630 calories. That truly is an entire meal. If you are on an 1800 calorie diet, this bowl contains 1/3 of your entire day’s calories!Ice_cream3


You see, we often consume far more calories than we realize. This is easy to display with ice cream. Let’s move to something less likely to be perceived as junk food, how about a steak? Go to any restaurant and the smallest possible serving of steak is some where between 6-8 ounces. Well guess what? A single serving of meat is just 3 ounces. Now think of the number of times you have happily ordered a steak that was anywhere from 10-24 ounces! If you some how manage to eat an entire 24 oz steak, well you have had 8 servings of meat in one sitting.

Weigh your food, make sure you add the appropriate number of calories for the amount of food you will be eating. Do not let yourself be sabotaged by “guestimates” based on just looking at your dish. Our brains have been trained over the years to believe bigger is better and our guestimates severely under estimate the amount of food on that dish.

Stick to your goal caloric range and watch the pounds slowly start to melt away!

The problem with food replacement systems.

There is plenty of advice out there and plenty of weight loss systems that promote their products. Some of these come with a ginormous cost and very little comparative reward or satisfaction. What do I believe to be the biggest problem with these systems?

Well, besides the cost and the fact that many are barely palatable, many of these are total or near total food replacement systems, and so these companies are completely dependent on you never learning how to eat properly. Do you understand what this means? These companies make their money by keeping you dependent on their food products and never truly changing your underlying eating habits that caused you to gain so much weight in the first place. They are treating a symptoms and not the cause. It’s like taking pain medication for a toothache but never actually fixing the tooth!

My advice, beware of companies offering complete, or near complete food replacements systems-particularly ones with a high cost. You might be successful while on the product, but if you never learn how to control your eating habits you will very likely gain much of your weight back as soon as you stop using the product. This can lead to terrible feelings of failure and negative self worth which in turn contributes to a cycle of emotional overeating and weight gain.

Those who are most successful and keep the weight off long term actually lose their weight gradually. The weight didn’t go on in a day, a month or even a year so don’t expect healthy weight loss to happen in such a small amount of time either. Instead, set yourself up for success by slowly learning to create and enjoy wholesome meals, manage portion sizes, reading food labels and trying new fresh fruits and vegetables-these are natures snacks!