How to Use a Food Scale – An Easy Weight Loss Solution

food scale benefits


For those of you interested in losing a little weight, I’m sure the sound of weighing your food every day just gives you the thrills (sarcasm intended).

Well I’m here to tell you that even though there are numerous, numerous ways to lose weight, tracking your macronutrient intake is probably the most factual, no-nonsense way. For those of you who do well with structure and order, this is probably going to be your preferred method of learning to control what you eat.

Bodybuilding competitors and serious athletes are not the only ones who use food scales either. I personally use one at least once every day to help keep my diet varied and portion controlled. I’ve also known several other people who use them as well. They’re actually not as dull as you may think!

Before delving into food scales and their benefits, I want you to know that YOU ultimately get to decide what works best for your body. If tracking your macronutrients becomes more of a chore and you catch yourself dreading it, then that’s perfectly fine! Not everyone is going to jump at the thought of using a food scale for weight loss, however I’ve personally found it to be very effective.

Keep reading for why it worked for me!

Using Food Scales for Weight Loss – Let’s Talk FOOD

tracking your macros

Have you ever heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen”? It’s true! When it comes to losing weight, getting toned, shredded or WHATEVER fitness goal you have, your nutrition is inarguably the most important variable you’ll have to control.

You can workout twice a day for six days a week, however if you fill your diet with excess amounts of fat and sugar, your results will never surface.

This is where a food scale comes in handy. For me, it did three things.

  1. It opened my eyes to what exactly I was eating (and how much of it)
  2. It reminded me how often I eat certain foods
  3. It helped me visualize what an approximate serving size was for different foods

Just the first step alone was a huge eye opener. I remember the first day I weighed the amount of cereal I was eating in the morning. My jaw almost hit the floor when the total amount in grams equaled approximately 4 servings.

No wonder I was experiencing excessive tiredness and fatigue! Once I realized that my mid morning sugar/carb crashes were coming from the huge bowls of cereal I was eating, I tried an experiment. For the next week, instead of eating so much cereal, I ate 1-1.5 servings of cereal and either 2-3 servings of egg whites, 1 piece of toast or 1 serving of nonfat Greek yogurt.

My energy levels boosted super quick.

After that, I started using the food scale to see how much pasta and other foods I was consuming. Paying more attention to these details lead to an increased overall awareness of the nutritional content of the foods I was eating. I was starting to see how things like protein, sugar, potassium, fiber and vitamins was changing my body.

At first, I did it more for the weight loss aspect, however quickly became fascinated with the macronutrient breakdown of foods. It was kind of fun to see exactly what I was putting in my body! Especially since it was actually causing me to lose some of that pooch!

Check out How to Stop Bloating and Constipation

How to Actually Use It

how to use a food scale

Food scales are not hard to use at all. I think what intimidates a lot of people, though, are the different units of measurement they think they have to be familiar with.

how to use a food scaleUnits like grams, milliliters, ounces and pounds are probably not what you immediately think of when it comes to how much food you ate today. They’re probably not even units of measurement you would normally use!

The good news is that even though food scales have all these different units on them, you don’t have to be familiar with ANY of them in order to use them! All you have to do is look at the nutritional label of the food you’re going to eat. Look at the serving size amount (usually it will have the number of calories followed by the amount in grams). Finally, weight that much out on the food scale.

Simply place whatever plate, bowl or container onto the scale, zero it out and then pour in the food. It’s really that simple!

Like I mentioned earlier, the more I track my food like this, the easier I’m able to visualize what an approximate serving size is for different foods. This comes in very handy because it helps me “eyeball” how much protein, carbs, fats and other nutrients I’m consuming when I don’t have the food scale around.

Pretty neat, huh?

Serving Sizes vs. Food Quality


grilled cheese

One thing you may be wondering right about now is should you only be concerned with the serving sizes of food if you want to lose weight.

The answer to that question is a HUGE NO.

If you only ate one serving of every food you included for breakfast, lunch and dinner, not only would your macronutrient balance be thrown way off, but you would become severely nutrient depleted.

According to this article, your recommended ranges for macronutrient intake daily are as follows:

Carbohydrates 45-65%
Fats 20-35%
Protein 10-35%

All this is saying is to include a variety of carbs, fats and proteins in your diet. Naturally your body needs more carbs for energy, so make sure to not minimize those! I know it’s sometimes easy to fall into the mindset that all carbs are bad, however they’re actually very important for keeping your metabolism up to speed.

Getting your daily macronutrient needs is extremely hard when you limit yourself to serving sizes exclusively. This is because your body doesn’t categorize food into serving sizes. It’s functional capacity is determined by what’s IN the food you’re eating. Always remember:

It’s not necessarily how much you eat, but what kind of food you eat

Training yourself to see food as different methods of fuel instead of different serving sized blocks can be tricky. I used to struggle with this a lot. Often times I would categorize foods as being “good” or “bad” when instead I should’ve viewed them as more and less efficient fuel sources for my body.

Going back to food scales, this was the secret I found to truly taking control of my weight loss. In the process of learning what a serving size looked like, I was then able to track more of the macronutrients my body needed. By doing this, I was quickly able to fuel my body with the right nutrients so it could shed fat more efficiently.

Read Foods to Keep You Full Longer

What About Eating Intuitively?

kale salad

One more thing you may be wondering about is how track your macronutrients compares to intuitive eating. After trying both at different points in my life, I found pros and cons of both approaches. Take a look.

Tracking Macronutrients
Pros Cons
It provides a measure of standard Can be stressful initially
Allows you to visualize approximate macronutrient amounts in food Time consuming
If followed consistently, results are going to be guaranteed Can cause you to become too knit picky about your diet
Leads to better food choices Can take the enjoyment out of eating
Eating intuitively
Pros Cons
Takes the stress out of eating healthy Can be difficult to lose weight when you intuitively eat to be full – not to be in a caloric deficit
Helps you develop a healthy relationship with food Can erase the guilt associated with eating too many desserts or other unhealthy foods
Decreases binge eating Can increase the amount of snacks you eat in a day
Less time consuming No structure

As you can probably tell from both these comparisons, there are both positive and negative things about each approach to weight loss.

Tracking your macronutrients almost always leads to guaranteed results, however your relationship with food may suffer in the process. Eating intuitively, on the other hand, is associated with higher levels of happiness…however doesn’t always generate the results you want.

So which way is better?

From my experience, BOTH of them. The reason I say both is because I’ve used both for different results.

So which one would be the best for me? You may wonder.

Well, it depends what your goals are at this point in your life.

If you’re wanting to cleanse or cut back/lose weight, I’d HIGHLY RECOMMEND tracking your macronutrients with a food scale. It’s very effective because it helps keeps you on task and avoid overindulging on fatty or sugary foods.

If you’re at a stage in life where you are happy with your weight, however, I would recommend just continuing to eat when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full. Not everyone can do this effectively, but if you’re at a healthy weight then keep it up!

Check out Fat Free vs. Sugar Free – Which One is Better?

Why Intuitive Eating Only Works Sometimes

chicken pizza

From my experience, eating intuitively is slightly trickier when you’re wanting to lose weight. Why? Because each person is different when it comes to being hungry and full. Some people confuse emotional eating with actual hunger…and to be honest, I sometimes struggle with this as well. Some days I wonder if I’m really hungry or if I’m just craving a certain type of food. 

TIP: If you’re struggling to figure out whether or not you’re truly hungry, tell yourself to eat an apple or banana – even a salad. Either way, if you wrinkle your nose at these healthier choices, it’s almost guaranteed you’re not truly hungry.

Tips for Weight Loss

weight loss tips

Regardless of whether you choose to use a food scale or just go with the flow, incorporate these tried-and-true weight loss tips into your diet. They aren’t always easy, however if you build a good momentum then your life will become much easier.

  • Drink more water – especially in the morning and when you start to feel hungry
  • Incorporate more protein into your meals (eggs, grilled chicken, beans and milk) – they keep you full for longer!
  • Drink more black coffee (or at least cut back on the cream & sugar)
  • Use smaller plates and bowls
  • Keep unhealthy snack food out of sight
  • Slow down when you eat – your brain needs time to register that you’re full
  • Get enough sleep – if you’re tired, your body will often times crave sugar to keep you awake

For 100 great tips on losing weight, check out this article

Conclusion – Food Scales and Weight Loss

how to use a food scale

To sum everything up, food scales have greatly helped me maintain a healthy weight. Even though I initially thought using one would be boring, it actually wasn’t! Seeing changes in my body was exciting enough to continue measuring and tracking my macronutrients even until this day.

Losing weight and keeping it off doesn’t have to be miserable (although it’s definitely tough). Food scales are just one tool to help you stay on track.  If you’ve never used one before, check out my link below. Another great thing about them is that they’re cheap and easy to store.

>>>>>> Click Here for the Food Scale I Use <<<<<<

Even if you don’t use a food scale every day, it’s nice to have an idea of how much food you’re consuming. If you’re in the process of losing weight, this knowledge is even more helpful.

Comment below if you have any questions about food scales or what you think on this topic! I’d love to hear what approach to weight loss or healthy eating has been the most helpful for YOU!


Sarah Gaddes Signature