Food Scales and Why We Need Them

Weighing your food is a large part of portion control. Do you actually know how much you’re eating? I’m guilty of not always weighing my food. But when I do, I’m always amazed at HOW MUCH food I’m consuming. I might eat a chicken breast and think that I did a good job with my choice, staying within my caloric limit, but then the next day, I weigh a similar chicken breast only to find out that it was 7 or 8 oz instead of the 4 oz I thought I was eating. That’s the difference between 120 calories and 250 calories and that’s a big deal! I have a really bad habit of eating with my eyes rather than eating with my stomach (i.e. My eyes think I can eat an entire Hawaiian pizza. My stomach, on the other hand, knows better).

This is when a food scale comes in handy. I got my hands on a Fraser food scale and instantly loved it. This scale has touch sensitive buttons and pretty awesome accuracy. It’s got different weight options, ranging from 0 ounces to 11 pounds (inFraser food scale grams, ounces, pounds and kilograms). What I really like about it is that I can put a container on the scale, reset the “tare” to 0 and then place my food item in the container and not have to worry about having to do any calculations.

With my old scale, it was an “old school” scale, similar to what you’d use at the grocery store to weigh your produce and it was a pain in the butt because it would always need to be re-calibrated.

Every product has pros and cons and overall this is a pretty darn good scale.

Pros:

– Flat, easy to clean surface made of tempered glass;

– Digital;

– Can be calibrated to subtract the weight of a container added to it;

– Multiple weight options (oz, grams, lbs. etc.);

– Turns off automatically after 1 minute.

Cons:

– It’s a little small which doesn’t work for larger food items that you don’t want to have to cut up to fit in a bowl;

– Sometimes, the buttons don’t respond. I’m not sure if it’s because of the tempered glass or just general sensitivity but it can get annoying.

Overall, this is pretty darn good scale. I’d give it a strong 4/5 stars and highly recommend it to help you keep track of what you’re eating.

Life happens

MAN! I’ve been busy! Between vacation and work, I’ve not had time to blog. I’m so sorry I’ve neglected you!

I’m hoping to get back into my regular routine next week. A couple quick updates:

– My weight has been consistent for the last 3 weeks, sitting at around 224. Meh;

– I didn’t track any food over vacation but I’m back on plan this week;

– I’m adjusting the focus of my blog to be less “Mission Slimpossible” and more “Mission HealthPossible” which is better overall as it’ll focus on improving health, mind and body but doesn’t have nearly as smooth of a ring as SlimPossible.

– I started C210K yesterday. I was scared but it was awesome!

I promise to be back this weekend with regular posts again! 🙂

Food Tracking: Tedious or Necessary?

Lately, I’ve been having the hardest time tracking my calories. December 9th was the last time I tracked my caloric intake in its entirety. I can’t seem to figure out why, though. One day, I just…stopped. Since lapsing in my tracking, I’ve tried to continue to practice good habits but I’ve found that I care less about what and how much I eat. I’ve not gone overboard or anything, but the lack of care is there. I don;t know why I’m having this issue. Maybe tracking is just tiresome now, especially when I eat pretty much the same darn thing every day.

Studies have shown that food tracking helps you lose weight because it helps keep you accountable and aware of everything you’re putting into your mouth. Over the course of 6 months, people who tracked their calories lost, on average, 13 pounds. I know that when I track my calories, I’m a whole lot more aware of how many calories I’m taking in (who knew that Venti Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks had 310 calories and 56g of sugar?!) and tend to make better decisions in the future, like ordering items with sugar free sweeteners, ordering vegetables instead of french fries and having water with lemon with my meals as opposed to soda.

cartoon

I’ve tried to follow the general tips for tracking – tracking as I go, measuring all the food I track, trying different methods until I found the tracking method that works for me (I tried books, different apps etc. until I settled on LoseIt), keeping track of all my days, even the cheat days and, cooking at home rather than eating out, since we all know that eating out costs more calories (and money) than cooking at home does – but I still have trouble. I’m thinking if I add more variety to my meals that tracking will become interesting again. Maybe it’s the interest in finding out how many calories are in different foods. Maybe it’s finding out that food that I thought was good for me was actually bad and vice versa. Who knows.

Starting January 1st, I’ll pick back up on my tracking, but I still need to figure out what I need to do to make this less tedious.

Any tips?

Day 1 of the rest of my pregnancy

Like I wrote yesterday, today marks the day that I go back to tracking my calorie intake and trying to do some form of activity again. My doctor said I need to slow down on the weight gain (which I’ve been trying to do but not very diligently) so now, I’m buckling down and focusing. I still haven’t determined when and how I’m going to get in activity though. I’m thinking of either going for walks in the morning before work, 3 days a week or staying in the house and doing one of my workout DVDs 3 days a week. It’s kind of cold outside and I’m leaning towards the DVDs.

I tracked my breakfast this morning on MFP (drealeeanne is my username if you want to be friends) and my Special K red berries with skim milk added up to a whopping 256 calories of the 2000 I’m allotting myself today. I’m really contemplating eating a bagel as well. I learned that pregnant women only need an additional 300 calories per day. I was eating anywhere between 1500 and 1700 calories a day before I got pregnant so I figure 2000 calories is fair. I’ll judge based on my weight in about 2 weeks. 

One problem with tracking food, for me at least, is that when I cook, I have no idea how many calories are in the meal. Last night, I made pelau (a Trinidadian meal of rice, chicken and peas cooked together with ground herbs for seasoning and coconut milk). I have NO IDEA how many calories are in that meal. I’m just going to have to guesstimate and hope that I’m not off by a ridiculous number. (Or I can hope that someone has already done the leg work and entered the information into MFP).

I’ve packed a couple snacks for my day as well. A Nature Valley Granola Bar, some trail mix and a fruit bowl.

Why am I dreading the feelings of hunger that I feel I may have today? :-/