Weighing and Measuring Food
“Do I need to weigh and measure my food?”
Great Question and as usual, one that comes with more than one answer. Let’s walk back a step or two.
Why might you need to measure the amount of food that you eat?
Simple. So that you can gain an understanding of how much food you are putting into your body at a given time (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc…). This is a basic issue with many people. 4oz of chicken or fish or beef all may look different to the eye. Further, other circumstances can play a role in putting out a portion of food on a plate or in a meal prep container. These might hunger, mood, situation.
How can I measure?
There are three simple methods:
1.) Food Scale. These are accurate and if electronic, can take into account Tare Weight. A food scale is a good way to start and I’ll explain why below. Food scales are readily available at local stores and of course can be ordered online. Simply turn on the scale, add the COOKED portion of food, and then adjust as needed.
2.) “Hand Method”. I first learned about this reading blog articles from Precision Nutrition. The method is very simple. Using your hand, your plate should have: A palm sized portion of protein, a fist sized portion of carbs and a thumb sized portion of fat. That’s it. Of course, use your hand to measure and this would apply for MEALS not SNACKS.
3.) “Plate Method”. Another simple way to get a fairly accurate portion of food. Visually divide your plate in to three sections:
- ½ the plate should be Vegetables
- ¼ should be starch
- ¼ protein.
So which is the best? The answer is a bit subjective but, all three can definitely work. For our clients—we will often recommend the scale to start. Why? So you can learn and SEE what a portion looks like. Over time, you’ll get to know by looking at what is on your plate. That’s where the Hand Method and Plate Method come in. Our goal here is to understand portion size and control, and that is to help us reach our goals, whatever they might be.