Do I have to weigh and measure everything if I’m on a diet?

Eating the right amount of food sometimes takes some practice. The food industry serves us oversized portions of almost everything, so it takes some active re-sizing to bring portions back down to an appropriate size for weight maintenance and weight loss. You may not have to weigh and measure your foods forever, but you should measure your food until you develop an accurate estimation of what each portion looks like.

The biggest part of losing weight is getting your calories under control.  And the only way to understand your calorie intake is to have an idea of how much you are eating.  Now – that does not mean you have to count everything every day, for the rest of your life – but weighing and measuring in the beginning of your weight loss program can really help you understand what and how much you are actually ingesting.  It can be an eye opening experience!  However, if the thought of weighing and measuring everything is not exactly sounding great to you-don’t worry because there are other ways to manage your calorie intake. 

1.  Simply cut all meals in half- doing this will save you half the calories.

2.  Drink 16oz of water before you eat a meal- this can save you about 90 calories per meal

3.  When you feel full, push your plate away.  If it is sitting in front of you, you will be tempted to nibble.

4.  Just make better calorie choices - we all know what is better for us, so choose the apple over the apple pie!

5.  Clean out your cupboards, pantry, freezer and refrigerator.  Do not have tempting poor and dense calorie choices around.  Don't forget to clean out your cookie stash next to your bed too!

6.  Start reading the labels on all the foods you eat to really boost your calorie and portion IQ.  You will be amazed at how many calories are in very small portions.

7.  Split up your meals into 6 smaller meals throughout the day. 

8.  Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

9.  Get familiar with common measurements like a cup, tbsp, and oz, look like so you can get control of your portion distortion.

10. STOP BEING ON A DIET!  You need to learn to live with food.  You need to make food a real part of your life.  It is never going away. By adding these 10 tips to your life you won’t be bogged down by weighing and measuring your food your entire life and instead, learn to enjoy it and live with it for the rest of your long, healthy life!

Enas Shakkour
Nutrition & Dietetics
No, you do not have to weigh and measure everything if you are on a diet. I do recommend, however, that you familiarize yourself with the different measurements. When you are at home, measure a cup of rice, a tablespoon of peanut butter, and a 1/2 cup of icecream. Put the contents in a bowl or a plate and get accustomed to how much a 1/2 cup or 1/4 cup is. By doing this, you will not need to carry around measuring cups and scales while you are dining out or eating with friends. You will be able to eyeball the amount of food you are consuming. Portion control is important; but you don't need to be perfect or exact to achieve that.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.