I cannot begin to express how important it is to measure food out. Maybe it's the scientist in me, maybe it's the geek, I don't know. However, if your serious about getting nutrition in check, then I whole heartily believe that you must approach your nutrition with a rock solid plan.
Now if your looking to just drop a few pounds or try to muscle up, then I don't always believe you have to follow any strict nutritional plan. However, if your looking to push your body to the extreme. If you strive to optimize your body's ability to achieve muscle mass or lose rapid amounts of fat, then I feel a food scale is absolutely necessary.
I'm not a guy who counts every single calorie that I eat throughout the day. That's just not my style. I however know how many calories I consume on training and non training days because I know my macronutrient breakdown. I also know what meals I intend on eating depending on the hour of the day. This comes with a proper planning and tailoring your nutrition to fit your fitness or performance goals.
I've always recommended going out to a local store and picking up a quality food scale. Nutrition is equally as important as the weight room and as the practice field. Nutrition can make or break you. If your doing everything right in the weight room, pushing heavy weight, progressive overload, proper recovery, proper nutrition, etc; you'll obtain the results you want.
The best part about measuring your food is that numbers don't lie. We've all been there at some point. It's 8:00pm, your stressed, and your staring down the meal you need eat next, and you think "I've worked hard, maybe I'll pour a few more "XYZ" on my plate because, I deserve it". With a food scale, this never occurs. Sure maybe the thought of it crosses your mind, but once you have a habit to measure out your food, there is no excuses, no chance of doubt, and no measure of error in portion control.
There are a lot of foods out there on the market that are extremely deceptive. I say meaning that what you may THINK is 1 oz, is probably more like 2 to 3 oz when you don't measure it. It's so easy to fall into the pitfall of dieting and cutting calories only to spin your wheels in frustration because your not making progress. If this sounds familiar than you may want to take a long, hard look at what your doing and what your eating.
Here is my list of extremely deceptive foods that are an absolutely must for measuring out before consuming. Again, this is just my list. You may consume these without measuring them but if you feel like weight loss or gain is stalling, you might want to look what your putting on your plate.
- Peanut Butter
- Salad Dressing
- Coffee Creamers