Dieting is a billion-dollar industry. The demand for products that help us lose weight and eat right is higher now than ever, and there are plenty of companies willing to fill that demand.
It’s not just about instructional books and videos anymore. There’s a growing web of apps, gadgets, and other high-tech products to help people in the pursuit of better health. But as with all dieting trends, these items only are only helpful to those who are willing to make use of it. Without a solid plan, stepping on a hundred-dollar Bluetooth bathroom scale is about as useful as standing on a get-fit-quick guide.
Personally, I think all this complicated gadgetry (and the high price tag that comes along with it) only makes the prospect of dieting more intimidating to people. It’s tough enough changing something as personal as one’s diet without the added pressure.
If you want to invest in a piece of tech to help you establish and stick to a healthy diet, I’d recommend something modest: a food scale.
Though, chances are you already own one of these in the first place.
I’m sure there is such as thing out there as an app-connected Wi-Fi food scale. But any old scale will do, including the ones that cost less than $20 on Amazon or at Walmart.
So, what makes a simple food scale so great? Here’s why I consider it one of the best dieting tools:
- It’s easy to use. You don’t need to read an instruction manual, and you certainly don’t have to download and install anything on your phone. Most of food scales have two buttons: On/Off button and a Tare button. The former is self-explanatory; the latter sets the scale back to 0.
- It solves one of the biggest dieting challenges: portion control. Here’s an example. You’ve brought home a bag of your favourite chips. The packaging says it’s 300 calories per serving. One serving must mean one bowlful, right? While that’s the logical conclusion, it’s not necessarily true. Look closer and you’ll find that 16 chips make a serving. But the chips aren’t all the same size! The only way to get an accurate read of how much you’re eating is to look at how much a serving size weighs. Put your empty bowl on the scale, hit tare, then fill it with chips until you reach the serving size in grams or ounces. With that knowledge, you can indulge in your favourite treats without worrying about going overboard.
- It takes the mystery out of unlabeled foods. Many items, like fresh produce and cuts of meat, don’t come with nutritional facts at all. If you’re trying to eat clean, your plan will likely include a certain amount of fruits and veggies each day. There’s a lot of conventional wisdom out there about how much counts of serving of different foods – a plateful, a handful, a fist-sized portion. Not only is that fairly inaccurate, it’s also hard to remember! You can reassure yourself that you’re on the right track by measuring it with a food scale instead.
Those three simple things can be very empowering when it comes to changing your diet. It’s certainly worth the $10-$20 investment for someone who’s just starting out. And if you find you like your new lifestyle, you can always invest in those big-ticket items later on!