Three Tools for Controlling Calories

There are three key kitchen tools used by those who become successful at losing excess weight. They are simple tools but powerful ones nevertheless.

Nutritional Labels

Nutrition Label

When working on a weight loss program, the number one consideration has to be controlling calories. And the number one help for this is the required nutritional information found on food packages.

There are two primary numbers to look for to get it right. First, look at the calories per serving. Second, look for the serving size or servings in the container.

The importance of checking the servings per container was never more obvious to me than the time I got a salad at one of the popular fast food joints and discovered to my great amusement (I laughed out loud to tell the truth) that one packet of the salad dressing was represented as containing 5 servings!

In order to lose weight you have to get your meals down to just a few hundred calories per meal. Carefully reading the calorie and serving size on labels enables you to make effective food choices.

Measuring Spoon and Cup

measuring cup and spoons

A few years back I decided to learn a little about carpentry so I could do part of the building on a new house. In class I learned how to identify the size of nails and screws very quickly at just a glance.

When it comes to sizing food, however, there is only one way to be accurate—use measuring cups and spoons. Especially when you are hungry those quarter cups and half cups just seem to grow and grow.

I don’t like to measure and I get kind of lazy with it. But as I notice my bowl seeming to get fuller and fuller every time I pour another “cup” of cereal I have to grab my measuring cup to get back on track. It is a good idea to keep the measuring cups handy.

Kitchen Scale

kitchen scale

The third third weapon for calorie control is the kitchen scale. Many food items cannot be measured well by cups or spoons but are easy to weigh.

The new digital scales (like mine shown here) make weighing a breeze. You can put a plate or bowel on them and with a click of a button zero it’s weight out so the measured food weight will not include that amount.

One of my favorite snacks, one that I still enjoy occasionally, is almonds. Only now, instead of eating casually from a sack as I used to do, I eat one handful. I dropped a handful on my scale and found it weighed 1.25 ounces. At 173 calories an ounce that makes about 204 calories in just one handful, too big part of my daily calorie allowance to eat often.

Use These Secrets for Success

There is only one way to successfully keep count of calories. Measure them out. These three tools make that very easy. But just knowing about them is not enough; unless we use them it is all too easy to eat a lot more than we think.