Precise measurements make it simple to track macros. Food scales can help you get the body you want! But first, you need to learn how to weigh food for macros.
You have probably heard that macros are a great way to help you lose weight. This leads us to the question, what is a macro? Macro is short for macronutrients. In all foods, there are 3 macronutrient categories. Protein, carbohydrates, and fat. By accurately tracking these categories, you will be able to feed your body exactly what it needs to lose weight. The next question is: how to weigh food for macros?
One of the best tools available to help you track your macros is a good set of scales. Scales assist you in tracking macros by giving you an exact measurement for your food intake. This measurement is then used to calculate your macros.
Tracking macros with Food Scales 101
Tracking macros is done using two tools. The first is a macro tracking app, these can be found on your phone, computer and can also be done by hand, though manual tracking is much more time-consuming.
The second tool is a scale. To track macros using a scale, you need to weigh EVERYTHING you eat.
Tracking macros with basic digital scales:
- Turn your scale in and make sure it is using grams
- Make sure your scale says 0.00 before adding any food to the scale
- Place food on the scale and record the number (each ingredient needs to be tracked individually)
- Use a food database like CalorieKing or MyFitnessPal to get the macros.
You can also purchase scales that have a built-in food bank. This will show you your macros on the scales rather than having to look up macros in a separate place. If you are tracking your total calories in an app like MyFitnessPal, advanced scales are not necessary.
Click here for a detailed rundown on macros and how to count them.
Common Macro Counting Problems
There are some common issues people experience when counting macros are:
- Inaccurate tracking.
If you estimate your macros as a beginner, the measurement is probably going to be inaccurate. People with large amounts of experience in macro tracking can estimate its contents with relative ease.
- Eating out.
You often don’t know what is in the meal you are eating, so how can you accurately track it?
- Lack of time
It can take a lot of time to track macros, especially at the start of your journey (don’t worry it gets faster with practice)
- Macros can be confusing
It can be confusing to work out and track your macros (Again, time and practice makes it much easier)
How Food Scales Can Help
When you have a food scale, you can track everything you eat while you are at home. This means you know exactly what is in the food you eat. By weighing and tracking everything you eat at home, you will develop a knowledge bank of what is in different types of food. This means:
- That your tracking will be accurate. In other words, you know exactly how much you ate rather than guessing.
- When you eat out, you can look at your meal and make an educated estimate of what you are eating. You can do this because you know what is in all the different food items you eat at home, you will be able to apply this knowledge to your dinner out.
- With time you will know what is in different foods. This means tracking gets faster
- Tracking also becomes less confusing as you develop a good knowledge of macros.
Recommended Food Scales for Macros
There are a few different types of scales that will help you on your macro journey. We have included 3 different types with their pros and cons listed below.
Perfect for people manually tracking their macros.
- Built-in macro and calorie counter (It displays your macros on the scale itself)
- Comes pre-loaded with 2000 different foods
- Can add 99 custom food items
- Max weight of 5kg (5000g)
- Uses ethical factories to produce the scale
- A portion of the profits from every purchase is given to charity
- Uses 2 x AAA batteries instead of button cell batteries making them cheaper to replace
- Uses 1g increments
- Preloaded food items are not updated. Though food items like flour, bread, etc. are unlikely to change drastically. You can also add 99 custom food items if one becomes out of date.
- Nutrition panel has small writing and can be difficult to see for some users.
Great for people who are already utilizing other health apps like Fitbit. You may already have a Fitbit to track your physical activity, by using this scale you can now track your nutrition in the same place.
- Macros will auto-sync in the scales custom app on your phone.
- You can link the scales app to Fitbit and Apple health for seamless integration and tracking
- Access to approx. 1 million pre-loaded food items – Just scan the barcode with your phone to have the macros pre-populated
- The built-in foodbank works on Apple and Android
- Large measurement range from 1g to 5kg/11lb
- Can measure in grams and kilograms for accurate tracking
- 1-year warranty (Option to purchase an additional 1-year warranty)
- The barcode scanner is only available in the US
- Requires an app on your phone to access the barcode scanner and food bank
- Not included in Amazon Prime
Perfect for people who are using apps like MyFitnessPal or MyMacros.
- High maximum weight of 10kg– This makes it ideal for meal prepping
- Rechargeable. Instead of using batteries that have to be replaced, you simply recharge with your USB-C cable.
- Measures in grams and kilograms for accurate macro tracking
- The controls aren’t very sensitive and can require multiple presses
- Lower accuracy than more expensive scales
- Not included on Amazon Prime
Frequently Asked Questions
For which foods and ingredients should I use my food scale to check macros?
Almost all of them. Even the oil you use to cook your food in, though you only need to check that once, you can then use the same amount each time you cook.
The exceptions are items like lettuce, cucumber, and carrots. These foods have great nutritional value, but almost no calories, meaning you would have to eat enormous amounts to harm your diet.
How do I choose the right food scale for macros?
Choosing the right scale will depend on how you plan to track your macros.
- If you are wanting to track them manually, then a scale with a built-in food bank is ideal.
- For tracking while using an app like Apple health then Bluetooth scales would be fantastic.
- If you are tracking them in a calorie tracking app like MyFitnessPal, basic food scales are ideal.
Why do macros matter?
Tracking macros helps us to track exactly what we eat. Macros also determine how many calories you are eating. For example, each gram of protein has fewer calories than each gram of fat. This is why you can eat far more black beans than potato chips. Black beans are full of protein whereas chips are covered in fatty oils.
A good set of scales will help take your macro-tracking to the next level. They will help you on your weight loss journey and make you more aware of the food value in everything you eat. This not only helps your weight loss but also assists you in living a healthier life.
If you are looking for more information on using scales for weight loss, check out our articles Most Precise Kitchen Scale and How to Use Kitchen Scales for Weight Loss.