If you've been trying to eat more healthily and lose weight, you've no doubt heard the old advice to get a scale and weigh everything to ensure you're getting properly sized portions. There's one more reason to get a scale and weigh everything: your calorie counts in homemade recipes will be more accurate. And that can make a major difference in what you eat.
If you look at recipes from the U.S. versus those from, oh, the rest of the world, you'll notice that the U.S. uses volumes for a lot of measurements. Everyone else uses metric weights. Part of this has to do with almost everyone else in the world using the metric system for all measurements, but a lot of it also has to do with people recognizing that weighing ingredients like flour and sugar leads to more accurate recipes.
Weight Stays the Same
When you use volume as your base for measurement, you're looking for whatever amount of an ingredient will fill a particular space. If the ingredient you're using happens to have particularly large grains, or is particularly fluffy and air-filled that day, you could end up with less of the actual ingredient filling that space. Conversely, you could end up with more of the ingredient, too, if you have particularly dense flour or packed brown sugar, for example.
That changes the calorie counts of your recipe servings. That might not sound so bad if you end up with a little less. However, if you're really trying to get a handle on what you eat, being exact is sometimes better. And really, if you continually get fewer calories than you think, you could end up undereating. Though that might not be a huge issue because you wouldn't be missing out on that much.
Volume Can Impact Your Intake
But still, if you end up getting more calories and more of an ingredient, that can have an immediate impact on your diet. Weighing an ingredient is going to be a lot better because you'll still end up with the same weight of flour or sugar, even if it takes up more room in the volume measuring cups you have. Weight-based recipes will have better proportions that can compensate for too much air in flour or finer sugar grains.
Just remember that weighing is for dry goods. You'll still have to use volume for liquids, in milliliters. However, it's easy to find measuring cups for liquids that have milliliters as an option right along with cups and pints. So, you won't have to cram too many measuring cups and tools into your cabinets. Contact Skinny Ms. for more information.