Is Your Use of a Food Scale Harmful? 3 Reasons to Stop Now

image of a food scale with potatoes on top of it weighing 1 lb

I became obsessive with my food scale. Weighing out everything I ate, I needed to make sure that I was eating the serving size. For that felt safe. As well as validating. I mean, it feels as if eating the serving size amount is the correct thing to do. And I love doing things correctly. So does my eating disorder

What’s the cost of using a food scale?

I knew that by weighing out my food, I was giving in to my eating disorder. Yet, I couldn’t stop. It felt as if I were breaking a rule if I didn’t weigh out my food. And I’ve never been one to break rules. So I continued to abide by my eating disorder’s rule of weighing out my portions. Only, this started to get the best of me. 

I felt trapped and safe all at once.

Safe because I knew how much I was having. But also trapped because I knew how much I was having. By having a set amount of food, I was working against my goal of intuitive eating. There were times I wanted more. Only, I wouldn’t let myself to have more. For I could only have the “correct” amount. This was also apparent for the times I wanted to eat less. However, I’m in no place to eat less. I know better than to give in to my eating disorder in that way.

A new way of thinking

One night I wanted to have a turkey sandwich. And I was about to get my food scale out. Then I found myself not wanting to retrieve it. The eating disorder wanted me to fetch it. But I didn’t want to. The mental tug of war whether or not to get my food scale was getting the best of me. My stress was building up. The only way to quiet the voice would be to go and get my food scale. 

Only, I stopped and took a second to myself. Then I thought, ‘What’s going to happen if I don’t weigh out the turkey in my sandwich?’ Of course, my eating disorder gave me every reason in the book why I “should” get my food scale. However, I wiped these reasons from my mind and came up with three reasons why I shouldn’t get my food scale. 

3 Reasons to Stop Using the Food Scale Now

1. To move towards intuitive eating

2. I have the right to eat whatever amount I want

3. Portion sizes are not a set of rules to follow

I held onto these reasons and resisted getting my food scale. I got out my bread, turkey, and cheese. As tempted as I was to weigh out this turkey, I reminded myself of the freedom I would have. That making a sandwich doesn’t need to be so complicated.

So I took out the turkey from the package and placed it between the bread. I started to overthink it. Then I caught myself trying to recall what my previous sandwiches looked like. I reminded myself of my three reasons to resist using the food scale. I took a deep breath and continued to make my sandwich. 

When it came time to take a bite, I’ll admit, I was scared. Although I’ve had this sandwich before, not knowing the exact amount of calories was beyond unsettling. I stared at the sandwich. How could I eat this? I need to know exactly how much turkey is in it! I need to have the “correct” amount!

Again, I took a deep breath. 

Then, I took a bite. And how freeing it felt to eat a turkey sandwich.

To this day, I no longer weigh out my turkey for my turkey sandwich. And I’m not running back anytime soon to my food scale to make this sandwich. 

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