On Weighing and Measuring Your Food

Photo credit: Joel Robison

Photo credit: Joel Robison

I’m not a fan of weighing and measuring my food. I tried it once several years ago after reading Enter The Zone by Dr. Barry Sears, and I found it to be way too much work for zero return on investment. I felt no better or worse when I weighed and measured compared to just eating good, quality foods until I was full.

The Zone prescription has a decent amount of traction in CrossFit and is even taught in the Level 1 Certification seminar, but to me it felt like neurotic behavior. Chronically weighing and measuring everything you eat seems like an eating disorder.

That being said, I think weighing and measuring can work for some people in the short term. Every diet plan works for someone, that’s why the diet industry is so successful. Some people really thrive on the structure of the Zone and the portion control that comes with it. I’m of the mindset that  your body will tell you when you’re hungry. If you’re eating primarily protein, good fats and veggies, it’s really hard to overeat. You can eat until your full without worrying about putting on weight, or having a dip in performance.

If you’re going to weigh and measure your food, a better benchmark is to use that data to see how much protein you are consuming each day. Start with a daily goal of 0.75 grams per pound of body weight. If you weigh 200 pounds, you would strive for consuming 150 grams of protein per day. It may sound like a lot but when you consider that about 4 ounces of cooked meat (about the size of a deck of cards) is roughly 25 grams of protein, it’s not too hard to achieve.

Once that daily protein goal is easy to obtain, up the goal to 1 gram per pound of body weight. This will keep you full longer and ensure you are getting a proper amount of amino acids each day. If you can’t go at least 4 hours between meals, then you’re not eating enough protein and fat at your meals.

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