How to Weigh Food for Meal Prep: A Complete Guide

Knowing how to weigh food for meal prep can be a game-changer in your journey towards better nutrition. If you’re new to the world of meal preparation or have found it challenging to get precise portions, this guide is for you. We aim to walk you through each step, making it simple and easy to follow.

Photo by Anna Shvets

Why Weighing Food Is Important

Weighing your food helps ensure that you are consuming the right portions, allowing you to stick to your dietary goals. This step-by-step guide aims to demystify the process and make it a regular part of your meal prep routine. But the benefits of weighing your food extend beyond just portion control. Let’s delve deeper into why this practice can be so transformative for your health and well-being.

Enhanced Nutritional Awareness

When you weigh your food, you gain a better understanding of the nutrients you’re consuming. This can be especially important if you’re tracking macronutrients like protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Knowing the exact weight allows for more accurate tracking, helping you meet your nutritional needs more effectively.

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Consistency in Meal Planning

Weighing food items ensures that you are consistently eating the same portions. This consistency can be crucial when you’re following a specific diet plan or aiming for steady weight management. Without consistent portions, your progress can become erratic and hard to track.

Reduced Food Waste

Another benefit is the reduction of food waste. When you weigh your food, you only use the amount needed, which can significantly cut down on waste. This is not only good for your pocket but also beneficial for the environment.

Better Cost-Effectiveness

Weighing your food can actually save you money in the long run. By knowing exactly how much of an ingredient you need, you can purchase foods in more precise amounts. This can prevent overbuying and result in more cost-effective grocery shopping.

Psychological Benefits

There’s something reassuring about knowing exactly what you’re putting into your body. This can alleviate stress and uncertainty about whether you’re meeting your dietary goals, contributing to overall peace of mind.

Improved Cooking Skills

Last but not least, weighing your food can improve your cooking skills. Accurate measurements are often key to the success of a recipe, especially when it comes to baking. You’ll find that dishes turn out better when you weigh ingredients, adding another layer of satisfaction to your meal prep efforts.

Overall, the practice of weighing your food can offer manifold benefits that contribute to a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. It takes the guesswork out of meal prep, providing you with the tools you need to succeed in your dietary endeavors.

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For more meal prep articles, click here: Meal Prep: Your Ultimate Guide to Prepping Meals Like a Pro

Materials You Will Need

Before you embark on the journey of weighing food for meal prep, it’s crucial to gather all the necessary tools and materials. Having everything in place will streamline the process, making it more efficient and less prone to error. Below is a comprehensive list of what you’ll need:

A Kitchen Scale

The most essential tool is a reliable kitchen scale. Preferably, opt for a digital scale that comes with a tare function, allowing you to reset the scale to zero after placing a container on it. This ensures that you’re only weighing the food, not the container.

A Set of Measuring Cups and Spoons

While a kitchen scale will be your go-to for most items, measuring cups and spoons are handy for ingredients that are better measured by volume rather than weight, like baking powder or vanilla extract. Make sure you have a complete set that includes measurements from 1/4 teaspoon up to 1 cup.

Pen and Paper or a Food Tracking App

You’ll need a way to record the weight of each food item as you go along. Some people find it easiest to jot these numbers down on a piece of paper, while others prefer the convenience of a food tracking app. The choice is yours, but make sure you have a reliable method for keeping track of your measurements.

Optional: Containers or Ziplock Bags

If you plan to store portions for later use, having a set of containers or Ziplock bags can be beneficial. This will make it easier to store individual servings, helping you stay on track with your meal planning.

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Optional: Cutting Board and Knife

If your meal prep involves cutting fruits, vegetables, or meats, having a sturdy cutting board and a sharp knife is advisable. This ensures that you can prepare your food items for accurate weighing.

How to Weigh Food for Meal Prep

Step 1: Choose the Right Scale

Before you can weigh food, you need a reliable kitchen scale. Look for a digital scale with a tare function, which allows you to reset the scale to zero after placing a bowl or plate on it. This feature makes it easier to weigh multiple ingredients.

Step 2: Calibrate the Scale

After purchasing your kitchen scale, make sure to calibrate it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This ensures accurate measurements.

Step 3: Prepare Your Food

Wash, peel, or cut your food as needed before weighing. Having your food ready for weighing helps you get more accurate measurements.

Step 4: Use the Tare Function

Place a bowl or plate on the scale and press the tare button to zero out the weight. This allows you to weigh only the food and not the container.

Step 5: Weigh the Food

Add the food item to the bowl or plate on the scale. The display will show you the weight of the food item alone, thanks to the tare function.

Step 6: Record the Weight

Write down the weight or input it into a food tracking app. This information will help you determine the appropriate portion sizes for your meals.

Step 7: Clean Up

Always clean the scale and utensils after use to maintain hygiene and ensure the scale remains accurate for future weigh-ins.


Learning how to weigh food for meal prep doesn’t have to be complicated. By following these straightforward steps, you’ll make sure you’re accurately measuring your food.

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