I love peanut butter, and I’m not talking about the regular creamy kind that is full of sugar (even though that stuff is pretty delicious!), but rather the all natural without additives kind of peanut butter. It is just as good!
This tendency of peanut butter by the spoonful is something I inherited from my mom. She loves peanut butter, and by default so do I! Lucky for me I get it as part of my last meal for the day, so more often than not you can find me watching Downtown Abbey and slowly licking away my spoon full of peanut butter.
But, here is the catch! I only eat ONE spoonful of peanut butter and it is a precisely measured amount. Why? Because the amount has to fit my macros and if I didn’t measure or weigh my peanut butter I would probably eat way more than I was supposed to!
Anytime you are following a meal plan and more importantly trying to meet your macros, it is CRITICAL to weigh your food. Here’s why: that spoon of peanut butter is exactly 16 grams. If you look at the nutrition label you would notice that a half serving is 16 grams, or about 1 tablespoons, which equates to 100 calories. If you measure out a tablespoon of peanut butter, how do you know it is exactly half a serving? You don’t. And if you don’t weigh it, you could be consuming more than 100 calories. Peanut butter has a high caloric content compared to how much you actually get so it is very easy to add on 5-20 extra calories by measuring out a tablespoon instead of weighing it. (Don’t worry, the 16 grams does not include the spoon).
Just think, if you were allotted 16 grams of peanut butter every day, which is 100 calories a day ( 700 calories a week) and if you measured it using a tablespoon and using your eyes to guestimate you could be consuming anywhere from 105-120 calories a day, which equates to 735-840 calories a week, which is a surplus of 35-140 calories a week. Just by eye-balling your peanut butter. And, if you are a peanut butter lover, chances are you’re being generous and so that surplus might even be greater. It doesn’t seem like much, but my peanut butter example is just that, an example of what happens if you don’t measure your food.
Get yourself a scale, and measure your food! (Grams tend to lend the most accurate results). I measure almost everything (even my protein powder) to make sure that I am getting the right amount of food to meet my macros.
Seriously, try it yourself. Find a food you normally measure out using measuring cups or spoons. Look at the nutrition label and find out how many grams are actually supposed to be in a serving. Measure them both and compare how much surplus (or if there is a deficit) between the two measurements. Protein powder is something I use regularly, and for a long while I would measure out using the scoop they provide (because on the nutrition label it says the serving is approx one rounded scoop). Well, on this one brand I’d been using, I measured out a scoop and weighed it and it was about 6-8 grams less than what was supposed to be in a serving. So, I wasn’t getting as much protein as I thought I was! The brand I have now is pretty consistent. But, always, always weigh your food to be on the safe side!