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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. I hope to share my struggles, my successes, and everything in between.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Amy's Food Scale!

Amy over at posted recently about her new food scale.

This is something that has been around for a while, but I didn't appreciate the concept then as I think I might now.

This type of scale comes with a database of foods. You put the food on the scale, punch in the code or look up the food, and it gives you (among other things) the total grams of carbohydrates.

One of the many major obstacles I fight with is the resistance to measure and count. I think it has something to do with getting all emotionally tied up around the so called "serving size" and my desire to eat much more than that little amount. Or to eat in multiples so I can more easily calculate the carb grams.

Are you with me here?

With this type of scale, I would dish up what I want, punch in the code, and have an accurate count of the carbs. This gets me around the serving size mental roadblock, and give me a very accurate count. This is assuming the food I want is actually in the database.

One commenter, Jana, described actually being able to build a meal this way. Working the scale to "zero" out the previous items and adding the next.

I completely realize that this single item is not going to solve all of my food woes, but each helpful tool is a helpful tool right? I also realize that an accurate count of carb grams can help me match my insulin to those carbs, but it will not make the calories "go away".

If anyone finds something that makes the calories just "go away" - please let me know.


Anonymous AmyT said...

I am with you here! I totally resisted weighing and measuring for YEARS because I thought it was restrictive BS. But now I've learned that through actual measured carb-counts, and dosing 20-30 min. in advance, I can FINALLY conquer the ongoing highs! Hooray!!

Calorie Count is another monster altogether, of course.

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Jana said...

Oh, I feel special. Now a comment of mine has been referenced on another blog! ;)

The interesting thing is that I don't actually (and didn't ever really) use the food database on the food scale itself, so I can't say how useful the database is. But this is probably because I have the CalorieKing software ( which has a much bigger database and also I have custom meals stored in it (like my morning oatmeal, which I eat with cashew-macadamia nut butter, maple syrup and dried cranberries mixed in).

I don't actually use CalorieKing to track my calorie count anymore either--that got too difficult and it wasn't productive in terms of my mentality. I agree with Amy, calorie counting is dangerous. This fall, since I've started exercising again and started paying attention to eating only when I'm hungry and only how much I need (also I stopped buying certain dangerous food items like those buckets of yummy mini cookies they sell at Trader Joe's and such), I've lost 7 pounds (which will soon be at least partially negated by Thanksgiving, natch) without calorie counting.

But overall, I do recommend the scale. It really helps with accuracy, and even for foods not in the database, it makes carb counts much easier to calculate. You can just measure how much you want in grams or ounces and then divide by the serving size listed (even when they say 15 crackers or something they almost always list a weight in grams or ounces as well) and multiply by the carbs per serving (so you might need a calculator handy too). The serving sizes listed on packages are such BS anyway--I think half the time the serving size is determined to be what it is just so the company can put something like "less than 1g of fat per serving!" or the like...

11:21 PM  
Blogger Bernard said...


For the calorie issue, I'd suggest trying Symlin.

I'm going to use it on Thursday and see whether it reduces the amount of food that I normally eat at Thanksgiving and then spend the rest of the day correction bolusing for.

I'll let you know how it all goes.

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure that chocolate makes calories go away...and oh yeah, gravy. Mmmmm.

7:38 AM  
Blogger Zazzy said...

Chocolate is not a food, it's a medication and therefore doesn't count. The scale sounds interesting and I hope it works for you.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...


10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That scale rocks man. I really dig it.

I eat donuts. The holes are from where the calories were.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Johnboy said...

I saw my CDE this week, who informed me that the new, free cozmo upgrade has a carb database that enables you to create and select foods to include.

She says it works much like iTunes and that you can add foods to your Play(Eat?)List at any time.

I do measure foods sometimes, but my scales are lacking in that kind of precision.

Look for the upgrade by 12/15.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Minnesota Nice said...

I want one!
I have been using a digital scale for several years (not a famcy one like this) and was initially shocked by the difference in weight in foods that measure the same - say a cup of grapes, or a cup of strawberries, or a cup of dry cereal - all will weigh different each time, sometimes by a significant amount.
I certainly have periods when I don't weigh or measure a thing - actually it is sort of collecting dust in the cupboard right now.

Gobble gobble gobble gobble......

5:42 PM  
Blogger Kerri. said...

What I'm thinking of installing is a scanning device in my hand, much like that thing at the supermarket that beeps when items pass over. I'll scan my hand and the precise carb count will read out on my ... fingertips, I suppose. And that will solve all of my carb counting woes and my blood sugar will be 111 mg/dl at all times.

... Damnit.

I think I need to buy a digital scale. ;)

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Not a scale response but a calorie response and for me starting on the pump has allowed me to eat when and how much I want causing significant weight gain.

Just yesterday after always avoiding bagels, because of high carbs and high calorie count, I found the perfect bolus to lead me to a 124 bgs two hours later. Ahhhh!!!!

I love my pump, but the ease of bolusing is allowing the increased calorie intake.

Type 1 for 40 years never measured or knew about carbs until 5 years ago.

Gobble, gobble.


1:03 PM  
Blogger cHoCoMiLkRoCkS said...

i'm too lazy to count so i've become weird and just eat the same foods all the time. i know everything in what i eat. makes life easier just VERY boring. oh well, rather that that horrible a1c's and mean doctors shouting at me, and leg amputation..... :o(

2:13 PM  
Anonymous AmyT said...

Hey ChocoMilk,
I am jealous of your numbers, for sure! I hear you about eating boring same stuff all the time. I may need to try that...

btw, would you kindly open up comments on your blog to everyone (not just "Blogger" software users? Thanks!

All the best,

AmyT of

12:26 AM  
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10:16 PM  

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