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Oxo weighs in on portion control

Oxo Good Grips food scale uses a pullout display for bigger dishes.

The display is detachable and pulls several inches away from the base. Amazon

As we make our way into spring, we're forced to acknowledge whether or not we've stuck to our New Year's resolutions. The weather is nicer, and with bathing suit season inching closer, we're trading in the fattening comfort foods of winter for healthier options.

One of the key factors in effective diets is portion control, something that becomes more and more difficult to do in a world of gigantic portion sizes and cheap value meals. By arming ourselves with the tools necessary to avoid overfilling our plates, we are setting ourselves up for successfully shedding that layer of insulation that seems to show up somewhere between October and January.

Aside from using standard measuring cups, a great tool for controlling portions is a scale like this Oxo model. Designed to measure weight, it can be used to divide foods into ounce- and gram-based portions when volumetric equivalents aren't available.

The smartest feature is the pullout reader, so that measurements can be taken even when a large bowl or dish is placed on the scale. The need for this kind of feature arises due to the scale's large weight capacity of up to 11 pounds.

An added benefit of using weight measurements is their accuracy: most volumetric serving sizes are added on packages as a reference, since true portion sizes are measured by their weights. It's this higher accuracy of weight measurements that causes many old-world cookbooks to list ingredients in ounces or grams instead of cups.

The Oxo scale is available on Amazon for $49.99.