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Most of my clients have major problems with food, eating, and body weight. They find themselves unable to stop eating at certain times, in certain situations, or with certain foods. Parties and social situations are major struggles for them. And most of the family rolls their eyes and thinks this is just another diet, waiting patiently for the time when she or he will be back into the food. They have tried every diet, food plan and supplement available, and while they always lose weight, the diet eventually has to stop and you are back to bingeing. It’s like the pendulum; you swing from starving to bingeing and back again; the power to starve comes from the binge and the power to binge comes from the starvation.

Long term problems require long term solutions, and there is no one answer for every situation. That is why I strongly believe that food plans and recovery programs need to be individualized for each person, and need to be changed when your situation changes.

But I also have noticed that years of self-abuse with food have changed your perceptions of foods – their size, taste, smell, texture are different for some people than for others.

Your ability to manage food, to prepare it, to understand it, to handle healthy food, has been changed by the eating disorder.  I know you can tell me the menu at your favorite fast food restaurant, but how does one cook spaghetti squash? And how do I measure my salads? And do I have to eat the same old boring stuff every day?

So beginning today, I am going to shift this series of blogs just a little; I want to teach you how to prepare and manage your food plan effectively. This week, I want to talk to you about weights and measures, and more of that next week. Then I want to talk about kitchen utensils, like scales and knives and so forth. Now, you are the only one who will know whether this information is helpful and fits into your food plan, so I ask/urge/plead/beg you to send me comments and questions as they arise. I will answer them here.

The first thing you have to know and remember is that a cup measures volume; a scale measures weight. The two are not the same.

A cup of water weighs eight ounces; a cup of lettuce is likely to weigh 2 ounces or so, if you pack it well.

Weight is determined by the heaviness of the particular item, and is measured with the use of a scale. Volume is the amount of space that an item you are measuring takes up. Both are common measurements in recipes, with weight being used mostly for solid ingredients and volume being used both for solid and liquid ingredients.

A cup of lettuce will weigh less than a cup of raw carrots, and a cup of cooked carrots will weigh a different amount than a cup of raw carrots. This is because cooking food changes its weight.  A cup of cooked vegetables will weigh more than a cup of the same vegetables raw because vegetables shrink and gain weight when they cook. Measuring some foods by weight, others by volume, and having a clear plan, often avoids confusion and eliminates inconsistencies. Throughout this book we have tried to be clear about weights and measures.

It does not really matter whether you weigh or measure most foods; some, like chicken, are easier to weigh, some like milk, are easier to measure. Choose a measure and amount that works well for you in your food plan and just be consistent. All the measurements in the Delicious Recovery Cookbooks specify ounces or cups.

There is a lovely chart with more values at

If you have questions or concerns about weights and measures, please do comment here.

Blessings to you,



  1. Melanie October 16, 2018 at 10:50 am #

    I’ve never seen this chart before! VERY helpful. Thanks, Theresa! (And yes I have actually been weighing my portions again… finally)

  2. Felicia Sussman October 16, 2018 at 10:56 am #

    As I read this post I kept hearing keep it simple in the back of my mind, Good simple reminders for someone like me that can complicate the making of toast :).

  3. Martha R. Wrigley,RD/LDN October 16, 2018 at 12:39 pm #

    This is valuable for your clients. I spend about 8 hours weekly obtaining and cooking my foods. Recovery means doing this forever which I am willing to do. As I gained recovery, I became more outgoing so I need to bring my weighed and measured foods to events. I am not good making decisions about what to eat at the event. Recently I had the experience of a 100% abstinent party. No one noticed what I was eating or drinking. I took only a plate of raw veggies at the party. Brought my own seltzer water . It felt wonderful!!!! Martha W.

  4. Martha R. Wrigley,RD/LDN October 16, 2018 at 12:42 pm #

    Theresa, This is valuable for your clients. I spend at least 8 hours weekly or more obtaining and preparing food which I like to eat on my plan. This will have to be done forever because I want tom stay in recovery.

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