In this day and age, we all are guilty of eating more than our bodies need for healthy functioning. So beyond just eating "real food", I really desire to discipline myself to eat real food, realistically.
Thinking realistically about food, did you know that today's child-size servings in restaurants are equivalent to the standard adult-size servings of twenty years ago? Not only that, but go back a few more years and you'll discover that the standard size dinner plate then is what we call a "salad" plate now?
With that in mind, today's tips concern portion control and easing hunger pangs without over indulging. Here are several tips that will help you put your fork down without feeling deprived:
1. Seconds - Out of Sight, Out of MindThese realistic weight loss tips are helping me in the "battle of the bulge". Hope you are helped also! And for more info on the slenderizing benefits of coconut oil read this excellent article from Food Renegade.
Keep seconds out of sight by putting them in the frig before you sit down to eat. Instead of taking all the food to the table, dish out moderate servings and then put any leftovers in storage containers and sock them into the refrigerator. There will be no temptation when the leftover food is out of sight.
2. Snack on Fat (and Protein), Not Carbs
Good fat (go here to get the scoop of what is good) satiates hunger like nothing else can. Good fats do not cause weight gain. In fact, some good fats, like coconut oil, actually aid in weight loss by boosting metabolism (you burn calories more efficiently), providing instant energy and satiating hunger. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, may fill you, but they can never really satiate you. An excess intake of carbs also is the major contributor for weight gain; even good carbs turn to sugar in your body (not like simple carbs, however, which are never good for you) and what you do not burn off, goes to "waist", hips and thighs.
For a satisfying "snack drink", brew yourself a cup of tea and add a tablespoon of coconut oil to it. If you like your tea sweetened, try using stevia extract (available at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods Market and many other grocery stores - ask for it). Stevia extract, from the stevia herb, is available in little white packets like the blue, pink and yellow stuff and is not toxic like those chemical sweeteners. And if you like cream in your tea, add a little half and half or cream. You'll find that this drink satisfies your hunger pangs and empowers you to forget about snacking.
3. Eat Your Salad as a First Course
But make sure it is accompanied with a "good fat" salad dressing. The dressing will serve to satiate you and make you feel nourished much more effectively than if you had a low-fat or no-fat dressing. You will feel more satisfied and less hungry when eating the rest of your meal. And again, good fats will help in your effort to lose weight (read #2 if you already have not).
4. Doggie Bag First
Akin to #1, when eating at a restaurant, ask for a doggie bag when you place your order (ask for it to come with your meal) and put any food that is more than a moderate serving into the bag. You will not be tempted to eat more than you actually need that way.
5. The 20 Minute Rule
If you do not feel satisfied after eating a meal, do not reach for more food just yet. Wait 20 minutes and reassess. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to really appreciate and acknowledge what you've put in your mouth. By that time, there may be no more growling demands.
6. Down-Size Your Plate
This is just the opposite of "super-sizing", the concept that got us all started gaining many excess pounds some time back. Instead of using a large dinner plate, use a salad plate to eat your main meals off of. My sister, Kathy, shared this idea with me and it has helped me start losing weight better than anything else. At first I thought that I would feel deprived, but when used in accordance with some of the other suggestions here, I am not suffering in the least and do not think about snacking in between meals. I am satisfied till the next meal. (Thanks, Kate!)
7. Eat a Sliver, Not a Slice
If you are tempted to eat a "healthy" dessert (that which is not deleterious to you health), instead of eating a full-on helping, eat only a tiny sliver. You will find that it will satisfy your sweet tooth, you will no longer feel deprived and yet your efforts to eat realistically will not have been in vain.