Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fat Loser: Portion Control

I'm really sorry if this post sounds a little disjointed, my brain is not working so well right now - I spent all weekend either at work or at our new house and I'm tired! (and the house is a mess....). The awesome news is that most of my apartment should be built by the end of this week - yay!

I've realized that I really need to control my portion sizes. I never really paid attention to how much food I inhale at each meal. I just enjoy whatever I'm eating...until it's gone. And then I start over at the next meal.

I really like Weigh Down Workshop, which encourages you to eat whatever you feel like eating, just in moderation. The main "rules" are to only eat when your stomach is growling and to stop when you are satisfied. Not one-bite-after. Not stuffed. Not unbuckle your jeans and hope your shirt covers it. Just satisfied. That's hard, let me tell ya!

I come from a family of six kids. Anyone that has been in a big family knows that the first thing you learn to do is grab and eat as fast as you can (and especially if it's something yummy) because if you don't, you won't get any. And there is never any leftovers, so if you like it you eat as much as you can get your hands on because it won't be there in 5 minutes!

I want to follow the Weigh Down rules, for the most part, because I want to feel free to eat what I want. I don't do so hot when I ban myself from foods (I've been doing pretty good with that no sweets one though). I had to start out by really paying attention to my portions. I only allowed myself to eat one, decent-sized serving of whatever the meal was and no seconds!

The first few days were a little tough because I really wanted to keep eating and eating the yummy food! I was also a little shocked at how much food I had been consuming in one sitting - added up over a day - it was alot! No wonder I'm a size 16!

I've done really good though! Here's a few things that I've been doing to make sure that I don't over eat:

-When I prepared a "homemade" meal, I did not make extra. I made enough for me and the boys to have one serving each and that's it. Obviously, this helped. It's harder to overeat when you have to make the meal all over again to have seconds. You'd have to be pretty determined!

-When I went to fast food restaurants, I ordered the smaller-sized meals. So, at Subway, that meant a 6" (even though the foot long is a better deal, that really killed me! LOL). At McDonalds that meant not large-sizing my fries.

-Putting food in containers for later is a huge lifesaver for me. If I took a couple bites of a meal and liked it enough to know that I would be fighting my urges to inhale it, I would take "seconds" and put it in a reusable container in the fridge (with my name PLASTERED across the front). That way, the next time my stomach growled, I could eat it again if I wanted to. The funny thing is that most of the time, I didn't want it when later came around.

-One thing that I really fought is that my stomach would growl at inopportune times. Like, an hour before dinner or at midnight when I was headed to bed. Keeping healthy, easy snacks around really helped me with that. If I ate a handful of peanuts, sliced veggies or a small cup of cereal, it would satiate my stomach for a little while and would normally growl again when I wanted it to - when dinner was finally ready and we could eat as a family. It also helped me not to feel cruddy the next morning (those huge meals right before bed just are not good for the body!)

A tip that I heard and have not had the opportunity to try yet (but plan on) is this one: when you go to a sit-down restaurant and order your meal, ask for a take-out box right away. When your meal arrives, immediatly take 1/2 of everything and place it in the box. The portions that you receive at restaurants are normally much more than you shoudl be eating and immediatly removing that excess from your plate (but ensuring that you have it for later) will keep you from overeating while out and about.

Got any tips? Let me know!
Also, if you've got ideas for healthy, tasty snacks, let me know. I've been "grazing" alot lately and am not very inventive! The same 'ole, same 'ole is getting boooooring.


Kristie said...

I ate A LOT of popcorn while I was losing weight (and still do). I popped up about an 1/8th of a cup of kernals in 1 Tbsp Canola Oil on the stove for an afternoon snack. I didn't put butter on it, but I did use salt. (Only 140 calories.)

I also liked having melon. It's full of water, so it helps fill you up with very few calories.

Angela said...

Use a child's size plate, so your plate doesn't seem so empty. When your plate looks like it has less on it then everyone else, you feel like you're missing out. But if you're plate looks filled on a childs plate, it seems a liitle easier.