It is so easy to do isn’t it? A large order of fries, a few extra chips or another cookie seems harmless, right? Well….not really. The flavor, texture and smell of some foods are enough to tempt us even though we know the food is not only not good for us, but can actually cause serious health problems if the ‘extras’ are not put in check. Follow these tips for learning how to say ‘no’ even though your taste buds say ‘YES’!!!
1. You’ve probably already heard that eating from a smaller plate will help you control your portion sizes, but do you actually do it? Start now! This technique will save you HUNDREDS of calories over time and you will start to see the effects in your waistline and other circumference measurements before too long. A small saucer is enough to fit a small serving of meat and starch and the rest should be reserved for veggies. If it doesn’t fill you up, you will feel no guilt as you go for another piece of chicken or more potatoes. Be consistent with it and you will see results!
2. Recognize which foods are more satisfying than others due to fiber and protein content. Satisfying foods include grainy bread, cheese, brown pasta, eggs, popcorn, all-bran cereal, grapes, porridge, baked beans, apples, beefsteak, and oranges. All of these foods are high in fiber, water, or protein. The next time you find yourself in between meals and feeling like you can eat anything in sight, reach for an apple or a bag of popcorn for a snack. You will stay full longer, and you will give your body more nutrients. Foods with large amounts of fat, sugar, and/or refined carbohydrates, like potato chips, candy bars, or white bread should be avoided since you will find yourself reaching for something again…..and soon.
3. Most health professionals would agree that eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are comfortable is one of the keys to healthy eating and living. Most of us understand that we should eat only when we are hungry, but in order to stop eating when you are comfortable, this may take some practice. Especially when we are bombarded with foods that look, taste and feel good. If you can learn to slow down when you eat, and put your spoon or fork down between bites, your stomach will have enough time to recognize that it is full. Make your eating time your eating time, not your watch TV time, talk on the phone time, or your computer time. Savor your food, enjoy every bite and you will find your meals more satisfying.
Overeating is one of the most challenging things to overcome when you are trying to to lose weight, but it doesn’t have to be if you follow these principles. They will soon become a way of life, and become second nature. Try eating the same amount as one of your children would eat, but be sure not to finish off what they didn’t eat! Eat satisfying foods, eat only when you are hungry and stopping when you get full are great ways to start.
Have a healthy week!