Did you find you might have eaten a bit too much these past, crazy months? Not having any type of schedule, or being completely over-scheduled, can do that and now you, like many others, may find it’s time to tighten up the reins again.
Here’s a great place to start.
Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows that the single most important thing you have to do is to eat smaller portions. Simply put – eat less. You can work out until you pass out, but, like it or not, weight loss happens in the kitchen, not in the gym. So you need to shrink your portions. Simple enough, right? If reducing portions was that easy, no one would be fat. We are bombarded with ads and the allure of extra large everything. Before we know it that “extra large” applies to our pants too.
How do you shrink your portion sizes? Beyond the tried and true methods of using smaller plates and eating more veggies, how do you cut your portions to shrink your waistline?
Here are Ten Tips to Help Shrink Your Portions:
- Gimme 10! Take a break. When you finish your meal, push your plate away and take ten minutes to have a glass of water and a conversation before you assess whether you are still hungry and need to eat more. More often than not you won’t head back to the kitchen for seconds if you give yourself a minute to digest.
- Screw the clean plate club. Many of us heard all about the starving children while we were growing up. We were encouraged to be part of the “Clean Plate Club” but as a grown up that really means “Super Stuffed and Overly Fluffy Club”. NEVER eat when you aren’t hungry. Don’t be afraid to leave some food behind.
- Pack up the kitchen BEFORE you sit down. This one can get a little tricky between timing your meal to the table and getting to it before it’s cold but try packing up your leftovers, particularly leftover carbs and fats, before you sit down to eat. When food is sitting on the kitchen counter calling your name, it’s much harder to resist a second helping than if you need to get it out of the fridge and reheat it.
- Never eat from a package! When you are trying to shrink your portions you have to know how much you are eating. Get yourself some cute measuring spoons, cups, a food scale, a tracker (online or paper) and start using them! Sticking your hand in the bag or spooning up ice cream from the carton, or even nuts unlimited, are dieting disasters.
- Non-legume carbs are a side! Whether it’s thrift or habit, we all tend to use starch as a base for meals. To cut portion size, start with carbs. Pasta, potatoes, and rice should not be the center of your 80 meal. Shrink your portions by keeping in mind that 1/2 cup of rice or pasta is a serving. Most carbs are a side. Make veggies the star of your plate.
- Single servings are your friend. If you want to eat something that doesn’t fall into the “Healthy Food” category, consider single servings. Purchase prepackaged individual servings and limit yourself to one. If you want a cookie, stop at the bakery and buy ONE. You can’t eat a dozen if you don’t have a dozen to eat. Simple math.
- Finish fruity! Re-train your taste buds to crave something fruity at the end of a meal. Instead of a calorie laden dessert dripping in guilt, finish your meal with fresh berries or even a fruity tea. After a few weeks of finishing a meal with fruit you should start to find the craving for dessert after every meal begin to subside. Fruit is the sweet treat that won’t leave you feeling like a failure.
- WATER first. If you want to eat less, drink more. Water that is. This tip is an oldie but a goodie. A nice tall glass of water helps fill your stomach so that a smaller portion of food feels more satisfying. Study after study confirms that drinking 16oz of water thirty minutes before you eat will help you eat less.
- Tight trousers. Here’s my favorite. Wear your skinny jeans to dinner. Yoga pants say, “Hey! You want that second helping? Go for it! I’m stretchy! I can take it!” Your tight trousers, on the other hand, say, “Sweet Mary put down your fork. I’m about to burst.” Listen to your pants ladies. And no cheating by unbuttoning the top button!
- Ambiance. A meal should be a lovely sensory experience. You will be more mindful of your serving sizes when you eat off of a pretty plate that contrasts well with your food, in an uncluttered space, free of distractions. Studies show that dieters eat more when they are distracted. So stop watching TV or reading while you eat and focus on the task at hand. Enjoy your meal in all its small and beautiful proportions. Changing the way you eat takes some dedication. And it takes courage. And it takes a willingness to try doing things differently.
Other steps to eliminate Portion Distortion – Let yourself be creative. Make like a pre-schooler and share. Half a bag of chips, after all, has half as many calories as a whole bag. Generosity might be the key to shrinking your portions. Or maybe you eat out a lot. Have an appetizer as your dinner entree. Or ask the waiter to pack half your meal to go home before you begin. Even when you dine out you can find simple ways to control how much you eat if you put a little planning into it. Living in a world of super-size ginormous portions makes it hard to remember how much we should be eating.
At home or at a restaurant, if you can find a way to shrink your portions you’ll eat less and YOU WILL LOSE WEIGHT. It’s a simple truth but there’s your win!
If you know someone who could use these tips, please be sure to share!
Always remember, you are not done! If you are ready to ditch the diet and create a body and life you love living in, schedule your complimentary Discovery Call here.