I agree with loading up on the veggies. When I make a taco salad at home I start with 3 cups of spinach. 3 cups!! And SparkPeople tells me that is only 21 calories! That will fill up your plate! When I first started SparkPeople I felt the same way about the small portions, but I slowly started incorporating more veggies into my diet and now I really do eat a larger volume of food for the same (or fewer) calories as before.
What has worked for me is to start by eating a salad first, while I am finishing up making the rest of dinner. I make a salad mostly with greens, a few veggies, and a non-fat or light dressing. By eating that first and then having time for it to really hit. Once the rest of dinner is ready and I start eating my stomach has already started processing the salad and is starting to feel satisfied, so I don't feel the need to eat as much of the more calorie rich dinner.
Some other strategies that I use are measuring and weighing my food so that I know exactly how many servings I am eating. (after awhile I have gotten much better at just eyeballing portions but I still double check myself once in awhile).
I absolutely do not believe in being hungry. If I let myself be hungry I know that I'll be setting myself up for a binge later on. So if after I have eaten my proper serving of the main food and I am still hungry I allow myself to eat as many veggies as I need to feel satisfied. I keep lots of frozen veggies on hand. So if I need some extra veggies it's quick and easy to just heat them up.
I was the same way. Small plates do help and also measure out your portions. Once you have your plate ready to eat, pack up the rest right away! That way you can't go back for seconds. I agree with eating slower also. I used to scarf my food down and sometimes still do :) I find if I eat slower and drink milk or water with my meal I feel fuller. Good luck!
Fitness Minutes: (20,294)
1,426 4/30/10 10:02 A
It's a lot easier if you are a lousy cook. Try making more types of food that you don't like or tastes bland. I am a natural at cooking food that does not taste good.
Fitness Minutes: (216,135)
21,125 4/30/10 9:57 A
Veggies... veggies and hey, more veggies. Why eat one serving of spinach when you can have two ?
I love cooking too and believe me, learning portion control was probably the hardest thing for me to do. It takes time. So, don't beat on yourself if you're not perfect. Do the best you can. Start with a simple goal. Try to eat portioned controlled meals 2-3 times a week. Do this each week. Once that becomes habit, then try portion control for 3-4 days.
With time, you will get the hang of portion control. It's not intuitive. As Americans, we've be programmed to expect the most bang for the buck. We feel deprived if our plate isn't fully loaded when we eat out. Well, it's all that overeating that has gotten use where we are.
Now, this is my own personal opinion, but I feel Americans eat too much because they can't taste the food. When a person eats high quality food, they don't need as much. Let's take chocolate for example. I can eat an entire Hersey's bar to get the taste of chocolate OR I can eat 2-3 blocks of 70% cocoa dark chocolate.
I can tell you that the 2-3 blocks of 70% dark chocolate is all I need. It's because it's so rich and flavorful.
Also, you're used to eating large portions. As you lose weight, you'll need less. I've found that I've lost my taste for fast food. I've also found that I can't eat big meals anymore without getting sick to my stomach. Your eating habits will not change overnight. It will take time... thus the need to reform them slowly. So, try portion controlling your food 2-3 days per week to start.
Do your best to eat more veggies. When your insides are healthy, that reflects on your outsides.
Load on the veggies! I love red, yellow, orange peppers and I will mix those in with green beans and some white onion! It's low calorie, low fat and completely fills you up. I like to flavor it with just a little garlic salt and then steam them. With some brown rice and lean meat...it's a very satisfying meal! When I was with my trainer, I was told veggies were free as in I could eat as much as I wanted whenever I wanted. Just watch the canned goods with sodium and all that.
It can take practice. If you're used to eating large portions, reasonable portions might look ridiculously small. But if you eat those small portions frequently so you're not constantly starving, you might be surprised how quickly you acclimate to it. I know that a what my husband calls a "full-size" meal looks huge to me now, whereas a few months ago it would have looked pretty normal.
A weight watchers concept showed me how my plate should look.. Acutally when all the components are correct on the plate I ate more now at 65 kgs than I did at 139,2 kgs.. This is same what of a myth you have to eat smaller portions.. If the components like vegetables are there, the portion can be actually huge if weighed and measured correctly.. I had to use cabbage instead of iceberg salad as 100 grams of this is a huge mountain to get through.. I needed heavy bulk to chop down the quantity, as my first meal was served in a cassole dish and was too much lol.. I was panicing at the first weigh in I was going to put on massively as was totally stuffed I lost 5.1 lbs first week with this concept, 4 lbs second week, 3.7lbs third week.. I was totally stuffed full- using economy in bulk healthy vegetables.. I made sure and still make sure I get my 20 oz of vegetables divided over lunch and dinner.. I told the guy taking the meetings- 1. goal make me feel satisified.. He sat me down and showed me a few pointers of what to drive efter making food.. I became a quick leaner, I fuel up and never go to my low end of my range unless I am having a very quiet day.. The less calories you use the more plain the food is, thus boredom creeps in.. I justed condiments and sugar free ketcup to keep giving piff to my meals.. My weight loss evened out to 1 to 1½ lbs weekly all through my journey unless I make a mistake..
Edited by: RENA1965 at: 4/29/2010 (23:47)
Fitness Minutes: (27,783)
267 4/29/10 11:28 P
the smalled plate does help and if you do enough small meals & snacks you won't look at it as a smaller portion after a while!
Definately smaller plates! Plus, enjoy what you are eating; look at it, savor the smell, enjoy the taste, chew slowly.
Fitness Minutes: (21,677)
1,441 4/29/10 10:12 P
I agree, use a smaller plate!
Tell yourself that if you wait 20 minutes after eating and drink a glass of water, and you still want more food, you can go get seconds. Don't deprive yourself, cause that'll wreck your motivation, but give yourself the time to notice if your body is full.
First tip I think is use a smaller plate. Use a luncheon plate instead of a dinner plate. It will look like you have more food because there will be less open space.
After that it becomes a matter of repetition. Cut back slowly, and tell yourself if you finish what you have - there is more if you want it. Eat that smaller portion and have some water or milk and wait a few minutes and see if you feel satisfied.
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