We’re excited to have Miranda Adani of Fabulous Weight Loss as our guest blogger today. We love that Miranda is a true believer in making small and sustainable changes and we’re excited to share her blog on what can sometimes be a daunting topic – portion control.
Whether you’re looking lose weight or just crowd out some of the “junk” these are 6 tips that anyone can benefit from. Even if you’ve seen these tips before, it always helpful to have reminders to let them really sink in.
Enjoy and be sure to tell us what you think!
Meg + Shannon Sullivan
Reducing or limiting the amount of food that you eat is essential to creating sustained weight loss, especially if you are accustomed to overeating.
You don’t need to measure your portions or count calories to maintain control over the amount of food that you eat.
Below are 6 simple ways to reduce your food intake without feeling hungry or deprived.
By eating slowly and chewing your food thoroughly, you allow your stomach the time to signal your brain when it is full and that takes about 20 minutes. If you rush through your meal and gulp down your food, you override your body’s natural satiety mechanism and eat more food than you need, which will cause you to gain weight.
Eating quickly is an unconscious habit, which you can only break by bringing it to your conscious awareness.
The best way that I have found to do this is to sit quietly before you eat a meal, close your eyes if possible and take 5-8 deep breaths and then start eating. This will provide the optimum environment for you to properly digest your food, eat less and eventually lose weight.
Eat only when you are hungry
Eating only when you are hungry naturally limits the amount of food that you eat and puts you in touch with your body’s true need for food.
If you eat a lot of processed junk food with empty calories, you will continually be hungry and overeat as these foods do not satisfy your hunger and actually make you crave more food.
The same is true for diet sodas or any product with artificial sweeteners. These have been marketed as “diet” foods, which will help you lose weight, but they have been scientifically proven to increase your hunger and make you gain weight.
Reducing the amount of processed and sugary foods is the # 1 way to lose weight and allow you to get back in touch with your true hunger.
If you are eating when you are not hungry for emotional reasons, start to become aware of what situations and emotions cause you to reach for comfort food, by keeping a journal and noting what thoughts and emotions preceded your urge to overeat.
When a trigger thought or emotion occurs again, stop, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself, “Am I hungry?” Or ” Do I truly need to eat this food?”
Substitute an activity which will take your mind off eating the tempting food, such as simple deep breathing, turning on some music and dancing for a few minutes, calling a friend or taking a short walk.
Stop when you are full
From the time we are children, we are trained to eat everything on our plate, but as adults we can train ourselves to stop when we are full or even a bit before we are completely full and leave the food on our plate.
This is a very effective way to reduce the amount of food that you eat. You can save the food for later as I often do and eat it if you are truly hungry or just throw it out. It’s better than eating beyond your satiety point, which will cause you to weight gain. This takes practice until it becomes a habit.
Put a moderate amount of food on a small plate.
Take moderate portions of food and put it on a small plate. This “smaller plate” trick does work. It looks like your have more food than you really do and this naturally limits your portion size without strict measuring. Fill the plate to the limit if you want to but don’t eat more than that.
Don’t eat out of a bag or a box
This is a great way to prevent yourself from overeating. If you sit with an open bag or box of anything – healthy or not – especially if it is tasty, you will keep eating it until half or the whole bag is gone – believe me, I have done it. I realized that this is a very dangerous thing to do.
I love blue corn chips and cashew nuts and these are healthy foods, but they have a lot of calories and I don’t want to eat too much of them at a time.
If I have the bag in front of me, I will keep eating them and can’t stop, so I decided to put a reasonable amount in a small container or on a plate, close the bag and only eat that amount.
That is natural portion control and it works.
Eat a greater portion of cooked vegetables and salad and smaller portions of high fat meat, cheese, simple carbohydrates like bread and white pasta and processed foods and sweets.
This increases the amount of healthy and non-fattening food that you eat and limits the amount of unhealthy and weight producing food that you eat.
It’s not just the amount of calories you consume that cause you to gain weight, it’s the type of food that you eat.
I eat a lot of vegetables both cooked and raw, healthy grains like quinoa and brown rice, low fat meat, turkey, ham, chicken, fish and low fat dairy, nuts and seeds, nut butters, soy and almond cheese, gluten free bread, beans, olive and coconut oil and though some of these foods have a lot of calories and fat, I don’t gain weight; in fact I lost 50 pounds by just eating healthy food.
What I don’t eat is any processed white sugar, white flour junk food with processed oils or high-fat meat and dairy, all of which will put weight on you immediately. It’s these foods that are causing the epidemic of obesity in our society and around the world.
Miranda Adani is a weight loss and healthy eating coach specializing in working with women over 50. Inspired by her own weight loss and healthy eating journey, she created the program Fabulous Weight Loss for women over 50. Miranda belives that women over 50 have a second life ahead of them and that they should go into looking, feeling, and being fit and fabulous without having to wait to lose the weight. For more information on Miranda and her work as well as a free gift, check out www.fab-weightloss.com.