This is a follow up to How to Lose Weight Eating What You Love: How I Lost 60 Pounds. I didn't count calories or fats or weigh my food. I simply ate less food and have been free from diet rules ever since. Here I will discuss the tips I used to lose 60 pounds and maintain for 17 years and counting.
TIP 1: Listen to Hunger and Fullness
Unlike my childhood and teenage years, when I naturally ate moderately and maintained a healthy weight, as a young adult I didn't have my wonderful mom making my school lunch and putting appropriate portions on my dinner plate. I was free to eat what I wanted, as well as how much of it I desired and . . . apparently I desired way too much. I found myself in the yo-yo cycle of binging and dieting.
I had forgotten the skill we are are all naturally born with that tells us when to eat and when to stop. I had to relearn how to listen to my body's signals, that feeling in the gut that tells you you are truly hungry, and that sensation that gently nudges at you to stop eating. I didn't always get it right, but over time I learned to listen to my body. I discovered I really didn't like being overly full. Yuck! I also learned that food tastes so much better when you are truly hungry.
There are varying levels of hunger, as well as fullness. When trying to lose weight it is best to stop eating when you are just barely full. Some call it "politely" full. When maintaining, you can sometimes go a little beyond politely full.
You may not be truly hungry for more than once slice of pizza. Eat it slowly and enjoy every bite!
TIP 2: Small Portions
Clearly eating less food means smaller portions. When I started losing weight, I cut my portions in half. Instead of a whole sandwich, I ate a half. Instead of a full bowl of cereal, I ate a half bowl. I sometimes ordered kids meal portions at restaurants. It didn't matter to me that there wasn't as much as I'd "like" to eat. I got to eat whatever I wanted! And by the way, the more fat your body has stored, the less hungry you might be. Your body "wants" to shed those excess pounds. Sometimes a thin person will be hungrier than an overweight person and not gain weight by eating twice as much as the overweight person who is only hungry for a small portion.
TIP 3: Use Small Plates and Bowls
By starting with a small plate, you're less likely to overfill it, and you won't mentally feel like you're missing out on anything by seeing all empty space on your big plate. If you're going to have ice cream, use a teeny bowl, like the ones the cooking shows use to hold pre-measured ingredients. I use them all the time.
TIP 4: Slow Down
It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it is full. Do you know how much food one can consume in 20 minutes? By the time many people realize they're full, they're often way beyond full. By eating slowly, you can experience that fullness sensation before you overdo it.
Think of your meal as an experience. If you are with others, enjoy their company. Converse with them and take small bites. Chew thoroughly and savor each morsel. Take in the scenery around you and make your dining experience about more than ingesting food. You might put your fork down on occasion to help slow yourself down. Take a sip of your beverage and inhale a deep breath or two. Whatever you do, do it slowly and enjoy the overall experience.
TIP 5: Eat the Best First
Since you might not eat everything on your plate, make sure you eat the best first. Eye your plate for the best bites of your favorite foods and leave the less appealing parts for last. For instance, if I'm eating BBQ chicken, baked beans and corn on the cob, I'll certainly go for more of the chicken than anything else, particularly the dark meat. I like baked beans okay, so I'll take some bites of those. If the corn is particularly good, I'll probably eat a lot of that, too, as long as it's slathered with butter! If I'm full before my plate is empty, my dish will probably have some baked beans left over, and maybe some white meat.
Yes, you can eat steak. Take some home for later, though.
TIP 6: You Can Always Eat More Later
One of the things that was revolutionary to me and really helped me stop eating was the reality that I can always eat again later. This helped when I really, really want to keep eating even though I knew I was full. The realization that there will always be food to be had, any time I was truly hungry for it, often gave me the courage to push the plate away.
TIP 7: Make Your Food Unappetizing
When you are at home and decide to stop eating, you have the ability to remove the temptation. Just take your plate away from the table. However, when you are dining at a restaurant, and you know that yummy plate of food will be staring at you for a while, make it unappetizing. Lay a napkin over it or pour some water over it. Do whatever you need to do to keep yourself from taking another bite.
Share your food, eat slowly and enjoy the dining experience
TIP 8: Share
One of the easiest ways to control portions at a restaurant is to share. Assuming you and someone you are with can agree on the rack of ribs, you will have a much better chance of not overeating if you start with half a portion to begin with. And we all know restaurants typically bring two, if not three or four times the portion any human ought to eat anyway.
TIP 9: Take Out Containers
When your body says you're politely full, push your food away and ask for a take out container. Now you get to enjoy that amazing pasta dish all over again!
If you don't trust yourself to stop when you're full, ask for a take out container when your food first arrives. Fill it with half or more of your meal before you take your first bite.
TIP 10: Better to Waste Food Than Add it To Your Waist
Sometimes we don't have the option of taking our left over food home. If we are going to a movie or perhaps staying in a hotel we might not be able to take food with us. Or maybe we ate most of our meal and figure we might as well eat the last little bit. After all, you don't want to be wasteful, right? Well, let me ask you this. Would you rather waste food or add that food to your waist? That's really the choice you are making when you eat food you know will be thrown out otherwise.
Hopefully some of these tips will be useful to you in your quest to control your portions. Sometimes it takes practice and you may not always get it right, but the great thing is, you can start over. Don't beat yourself up if you blow it. Just begin again and wait for true hunger. The point here is, you really can eat what you love. Everything in moderation.
For even more practical tips to help you eat less read Lose Weight with Portion Control. Intermittent fasting is another trick I implement in my weight management. Check out Intermittent Fasting for Health and Weight Loss to learn more.
Great Resources for Weight Loss
Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat, by Michelle May MD rates highly with Amazon reviewers and is on the Best Books of 2013 So Far list by Amazon editors.
Stop the "eat, repent and repeat" cycle by learning how to have a healthy relationship with food.
No more rigid rules ... oh how I love this part. I am an avid diet rule rebel! I lost 60 pounds eating foods I love and highly recommend kicking those stupid diet rules in the booty!
Reviews are filled with success stories of not only weight loss, but exhilarating freedom in eating foods they love while shedding unwanted pounds.
Stop being afraid of food and start eating mindfully and joyfully.
Thin Within, by Judy and Arthur Halliday also made Amazon editors Best Books of 2014 list and rates highly by reviewers as well.
This husband and wife team provide a 30 day guide to "freedom from concerns about food, eating, and your body", and offers Biblical principals to dealing with struggles many of us have with food. It also teaches us that God gave us food to actually enjoy.
Thin Within rates highly among Amazon reviewers, I can personally recommend it as well.
More Blissful Miss Weight Loss Resources
- How to Lose Weight Eating What You Love: How I Lost 60 Pounds
- Lose Weight with Portion Control
- Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss and Health
Written by Jenna Dawn ©
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