Friday, September 10, 2010

PORTION CONTROL- Eat what you want, when you want!

It is a comment thought process for people trying to lose weight or eat healthier that you can't have the good stuff! WRONG. I'm going to talk about how you can eat what you want, when you want to, and how to stay slim or still shed pounds! Let's begin with the first fault of many (what I like to call) "chronic dieters"."Dieting" is where people make the first wrong decision. You are setting yourself up for failure. Why? Because you are telling yourself that you only need to "eat right" or  limit your food intake for a certain amount of time and when you either: A. Get discouraged because you're not losing weight fast enough and quit  or B. Lose a few pounds and go back to eating like a slob, it just doesn't work for the long run. It frustrates me when people think that "diets" and "temporary restriction" are the thing to do. I disagree with the process of "dieting" and "fasting.. I believe that an entire lifestyle change needs to take place to be healthy, stay healthy, and obtain PERMANENT weight loss goals. During this process of a lifestyle change, there is no need to cut out the things you enjoy, it's about eating them in smaller portions, and not going overboard.

Let's start with why diet's fail: First off, diets fail because most people get impatient with the fact that they are not losing weight fast enough for their expectations. Let me say this: Medically (per doctors and professional opinions) and nutritionally speaking, it is NEVER healthier to lose more than 2 pounds of fat a week. Period. Fluid is different (we can get to that another time). People feel that if they haven't lost twenty pounds in a week or two that their "diet" isn't working and they say "screw it!" Now that your body has pretty much been deprived of the good stuff for the interim of this "diet" phase, you are going to not only go back to eating normally the way you did before, but you will binge on the things that you didn't allow yourself during that period of time. Between that and the messing  with your metabolism during your temporary period of not eating very much, you will gain more weight than you initially lost. This is why people get frustrated. It doesn't have to be this way, next topic, how to make that lifestyle change work for you!

So how do you really make a long term change that will work for you? Simple. Setting small goals and obtaining them one at a time. You can't set yourself up and say "I want to lose thirty pounds in one month" and then when it obviously doesn't happen give up. You need to set small goals first and once you achieve those, go on to bigger ones. When you achieve the small ones, you will easily see that you are capable of following through and you will be more motivated to continue. It's not about cutting out the "junk food". It is about limiting your portions of it so that you can still have it, and enjoy it. I'm going to start with some examples.

An example of what you would eat now:
3 pieces of fried chicken, a large side of mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and for dessert, a large slice of chocolate cake. (yes I am referring to the typical KFC meal).

Instead, you should eat:
A 5 oz piece of grilled chicken breast, a small portion of roasted potatoes, and a vegetable of your choice, and for dessert, 2 chocolate chips cookies OR a small brownie.

Now that is just a very specific example, but there are so many simple ways to change your diet permanently that will benefit you in more ways that you can imagine in the long run. Here is a list of small things you can do to change your eating habits and lifestyle, long term. 

1. MY NUMBER ONE RULE: Eat small portions all day long. Instead of having 2 or 3 massive meals, eat small meals and have healthy snacks all day! Have a healthy breakfast, a balances lunch and dinner, and incorporate a healthful snack in between each meal. Not only will this satisfy cravings, but it will keep your metabolism constantly on the move! I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but small meals. I snack on granola bars, trail mix, fruit, veggies, all day long! My metabolism is constantly moving, and yours can too if you do the same! Not to mention, your blood sugar stays stable which will help you stay more alert throughout the day!
2. Don't let any of your food portions on the plate touch each other. This will serve the purpose of smaller portion sizes.
3. Limit your foods to one lean protein (meat, fish, tofu, etc.), one starch/carb (whole wheat rice/pasta, etc), and one green veggie (broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, etc).
4. Avoid fried foods, ESPECIALLY when you're not frying them yourself. In restaurants and fast food chains, foods are normally fried in animal fat and icky oils that contain trans fat and all sorts of gross stuff! If you do enjoy the occasionally fried food, fry it in olive oil. I LOVE fried zucchini and fried eggplant, I bread them with breadcrumbs and fry them in olive oil, it is a much healthier alternative to other fried foods when you have the craving for something fried.
5. Again, avoid red meat. No more than once or twice a week TOTAL. Switch to lean proteins, such as chicken and turkey BREAST, lean pork, and tofu.
6. Cut out sodas. And I don't even mean replace them with diet soda, they aren't that great either (that's another topic). If you are one of those people that is always craving something fizzy, try carbonated flavored waters and mineral waters. NOTE: You CAN occasionally have  a soda (limit to one or two cans a week), there is nothing wrong with that, the point of this is for people that drink soda on a regular basis, those calories really add up and CAN be avoided!
7. Incorporate more water into your diet. That will just benefit anyone in general. Note: do not OVER hydrate, this can deplete your body of vital vitamins and minerals.
8. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables. Instead of eating snacks that are rich in sugar and starches, grab a banana or some grapes. People that eat the recommended amount of fruits and veggies naturally have a lower body weight than those who don't. (Just fyi). Great snacks: Carrots and light ranch, apples and light caramel, celery and PB, etc.
9. If you normally eat a whole bag of cookies or potato chips in a night or two, ration them. Limit yourself to say, 3 cookies or 20 chips a day, with a small glass of milk or some salsa. If you like Ice cream, have a small cup full instead of an entire bowl. If you like Brownies, have ONE, no larger than size of your palm. Have these goodies a few nights a week (even every night wouldn't hurt in SMALL amounts). So you aren't feeling deprived of the good stuff. On the opposite nights (or to substitute for the sweets), have a bowl of fruit with fat free whipped cream, so you can still have you "sweets. 
9. Limit alcohol consumption. Those calories will definitely add up and bloat you!

There are so many ways to enjoy your food and not over do it. Remember. It's not about a temporary diet, it's about a permanent lifestyle change and allowing yourself a little bit of EVERYTHING. 


1 comment:

  1. This is the way I naturally eat: small portions throughout the day. When I have a day where I don't eat and I binge on a huge meal (usually something extremely fatty, like fried chicken or a huge steak or a half rack of ribs) then I feel sick. My eating habits, however, conflict with my husband's (who prefers three squares a day) because when he wants a big dinner, I'm just not that into it or he nags me when he catches me snacking because he thinks it's "unhealthy"!