Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Just a Thought

I got an e-mail today that had the following quote in it and I thought I would share it because I think it's perfect for those of us trying to lose weight:

Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is a quiet voice at the end of the day, saying…"I will try again tomorrow."

~Mary Anne Radmacher

If nothing else, my (very long and continuing) weight loss journey has taught me that it is always important to just keep trying. Have a bad hour? That doesn't mean you give up on the whole day. Have a bad day? Doesn't mean you give up on the week - you get the point. I know that there have been many days where I have over-eaten or over-indulged and thought to myself, well, the whole day is blown now, I might as well eat whatever I want! This is definitely not the attitude to have. The important thing is to keep on trying - there is always tomorrow!! One setback - one too many slices of cake/pizza/cookies/etc. doesn't make you a failure - as long as you try again tomorrow. What is that old saying? Quitters never win and winners never quit - that's how I plan on approaching my weight loss journey - just keep trying and don't give up. Eventually, I know I will get there!

So now that I have gotten THAT out of my system - it appears that today is my one day for Subway cookies. BUT I did manage to drink my 6c of water AND make it to the gym, so the day wasn't a total failure.

I came across this article today and I thought it was really interesting and definitely rang true for me - portion control is definitely one of my biggest challenges. I love food. I love everything about it - the smell, the look, the taste - so I want to get as much of it as I can. As horrible as it is to admit this, there have even been times (yes, plural) where I have eaten so much that I have actually made myself sick - LITERALLY in the bathroom, over the toilet SICK. The shame and guilt I felt during those events just hammer home the point to me about the importance of proper portion control. As my WW leader always says, it's not like you are never going to have it again!! There is no need eat so much you make yourself sick. Anyway, I digress - here are the tips from the article - I hope you get something from them.

8 ways to reduce your portions

1. Wait 10 Minutes

This is one that is really hard for me. It is a scientific fact that it takes your stomach at least 10min to register it is full and relay that message to your brain. That is why it is important to stop and rest and think about whether or not you REALLY need to eat more. I have always been a fast eater, and the fact that I love food so much just makes it worse. I eat as much as I can as fast as I can and then end up stuffed. I am really working on slowing myself down and taking time to eat my meal. I try to take a serving, eat it slowly, then THINK about whether I am really hungry for more (as in actual hunger) or whether I just WANT more because it is good.

2. Leave the "clean plate" club

This one kind of ties in to #1. Just because you have x amount of food on your plate doesn't mean you need to eat that much. Listen to your body and when it says you are satisfied, push the plate away! I know this one is especially hard for some people who really don't like to waste food. Here are a couple of my own suggestions for dealing with this one. I'm sure you've heard this one before, but if you are eating out, chances are the portion you get will be at least twice as much as you need, so ask for a take out container right away and put half your meal in it. Out of sight, out of mind (I'm still working on this one myself). If you are at home, serve yourself less the first time around. If you are truly hungry after that, you can always have seconds - but overfilling your plate makes it more likely you will eat it all.

3. Never eat straight from a bag, box or carton.

Take your serving out of the container and put the rest away. Again, out of sight, out of mind. This also helps to prevent mindless snacking in front of the tv - that bag of chips can be gone in no time without you even realizing it. Instead, put the amount you want to eat in a bowl - when it's gone, your done.

4. Like big? Then go for the healthy stuff.

This is one that I have heard over and over in a variety of forms. Fill half your plate with vegetables first, then the higher fat & calorie foods on the rest of the plate. Start your meal with a large salad or bowl of soup (broth based - sorry cream doesn't count!) to avoid over eating during the main course. If you are planning on going out to a party/dinner/wedding/insert challenging event here and are afraid of the foods that will be served or being able to control yourself, eat a large salad or bowl of soup just before you leave - again, you'll be less likely to overindulge if you don't arrive starving!

5. Think small

This one talks about using smaller plates for your meals (lunch/sandwich plate instead of dinner plate). The theory behind this is that if you use a smaller plate, it automatically helps to control your portions while visually, you still see a full plate. Also included in this is opting for smaller sizes of high fat/calorie foods - e.g. small fries vs medium - junior hamburger vs. a regular one, etc.

6. Put away leftovers before eating

That way, if you want seconds, at least you'll have to actually get off your butt to get it.

7. Choose single serve

The grocery stores are FILLED with "snack packs" and single serving options. While many don't like them because of the excess packaging, they do help to control how much you eat. Basically it makes #3 irrelevant. One thing to watch with this one: some studies have shown that people tend to actually OVER eat with the single serve, 100 cal. packs because they are so convenient and accessible. Just make sure to STICK to the one package and you should be fine - just because they are only 100cals each doesn't mean you need to eat 3 of them in a sitting.

8. End with fruit

This is one that I have found to be helpful for me. I always find that after a meal I crave something sweet. Instead of turning to typical desserts that are much higher in fat (think ice cream, cookies, candy, etc.), have a piece of fruit instead. It should satisfy your sweet tooth with much fewer calories and many more nutrients. I find it best to keep things on hand so that they are ready for you. If I have to wash the grapes or cut up the pineapple, I am more likely to turn to the fast and easy chocolate bar or bowl of ice cream. If the fruit is already in the fridge and ready to go, you're more likely to take advantage of it.

Have some great portion control tricks of your own? I'd love to hear them!! Please feel free to comment - we can all use new ideas!

(**Please note: the eight portion control points are straight from the article, and the rest is a combination of their explanations and my own ideas - please no one sue me for copywright or plagarism or anything!)

That's it for today - and remember: tomorrow is another day! JUST KEEP TRYING!

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