Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Eating Three Bites Less


Want to look better in your bathing suit, run faster, and just generally have more energy? Most of us would say a resounding YES! YES! YES!

As athletes, and those that want to be fit, getting to our ideal "race weight" is an issue we start thinking about this time of year. Easter (and plenty of Easter candy) is right around the corner, and it's a great time to look at what habits are helping us get where we want to be, and which are holding us back.

In general, our society has greatly distorted our view of a correct portion size. That fact, combined with your Mother always telling you to clean your plate, has lead to most of us making sure that even if we are full, we still leave our plate very empty and squeeky clean.

At some point we stopped listen to our bodies and started using other cues to decide when we would take our final bite. It could be anything from cleaning our plate, eating because we are depressed, bored or even just getting used to that "overfull" feeling. In this world of busy lifestyles, where eating while driving our kids to soccer practice, while talking on the phone has become the norm, who has time to actually slow down and enjoy our food - right?!

The answer is - YOU DO! What if I told you that you could change your life by just slowing down to enjoying your food and listening to your body? Would you believe me? It's time to start retraining our bodies and minds to listen to the signals and stop eating BEFORE we are over-stuffed and wanting to fall off our chairs!

Some people have actually learned to put their fork down and wait for a few seconds between bites to help regulate this process. Considering that it takes about twenty minutes for your stomach to let your mind know "Hey, I'm all good down here, no need to send anything else this way - I'm full," it can work really well to just slow down and savor each bite! Before you know it, the signal has been sent and it's ok to eat a little less on your plate and that can save you calories you really don't need in the first place (plus it can provide more leftovers for lunch!).

It may take some getting used to in the beginning, but in the end, one simple habit could really save you hundreds of calories over time leading to pounds of weight loss per year. Start small and work your way toward healthy weight loss. Other great tips for healthy (and modest) weight loss include:

  • Using smaller bowls and plates
  • Adding a salad or broth based soup before your main meal
  • Not going food shopping on an empty stomach
  • Refusing to "drink" your calories (i.e. remove regular soda & other high calorie drinks)
  • Have a protein source at every meal
  • Include more fruits and vegetables at every meal, increasing your fiber & your satiety

Hopefully, you can add a little spring to your step and lose a little extra from your waistline with these healthy tips! Don't forget to get out there and exercise a little too!


Christi said...

Great tips! I am working very hard to change my eating habits and so far so good!

I remember a commercial on Armed Forces Network (AFN) when I was stationed in Germany. The commerical was basically said "don't shop when you're hungry, no, no, no!" That goes through my mind every time I go to shop and reminds me to listen to my stomach before shopping!

Michelle Simmons said...

YES! Well said.

Courtenay said...

Thanks for these great tips! Way better than staring in the mirror and being like "that's it, only celery until Thursday." ;)

m said...

Great tips Kim. Most are so simple, yet so many people want to turn to "quick fixes".

The protein with every meal and snack is a good one--I've found that this helps me not go grazing for candy.

Susan Kelley said...

Kim, really good advice. One of the primary things we did at our house to make sure we aren't "boredom eaters" is restrict all of our meals to the kitchen/dining room. If I want to eat, it has to be in there. No other room, no taking food out of the kitchen, no exceptions.
The same thing applies when we are out - nothing "to go" unless it is leftovers from a good meal. No eating on the run, in the car, while walking - ever.
If the kids and I take the time to slow down and eat, we make better choices all the way around!

Teresa said...

Great reminders! Thanks girl!