DIET FREE Habit 7 – Eat Only Until No Longer Hungry and Then STOP
Wow! Here I am on the second to last week of learning and using the 8 Healthy Habits proposed by Zonya Foco, R.D, in her DIET FREE plan. I can honestly say that the plan has been easy to follow, and it is making a difference in my life. I am now scrupulous in reading food labels and looking for the hidden fats, sugars, and noticing the “chemistry-lab” ingredients. I have been doing a lot more “from scratch” cooking—which really does taste better! Although I did not lose any weight last week, I am holding steady. So what does Zonya have to say this week?
This is the first week she has specifically focused on portion control. As Zonya says, “If we can just get our portions under control, we’ll do a lot better!” But how many of us have lost touch with what really is one “serving” of a particular food? Think about it: our plates, cups, and glasses have become gigantic over the past 10 – 15 years. I remember when a wine glass held 4 oz. of wine; now you could drink a litre in one of those super-sized wine goblets! And how about the portions served in restaurants? Restaurants and fast-food places are notorious for giving us way more than we need.
According to Zonya, we are all born with an innate ability to know when we are full. If you have ever fed a baby, you’ll know that there comes a certain point when the baby just shuts his mouth and refuses to eat any more. But how many of us tried to coax that baby to eat just a little more—to finish the last little bit from the baby food jar? In doing so, we are guilty of teaching that baby to IGNORE his internal portion control meter! And did you grow up in a home where you weren’t allowed to leave the table until you cleaned your plate (even though you had no say in how much was put onto it in the first place!)? We need to re-learn to listen to our internal portion control gauge! If we do, we should go to bed feeling lighter—not STUFFED like we may be feeling now. When you are able to do this, you will notice that weight will naturally start coming off.
Here are a few tricks to try this week:
1. Trade your dinner plate with your salad plate: Eat a dinner-sized salad, and put the rest of your meal on the smaller plate. Then divide that small plate into quarters: ¼ protein, ¼ grain, ½ vegetables.
2. Use big pasta bowls for salad and have the occasional “salad supper.” Add a little protein (think tuna or salmon, lean roasted chicken strips, nuts, etc.), add a whole grain roll, and call it a meal.
3. When eating out, put ½ the meal in a take-out container as soon as the food arrives. You’ll get 2 meals for the price of one, and you’ll eat a reasonable sized meal.
4. Eat slowly, chew well, and savor the flavour of your food. Put down your fork between bites. Sit at the table and turn off the TV or computer! STOP eating when you feel full!
5. Exercise right after you eat. Take a walk; play Frisbee with the kids. If you can’t exercise, you’ve eaten too much!