Portion size?

I want to emphasize the importance of portion control because this is what caused me to gain so much weight. I have always eaten healthy foods, I watched what I ate, but I ate LARGE portions. As I ate healthy, I didn’t feel guilty eating. I therefore had portions that could perhaps be enough for 2 or even 3 people. No matter how healthy you eat, if you eat large portions, then its hard for you to lose any weight.

A good idea is to change the size of the serving dish in which you eat. A documentary on TV revealed a research they did on the effect of the serving dish size on our appetite. They had children eat a certain amount of cereal in a very large bowl that made the amount of food look very little. The children would almost certainly have a second bowl of cereal. The same set of children were later given the same amount of cereal in a much smaller bowl. The cereal was filled to the top. Children in this case didn’t ask for seconds and were reportedly “full.”

What does this tell us? There may be some psychological effect on our perception of “full” depending upon the size of the serving dish we eat from. Therefore, eating from a small bowl or plate will give you the perception that you are “full” faster. Also, I read somewhere that we don’t associate the color “blue” with food as it is unnatural, so if you ate from a small “blue” plate, you might end up eating very little! (I’ve never tried the “blue,” but I now use smaller plates and bowls and it helps.) Eat healthy and make sure your portion sizes aren’t too big 😀

Watch the calories

Friends have asked me before if counting the calories really work in weight loss. My reply is “YES.” For me it was a big factor in my weight loss. Keep in mind though that just limiting the amount of calories you eat without any exercise will only have some effects in the beginning, but for the weight loss to be sustainable and healthy, it has to be done together with exercise.

To be clear, limiting the amount of calories coupled with exercise is important to a sustainable weight loss. One without the other will not have as good a result. I watched a documentary recently on TV where they took roughly ten unfit people who wanted to change their lives and train for the Boston marathon. Over a period of six months, they trained the participants and had them run miles and miles until they were fit enough to run the Boston marathon (which takes roughly 5 hours!). An interesting fact though is that many of the participants didn’t lose weight throughout the training. The documentary attributes this to the fact that after running, participants continued to eat the same meals as before. Food was not controlled. Therefore, if you run like crazy, but continue to eat food with high calories, it will be very difficult for you to lose weight, even though you are more fit.

I started with switching my full fat milk to O% fat, my yogurt became O% fat, and I watched what kind of drinks I’d buy. The O% milk and yogurt had roughly 30% less calories than their full fat versions! A lot of the drinks available have quite a bit of calories…make sure to read the label! You may be drinking in more calories than you realize. Every little calorie counts and the labels are a great source of information. Weight loss is basically making sure you burn more calories than you consume. If its not worth it, don’t waste your calories on it!