Weight Loss Tip 3: Portions & Proportions

by Eden Chiuslekuda

(ECCT Natural Health Contributor. For more of her natural health & beauty tips, follow her page, ‘A Corner of Eden’ ).

In this KISS update for 2012 your weight loss tip focuses on changing both the amount of food you eat and increasing the dominance of healthy versus fattening foods on your plate.

  1. USE SMALLER PLATES

 

This may seem silly but just try it.  If you put the same amount of food on a large plate versus a smaller plate, there will appear to be more food on the smaller plate.  Often times we are tempted to just fill empty space on the plate with food in order to feel like we have enough food, or somehow are not starving or being stingy.  As humans we tend to feel uncomfortable with both literal and metaphorical empty space and try to rush in to fill it. (My husband calls this the empty space principle and we will discuss it in more detail when we have the KISS update on emotional eating.)

You don’t have to invest in a whole new dinner set.  Even an inexpensive Kango steel plate will suffice.  Either way – if you start using a smaller plate and you are generous with your food on that plate, you are more likely to eat less food at each meal and still feel satisfied psychologically that you are not somehow depriving yourself.  Needless to say – the less calories you consume over the course of the year, and the more your body adjusts to this reduced intake, the more kilos you will shed, permanently, over the course of the year and your lifetime.

2. EAT LESS FOOD, MORE OFTEN 

Basically, eat small frequent meals.  If you switch from having three large meals a day to having three small meals and two or three healthy snacks, with plenty of water in between each meal period, you ultimately are likely to burn more calories and eat less food.  You will feel like you are getting to eat more food even though you are actually eating less.  Try to keep your larger meals around 500 calories and your snacks under 250.

3. LEARN HOW TO ASSESS YOUR PROPORTIONS PROPERLY

It is actually quite beneficial to learn to measure your food properly.  I am not saying to put every tablespoon of butter you use on a scale first, (although if you have the time it is not a bad way of learning to gauge what 4 ounces of anything actually looks like.) I am saying to learn a few basic facts about food measurements from books, magazines or the internet and write them down in a notebook that you can carry around in your pocket, backpack or handbag.  For example:

–          A  four ounce piece of meat is roughly the size of your palm (unless of course you have basketball player hands in which case it is probably half the size of your hand.)

4. MIND YOUR PROPORTIONS

Vegetables should be your most dominant food group in your overall diet.  You just can never eat too many, and there is an infinite variety to enjoy, cooked or raw, wherever it is that you live.  They can be eaten alone or combined with grains or with animal proteins or plant proteins (like beans.)

A good way to increase your vegetable proportions is to think of meat as a condiment rather than the main meal.  You can start off by limiting yourself to just 4 ounces per sitting and then gradually reducing even that amount.

Having a half a cup of whole grains and then filling the rest of your plate with veggies is an excellent way to balance your plate and lose weight without feeling deprived.  Veggies are full of fiber and water, yet usually have the least amount of calories, so they will help you to feel full without loading you up with all the unhealthy extras.

At ECCT our overall vision is for a healthier nation

In the coming weeks KISS tips 6 and 7 will give you a few more tricks on how to increase your veggie intake in easy and delicious ways.  In the meantime, stay tuned for next week’s update where we will share how adjusting your beverage intake can help you lose weight in 2012.

*Pic sources: Madamenoire.com; WebMD; FreshXpress.com; Zimbojam; CHAARM

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