When you go out to eat at almost ANY restaurant, the plate of food that you order is almost ALWAYS more than the suggested serving size. As a culture we are all wanting to get the best and the most we can out of our money. But is that necessarily the healthiest thing for you?
One of the things you can do to help you start learning what is enough is learning what the correct portion sizes are! You can look at my post HERE to get a sense of what is the correct portion size for most meals.
Learning what your body NEEDS and not what you want (or what you are craving) is a hard thing to do! Some people crave food because food can be a comfort for them. Emotional eating is one of the top listed reasons as to why most people gain the unwanted weight that they do. To get over this, it helps to plan out your meals, try to have a variety of items when you do eat meals and snacks, and learn your biological food clock. This “clock” is the indication of when you should eat food to nourish and replenish the body. Not just because it is 3:00 and you want a candy bar.
Example…here is my biological food clock…
I usually get up around 7AM. When I wake up in the morning I usually eat within 1 hour of waking up. If not, my stomach will be sure to let me know.
I always have a mid morning snack around 10 AM. This snack is a SMALL snack (which is about 300 calories). It is only a filler until lunch time which is around 12:30.
After lunch I usually have a mid afternoon snack around 3. This is an important snack for me because I usually work out around 5 so this snack usually has a few more calories to help me through the day and to help me through my workout.
After my work out I usually have dinner. Depending on how heavy or light my lunch was will depend on how heavy or light my dinner is. When I refer to how “heavy or light” it is I am speaking of if I have a meal with a lot of meat and starches for one meal I will try to refrain from having those things again with the next meal.
Learning your clock will take some time and you will have to learn what it feels like to eat until you are satisfied. If you feel full or over embellished with your meal you have eaten more than you should have.
Another thing to be mindful of is what your body is telling you…not necessarily how full or empty your plate it.
If I have prepared a meal with correct portion sizes and I get done, I usually have something to drink to make sure that I am satisfied. If I still have an unsatisfying feeling I will add a few more veggies or something not so “heavy” to my plate. I am NOT a big fan or advocate of starving yourself if you have reached your daily calorie intake. But if you do consume those extra calories you have to be mindful to eat healthy things that will not make you regret eating the extra food.
It is also suggested that if you start to get on a regular eating schedule it will be easier for you to know how to handle your cravings and how to consume your meal portions correctly. Also, DRINK WATER!! It may be a form of cheating…but it has also been found that if you consume water regularly through your meal it will help you to realize that your stomach is full and to help limit the probability that you will overeat during your meal.
Here is an important tip for those who go out to eat regularly…when you order your meal, as soon as it comes to the table split the meal in HALF! Only eat HALF of your meal. If it is hard for you to stick with that ask your waiter for a to go box before you start to eat and put half of the meal in the to go box so you do not have to see it on your plate. This will not only help you stick to your portion sizes but it will also help you to have another meal for the next day!
Hope that some of these tips helped you to get a better understanding what kind of eating habits you have. It is about eating food that will satisfy and nourish your body. Consuming excessive amounts of food helps to account for gained weight. Embarking on your own health and fitness journey will take a lot of work until you get use to your body and what you need!