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All the talk about portion control and the tips as to what proper portions really are, has brought up a question. My family is full of big eaters. Many of our old bad habits are changing since my husband was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. But here's the thing, how do you teach them (and me) how to be full on smaller portions?
I know we've gotten into the typical American habit of, if we don't feel like we're going to pop, we haven't eaten enough. Thank you Buffets! and Super-sizers! We all talk about how we hate that feeling but still insist on feeling that way. Any tips?
Sarah from Berrien Springs, MI
I exercise and daily walk on a motorized treadmill twice a day at 30 minute intervals. So I walk 60 minutes for 6 days a week. I usually walk in the morning and in the afternoon.
I've noticed that I eat less when I exercise. Also I've set my mind not to overeat because I work too hard exercising, and I'm not exercising for nothing.
Too many of us women think that we can keep up with men by eating as much as they do. Well, we can't because our overeating will lead to OBESITY, and numerous MEDICAL PROBLEMS.
I also cut out sugar loaded desserts and I've noticed a considerable change since I'm starting to look thinner.
It takes about 20 mins for your brain to say FULL after you have eaten ... so with that in mind do like the French and have more than ONE course. Serve them separately (this slows the meal down), even if you end up using the same plate.
DO NOT HAVE A TV ON: The TV tends to numb us to what we are doing, and we shove food into our mouths and don't notice.
Slowing down the meal is hard, because we tend to want to eat fast and watch TV etc. Turn on music, really try to come up with ideas to talk about, this may mean checking out the weather, news, jokes etc before dinner. Talking slows the meal down, this gives the tummy time to say "I'm full"
Serve from the kitchen, this gives you better control of portions.
Put away extras in plastic containers for lunches etc - don't leave on stovetop etc or they will get noshed on.
When plating the meal, leave space between the items, it tends to make each part of the meal look nicer too.
If you have sauce, gravy put it on the dish in the kitchen, this way if they really want more THEY have to get up and get it.
PLATES: having a smaller plate gives the impression that you have more.
Put a pitcher of ice water to the table, I noticed when I did this everyone drank more water.
Start with soup at every meal (during the winter this is great because it also helps you keep warm). Try to keep the cream of X soups out of the menu. The crockpot is very handy and it will use up odds and ends of meals.
AVOID store bought soups - tons of salt
Then salad - add a little water to salad dressing to thin it down, then pour it down the sides of the salad bowl, mix the salad well - you shouldn't need to add more (saves calories)
For main meal make at least 2 veggies:
Watch out for the butter, sourcream etc those are extra calories. Use garlic, onions and spices to flavor veggies. If you put a little olive oil in pan add the spices, onions, garlic it pops the flavors, then add a little butter and the veggies.
A baked potato probably is less potato than if you cut them up for side dish (I know I will eat 1 larger potato, but if doing parsleyed potatoes I probably cut up 5-6 med for the 3 of us).
If you serve bread of any kind, put it on a plate not bringing the whole loaf or pan (I know its more dishes).
Butter or margarine whip is done by adding water and beating the heck out of it .. Soft butter spreads thinner.
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Try The No S Diet
By AUNT ROSE
I've found using smaller plates has helped, or measuring food in 1/2 cup servings, or cutting meat the size of your palm. Also, when you get hungry, drink a glass of water. At restaurants, when you get your meal, ask for a doggy bag at the beginning and place 1/2 of your dinner in it for another dinner the next day or a lunch. (08/03/2005)
First of all, don't think of it as "dieting", think of it as a "lifestyle change". To the average person, they'd think you're trying to starve them, if you show them what amounts of foods they're supposed to eat during each meal. On cereal, for instance, most people eat a whole bowl full, the actual serving is only 1/2 a cup, along with 1/2 cup milk. Instead of having a whole steak for dinner, we're only to have a piece the size of a deck of cards. Instead of a whole baked potato, have 1/2 or 1/3 of it. Instead of butter & sour cream on it, squeeze a piece of lemon over it.
Eat all the green salad you want, but don't cover it in a cup of dressing, or it defeats the purpose of having the salad in the first place. I know a lady who carries in her purse, a bottle of low-cal salad dressing for use at restaurants. The darker the greens for your salad, the better, more nutrients in them. Eat your veggies in the colors of the rainbow: for instance with your meal, have a yellow veggie and maybe a red veggie. Try doing opposites, don't have all your veggies the same color at any meal, mix them up. Be sure to drink your 8 glasses of water a day, to keep hydrated. If you don't, it affects your organs and muscles. It also helps to flush out your body. Limit your sweets, have one a week, instead of one a day. Mexican food, its really fattening, almost everything is fried. About every other month, my hubby and I'll go for a Mexican meal.
Eating right and exercise is the best way I've found to keep the weight from piling on. I used to weigh alot more than what I do now. I read health magazines aand I've also been to a dietician, the best thing I've ever done. My husband's insurance paid for almost the whole thing. Good Luck with your lifestyle change. (08/03/2005)
I can identify with your problem. I have been using a divided plate. In fact, our favorite restaurant, which also serves a buffet allows me to use one. "Our" usual waiter brings it out for me. Best wishes on your resolve. (08/03/2005)
You could take pills to decrease your appetite before eating at the restaurant. I don't know how much time will elapse before your appetite diminishes after taking a pill.
L-Glutamine, 500 mg. should last for approximately 4 hours. Not a good idea for diabetics because they need to eat at certain intervals and this will suppress their appetite. But if you are eating from sheer enjoyment, this pill may not make much difference.
You could make it a point to always have some left over for another meal. You could eat slower. When you are full, but not stuffed you could train yourself to stop eating. My DH is naturally one of those 'full but not stuffed' people, and he has less problems with weight than everyone I know.
You could start thinking of chips as stamped with a skull and crossbones and the word 'poison'.
You could enjoy your salsa with fewer chips, I do this. Instead of dipping a chip in the salsa, eating the whole thing and then taking another chip, I load the chip with as much salsa as I can put on it, take a bite and re-salsa the chip. The salsa isn't unhealthy. The chips are what you need to limit.
I read somewhere that taking a bite of salad, or every other bite as salad, with the entree gives you the flavor and reduces calories. Have tried it at Italian restaurants and it works beautifully.
Look into the side effects of diabetes. (08/03/2005)
One more suggestion. You may be having too many carbs and not enough protein. This would make you lose self control in restaurants. Even if you ate right on Day 2, your body will still be having appetite problems if you ate improperly on Day 1. (08/03/2005)
I drink a large glass of water before I sit down to a meal and I find I eat a lot less. Lots and lots of water throughout the day as well. (08/03/2005)
I can recommend a book "The Weigh Down Diet" by Gwen Schamblin. She has degrees in nutrition. I read it three times. I have been thin for eight years. She has a website too. Just do a search on the word "weigh down diet" and you will find it. (08/03/2005)
I am currently trying to lose weight myself. It seems like I've "dieted" since the 2nd grade. Trust me, that was a while back. I always thought I was eating sensibly, but haven't had any success to speak of, in trimming the pounds. I decided to try forcing the portion control issue by eating only frozen dinner type meals, you know, Lean-Cuisine, Weight-watchers, and Healthy Choice. I've been eating protein meal replacement bars for breakfast with a glass of milk, and trying to eat meals that are well-rounded with veggies and such, no hearty man meals.
I'm in the middle of my 2nd week, and I've lost 4lbs. I also take vitamins and calcium to make sure I'm getting what I need health wise, and I am in the gym 5-6 days a week, lifting weights and walking on the treadmill. If I go out to eat, I try to eat high protein foods, salads, and the like. I hope you find something that works. The older you get the harder it is to lose, and the more important exercise will be to you. Good luck. (08/03/2005)
Well, unfortunately for my waist and pocketbook I could not control protions. I went to Jenny Craig and lost 5 pounds first week and 6 pounds 2nd week. I have a minimum of 150 pounds to lose, so the weight will come off faster for me. Anyway, it is real food and it is good. The chocolate cake, carrot cake, and lemon cakes are the best. A cheap tip if you can do it: It"s all about portions.
So just cut back and drink lots of water and you will feel better also park farther than you used to and just make it a habit it all adds up or down. Good Luck. Support is great to have or be your own best cheerleader. Good luck. (08/03/2005)
Drink a full glass of milk before you sit down to eat. The calcium is a great diet trick and you'll feel fuller. (08/04/2005)
I actually bring my own food container to restaurants, and pack at least half away right at the beginning.
One strategy for eating less is to really enjoy each bite, moving the food around in your mouth and savoring it. Do not put more in your mouth until you have swallowed your entire bite. I know I was surprised at how efficient I had become at stuffing my face. Some people recommend setting your fork down between bites. This will make it take longer to eat the same food, but you will still have food in your mouth the whole time, so it will be just as enjoyable. Supposedly, after 20 minutes, the sugar gets into your bloodstream and you start to feel full regardless of how much you've eaten. Another idea is to have soup before a meal. This has been shown to make people feel full with many fewer calories, including the soup.
Note: I notice that if I eat more than usual for several meals in a row, it takes more to fill me up. I have to eat less for a few meals in a row to get back to normal. So don't worry if you feel deprived the first three days or so, you may feel better afterwards. I alos like the smaller plate or bowl method. (08/04/2005)
When you go to restaurants, bring along someone else who is also watching their weight and order an entree and share it. Yesterday my hubby and I went out to eat and ordered the grilled chicken, BLT which came on a great foccacia roll with a very small order of fries. The sandwich had crisp lettuce and tomatoes, and I ordered the mayo on the side so that I could control the portion. Many times the mayo on the sandwich is such a large portion that the flavor of too much mayo overpowers the other ingredients. Oh yes, we split the french fries one by one. We both left not full but very comfortable. And the price was right.
Good luck. (08/05/2005)
Stop eating when you can no longer taste the food. Years ago I read about someone whose favorite snack was some very high fat ice cream. This person would limit himself to one heaping spoonful. After that, he noticed, the flavor was gone and it wasn't worth the calories and cost to keep on eating it. I have tried this "taste is gone stop eating" trick. Sometimes the taste has to be gone for a few spoonfuls of something, but it's a helpful idea. It stopped me from eating too many chips last time we went out for mexican food. (08/05/2005)
I found out that it helps to order the kid size meals when dining out at fast food places. They are cheaper too. Also at home use kid size plates and bowls. Helped me out alot. (08/05/2005)
I know that Islam gets a lot of bad press lately, but their ancient writings have some interesting concepts with regards to eating. "Too Much Food" is considered on of the 4 main poisons of the heart/soul. Muhammad was quoted as saying "The son of Adam (mankind) fills no vessel more displeasing to God than (man's own) stomach. A few morsels should be enough for him to preserve his strength. If he must fill it, then he should allow a third for his food, a third for his drink and leave a third empty for easy breathing." I know a non-Muslim doctor who has this hanging on his wall. (05/10/2006)
I know eating alot can be a problem. I used to be a person where my stomach was an endless pit. But I ended it by buying less food when I went grocery shopping, and usually in portions. Plus this helped me save money. And after about 3 weeks you get used to eating less and having less urges. With a little help from will power anything is possible. (11/02/2007)
I go out to eat a lot for work and we tend to sit at the table and talk for a while after we are done. If I still have my plate or a basket of bread in front of me, I will keep eating even if I'm not hungry. But if I chew a piece of gum as soon as I start to feel full, the temptation goes away (or at least makes it harder to put food in your mouth). This trick seems to work. And if you know you are going to stay for a while, make the server take your food away so you don't pick at it. (04/11/2008)
I think that the smaller plate works, also I keep a journal of what I eat everyday, sometimes I look at and say "that's a lot of food ", so the next day I try and cut back. (01/10/2009)