I know by the title of this post, some may think I am promoting the wrong thing. I am not promoting you do not eat at all. What I’m suggesting is that you take a look into the portion sizes you need for your body size and type, and be blown away. The portion sizes we eat are far too large to maintain healthy weights. In addition to eating as nutritiously as you can, my advice is to take a look at the amount you’re eating. Of course, if your body is telling you it’s hungry, you should eat! Just be mindful of how much. Here are my tips for eating less:
Bored or Hungry?
I used to be guilty of this. I would be bored at work or in front of the TV and reach for a snack. This is one of the worst habits to have. The amount of unnecessary calories consumed can be endless! And typically, when doing this, you aren’t reaching for the healthy stuff. If you get this feeling, try drinking a glass of water (see next tip) and doing something to un-bore yourself (not sure that’s a word, but you get the idea).
Drink something before eating
This is actually pretty easy. If you’re at a restaurant, they bring you water first anyway. If you’re cooking, trying sipping on something like sparkling water or iced tea. Sparkling water has been a game changer for me. I always opt for a flavored kind and it tastes great. If you reach for iced tea, just be mindful of sugar! The goal is drink eight ounces of liquid, preferably water, ten minutes before you sit down to eat. By doing this, you won’t feel as hungry and therefore are less likely to overeat.
Take 20 to 30 minutes to eat your meal. Take your time chewing and cutting your food. Take sips of water or whatever your drinking in between. They say its takes 30 minutes for your stomach to feel full after its first bite, and its true. So go slow, and you’ll be surprised by how little food you really needed to reach that “full” feeling.
Take an Intermission
This is another tactic at eating slow. But some people swear by it. They’ll eat a quarter to a half of their food then put their silverware down and take a five to ten minute break. They’ll use this time to chat with whomever they’re eating with and drink some water, then continue their meal. This helps you get to the 30 minute mark.
Serve Yourself Less
Put less food on your plate. If you’re still starving after 30 minutes and a glass of water, then you can always serve seconds! Overloading your plate is one of the biggest reasons people overeat. Naturally, we want to eat all that’s in front of us. So serve yourself less!
Also, never have your serving dishes at the dining table. It makes it much easier to serve seconds, or even thirds this way. If you leave them in the kitchen, when you want seconds, you’ll have to do more work for them. Hopefully, this allows you to second guess if you really need them.
Use Smaller Plates
This is obviously only something you can do in your own home. But it works. It’s a mind game. When you use smaller plates, less food fits, but your brain still thinks you’ve got a lot in front of you because the smaller plate is full. You can do this with tupperware, too, for lunches you bring to work.
My boyfriend’s father makes a point to only eat 1/2 of whatever he is served at a restaurant. He will usually take the other half to go and eat it for his next meal or next day. This is is something I’ve adopted and am convinced is genius. By doing this, you’re eating way less, and you get to enjoy a good meal twice! I’ve also ended up saving money this way by getting two meals when before I’d only get one.
There you have it! I hope you are able to use these tips to cut down your portion sizes and eat less. Of course, the most important thing is what you eat, so be mindful of the nutritional value of what you put into your body. There are many great sites that can tell you how many calories you should be eating a day based on your age and height. But, I’ve found my body tells me when its hungry and tend to go off that. Thanks for reading!