You Are Exactly What and How Much
Sometimes, hunger is actually thirst in disguise. If you ignore the signs of thirst for more than a few hours, your body starts to send out ravenous hunger signals instead which could have you finishing that over-sized portion instead of quenching your thirst. To avoid getting mixed signals, here are some smart tips to controlling your portions and false hunger at home and when you go out to eat:
Drink Water. Have a glass of water before and during your meal. Dehydration can be mistaken for hunger. Drinking a glass of water before your meal may fill you up before your plate reaches the table.
Out of sight, Out of mind. Leaving the extras in the kitchen instead of on the dining room table will keep you from mindlessly helping yourself to seconds or thirds. Try never to leave snacks on the counter because if you see them, your brain immediately thinks “I’m hungry” and you believe it, even if it’s not true.
Don’t eat straight out of the package. If you’re eating chips and salsa, or veggies and hummus, put a couple of tablespoons of the salsa or hummus in a small bowl and add a few chips or veggies on a small plate. If you start eating out of the package, you don’t know how much you’ve consumed until the bag is gone.
Eat more slowly. If you’re on a time crunch, sometimes you inhale your food so quickly you barely remember what you’ve eaten. This trend continues even when there’s not a reason to eat fast and eating fast means you’re not paying attention to your body signaling you’re full. Chew your food and put your fork down between bites. It will help with your digestion and you’ll be aware of what your body is telling you.
Fill at least half of your plate with veggies. You can never eat too many vegetables. Okay, you can, but filling half of the plate leaves little room for excess of anything else. You’ll fill the other half with healthy fats and lean proteins for a complete meal that should fill you up proportionately.
Choose your snacks wisely. Snacking in between meals is ok, if you’re choosing the right snacks. Picking a protein, fiber and carbohydrate like an apple with peanut butter will fill you up better than chips and dip or cookies.
Being mindful of your choices and listening to what your body is telling you will help keep your portions in control and keep your waistline from expanding.
Stay tuned because in the future we will go into more depth on how to determine appropriate portion sizes and quality foods.