By Laurel House
Stop stressing about losing weight. That won't get you anywhere. In fact, stress can actually contribute to weight gain! Instead, take control… portion control, and you will finally have those fab abs and lean thighs that you have been, well, stressing about.
If you're like me, you were raised with the "finish everything on your plate" mantra from your mom. And there was actually a reason for it. No, it wasn't to stuff your face every night, filling your gut to the gills, and it wasn't really because she was concerned about the starving children in Africa (though that is definitely an issue). Instead she was suggesting that you only serve yourself what you will eat. Problem was, your eyes have grown to be bigger than your stomach. And that's where portions sizes come into play.
Here are 4 tips to help curb your food enthusiasm and stay slim throughout the year:
1. Practice Portion Control
Read and memorize the basic principles of portion control:
-Cornbread= a bar of soap
-Pancake= a CD
-Baked Potato= a fist (or a tennis ball for people with very large fists)
-Cheese= a thumb (or a pair of dice for someone with a huge thumb)
-Ice Cream= a tennis ball
-Steak or Chicken= a deck of cards
-Butter= the size of a stamp with the thickness of a finger (a little finger)
-Chocolate= a pack of dental floss
2. Choose a Smaller Plate
Instead of a big "dinner" plate, serve up your meal on a smaller "salad" plate. It's probably the easiest way to trick your brain into thinking that you are consuming lots of food, while really eating only a little... or at least less. But here's are 2 essential secrets to remember:
- Don't make up for a lack of circumference by adding inches to the top and piling on the food like a pyramid!
-Don't go back for seconds to make up for the decrease on size.
-Go To Bed (just slightly) Hungry
Now, I'm not saying go to bed starving! Just a little hungry that's all. You see, if you are a tad overweight, your body is used to consuming a specific amount of calories to support your current state of weight. If you cut your calorie count, you will likely feel it at first. It takes a few days for your body to readjust to the new norm. Again, not saying not to eat, or that you should go to bed starving, or that you should be on the verge of passing-out-hungry.
That whole "5 small meals" thing actually works. If you eat several small meals instead of 3 big meals, you are keeping your metabolism stoked and continuously burning a higher rate of calories throughout the day. Therefore you will likely burn more fat and lose more weight even if, all in, you are eating slightly more food. The idea is to never feel full, but also never feel famished. Try to stay pretty even throughout the day. Yes- graze! Just make sure you are grazing on healthy food and not junk.
Practice portion control and you will maintain, if not lose weight… and maybe even feed a few hungry children in Africa.
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