|'love peppers' photography by annmackiemiller|
Become a Savvy Eater
The trick to losing weight and maintaining your target weight lies in becoming conscious of what and how you are eating. We are all guilty of not really paying attention when we are eating - we watch TV, we read a book, we eat at our desk while surfing the net. More often than not that results in over eating. We don't allow our stomach to tell our brain "that's enough". We really don't give our body the respect it deserves, if you allow it, it will tell you what is enough.
So now is the time to start changing your habit from just stuffing your face to slowing down, appreciating the food and paying attention to your body. These simple tips on how to do that will go a long way in recognizing your own strength, your own ability to control your eating.
First of all - sit at a table to eat. I don't actually have a table so I use the other side of my desk to where my computer sits. Note I am not sitting facing the computer. Don't watch TV, don't read, don't use the computer. The aim is to give eating your full attention. I confess, I did/do find it boring. The temptation is to bolt the food just to get on to something else but that actually defeats the purpose. This flows nicely into the next point....
Slow down your eating, chew it thoroughly and allow your mouth to enjoy every mouthful. Swallow every mouthful before your fill your fork for the next one.
After several weeks you might find you are not actually enjoying what you are eating - that is your body telling you it doesn't need that particular food at this time. Some call it intuitive eating and it is certainly something you let your body learn over time. I think you will be surprised that certain foods tend to be less appealing over time.
Both of these will allow you to learn to recognise when your stomach is full. Gradually your stomach will shrink so you will be eating less naturally. If you are not sure if you are full on not, wait a few minutes and then decide. It is amazing how just leaving it a few minutes will make you realise that yes, your stomach is full.
Pay attention to portions. We tend to eat at least double the amount we need at any one time. If necessary eat smaller meals more often rather than one huge meal. There are lots of places on the internet you can find out what constitutes a portion. I was lucky enough to get a set of Rosemary Conely portion pots from a friend. They are in different sizes and are great for measuring out portions especially of dried foods like cereal. You can also find fun portion plates if you don't trust yourself. I know I was shocked at the difference between the size of the portions I was eating regularly and what was a recommended portion for a health adult.
But the easiest thing is simply to cut your usual size meal into two and you probably won't go far wrong. You may need to eat again in a couple of hours but that is ok provided you are paying attention to your over all daily intake.
In another post I'll take a look at what we eat. The old saying, 'you are what you eat' is just as true today as it ever was.
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