Houston Forward Times

26 November 2013 Written by  Valecia Weeks

Be Careful How You Gobble

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Time to EAT the house down?  Time to add about 50 extra pounds to your already struggling body frame?  Time to suppress your eating to assure that you will not get the extra luggage?  No….not any of the above.  You can have your cake and eat-it-too.  It’s all about self discipline and doing things in decency and in order.  

 Before sitting at the Thanksgiving Dinner Table this week, set a goal and implement steps to reach it, like portion control.  For a lot of us it’s not as simple as “just eating less”.  Why?  Because what and how much we eat is influenced by so many factors.  Our environment plays a very important role – relaxed at home or at an office party, how much food is served – a portion controlled meal at home or a SUPER sized meal at your favorite restaurant, and how hungry we are – just a lil’ snack or in a famished speeding emotional state.  Guess I should stop, because the list could go on and on.  But you get the picture.  It’s a matter of control.  The good news is that YOU can control many of these factors.  It’s just the discipline of mind over matter.  Here are a few proven tricks you can use to help yourself eat less and keep your calories in check during your holiday eating spree:

  • Savor every bite.  Slow your roll when it comes to eating.  Focusing on every bite can help you practice mindful eating, which has been shown to cut down on calorie intake.  Slowing down gives the food that has already been consumed time to digest and gives your brain time to let you know if you are “really” still actually hungry or if you are just going for the “happy face” place.  I know our mothers always advised us “don’t you leave nothin’ on that plate”  But it actually may not be a bad idea to leave just a little if it keeps you from overstuffing yourself. ACTION STEP: set a timer.  Start by finding out how quickly you currently eat your meals.  You may be surprised to find out that breakfast or lunch at your computer is over within 5 or 10 minutes.  Then work on adding time to your meals, aiming for each meal to take AT LEAST 20 minutes.
  • Use a smaller plate.  Since mama threatened our dear lives if we left anything on that plate, now is the time to prove to her that you can be obedient and not overeat.  How often do you eat straight from the bag of chips or crackers…I’M GUILTY…When you do that the portions cannot be measured and it is very east to over each when you are reaching into a bottomless bag of food.  ACTION STEP:  Instead of reaching into the bag or big bowl at your holiday party, pre-portion your snacks into a smaller container or plate, so you can know exactly how much you are eating.  Then put the bag away (yes!  I said PUT – THE – BAG – AWAY) or walk away from the party bowl.  You are much less likely to overeat when you follow that rule.
  • Keep a food journal.  Keeping a food diary is the best “ounce of prevention” you can have when it comes to eating to maintain or lose weight.  This encourages you to think about your food choices all day and consider what you’ve already eaten and what you plan to eat later.  Writing down everything you eat will keep your calories in check.  ACTION STEP: If you don’t already, start tracking your food.  Even if you don’t list all the calories, and fat you eat, even a simple list can make a big difference.  DON’T CHEAT…remember to include those high and low calorie beverages, sauces and condiments.

Utilizing these tools, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy “you” in no time.  Jot these 3 tips down and refer to them from time to time, especially during the holiday season when we Divas tend to eat a lil’ more than our body is prepared for.  Remember it’s still okay to “gobble” it down…just do it in smaller portions.

MAA WereReady