Sometimes size DOES matter: 4 steps to determine your ideal food portions

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Do you want to make yourself miserable? 

Commit to weighing and/or measuring all of your food.

This might be a necessary step when you’re following a recipe, but what happens when you eat out at a restaurant or a friend’s house? Do you really want to carry around--and use--a food scale and measuring cups?

You don’t have to. These kinds of calculations are unnecessary, even if you’re trying to shed body fat.

That doesn’t mean that portion-size doesn’t matter, though. It’s just that there’s a simple way to go about it....

 

4 steps to eating the right amount for you--no weighing or measuring required

Think about and choose your *right* portion size

Think for a second BEFORE you start your meal (or snack/treat): How hungry are you? How much do you think is a good amount to eat? Separate your “want” from what you think is best.

When serving yourself, it’s easy enough to dish out the amount you deem appropriate. But if someone else serves you, it can be more challenging to visually imagine what a good serving size is--restaurants often serve massive portions. Just try and don’t worry too much about it. The following steps will help.

Also, if you have leftover portions of food at home or too much on your plate when out, consider packing it up before you even start your meal. Why tempt yourself?

Focus on your food

While you love food, do you tend to rush through eating it? This is common, and it can stem from many feelings such as fear that you’ll enjoy it too much (yes, for real) or that you won’t get enough. Anyway, the reasons why aren’t important. What is important is to begin practicing slowing down.  

It’s simple to say: Slow down and eat mindfully. It is NOT a simple thing to do. I’m sure you know the advice to set your utensils (or food) down between bites, to chew thoroughly, and to keep checking in with your appetite. 

Yes, do all of that. Remind yourself beforehand. Practice. Congratulate yourself when you succeed. Ask yourself what went wrong when you forgot. Keep practicing.

Take a break

So you’ve picked out what you think is a good portion and you’ve focused on enjoying each bite. Now your plate is clean--or you’ve eaten the amount you decided on--but you feel like you want more.

You might. But you’re going to wait to see. It can take at least 20 minutes for your body to send the “full” signal. So give your system a chance. If you’re still hungry after that time, eat a little bit more and reassess.

Use your taste buds to help you

At this point you’re done. You KNOW you’re full, and yet...you’re craving more. Whatever you had was super delicious and you don’t know when you’ll ever have the chance to eat it again. Or you really want to treat yourself to dessert. Or any of a number of other reasons. 

All you know is you’ll feel overstuffed and awful if you eat any more. So what do you do about the craving?

Brush your teeth or use mouthwash. If you’re someplace that you can’t do either of those, suck on a mint or whatever it is that signals to your mouth that you are finished eating. The more often you do this, the more you’ll associate this certain taste (often mint) with the feeling that you are DONE.

I create these blog posts so you can learn the most effective, simple, and efficient Paleo-based practices that counter the effects of aging.  You deserve to love the way you look and feel throughout your entire wonderful life. But sometimes knowledge isn’t enough. If you need help figuring out how to actually incorporate these practices into your life, please reach out!

Wishing you wonderfulness!