Since The Happy Rockette is a Registered Dietitian, I have special access to top notch food and nutrition information. Today I will start sharing that fountain of knowledge by introducing the first of hopefully many food and nutrition posts. I hope to even have a guest post or two.
To start we will attack how to cut some calories out of our diets through a few small changes to our eating habits. Rather than attempting fad diets or buying expensive ‘diet’ foods, develop habits that encourage healthy eating for the rest of your life. These were inspired by conversations that I have had with the The Happy Rockette over the years.
1. Use smaller plates – We feel compelled to fill our plates, but the proper sized portion size can look quite small on a large plate. The mental picture that food creates has an effect on how satisfied we will be. The same portion on a small plate looks like a lot more food and will mentally add to our satisfaction.
2. Remember that you don’t have to finish – Remind yourself that you don’t have to finish everything. Fight the compulsion to clean the plate, especially when you are full or don’t like the meal. Try leaving a bite of a sandwich and see how it feels. Take a box home from a restaurant, and have the rest for lunch tomorrow. It can be liberating.
3. Volumemetrics – The idea of volumemetrics is to replace calorie dense foods like white pasta with lower density foods like vegetables and fruit. The next time you make spaghetti, try cutting the amount of pasta and adding more vegetables. The dish will be smothered in sauce so you will barely notice the difference and the overall dish will contain less calories. Here is a reference article from the author of Volumetrics, Barbara Rolls, that goes into some more detail.
4. Drink before eating – Try drinking a glass of water 15 minutes before a meal. It takes up some space in your stomach which will help you to feel satisfied after fewer calories. I have heard that non-ice water is preferable, so that it doesn’t drastically lower your stomach temperature.
5. Have children – Try going out with your son or daughter and order one desert. How much of the desert do you really get to eat?
6. Eat Slower – Eating slower will help you to interpret the ‘I’m full’ signals from your body, rather than eating quickly only to realize ‘I’m stuffed’. For practice, try putting down your fork in between each bite.
7. Know Your Hunger Rhythm – Eat when you are hungry, not because it is time to eat. This usually means planning your meals around your hunger patterns.
8. Don’t skip meals – Skipping meals can cause gorging or snacking to ensue. Usually the snacking and gorging is done on calorie dense food which only compounds the problem. By planning all your meals you help keep your body satisfied, which in turn helps keep you in control.