Everyone knows that the key to weight management is to eat less. This could mean eating smaller portions of what you already prepare (e.x. 6oz of steak versus 12oz) OR switching out higher calorie foods for lower ones (yogurt instead of cookies for example). Sounds simple but as we all know, words are easier than action. So, how do we move from wanting to eat less to actually eating less? Exploring the 3 steps that lead to eating too much can help to make it easier to put words into action. Making it easier to choose healthier portions is key! Relying on “self control” is not a useful strategy.
1. Buy less. Buying in bulk can lead to eating in bulk. The more food we have in the pantry, the larger portions tend to be. Whats 1 cup of nuts when there is a 5lbs bag? If that bag of nuts was only 2 cups, 1 cup is a big dent. Chances are 1 cup will turn to 1/2 a cup if the bag is smaller. Another example is if I buy only 12oz of meat for my family of 3, then I must prepare more vegetables to make up for less meat.
True, buying in bulk can save money but if it is difficult to make more food last longer, chances are you are not saving money. Learning to eat less by buying smaller portions at first can help you deal with larger amounts in the future.
2. Prepare less. Its much easier to avoid eating seconds when there are none. Seeing less food on the stove helps us listen to our true hunger (hunger with our stomach rather than our eyes).
Sure, making large batches of food can help with lunch for the next day but nibbling on the leftovers while putting them away is not so helpful. Try putting leftovers straightaway into Tupperware containers as your are portioning food onto plates.
3. Serve less. If we don’t want to eat 3 cups of pasta, why would we portion out 3 cups? By portioning out less onto the plate, we rely less on our eyes to tell us when we are full and more on our satiety signals. Why not start with 1 cup and go back for seconds if we are still hungry? All too often we will finish the food on our plate from habit. Kick the habit by making it harder to over eat.
Stop relying on self control to eat less. It will save you money and calories!