Have you ever looked at the nutrition label on a box or bag of ANYthing? I’m currently looking at a bag of cashews that I purchased and it says the serving size is “About 2 tbsp” and there are about 6 servings in the bag. Really? Who can eat that little bit of mouse food and be full? Or how about that 20 oz. bottle of soda? Look at the servings per container. It’s 2½!!! Do you know anyone who takes that bottle of soda and separates it into different containers for the individual servings? I don’t!
I’d been brainstorming all weekend trying to figure out what today’s blog was going to be about and, while browsing, it just hit me that this has got be the single biggest issue that most people have. Personally, I’m just under 290 lbs, and I’m 6’3″. I can put away some food. At least, I used to be able to.
Probably THE HARDEST part of the nutrition is disciplining yourself to not gorge yourself. Not even necessarily going that far, but just stopping yourself when you’re SATISFIED, as opposed to “full” or “stuffed”.
Now, I’m going to touch on a few things I’m sure you’ve heard over and over, but I’m also going to give a few quick ideas that make it REALLY simple to implement.
First, drink water! Yep, here’s one of those you’ve heard before, but it’s TRUE!! Perhaps the most important reason for this is the fact that, if it’s ice water, your body is going to have to regulate your body temperature from drinking it. This will help boost your metabolism. No, it’s not going to take you from the couch potato to a marathon runner overnight, but it’s going to assist in that process. Secondly, drinking water will definitely assist in creating the “full” sensation while eating less. It’s nature’s appetite suppressant. Drink a glass within a half hour before eating!
Next cliche! Eat smaller portions! I know, I know. I JUST said “Who can eat that little amount?” Humor me. Go drink that glass of water, and eat ONE serving. Then, tell me you’re still hungry. Are you full or stuffed? I would venture to say that’s not the case. Will it hold you off for a couple hours? I’m guessing so!
Those two SIMPLE things are all you need to get started on the right track. Sure it takes 30 days to create a habit, but how many times have you seen that skinny mini walking by outside your office window 3 times a day for their little walks around the parking lot, always munching on something, and it makes you absolutely sick that they’re ALWAYS eating and never gain a pound? Whether inadvertantly or not, that person is only eating enough to be satisfied and holding off for two or three hours till the next time they’re hungry and repeating the process. If you stop and think about it, even at 300 calories each time you eat, that’s about 5-7 times a day that you’re eating. 7 times 300 is only 2100 calories for the day. If you can eliminate a few of those calories by an afternoon walk (if not a rigorous workout), you’re under the FDA’s recommendation of 2000 calories in a day.
Now, I said I’d mention a few little tricks. I’d say the biggest change I’ve made in my life that has made worlds of difference is drinking Shakeology. You can click on that link to find more information on that. I WILL say that when I wasn’t eating right and pigging out on foods that were loaded with preservatives, additives, and sugars, it created some serious digestive problems for me. Shakeology has regulated my digestive system.
Obviously, salads are good for you. The thing that usually messes them up is loading them down with some high fat content dressing. I’ll admit it was different the first time I tried it, and I had to add some grilled chicken to make the difference for me, but I replaced my dressing with olive oil and it’s just as good as any other salad I’ve ever had in my life. Mind you, all I had initially was cucumbers, grape tomatoes, lettuce, peppers and boiled eggs. It was a somewhat bland salad in the first place. I added a single serving of croutons, some pepper for seasoning and the chicken and it was delicious. You may be saying “sure, but who has the time to do all that each time I want a salad?” Any department store has large mixing bowls. I actually went out and got an 8 quart stainless steel mixing bowl. I make the salad once and I can have salad anytime I want for a week, simply by using a serving spoon and transferring it from that bowl, into my salad bowl.
Here’s another idea (probably my favorite, and the most tasty in my opinion). I try to watch my carb intake, especially later in the day. I normally end up doing my workouts later in the evening, so I might have a little something around that time for the extra energy. Lunch time is the most difficult, though. It’s later in the day already. If you workout in the mornings, you’re long past expending that energy. If you workout in the evenings, you’re still a little ways off till your workout, and what’s the easiest thing to make for lunch? A sandwich! Most breads, obviously, contain loads of carbs. A popular idea is that toasting the bread will reduce the carb content of the bread. This isn’t completely true. The toasting of the bread causes a chemical reaction between the amino acids and the sugars because of the water evaporating from the heat. Long story short, it has the potential to slow the body’s absorption of the glucose content. Is it a fix all? No. My own theory is, it probably doesn’t make enough difference to benefit your “diet”.
Sorry, I went on a little tangent there. I did so to explain why I like my little adjustment so much. I’ve never been a huge fan of bread in the first place. So, when I’m in a hurry and want that “sandwich” for lunch, I simply replace the bread with a lettuce leaf. Now, the contents of the sandwich (i.e. lunch meat) are a whole other story, depending on where you purchase them and their own nutritional content, but this is a very tasty trick to eliminate some carbs from your daily meals and add a few extra veggies as well.
The other great thing here is, by teaching myself to eat the smaller portions and eating more often throughout the day, I’ve gone from 2 regular bread sandwiches at lunch, to one lettuce-wrap sandwich at lunch. It holds me off till about 3 p.m. when I’m ready for my afternoon snack.
I did mention that I’ll have a little extra on the carbs closer to my workout. Considering I’m currently doing the Insanity workout from Beachbody and logging my workouts each day, that’s a slightly more intense workout that calls for those extra carbs to replenish my stores after each workout. There are many intense workouts out there that may be similar, but P90X, Insanity, and Asylum are the Beachbody workouts that I’ve completed and work with that I can speak from experience on this subject.
I’d love to hear your input as well! If you have a little trick that you implement in your daily eating habits that help you cut the corners of unhealthy eating, please share them in the comments below! I think it would be really great to be able to put together another blog post of little snacks and meal ideas that can help people better make the decision to eat right and improve their health!