What do you think of when you hear or see "the golden rule"? Probably many things. There are plenty of things in different areas that can be considered "golden" rules, even in regards to nutrition, however, this is the one that I truly believe will help you firstly get back on track with your health.
With regards to general eating habits, the "golden rule" when you are about to sit down for a meal is to eat until you are 80% full.
Why you ask?
Because most of us eat too much at one time. Our portions are too large and very dense in calories, which tends to lead to too many calories ingested, significantly interfering with weight loss.
Extra large portions is just one reason we eat until we are >100% full. Another reason is that we are distracted while eating, and by distracted I mean by things other than human beings.
The worst thing you can possibly do is eat while you have electronic distractions -- it is way too easy to shovel food into your mouth, as quickly and mindlessly as possible when you are fixated on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. All of a sudden, you've been scrolling for only a few minutes and the food on your plate is gone!
Do you remember tasting any of it? How did it feel in your mouth? How did you feel afterwards? Do you know how many calories you consumed? Do you even remember what exactly you ate?
If you answered "I don't know" "I can't remember" or "No" to any of these questions, red flag. You may not be eating as mindfully as you could and that may be one easy change you can make to getting back on track with your health.
To go along with shoveling food into your mouth quickly and aimlessly, buffets pose a large threat because of the amount of food offered and the desire to try all of the food offered, thus stuffing ourselves to the point of uncomfortableness. Know the feeling? Have you ever felt that way while not at a buffet? If so, it is highly preventable. We absolutely do not want to eat as if we are at a buffet regularly - it is not possible to always avoid buffets, however, you can save those for very special occasions.
Eating mindfully is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions and are taking medications at certain times during the day.
Like I said earlier, we all suffer from over eating at times, but there is an easy fix. Eat MINDFULLY and eat until you are about 80% full.
If it doesn't feel good when you stuff yourself and you currently don't feel great - tired, lethargic, lacking in energy - why continue the vicious circle?
Here are some suggestions:
One trick to eating mindfully is to dish your meal onto a smaller plate than usual. While it is a smaller portion, there is a good chance you were eating more than you needed before. Since this is a smaller plate (and portion), and if you scarf it down quickly, you are likely going to want to get up for a second helping. Try to eat what is on your plate slower and more mindfully; really tap in to how you are feeling while you are eating. Your stomach takes about 15 minutes to process fullness, which is why when we eat a large portion hastily, after 15-20 minutes, we now feel stuffed and uncomfortable. It has been proven that those who eat at a slower pace tend to consume less, which is essential for weight loss.
The recommendation is to eat until you are about 80% full because 100% full means stuffed and uncomfortable. We need to re-train our bodies to get out of feeling that way if we want to have long-term success with weight loss and ultimately, maintenance of that hard-earned weight loss.
To conclude, manageable first steps on your weight loss and health journey include: eating smaller portions, truly listening to your hunger and satiety queues, and eating until you are only 80% full.
Does this seem like a lot or not feasible with your schedule? There is an answer! The Optavia™ 5&1 Optimal Health™ Program will help you develop all of those healthy habits, quickly and easily, and also help you get to and maintain your goal weight! (along with the support of a FREE health coach)
Contact us for your FREE nutrition assessment. Find out how we can help you achieve your health related goals and develop sound, healthy habits for a lifetime of Optimal Health™.
Yours in health,