5 small eating changes to help me lose weight

by Ginger on January 3, 2011

in Becoming Myself

As evidenced by a few of my to-do’s, I’m looking to lose some weight this year. Like the rest of the world of course, but I’m actually motivated for the first time in a really long time to actually follow through.

Now, in every successful attempt I’ve had losing weight, it’s been a mix of big and small changes and adjustments. The big ones are the hardest and do most of the work, but I’m hoping that the small ones can also help add up (or subtract I guess). Here’s what I’m looking at:

  1. Stop eating the remnants of the kid’s food. It’s a good thing that I don’t have to feed Jackson for every meal, because I can’t help but finish his food when I do. I mean, not the stuff he’s had his grubby gross hands all over, but the last three bites of yogurt, or the half of the cheese stick he didn’t eat, or the third of a piece of buttered toast? That never fails to make it in my mouth. No more.
  2. Put snacks on a plate or in a bowl. Maybe this is silly, but I think I’ll end up eating less if I make snacks into an eating “experience” rather than just grabbing handfuls of stuff. Or grabbing an entire box of crackers and block of cheese. Not that I do that. Ahem. Anyway, I think this will help because I can measure out my snacks better, I will have to take time to actually put a snack together, and I’ll have an “end point” of my snack.
  3. No eating after 9pm. This one is going to be tough for me. I invariably am starving at 10 every night. But I’m going to try and plan my day and mealtimes a little better and make it so that 9pm is my cutoff for food.
  4. Measure my food until I know actual serving sizes again. I know I’m horrible about serving sizes. Horrible. So I’m going to measure all my food for a little bit (it usually only takes me about a week or two) until I understand serving sizes again. Because I know eating 4 servings of pasta at dinner isn’t a great idea.
  5. Use our small plates whenever possible. Our small plates are really small. Too small to use for every meal–especially ones that have sauces or dressings on something. But when it works, those will help with the serving size issue.

So, anyone else have tips that can help me out? Little hints or tricks? Let me know in the comments!

As always, you can find more lists every Monday over at ABDPBT!

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clara January 3, 2011 at 7:13 am

Putting the snacks in a bowl works for me. Otherwise I take the whole bag of chips to bed and then…well.

My favourite satisfying snack is roasted almonds (I buy raw almonds and roast in the toaster over at low heat for 30-40 minutes and keep them in a container in the cupboard in FRONT of the chips) and a crunchy apple. I think it’s because my cravings manifest in crunchy things? If you know what your textural nemesis is for snacks – crunchy or squishy (ice cream) or whatever, you can substitute accordingly.

clara January 3, 2011 at 7:14 am

(I should add to “my favourite satisfying snack” that it is my favourite satisfying HEALTHY snack. I have much more satisfying, non-healthy snacks)

Katherine January 3, 2011 at 9:20 am

Keep in mind that even things that are healthy can have a ton of calories. It sounds like a lot of work, but I downloaded an app to keep track of calories. I’m not very faithful, but it does clue me into how many calories a particular food has and I can adjust accordingly in the future.

Also, assume just about everything you order off a menu from a restaurant is terrible for you. Though in CA now you can see that as a you order.

No more Burger King (or least walk if you must go).

Ginger January 3, 2011 at 9:41 am

I actually did get an app–but I’m not sure I like it (it had Diet Sprite, but no Diet Coke. Or diet cola of any kind…which I find..weird). Which one do you have?
I think the counting calories thing is huge, and creates a much better understanding of what I’m eating. It kind of goes along with the portion sizes, that eye opening piece of it.

Katherine January 3, 2011 at 10:50 am

It’s the Food and Fitness Tracker by SparkPeople.com. It has a lot of stuff and you can add items that are not already listed.

ABDPBT January 3, 2011 at 9:23 am

I used to have a big problem with the finishing of the kid’s food thing as well. But at some point I made a conscious decision to stop doing it and that seems to have stuck.

Erica January 3, 2011 at 1:15 pm

One thing I did for a while was if I bought a bag of something (tortilla chips, let’s say), i immediately separated it out into the portion size listed on the bags into little baggies. It feels a lot weirder to grab another baggie than to grab another handful.

also, and this may seem weird: when i eat pasta, i only pick up one piece at a time on my fork. makes it last longer.

kate January 3, 2011 at 9:28 pm

The portioning out of snacks is a good one. I rely on a trusty custard dish for my cheez-its or other goodies that I can get carried away with.

My fave last minute snack for a serious chocolate craving (’cause sometimes we all have these…)is a handful of chocolate chips (with my custard dish again…).

One thing I’ve paid more attention to is the idea of only eating when you are hungry. After having Beckett, I was bombarded with information about how babies/young children eat when they are hungry. It’s the advice that got me through those endless days when she would just pick at her food one week and then scarf down platefuls like a starving person the next week… They have the basic instinct to request sustenance when their body needs it. It’s so, so, so easy to find yourself eating when you aren’t really that hungry… And, late at night, too.

You are on the right track and I believe you can do it!

Megan January 3, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I really need to stop finishing Charlotte’s food. I just don’t think I can! Which is sad, really. I mean, who doesn’t have the willpower to refuse soggy toast?

jenny January 4, 2011 at 11:37 am

for me, the hardest part is at the grocery store. if i avoid buying the crap that will tempt me later … then i have NO OPTION to eat it when i’m home. easier said than done.

oh, and just imagine your kids food with like … slimey boogers all over it. yum! haha! good luck!

KT January 5, 2011 at 11:06 am

Chug water before your meal. It will help you fill up before you even start eating.

Elizabeth January 6, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I am SO ready to get back on a normal (for me) food schedule. You said the small plates trick, and I don’t have much beyond that! I’m more or less (except for now) off gluten, but that’s not a small change. It made a huge difference for me!

Charndra from My Green Nappy January 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Hi Ginger
No#1 is the only one I read before jumping here – it is my No #1 thing! It is one of my goals too as I have always had an aversion to throwing out good food.

One of my strategies has been to keep a pot in the freezer, popping in the (unchewed) leftover and then making them into soup at another time. This works well.

Another is to give it to the birds – pop it in the bird feeder. (we used to have chooks, and feeding scraps to them is good – it feels like simply making eggs!)

Last of all is good old ‘sheet composting’ – chucking it in a scrap bin then throwing it at the garden (as maintaining a compost pile seems pointless to me when I can just throw it straight under a bush / behind a tree or whatever)

I think having some extra alternatives to finishing their food is a great idea, thanks for encouraging me to revisit and think it out a bit more through your post!
– Charndra

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