Laura’s recent post (and our seconding of her post) reminded me of just what a difference a little awareness can make. We talked about eating our food in a bowl or on a plate rather than out of the bag or box, and Shari mentioned the handful-size bowl. These ideas are key not just because they keep the rest of the bag or box away from us but also because they make us more aware by actually:
(1) making a choice about what our serving size will be,
(2) actually seeing the sum total of what we will be eating at once.
As Laura said, sometimes it’s the most obvious things that we really need to have us slap in the face so that we will see them.
Just to add to that obviousness, I wanted to mention something else. We’ve all heard that a serving size of meat is supposed to be 4 ounces, basically the palm of your hand or the size of a deck of cards. Have you ever cut a chicken breast or, worse, a steak into the size of a deck of cards on your plate? It makes you feel as though rationing is still in effect or that you’re being punished for something. But, try cutting it up into pieces, and you might be surprised at how much more you see. I started doing this quite a while ago, and it made a huge difference for me. I feel better at the end of a meal (instead of bloated or just overfull), I find that I’m totally sated with that amount, and I have generally another half of the piece of meat to save for lunch the next day, which makes for a great (and easy!) protein addition to a salad.
(Important side note: Move the rest of the meat off your plate to stay in the kitchen; otherwise, you’re eating with the ‘bag’ right there!)
Having ADD, it’s also important for me to have snacks handy/pre-made for when I need to grab something on my way out the door. This isn’t as prevalent for me at the moment since I work from home and it’s summer so no school pickup every day, but it was huge when my son was little and we were racing out the door for appointments and whatnot. When I had weekend time, I would divide up easy things into snack-sized plastic bags with the amount of calories, protein, etc., that I wanted at once, and then I could grab the baggie on the way out the door. Goldfish, nuts, beef jerky (great protein – watch the sodium). Protein is the hard part, but I’ve also been known to keep sliced deli meat in the fridge just to grab a slice or two and eat before I walked out the door and could eat my carbs in the car. Took the thinking out of it when I didn’t have time to think about it yet still allowed me to be aware of what I was eating.