Awareness

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.

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4 Responses to Awareness

  1. crisitunity says:

    We have these giant plates at home. They’re like twice the surface area of your average paper plate. So I put a normal-sized serving of dinner on the plate, and it just looks so teeny. In the early days of owning these plates I would add more because the servings didn’t look normal at all, but by now I’ve learned my lesson – if it looks like the serving is too small, it’s just right. (This is my rule of thumb at restaurants, too.)

  2. Kimmothy says:

    THAT is a great idea – it’s basically what all the food companies have started doing; those “100 calorie snack packs” with cookies and crackers, except way less expensive.
    I love ziplocks and plastic containers anyway – this is just another great excuse to get to use them!
    Also, the cutting food up into smaller pieces is a great idea.

  3. Laura says:

    I’ve actually been eating all of my meals off of the small plates we have at home, but DAMN I can still cram a lot of crap onto a little plate! Layers… mmm…

    I do have a food scale that measures in ounces, but it’s been sitting in its box in the closet since I bought it, months ago. I just… don’t want to know, you know? I’d put what I think is a serving on the damn thing, then realize I’ve been eating TWELVE ounces of chicken (or something) instead of THREE ounces of chicken (or something).

    Dammit. I’m digging out the food scale tonight.

  4. huladog says:

    I just discovered this the other night. My husband was preparing my daughter’s plate before dinner. We were having meatloaf, and I asked “Wow, how much did you give her?” as it looked like quite a bit of cut-up meat on her plate. He showed me the size of the slice, and I looked at the slice on my plate (which I had just been thinking…hmmm, a little smallish). They were basically the same size, but cutting it up definitely tricks the mind into thinking it is more. My slice was, of course, PLENTY as I ate slowly and deliberately. It’s just a great trick so you don’t start off from a place of lacking. Isn’t it amazing how we are learning that this weight loss thing has a lot to do with what is going on in our heads. And AWARENESS is definitely going to be a key. Great post, right on!

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