Friday, May 29, 2015

Losing 35 Pounds - What I've Learned (Part 2)

First a point of clarification from yesterday’s post.  As my wise cousin pointed out, the topic of health, dieting, exercise, and weight loss is not simple.  It's complicated for a variety of factors such as food sensitivities, GMO’s, gut bacteria or lack thereof, and our little to no understanding of nutrition.  For example a person could lose weight and still eat a bunch of junk.  They would accomplish having a smaller body frame but are they actually healthier inside?  No.  What I intended to communicate with the word “simple” was the concept of losing weight (In Vs. Out) is a simple formula.  Certainly its hard to practice and depending on your unique body, personality, and sensitivities things can get all the more convoluted.

With that disclaimer out of the way, today I want to post about Serving Size/Portion Control.  If you are anything like me there are two states of existence:  Starving-Mad-Hungry or Uncomfortably-Unbutton-My-Pants-Full.  I never really knew there was something in-between and I think many people struggle with this.  I personally want that hunger pain to go away.  Not taking into account that food takes a while to travel from my mouth to the stomach I would just shovel it in like there was no tomorrow.  By the time the first ounce of food would make it to my stomach to stop the hunger sensation it was already too late, tons more food was right behind and would be arriving soon to overfill and stretch my stomach.  I used to think portion control equated to eating less and just dealing with the associated hunger.  That ended up not being the case.  When possible I try not to eat much processed food but on the occasion that I do, I read the label to see what they consider one portion to be.  In the example of some crackers that I enjoy, one portion is 16 crackers.  Combine that with some tuna and a granola treat and sure enough…once it hits bottom, I feel no hunger, nor do I feel grossly overstuffed.  I had found it.  That in-between sensation of satisfaction.

The key to portion control is the waiting game.  Let what you have consumed have a chance to send the all clear signal to the brain that you are no longer starving and in jeopardy of death.  This is difficult for me especially since I eat very quickly compared to most.  The waiting game is greatly aided if you can manage to eat slower.  It’s not only better for you overall it causes you to still be eating something when the hunger signal subsides.  This is much better than how I tend to naturally do things.  I will finish my plate rapidly and then fight the urge to go get seconds until the hunger finally subsides.  It makes fighting temptation more difficult and unreasonably so.

Let us know about your portion control experiences in the comments and stay tuned for the next installment on tracking & accountability.