One of the key factors in using the five meal a day program instead of the traditional three meals per day, is portion control. If you switch to eating five meals a day, then obviously you realize that you cannot eat the same amount of food at each meal. Therefore portion control is the key to weight control.
While I truly believe in the five meal a day program, I can’t emphasize enough the need to cut back on portions in order to lose weight. For instance, for lunch you could have half of a sandwich with a salad, then for snack, eat the other half of the sandwich, this way of eating should keep you from getting hungry in between meals.
If you practice eating only until you are satisfied, and not continue eating until you are full, you can control your eating habits too. Once you allow yourself to eat past that full feeling, you become distended, and are usually forced to lie around sluggishly until your food begins to digest. This is a terrible way to end your meal, even on a holiday.
Do you sometimes eat as if you have been stranded in the dessert starving for food? If you switch over to the five meal a day plan, you can always rest assured that your next meal is only a couple of hours away. That’s one of the many benefits of eating five meals a day. You don’t have to eat as if this is your last bite.
Eating reasonable servings doesn’t have to be difficult. Just measure smaller amounts to dish out on your plate. Remember, if you are still hungry and don’t feel as if you have eaten enough for one meal, you can always go back for seconds. However, if you begin with a large serving, chances are you’ll end up eating whatever is on your plate.
If you do still want more food after eating what’s on your plate, try waiting for a few minutes before returning for seconds. Give your brain and stomach a chance to connect to determine whether or not you really are hungry. Many times the brain is still sending out hungry messages, when the stomach has indeed satisfied its hunger.
This little bit of waiting time can save you many calories throughout the day. Small changes such as these go a long way to helping you lose weight and keep it off. And that’s the important thing with any weight loss program. It’s not too lose weight fast, but to lose weight permanently.
Sure you might gain and lose a couple of pounds here and there, but as long as you eat healthy without overeating, you should be able to lose weight and maintain that way of eating.
Be sure to eat protein at every meal. You can get protein from some fruits, vegetables, and beans too, as well as from meat. Fruits like avocado and banana are good sources of plant protein and should be eaten regularly.
Don’t be afraid of these fruits just because you have heard they are fattening. While they may be higher in calories than other fruits, they supply a bevy of nutritional benefits that should not be ignored.
The foods you should be careful of are those that are processed. You need to examine the food label on all of the foods that you eat from a box or package. Many of these foods are loaded with added sugars, fats and preservatives that are just not good for your body. And when you are trying to lose weight by cutting calories, you need to be aware of these foods.
With fruits and veggies, portion control and any added sauces are the only things you have to weigh in when you are determining the nutritional value of these foods. However, with processed foods, the calculation becomes more difficult. Sure the package states the calories, but what about all that other information on that label?
Saturated fats and cholesterol are two factors that you will want to be aware of on any food label. Also, pay special attention to the sugar content of the food that you are eating. For instance, sugary breakfast cereal is so full of sugar and fat, that it is more like having junk food than giving your body a nutritious start to the day.
I believe it is possible to effectively lose weight and keep it off without the annoyance of counting every calorie. This doesn’t however mean that I just go off “willy nilly” unaware of the high calorie content of some foods.
The problem with strict calorie counting is that it is impossible to do with any accuracy and I think common sense is a better measure for everyday eating. For instance, if you do believe in counting calories, do you count every single calorie that you consume? While you need to write down everything you eat in your fitness journal, trying to calculate the calories in your food may prove difficult.
That’s why using your fitness journal to help you control your diet works so well. Making meal plans well in advance, purchasing the healthy foods and leaving the foods behind whose nutritional value is just not up to par.
That’s the attitude you want to take with these packaged foods. While some of them are fine nutritionally, you have the wonderful advantage of reading package labels to determine if this food cuts the muster for your diet plan. If it doesn’t keep rolling your grocery cart right on past. If that food doesn’t make its way into your pantry, chances are you won’t be eating it.
But after a nice meal out, you might decide to indulge in a wonderful dessert. By watching what you eat and practicing portion control on a regular basis, you’ll be able to enjoy that dessert with ease. And that’s the way eating should be. You should not have guilty feelings mixed in with your meals.
Food, food fabulous food. Keep your portions controlled and you’ll be able to control your weight for the rest of your life.
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~ Karen Ficarelli
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