When it comes to losing weight it can be very overwhelming. What do I eat, how much do I eat, when do I eat? All of these questions and not sure where to even start!
There are a couple of ways to look at how to start thinking about making changes. You can decide which one will be best for you. Back in 2004 when I finally started to drop weight and it came off fairly quickly (20 pounds in 3 months) I learned how to eat based on writing down my foods and having a check list. I marked off the foods I ate from each meal as the day went by. So if I ate a large meal at breakfast that meant I didn't have a lot for lunch or dinner.
My day would look like this:
- 2 servings of Fruit
- 3 servings of Veggies (greens were unlimited)
- 4 servings of Protein
- 2 servings of Starches/Carbs
- 1 serving of Fat
- 2 servings of Seeds, Oils, Dressing
This is based on a 1200-1500 calorie diet. If you are feeling hungry then add more greens to your meals to start out with to see if that helps you stay full. You may need to play around with the combination of foods. Fats/Carbs/Protein mixed at each meal. You may need more veggies (good carbs) at each meal versus your protein portion or the opposite.
Now becoming familiar with what a serving is was the other challenge. Let's keep it simple!
- 1 cup is a serving for Fruits and Veggies
- 3/4 cup for Protein
- 1/2 cup for Starches/Carbs
- 1/3 cup Healthy Fats (cheese, nuts, coconut, avocado)
- 1 Tablespoon dressing or seeds
The above chart is handy to have when you are out and about. Trying to determine how much you should eat should become fairly easy when you can use your hand as a guide for measuring. When you are at home and making a plate or packing your lunch and snacks it is good to measure things out. I am sure you are not actually aware of how much you are eating of each food.
This is when your eyes become open and you see how much you are actually taking in each day. What makes it even easier is when you buy containers that are already 1/2 cup or 1 cup serving sizes. That way you can pack each item in the container and not have to measure it out. You will know that you are eating the correct portions. When I am making things like a chicken salad I will put my veggies in a container, my protein in a container, mayo in my tablespoon container and mix it all together later. That way the food isn't soggy! 🙂
If you are eating almonds and a fruit as a snack it is helpful to put the almonds in a 1 ounce container (1/2 a handful) so you don't overeat your nuts. 😉 It is actually very easy to eat too much when you eat directly from the container. So pour out your food into a container to eat from instead of eating from a bag or container.
Let me know if you have any questions!