Eat Your Feet: a Quick and Dirty Portion Guide for Weight Loss

portion-statueI want you to put your foot in your mouth. Portion control is a big factor in weight loss and healthy eating and –whoa, hey! I did not think you were that flexible. Get your toes away from your nose, it was only a metaphor. I just meant that your foot is about the size of a properly proportioned meal.

Before I lost weight, I ate pretty healthy: cooked from scratch most days, got some veggies in there somewhere, and limited the junk food. The problem was I ate twice as much pretty-healthy-food as my body needed. I’m not exaggerating: twice as much.

I like food. It tastes good and it’s fun to eat. Can I get an amen? The problem was not that I ate but that I ate again and again and again at each meal.  There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your food. In fact, I encourage you to enjoy your food with undivided attention. Studies show that if we eat while we’re distracted—watching TV, checking email—we eat about 30% more than when we simply eat. Enjoy your food thoroughly, but when your portion is gone, stop eating.

portion-handsEating proper portion sizes is easy to do with the measuring tools you have on you: your fists. Your two fists are the size of your one stomach, so you can use your fists to quickly gauge how much food will fill your belly. A meal is equal to four fists and two of those fists should be fruits or vegetables. Four fists is roughly the size of your foot, so when you’ve put your foot in your mouth, you stop eating. I repeat: you stop eating. It’s that simple and it’s that hard.

If you’re used to eating a lot, four fists isn’t going to look like enough food at first, but if you savor your food, really savor it, and concentrate on the flavors and textures, you’ll be bored with eating by the time your plate is empty. If you cut the food into small bites, it feels like you’re eating more. One study found that people who ate half a bagel cut into four pieces consumed less for lunch an hour later than people who ate the same half bagel in its full moon natural form.

portion-plateAnother study found that eating smaller bites (nickel sized) and chewing a little longer (9 seconds) helped participants eat 65% less food than those who took larger bites (3 nickels) and chewed less (3 seconds). That’s a lot of numbers… look, forget the numbers and just make an effort to chew more and eat more slowly. The longer you take to eat, the more time your stomach has to notify your brain that it’s full. Perhaps it’s not the amount of food on the plate, but the time we spend eating that makes us feel satisfied. Metaphoric translation: put your foot in your mouth and nibble your toes. If you’re still hungry after eating two fists of food and two fists of veggies, keep thinking about feet near your mouth. Toe jam near your tongue, bunions touching your boca, sweaty soles approaching your saliva… your appetite should disappear in no time.

 

How beautiful your sandaled feet,
    O prince’s daughter!
Your graceful legs are like jewels,
    the work of an artist’s hands.

Song of Solomon 7:1 NIV

 

Effect of taking smaller bites outweighs tendency to eat more when distracted

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130123195250.htm

Small Bites, Big Weight Loss http://www.shape.com/blogs/weight-loss-coach/small-bites-big-weight-loss

To Slim Down, Take Smaller Bites http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/food/eating-small-bites-lose-weight

 

Images courtesy of: sexy food episodes (hands), http://theberry.com/2012/01/31/need-a-little-motivation-38-photos/ (plate), Wired (statue)

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Bible and Portion Control

The Bible uses the word “portion” over 80 times. It can refer to land, food, inheritance, etc. but the common thread is that your “portion” is what you get, no more, no less; it is set aside for you and belongs to you. So how does this relate to weight loss? It’s all about your response to your portion.

If you look at the recommended portion sizes and servings, it makes you want to buy smaller plates because the amount of food we need to eat each day to thrive isn’t as much as we think it is. One of my biggest breakthroughs in losing weight was to stop going back for seconds. When I go back for seconds, it’s not because I still feel hungry, it’s because the food is delicious and I want to repeat that great experience I had the first go round. I am not satisfied with my portion. However, if I take my time, eating slowly and savoring each bite, I find that I don’t need to go back for seconds. The firsts have satisfied.

The secret to successful portion control is gratitude. The more grateful I am for what’s in front of me-yes, even broccoli-the more I’m able to let go of my desire for the foods I “can’t” have or can’t have as much of right now. I am content with my portion.

Our culture teaches us that we should eat plus: we should eat while reading, while browsing the internet, while watching TV, while driving, and so on; that eating requires entertainment. But eating is a form of entertainment. Eat without distraction and when it becomes boring (ie. you’ve had enough), stop eating. Be content with your portion.

 

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

 

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12

 

Cucumber Invasion

Cucumbers on the vineCucumbers are abundant and delicious this time of year. Click on the links below for reasons why cucumbers are fantastic for your health and recipes to give you new ways to eat them.

 

Cucumbers Part 1: Quick pick me up and a smoothie

Cucumbers Part 2: Pro-beauty, anti-cancer and dill salad

Cucumbers Part 3: Home care, bad breath and a piña colada

Cucumbers Part 4: Hangovers, weight loss and sweet pickles

Cucumbers Part 5: Health and soup

Plan Your Produce

imageCooking meals at home helps your family eat healthy and save money, but if you don’t shop with a plan, you can end up throwing expensive produce away. It’s happened to most of us at some point. You head to the grocery store with good intentions, buy a lot of random produce,—because with ten pounds of broccoli in the house, you can’t fail to lose weight, right?—and then half of that produce spends the next two weeks being nudged closer and closer to the back of the fridge before it’s finally tossed in the trash. It’s frustrating and discouraging. For you and for the produce.

2014 June 003The solution to this problem is to plan your produce. Here’s how.

  1. Choose one day a week to sit down and plan your meals for the week. If you’re new to cooking at home, pick one or two meals. Baby steps, baby spinach, baby bellas, baby got back on track. Try to choose menu items that share common vegetables. For example, a bag of spinach can make a spinach salad and a mushroom spinach omelet, or one head of cabbage can make Mu Shu Vegetables and Fried Cabbage. As you plan, make a shopping list of what you need to cook the recipes you’ve selected.

 

  1. 2014 March 007Take your list to the store and don’t stray from it. There are going to be produce items that you always keep on hand like garlic and onions, and items that you only buy when you need them like bell peppers and broccoli. It all depends on your family and your preferences. For example, I always have carrots in the house. My boys like to snack on them (when given the choice of carrots or nothing), I like to mindlessly crunch them in front of the TV, they’re cheap, and they’re useful in a plethora of recipes. It’s a staple. Cauliflower, on the other hand, only comes home with me when I have a plan for it. It’s like the out of town relative you enjoy having over, but feel like you have to entertain.

 

  1. End the week with either a batch of homemade vegetable soup or veggie stir fry. Take your leftover bits and stems and combine them into something wonderful. Now your fridge is reset for the week to come and nothing goes to waste.

 

Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. Genesis 25:29 (NIV)

The Burpee List (Poem)

Burpee Poem illustrationsBob found a list that was left by his wife

On top of the catalogue Gardening Life.

The list listed planks, and burpees, and crunches,

Box jumps, and twists, and lateral raises.

Bob studied the list. He thought long and hard.

Then he stared out the window at part of the yard.

I’ll make it, thought Bob, I’ll make it today!

She’ll be so surprised, she won’t know what to say.

 

Burpee Poem illustrations_0001Off to the hardware store! There he stood,

Staring at all of the planks of wood.

“She didn’t list a number, but ‘box jumps’ makes it clear.

A box is four sides of lumber. I’ll need four planks from here.”

The list said ‘burpees’—“That one’s easy.

I’ll buy seeds of carrots, peasies.”

Bob grabbed seeds from every bracket,

Filled the cart with Burpee packets.

Next was ‘crunches’, grabbed a bag. “Hey!

Must mean gravel for a walkway.”

 

Burpee Poem illustrations_0002Bob chuckled, he was quite bemused:

“She wrote ‘twists’, but they’re called screws!”

‘Lateral raises’ he took to mean

Lattices for growing beans.

He checked off each item and loaded the van.

“My wife’s going to be so proud of her man!”

 

Burpee Poem illustrations_0003Back to the house to dig in the soil.

Hauling and building, he cheerfully toiled.

His wife came home—“Come look at the yard, Hon!

I found your list and built a box garden!”

His wife took the list. She stared then she smiled

At the new plank box in which dirt was piled.

“I love it, Dear. You’re a wonderful man.

Though the list you found was my workout plan.”

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IMG_5283VISIBLE VEGETABLES™ are great for night binging in front of the television and mindless munching during long car rides. VISIBLE VEGETABLES™ are portable, eco-friendly, filling, and satisfying. Display your VISIBLE VEGETABLES™ today and feel the benefits!

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“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.” Colossians 1:16a

 

 

Soup: the Power Tool Collection

veggie-power-toolsSoup is the second word in the title of this blog because soup reminds us to drink plenty of water and to eat our vegetables. Vegetables are packed with vitamins, nutrients, and fiber which are the tools your body needs to function properly. Vegetable hammers help produce red blood cells, the vegetable saw cuts down cholesterol, the fiber shovel improves bowel function, and the vitamin drill and nutrient crowbar reduce your risk for heart disease, type two diabetes, and possibly your risk for cancer.

Sleep is a crew of workmen who spend the night building, cleaning, and repairing your body. Vegetables are the tools they use and water is their transportation. When the workmen don’t have the right tools, they improvise, but the result isn’t the same. You can build a house using only a crowbar, but we all prefer to live in a house built with a complete toolbox. Don’t live in an improvised body; give your workmen the tools and time they need and you’ll be amazed by their good work.

2014 March 006Vegetables are important for weight loss, but not because they magically melt fat or lock your mouth when a cookie comes near it. In fact, studies show that if you add vegetables to your diet, but make no other changes, you won’t lose weight. Veggies help you lose weight when you replace non-veggie food with veggie-food. The equation is not 3 burgers + 1 apple = weight loss, but 1 burger + 3 apples = weight loss. It’s this replacement of high calorie foods for low calorie plants that makes the scale move. Yes, technically you can lose weight by reducing your calorie intake and not include veggies—the Chocolate Cake Diet™, for example, lets you eat a slice of chocolate cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and nothing else—but it doesn’t help your overall health.

imageThere’s only so much space in your stomach toolbox. High calorie foods are a tape measure. You definitely need one: healthy high calorie foods have protein and good fats your body needs. But filling your toolbox with only tape measures doesn’t help you build a house you want to live in; it only helps you measure your house’s expansion. Ba-dum-bum-ching! Expanding waistline joke! Vegetables fill up a lot of space on your plate and in your stomach but contain very few calories so it’s like filling your toolbox with titanium tools that are strong but light. Many veggies are made up of 90% water, so they help hydrate you as well as fill you. Building your house body well is important because you and your body are in this for the long haul; till death do you part. Know what else we’ve done to death? This metaphor.

You might not like vegetables. When we were kids, my siblings and I tried to explain to our parents that they liked vegetables and we didn’t because their taste buds were old and dying. The truth is that your taste buds adjust to what they encounter regularly, be it spicy foods, salt, sweets, or vegetables. The more you eat vegetables, the more you crave vegetables. It’s like buying your first power drill. You get along okay with screw drivers and hammers, but once you get a feel for the power drill, you’re not going back to that battery-less wasteland. Vegetables are power tools and your body loves using them, so fill your toolbox with titanium tools, shed that unnecessary insulation, and build your house well.

 

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. Genesis 1:29 (NIV)

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/fruits-veggies-don-lead-weight-loss-study-article-1.1844944 Fruits and Veggies Don’t Lead to Weight Loss