Tag Archives: Weight loss

Portionography 101

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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Escargot Go Go!

snail-tshirtRight or left? Chicken or fish? Stairs or elevator? Sneak a piece of chocolate now when your kids might catch you and you’ll have to share or later when they’re asleep but you’ll probably end up eating the whole bag?

Decision making is part of life and a new study could shed light on how exercise helps us make decisions more quickly. I say could because the results might take a while: scientists are studying snails to try to pinpoint the link between exercise and decisiveness. That’s right, folks, snails. You know, the first animal you think of when you hear the word “exercise”.

snail-exercisingThe scientists put the snails into uncomfortably shallow water,  “forcing” the shell-haulers to walk around the tank looking for deeper digs. Then they put the snails on dry land to see how long it takes them to make a decision (right or left? stairs or elevator?) and act on it. Apparently, snails who have been walking for a couple hours decide faster than snails who’ve been been soaking in deep water for hours. Why study Speedy Gon-mullusks? Their nervous systems are simple and straightforward so scientists can draw conclusions quickly.

snail-quoteThe thought of snails with sweatbands and Spandex shell coverings is funny, but do you have a better reason than that for bringing this up, Katie? Barely. I mean, yes! And here it is: if exercise can improve the mental capacity of a snail, then imagine what it can do for us! Exercise-even walking at a snail’s pace-not only strengthens bones and muscles, helps fight heart disease and a host of other medical woes, improves sleep, and boosts energy, it also  increases blood flow to the brain which helps the brain work better and-as the snails will testify-faster. Some of us feel like snails when we exercise, but this escargot study is showing that it’s not the speed that counts, it’s the fact that you’re moving. If you don’t want to exercise for your body, do it for your neurons.

One more cool thing and then I’ll share a snail joke.

strong-road-radio-hostI learned about this snail study on a radio show called The Strong Road (think Car Talk but about the Bible). I was a guest on the show on Sunday September 18th (you’ll need to know this when you look up my interview in their archives). The snail story was part of their (tongue in cheek) Biggest News Story of the Week. You can listen to the show anytime on the APH Radio app (download, look for The Strong Road, then choose 9-18-2016) and more info is available on The Strong Road Facebook page.

We talked about my Sex, Soup, and Two Fisted Eating book and how the Bible plays into weight loss. I come in around minute 16, but they discuss the book earlier than that as well. They seemed to get distracted after reading the first word of the title: “We have a special guest coming up on the show today. She’s written a book called Sex….I love it already, who cares what the rest of the title is.” Funny guys. I have a new favorite radio show to listen to while I cook!

And now for the joke, courtesy of http://www.manandmollusc.net/jokes.html.

A guy goes to a Halloween party with a girl on his back.
The host asks him, “And what are you?”
The guy says, ” I’m a snail.”
The host says “And who’s that on your back?”
“That’s Michelle!”

 

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. Psalm 145:8

 

http://www.popsci.com/scientists-forced-snails-to-exercise-to-see-if-it-affected-their-decision-making

Images courtesy of: www.popsci.com (snail), http://www.pinterest.com (t-shirt, quote), https://www.facebook.com/thestrongroad/photos (The Strong Road radio host)

Autographed Books and Two Fisted Eating

Autographed copies of Sex, Soup, and Two Fisted Eating: Hilarious Weight Loss for Wives are now available through SquareUp!

And here’s a classic post on Two Fisted Eating:

Grab a brownie with one hand and a slab of pecan pie with the other…now stuff them in your mouth!  That’s what you pictured in your head, right?   We’re going to keep the joy of eating that you’re imagining, but lose the mess.

foodballYour stomach is the size of your fist…or maybe two fists; depends on who you ask.  Yes, it’s that small, and yes, it can stretch out a LOT! (Do you know how much food I’ve managed to squeeze in there?  I always thought my stomach was the size of a football!)

Your stomach can expand to hold 1.5 quarts (okay, so I wasn’t too far off with the football idea).  One quart = four cups and my fist is about the size of one cup, so I can cram 6 fists into my football, er, stomach.  (Still with me, math majors?)

So what do I do with this information?  Cut a football in half and use it as a plate?  (We can call it the “Foodball”!  What do you think, marketing people?  Weight loss gimmick for men?  Only $19.99 if you call now!)

So, Two Fisted Eating.  At each meal, your goal is to put 4 “fists” on your plate.  TWO fist sized portions of “real food” (as I like to call it) and TWO fists worth of vegetables.

Let me give you an example; this is the Turkey Curry recipe.

P1010173P1010175The plate on the left is what my plate looked like a year ago.  Notice that the green section looks more like a decoration – an afterthought – than a part of the meal.  The picture on the right is what I ate for dinner this week.  TWO fists of “real” food (rice and Turkey Curry) and TWO fists of veggies.

Now, THIS IS IMPORTANT: RED ALERT! RED ALERT!  Ready?  When your plate is empty, you stop eating.  It’s that simple and it’s that hard.  Drink some water, drink some tea, start the dishes, lick the plate and cry… whatever works for you, just don’t get seconds (unless it’s vegetable soup, then you can go back for thirds for all I care).

The math majors have all noticed by now that I said our stomachs can fit 6 fists and we only put 4 on our plate.  We have room for two more!  Yes, yes we do.  But just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. (For example, I can post a daily photo of my poodle….)

We’re re-training our brains, not our stomachs.  For years, my brain equated “full” with my stomach being stretched to capacity: 1.5 quarts or 6 fists.  That turned out well for me, didn’t it?  So, now I’m training my brain to say “full” when my stomach has 1 quart or 4 fists in it.  It takes a while for this to happen (like months), but it will happen.  (By the way, a better goal is to stop eating when you feel “not empty” rather than waiting for “full”; still working on that goal.)

2014 Aug 2 006

I’m so excited about kale, you can see my dental work!

Years ago I had my neighbor over for dinner and she said she felt “stuffed” after her second piece of pizza.  Stuffed?  I was doing my best to limit myself to three slices!  I could fit four or five before I felt “stuffed”.  Now I feel “good” full after two slices of pizza and bad “stuffed” if I take a third.  (I normally stop at two.)  Her brain and my brain were trained to say “full” at different stomach capacities.  (And yes, she’s a petite blond bombshell.)

When you look at the food on your plate, especially if it’s less than the amount you’re used to eating, what problem comes to mind?  I’m going to be hungry in two hours! (News flash! I feel hungry two hours later no matter how much or how little I eat!)  Don’t fear the hunger; you know it’s coming, so be ready.  Eat TWO fists of fruits or veggies as a snack.

By the way, I push vegetables rather than fruit simply because fruit has more sugar and therefore more calories.  Fruit is good.  Very very good.  Eat fruit when you crave something sweet, but vegetables are our new best friend.  Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?  My definition is this: if you wouldn’t bake it into a pie, it’s a veggie.

So, a meal is TWO fists of regular food and TWO fists of veggies.  A snack is ONE or TWO fists of produce.  Slow down as you eat and enjoy what’s on your plate.  (More on that later.)

Okay, math majors!  When does TWO plus TWO not equal four?

When they add up to negative numbers on the scale!

“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, NIV)

Sexy Book Release

It's a book cartoonSex, Soup, and Two Fisted Eating: Hilarious Weight Loss for Wives officially releases today! Here’s the back cover:

Laugh until you love your body :
Are you ready to lose weight and get healthy, but you hate celery sticks and sweat? This book is for you. Sex, Soup, and Two Fisted Eating is:
*Fun: laugh-a-minute encouragement complete with cartoons, poetry, and enough cheesy puns to make you lactose intolerant.
*Sustainable: for long term results, look no further because the healthy habits you develop will help you stay fit until you die. (See how encouraging this is?)
*Flexible: easily adaptable to fit your needs and preferences like a need for chocolate and a preference to avoid spandex, for example.
*Educational: the science supporting healthy habits is explained in a memorable way, like how REM sleep is like a toilet.

 

Book coverThe ebook has color illustrations and recipe photos and is available at the following locations: Amazon, Barnes and Noble,  iTunes,  Kobo, Google Play .

The paperback has black and white illustrations and recipe photos and is available on Amazon.

Autographed books will be available through SquareUp soon. (The box of books on it’s way to me has been delayed; as soon as I have books in hand, I will start taking orders. I’ll let you know when that happens. If you live near me and want a book signed, I’d be happy to do so in person!)

 

Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered, shared with friends, and got excited with me! If you enjoy the book, please leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or wherever you go to find books.

“May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests.” Psalm 20:5

A Sexy, Soupy Book

Book coverSex, Soup, and Two Fisted Eating is now a book! The best of the blog in one volume complete with cartoons, poetry, and recipes. Pleasurable reading for fans of the blog, and a great way to share Sex Soup with friends and family who haven’t found their way here to the blog yet.

The book is called Sex, Soup, and Two Fisted Eating: Hilarious Weight Loss for Wives and is releasing August 9th! Ebooks are available for pre-order now (that means you order now and on August 9th it magically appears on your kindle, etc.) and the paperback will be available on the 9th.

The ebook has color illustrations and recipe photos and is available for pre-order at the following locations: Amazon, Barnes and Noble,  iTunes,  Kobo, Google Play .

The paperback has black and white illustrations and recipe photos. I’ll post on the 9th with links.

No pressure, folks, just letting you know so you can share my joy!

 

“Rejoice with those who rejoice…” Romans 12:15a (NIV)

 

Mindless Diet Drones: Become One Today!

Diet DroneCan’t seem to stay on track with your fitness and healthy eating goals? Diet Drones™ can help! When you become a mindless Diet Drone™, you’ll stop thinking and start doing.

Deciding whether or not to exercise can be time consuming and leave you feeling like a failure. Don’t suffer through agonizing indecision again! With Diet Drone™, you decide the frequency and intensity of your exercise, press the Activate Drone button, and you can stop thinking about it. Your Diet Drone™ self will exercise whether she feels like it or not.

Diet Drones™ stick to a pre-determined exercise schedule. When life happens and that schedule is interrupted by sick children, snow storms, or dentist appointments, Diet Drones™ adjust to the day and simply return to their pre-determined schedule after the interruption.

Give a Diet Drone™ a shopping list and she’ll stick to it, buying only what is needed. Diet Drones™ are pre-programmed to avoid the ice cream and cookie aisles and come equipped with automatic blinders that pop up when passing a bakery or racks of candy.

The secret to Diet Drone’s™ success is its patented Second Thoughts Blocker™. Once you’ve made a healthy decision, you’ll never talk yourself out of it again!

Becoming a Diet Drone™ is as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Decide on your health goal: weight loss, fiber increase, touch your toes, etc.
  2. Choose a plan of action to reach your health goal. Select exercise activities and frequency, bedtimes, beverages, even menu items and portion size.
  3. Push the Activate Drone button and let your brain take a back seat. Your Diet Drone™ self will mindlessly follow your chosen action plan.

Diet Drones™ don’t stop for hormones. They don’t get bogged down in guilt. They don’t agonize over certain body parts and declare them hopeless. They march toward their goal because that goal is important because you are important.

Stop playing mind games and join our mindless ranks today! Diet Drones™: the way “someday” becomes today.

 

Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.” Exodus 24:7 (NIV)

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)