(I know most people that come over my way already know this stuff but I'm writing it down because it helps me to remind myself and I am trying to casually help some friends that are working hard to change their lives.)
Portion sizes are super important, you can be eating the cleanest, most natural, healthy foods and if you are eating too much of them you are not going to lose weight. If that is your aim, then it’s something to really watch. No need to break out the scales and measuring cups however as we have built in tools at no additional cost.
Protein should be in an amount about the size of your flat palm minus fingers and thumb. Palm size varies but is usually a good indication of what portion you should have, for instance: my palm is not the same size as James’, but he needs more fuel than I do.
Carbohydrates should be roughly the size of your closed fist; that equals about a cup. I recommend eating 5-6 small meals a day if possible, and by that I don’t mean 5 chicken fried steaks, I am talking about a portion of protein, portion of carbs and try and make two of your carb portions veggies instead of starches.
Fast Food/Restaurant Eating
Who wants to cook all the time? I get sick of it sometimes, I just want to be waited on and someone else to prepare the food. While this is pretty much guaranteed not to be as good for me (control issues) there are things to watch out for when ordering. Fried takes the “n” out of friend. I have no idea what that means but I think you should avoid it. Covered in cheese is generally not good, but I do not think cheese is the bad guy and should not be eaten. Good quality flavorful cheese makes food TASTY, but it is not necessary to cover up the flavors of what you are eating with a huge layer of it unless the food underneath is not quality itself. Grilled is always going to be better than fried but lots of places still douse it in oil, and we aren’t talking olive. You can ask they go easy on the oil and most places will and there is nothing wrong with saying, “Can I please have a little less heart attack with my vegetables?” Avoid cream sauces, lots of alcohol, and eating multiple slices of bread before you even get your main course. These are some of the main things I had to unlearn because I ADORE great breads and sauces and ahem, The Sauce. Here are some things to get when you just did not/could not plan ahead: Taco Bell has chicken soft tacos that are a good choice without the cheese and sour cream and if that just breaks your heart get it anyway and scrape most of it off. What you probably like is the taste more than a huge clump of dairy products anyway. Wendy’s grilled chicken sandwich is pretty taste and a decent choice, sauce and all and if you throw a piece or two of fruit in your purse/backpack then there you go. McDonald’s grilled chicken sandwich tastes like a rubber boot to me, but that may be just me and I like their $1 menu yogurt parfait though it doesn’t tide me over for long. They may have some decent salads but as I mentioned before, not a big salad eater and if you add the dressing on, croutons etc that they give you, a cheeseburger meal might actually be better for you calorie wise. Iceberg lettuce has little to no nutritional value and that’s what a lot of fast food salads are made of though I can’t speak for Macca’s. Subway has plenty of good choices if you leave the cheese off, or if you really want the cheese LEAVE IT ON and don’t sweat it. If you are really wanting something, just do it unless you realize it’s a daily thing you are doing and not a strong occasional urge.
Which brings me to the idea of dieting/restriction: I do not believe in it. I find it impossible to truly learn a healthy lifestyle if you are basically punishing yourself day in and day out, leading to negative self talk and thinking and self destructive behavior. I thought the loving yourself stuff was a bunch of hooey but it’s not and it is vital to being a whole, healthy, happy person. If you try and eat well the majority of the time and sometimes you just want that chocolate or cheese enchiladas or beer, etc. then have it by all means. But be mindful and enjoy it while you are experiencing the treat. What kind of treat is it if you are mindlessly chewing and swallowing with no pleasure involved? That’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish but I think I’ve talked enough.