This year I helped a client take back his health. He had high cholesterol and was pre-diabetic. His doctor gave him 3 months to get his sugar in check or he would go on diabetic medicine. He had already been on his cholesterol lowering medications for 4 years. He worked hard with me and really made everything he ate as nutritionally dense as he could. When his doctor tested his blood at the re-check, his cholesterol had dropped from 210 to 111, his blood pressure dropped, he lost 25 pounds and his blood sugar went from 164 to 95. He was able to avoid the diabetic meds and the doctor cut his statin in half. After another 3 months, he was taken off of all meds! He only worked out 4 times in the time I worked with him even though I urged him to work out on a regular basis. All he did was change what he put in his mouth! What a difference!
I got him eating real food at home and to avoid as much as possible fast food and processed food. Gave him and his wife a lot of healthy recipes to make at home and urged him to eat as many vegetables in his meals as he could. The power of vegetables!
Quick quiz: How many serving sizes of vegetables do you have to limit yourself to so you don’t gain weight? Answer: I have never seen anyone gain weight off of too many veggies! But I have seen them get healthy!
Next question: how many portions are in a bag of snack-size whole grain crackers? Or a small bottle of locally-pressed juice? Or a lunchbox pack of granola bars?
Hint: it’s not “one.” Often, the above products contain two or two-and-a-half servings per package. And this along with all the added stuff does matter.
Can YOU Eat Just One?
Sure, you could go ahead and enjoy just half the bag, but are you really going to do that?
Don’t beat yourself up if the answer is no. If you place food in front of most people, they tend to eat it all. It’s just the way we’re wired. And, processed foods are designed to get you hooked so you just cant stop at one serving. I recommend reading Salt, Sugar and Fat by Michael Moss (no relation), a great book that talks about how processed foods are made and how they make you want more.
My client had commented how satisfied he was when he ate home cooked, produce rich meals. When you aren’t putting empty calories into your body, your satisfaction with your meal goes up and you end up needing less.
The Perils of Supersizing
Eating too much food in one sitting is hard on your body. Here’s why:
Food is meant to be eaten throughout the day. Overdosing on too much food at one time causes pain, upset, and sluggish digestion.
- A surge of glucose is released into your blood. Your pancreas has to work overtime, pumping insulin through the body to absorb all that extra glucose. This can make you feel spacey, weak, irritable, or headachy.
- Thinking there is some type of emergency, your adrenal glands go into “fight or flight” mode and release adrenaline and cortisol, which is the body’s natural response to stress.
- When your blood sugar levels finally plummet, you experience wicked cravings for more food – specifically simple carbs or sweets.
- Research has found that immune system function is affected for at least five hours after consuming large amounts of simple carbohydrates (ie. processed foods!).
5 Tips to Kick Portion Distortion
Don’t over order – go for salads, soups, and appetizers, which are typically more reasonably sized than entrees.
- Choose high-fiber foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains to keep you feeling full and energized. You can literally eat more of these and actually get full without excess calories.
- Chew well to aid digestion and give your brain time to register you’re full before you overeat.
- Get enough water. Often we mistake thirst for hunger.
- Carry your own snacks. Stock up on snack-sized containers and fill them with baby carrots, roasted chickpeas, or nuts.
Basically, just stick to real food! Stay away from processed food.
Get Even Healthier!
Are you curious about how easy-to-make changes (such as chewing your food more thoroughly) can make a big difference in your health? Would you like help in making healthier food choices? Let’s talk! Schedule a complimentary health coaching consultation with me today – or pass this offer on to someone you care about!