Let me remind you that I am no expert.
These are just my personal thoughts.
I have never been a dieter. I have never had the self control to not eat dessert when it's offered.
I don't have self control to stay away from the chocolate chips in my pantry.
I also tend to over-eat on delicious meals regardless if I'm still hungry or not.
So here are some thoughts on eating for someone who is trying to:
-lose a little weight (and/or not gain any more)
-get in (pre-baby) shape
-be somewhat healthy
Number 1: EAT BREAKFAST
Not eating can hurt more than help.
Breakfast is the easiest meal to skip. However, when I don't eat breakfast, I'm starving by 10:00. Then I tend to eat whatever I can find, and that's never good. If I skip breakfast, my eating is off for the rest of the day. So I'll snack all day, never truly feeling satisfied.
So eat. I recommend eating breakfast within an hour of waking up. The longer you wait the more tempted you will be to skip it.
You don't have to necessarily eat breakfast food in the mornings.
Nick is not a fan of breakfast. When he does eat breakfast, it is normally leftovers from the night before. He has been known to eat leftover chicken, pizza, and even chili for his morning meal. And he doesn't heat up any of it.
I find that eggs or oatmeal are two filling breakfast foods. I tend to eat Cheerios most mornings.
My point is to simply eat breakfast. It doesn't matter what, just eat.
Number 2: EAT WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY. STOP WHEN YOU ARE FULL.
If you do get hungry mid meal, then by all means eat.
I find that if I try to resist hunger, I end up eating a lot more later on, and it is usually something like a bag of chips, a handful of chocolate chip cookies, or half the cheese biscuits I made today.
When you get hungry eat something that is satisfying and filling. Then when you are full, stop eating. Don't finish the snack if you are not hungry any more.
Some of my favorite snacks are:
-peanut butter and banana
-peanut butter and graham cracker
-peanut butter and apple
*peanut butter is filling, therefore you don't eat very much of it
-celery or a carrot dipped in your favorite salad dressing
*my favorite dressing is ranch or Ken's thousand island
-cheese and crackers
-leftovers from the night before
-a handful of goldfish and a diet coke
I know these snacks are not low fat or 'healthy,' but they are filling and satisfying.
Here is another snack I made one afternoon.
Graham cracker, peanut butter, banana, and chocolate chips.
I hate nothing more than eating a snack and still feeling hungry afterwards. Then you have to eat another snack, and that is how you end up eating all of the cheese biscuits.
Recipe found HERE.
Number 3: DON'T SWEAR OFF SOMETHING YOU LOVE.
For example, I am a chocolate lover. I could eat it everyday. And at every meal.
So for me, to try and cut chocolate out of my life for even a week, would be extremely difficult and probably cause me to eat more of something that is worse than chocolate.
Instead of cutting back on chocolate, I could cut back on bread. I like bread, but I don't really have to have a roll with dinner. The dinner is good enough. The roll is not the star of a meal. The roll is just there to help scoop up my rice.
I didn't get french fries at Chic-fil-a the other night. I got a chicken sandwich and chocolate shake but no fries. I know what you are thinking. The fries may have been the 'healthier' choice over the shake, but I was definitely getting the chocolate shake. I was getting the shake over the sandwich. However, by not getting fries I cut back on a lot. I would have eaten the sandwich, fries, and shake. After eating the sandwich and shake I was full and satisfied. The fries would have over done it. And yes, I would have probably eaten all the fries if I had them.
So don't try to give up something you love. Sure you can cut back on it, but giving up completely may cause you to do worse in the long run.
I posted about this dessert the other day. I only ate a little at a time, and it lasted for a few days.
Like Paula Dean says, 'everything in moderation.'
Number 4: DON'T FINISH A MEAL BECAUSE YOU FEEL GUILTY.
Don't eat your entire plate because you spent all day cooking, spent a lot of money on it, or simply because you have gone out to eat. Simply save your left overs. If you spent all day cooking, maybe you could freeze some of your meal or give some to a friend. You can also start cutting recipes in half to start cutting back on the amount of food you make. Don't eat just because it is there.
This can also go with number 3 above. When you are full, stop eating.
Number 5: TRACK YOUR FOOD
I have heard that people who want to loose weight need to keep a food journal.
I can tell you now that I am not going to do that.
However, there are several free apps on the IPhone and IPad that allow you to track your food and exercise.
One I've used is myfittnespal. I can log in my food and exercise. It tells me how many calories I've consumed and how many I burned off. I did it for a couple of days in a row to get an idea of how my food was balancing out with my work outs. I've stopped now because this is not something for me to keep up with on a daily basis, but it may work for you.
And if you are a journaling type of person, then by all means, journal.
And to show you that I'm not always eating chocolate and peanut butter, this was dinner one night. Grilled chicken and rice with rotel tomatoes mixed in.
These are not tips for someone trying to lose a dramatic amount of weight. These are simply my ways to help me lose a few pounds and maintain that weight.