Tip #1: Know what portions you're starting with!
When you are trying to lose weight, gain weight or even maintain your weight, you step on the scale to gather a baseline or starting point, right?
This is pretty intuitive, but yet, we don't usually do this with our food! It's really hard to improve if you don't know where you are starting.
I'm not introducing this to make anyone crazy or obsessive…it's simply information. If you have goals you are working towards, you have to be realistic about what you are eating and it's super helpful to recognize how much food you actually need for your satiety.
Here are my favorite measuring tools:
- FOOD SCALE – This is the best tool for measuring your portions, especially protein.
- MEASURING CUPS – We use these in recipes and such, but not when we make our plates. This is more accurate than saying a “handful” because everyone's are different sizes!
- MEASURING SPOONS – These are especially great for measuring oils.
Give yourself about a week – hey, that's when I'll be sending you the next video 😉 – to gauge how much you are eating and what your portion sizes LOOK like. Realistically, you won't be around these tools all the time and you'll want to learn how to eyeball them, so this week of measuring should help with that!
Pay attention and take notes on how much you are eating and how you feel afterwards. You may notice that you only need 4 oz of meat when you were really adding 6 oz to your plate without measuring. Focus on feeling full and satisfied. You’re measuring for information, not deprivation!
Tip #2: Test, Test, Test
Now you need to test how you feel with different portions.
You need to track:
- what you ate
- how much you ate
- when you ate it
- how you felt
Write down about how long the meal kept you full, when (and if) you got “hangry,” or how long after that meal you needed to eat again.
This will vary for each and every person, and it may even change depending on the type of exercise you do on a particular day, your overall lifestyle or even the amount of stress you have.
It's important to learn how to test and adjust your portions because life factors constantly change… which leads to tip #3:
Tip #3: (And this may be the most important one!)
Balance Your Plate, then Rebalance It Again
Pay attention to how your body responds when you add more of one macronutrient to your plate. If it's not the result you want, then rebalance your plate again, being mindful of your portions.
Many of you have told me “I've added back more carbs and I gained weight.”
Often this happens because calories (in the form of carbs) are simply being added to your plate without readjusting what was on your plate already. If you want to add carbs, then protein and fats have to be rebalanced (decreased!) in order to avoid overeating in general.