By Mary Pletsch 04 Oct 2019 no comment 1136 Views

In centuries past, stuffing yourself at feasts became an indicator of status, wealth, and the ability to have a good time. Today, all-you-can-eat buffets offer a similar experience, but many of us aren’t working off those calories with backbreaking labour in the fields all day.  Healthy portions might look scanty to those of us who are used to eating all we can hold, even if those healthy portions provide us with all we need.

How can we feel satisfied with enough?

Read the nutritional information to find out how big a “serving” is.  The nutritional information will also help you to pick foods with more protein, or foods with less sodium or sugar.

Use small plates.  It’s a psychological trick:  if your plate is small, your meal looks bigger.  If your plate is huge, your meal looks meager, even if it’s too much!  Use this optical illusion in your favour.  Small plates will make you feel more satisfied with your meal.

What do you do if you’ve eaten a reasonable portion and you still feel hungry?

Your body needs about 20 minutes to “catch up with” feelings of hunger.  Wait for 20 minutes and see if you’re still uncomfortable.

Many times our bodies say “hungry” when they actually need water.  Try a big glass of fresh water first.

If you’ve waited 20 minutes, and had some water, and you’re still hungry:

If you feel “empty,” help yourself to vegetables—most of them are low in calories and will help you to feel full.

If you feel unsatisfied, try a small serving of protein.  A small tin of tuna, a slice of ham, an unbreaded fish fillet or a small chicken breast are about 100 calories each and loaded with protein.

When portion sizes are too big

It’s easy to order a pizza and eat the whole thing, or go to a barbecue and scarf down three burgers.  The end result:  lots of calories and not enough nutrition from fruits and vegetables.  How to fix it?  Put a pizza slice or a hamburger on a plate and add a big side salad or some raw veggies like celery, carrots and broccoli crowns.  You’ll have a more balanced meal and still be able to enjoy pizza and burgers from time to time.

What if you’re in a restaurant and you’ve been served a monster steak?  Or the bowl of noodles you ordered is enough pasta for three meals?  There’s nothing wrong with doggie bags and no, you don’t have to clean your plate.  It’s okay to set some of your meal aside to eat later.  If you divide it into two portions before you start eating, you’ll have better control over how much you want to eat now, and how much you want to save for another time.

If you have leftovers from a healthy dinner, you don’t have to worry about making a lunch for the next day.  This will reduce the temptation to buy a fast-food lunch.  And if you don’t have leftovers, consider making your lunch, and/or your breakfast, the evening before, when you aren’t in a rush to get out the door.

In conclusion, it’s okay to enjoy the food you eat.

In fact, it’s important to find healthy food that tastes good—you’ll be more likely to seek it out!  Don’t be afraid to try new things in search of healthy meals you enjoy.  Substitute olive oil and lemon juice for commercial salad dressings.  Experiment with spices to vary the flavor of chicken and fish without needing sugary, fatty sauces.  The Internet is full of free recipes for you to try.

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