The temptations are everywhere we look. It's only a quarter more to get the large size at the movies. It's cheaper to buy the bigger bag of Baked Lays. How can we be expected to keep our waistlines where we want them, much less try to lose some weight before our next high school reunion?
One of the biggest secrets for successfully losing weight (and keeping it off!) is portion control. Exercise obviously can play an enormous role in getting fit, but it can be a struggle to balance the everyday commitments of work, kids (and everything that comes with them: sports practice, and playdates, and family mealtime, oh my!) and some quality time for yourself and your spouse.
This is where portion control comes in. You'd be surprised just how much weight loss you can accomplish through just eating smaller sizes, and actually listening to your body. Eat slower. Eat less. Eat more frequently throughout the day, but eat less at each meal. By controlling how much food your body actually gets, and giving it fuel more often throughout the day, you'll be stoking the furnace to burn away fat and give yourself energy all day long.
The experts agree, five to six small meals a day will help you reach your weight loss goals. This is another form of portion control, constantly feeding your metabolism so it can work hard all day and burn up fat. Those annoyingly skinny teenage girls who are always eating whatever they want and never put any weight on? Aside from being blessed with a speedy metabolism, they keep it jacked up because they're constantly fueling it!
Take a page out of their notebook, but do it with healthy snacks and protein shakes as replacements for smaller "meals" in the middle of the day. A healthy breakfast, maybe some eggs and chicken breakfast sausage, and then a protein shake or bar between breakfast and lunch. Tuna salad or some fish from home or really anything as long as it has protein and is on the smaller side for lunch, and another shake or bar for a mid-afternoon snack.
For dinner, divide your plate with an imaginary line. Fill half with veggies, any kind you like. Divide the other half again, and fill one quarter with a lean, protein-packed meat (turkey, chicken or any kind of fish are all great choices) and the last quarter with a healthy grain (brown or wild rice) or legume (black beans pack a serious fiber punch!).
Now take your time while you eat. Talk to the kids and your better half. Find out how their day went, ask questions and relish what time you have together! By the end of the meal, you may end up feeling full either right as you finish your plate or sometimes even before! Now, wasn't that a surprisingly good feeling?
Go ahead, maybe even treat yourself once in a while. A little ice cream after dinner isn't going to kill you. Just keep it to one scoop or two scoops, not half the carton, and you'll be on your way to your successfully losing weight, and keeping it off.