Nutrition

Eat less; feel full

FreeImages.com/SHUTdown
FreeImages.com/SHUTdown

Lays potato chips bank on “[betting] you can’t eat just one,” because of two words: profit margins.

Most companies in general encourage their target consumers to purchase more and more of their product, whether it’s yogurt, hamburgers, or lard. With all the pressure to buy, buy, buy, it’s difficult to not eat, eat, eat, as a result.

I recall reading an article a few years ago about Japanese ‘standards’ for eating and fullness. The author said they were taught to eat until about 80 percent fullness, or “hara hachi bun.” Googling the notion now, I see it’s well-publicized, with articles written by Huffington Post, a handful of nutrition sites, and even its own entry on Wikipedia.
There’s two really simple reasons why this is some of the most valuable eating advice ever:

  • It prevents you from stuffing your insides until you’re over-full. As a result you eat fewer calories.
  • It allows your brain to catch up with your body to acknowledge that you are full.

So this creates a new goal: eat until there is an absence of hunger, not until you’re “full.”
You may find you eat smaller, if more frequent meals.

Here are some other guiding principals to assit in eating “less” without starving.

1. Drink more water
Current water-drinking guidelines suggest the 8 cups a day rule is outdated. All our bodies are different, with different hydration needs. Try halving your total weight in pounds. That amount, in ounces, is your minimum recommended amount for the day.
Think you’re hungry? Have a glass (not a sip!) of water. Sometimes thirst is mistaken for hunger, and if a glass of the good stuff doesn’t cure your tummy rumbles in a few, go for the food. You may just eat less of it with that extra volume occupied.

FreeImages.com/Robert Owen-Wahl
FreeImages.com/Robert Owen-Wahl

2. Eat for color
Meat is brown. Bread is brown(ish). Rice and pasta is in the brown family. Most dairies are blandly colored. These foods generally contain more calories per ounce than say beets, kale, tomatoes, peaches, and bananas. Even if you weren’t excited by these food groups as a kid, you have to say they’re colorful. These foods can be seasoned like any other ingredient. There’s also a lot of options, so don’t think you’re relegated to carrot sticks at every meal. Let animal proteins and straight carbs play second fiddle to your star veggie assortment. The fiber will also help you feel fuller and you can afford to lay a few slices of cheese on your broccoli if your plate is 3/4 greens.

3. Use a smaller plate
We eat first with our eyes. Stick an average burger on a huge dinner plate and it looks like a slider. Stick it on a saucer and our eyes adjust to see it in its actual splendor. In short, pile it onto a smaller plate. Its physical limits will control portion, while its appearance of abundance makes you feel like you’re eating a lot of food. You’ll find you are more satisfied. Still hungry? Don’t refill until you’ve cleared your plate.

What are your go-to rules for eating less and controlling portions? We want to know!

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