Carrying a food scale around with you is usually not something we care to do. Below is a simple way to measure out your portions just by looking at your hands.
The reason this works is because everyones hand size varies person to person. Your hand size will determine how much your body needs to sustain itself AND how much is just enough.
- Grains, pasta and fruit- One cupped hand is how much you should be eating. If you are going to use pasta try to use a whole wheat pasta.
- Vegetables- Two cupped hands. Try to stay away from these starchy vegetables: Beets, corn, parsnips, peas, lima beans, lentils, and white potatoes.
- Meats and other proteins- The size of one flat palm. Now granted this can go for any meat however there are healthier alternatives to red meats. Chicken, Turkey, and white fish (tilapia, flounder, sole ect.) Ground turkey is an excellent alternative to chopped or ground beef.
While you are first trying this it may seem like you are depriving yourself but as your portions become more controlled your stomach will start shrinking back to its proper size. If you are exercising regularly, eat protein first, then vegetables, and lastly your grains.
Tips & Tricks For Eating Out
Now we all know going out to eat can be unavoidable. In most restaurants they will give you double the portion that is needed. One thing you can do to prevent yourself from overeating is ask for a take out box BEFORE you start eating. Put 1/2 of your meal in the box before you start to eat.
Another thing you can do before your meal comes is drink 8oz. of water. Unfortunately for WLS patients, this does not pertain to us due to the fact that we shouldn’t drink for at least 1/2 hour before or after a meal. The reason that this helps is actually pretty simple. The top 2 inches of your stomach, into the base of your esophagus is the ONLY part of your stomach that can sense when you are full. The down side of this is the fact that it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to relay that message to your brain. By drinking that water before the meal you not only jump start the stomach to brain connection, but it will take less food to fill you. If you don’t like plain water ask for a lemon wedge or bring a bottle of MIO with you. It’s pocket sized so its easy to carry with you, comes in 6 flavors, tastes delicious, and has zero everything! Way better than crystal light too.
Take small bites and chew chew chew! The better your food is chewed the easier it is for your body to process. It also slows down the time you take to eat. You may even come to the realization that when your “favorite” food is actually chewed properly, it may not be your favorite anymore. Consistency and tastes change when food is chewed well.
In between bites put your utensil down. When we hold a utensil, we automatically have a need to rush. You would be surprised how much longer your food will last. Same goes for “finger foods” Do not hold your food while you are chewing. Put it down and don’t pick it back up until you swallow.
Really pay attention to how you are feeling. Like I said it takes 20 minutes for that connection. When you are feeling full or your portion is done STOP. Here’s a fun little fact. The human adult stomach has the capability to stretch to the size of a 3 LITER BOTTLE! Don’t push it lol.
Try to stay away from caffeinated beverages! Yes caffeine can give you a little extra pep in your step but it also stimulates your brain to think you are hungry when you aren’t.
Over all self control is the key. Learn to say no thank you.