Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tips and Tricks: Cutting Calories

There's a lot of books and articles out there about how to cut calories, and they range from valid and informational to completely insane. This is a short list of what I've found works for me:

I'm a classic overeater, and since living on my own, it's gotten worse. Trevor doesn't eat leftovers, and I feel like I'm wasting money if we don't eat the entire pot. So, I have two ways to combat this instinct.

Cut recipes in half. Most recipes are written for 4, so before you know it, the pan is empty and even a healthy recipe's calories have doubled.

Dish up leftovers first. If I make my lunch plate for the next day, and get it in the fridge before I even sit down to eat dinner, there won't be any food leftover for tempting seconds.

Another super easy thing to do is to use smaller plates. This works best with my nemesis, carbs. Cereal, rice, pasta, potatoes. All are easily overserved, and then overeaten. I know there are tips to eat almonds, or thing like FullBars before a meal to dissuade hunger, but I find I still eat the same amout of food regardless, ignoring my "full" feeling. It's best to use these mental tricks, personally.

I also frequently confuse boredom and thirst for hunger. This likely stems from afternoons alone after school, and trying to fill voids with food. So, I drink lots of water, in the form of coffee, tea, EmergenC, or Crystal Light. I also try to keep easy snacks like chips, and crackers (more carby goodness) out of the house, and actually make real meals when I think I'm hungry. Work for my food. If it seems like it's going to take too long, I'm not really hungry.

That said, I am a new mom, and sometimes even sauteeing chicken takes too long. So, I'm a big fan of bagged, one pot meals. Birds Eye Garlic Chicken is my favorite. But, again, my financial sense takes over, and I'll make the entire bag for myself, totalling close to 1000 calories for one meal. So, I only make half the bag. Again, then I'm eliminating any temptation to have additional portions, and as long as I wrap the remainder up tight, it's good in the freezer for a couple more days.

Finally, I can't get hungry during the day, or I ignore all these smart tips to avoid over consuming. So, small snacks that are full fiber, filling, and not calorie-dense help me immensely. FiberOne bars, and apples top the list.

Of course, the best trick is to actually make a lifestyle of implementing these, something that is clearly a challenge for me as I continue this lifelong battle over my inner fat kid. But as long as I never feel deprived, it's easy to do.

Also, here's a bonus fashion tidbit: my sister's breakdown of legwear definitions. Since I've been pregant, and actually since my mom opened Napa Valley Pilates, I've been a constant stretchy
-pants offender. I'm sure I'm not the only mommy who needs a reminder of what's socially acceptable.


Breezy Peterson said...

Good point on the serving size! I read that the FDA is considering "cracking down" on food labels for being "misleading" and "deceptive" about one bottle of soda actually being 2.5 servings of soda. Silly me, I though Americans were smart enough to do exactly what you are doing: THINK FOR THEMSELVES. What is happening to the 1st amendment??

Sorry, tangent over. A little tidbit you forgot: Off-set every snack with protein when possible. Fruit is good for you (duh) but fruit with protein is better. An apple with peanut butter, for instance, is a great idea. The protein will keep your body from converting all of the apple's natural sugars (all fruits are naturally high in sugar) into fat. And it will keep you fuller longer :)

Blair said...

thanks for the link chels!!

Chelsea Strong said...

No prob, bob. :)