Yes, I know, we all eat healthy. We all know the right kinds of foods we must eat (leafy greens, lean meats, whole grains, colorful veggies, yada, yada, yada). We know that if we limit the junk, we'll soon reap the wide array of benefits that come from clean, wholesome eating. The clear skin, the boundless energy, the anti-inflammed body, the weight lost, the list goes on and on.
So where's the disconnect?
Because it's there, somewhere lurking behind the scenes, seeping into our unconscious despite our consciously good intentions. Our healthy isn't cutting it. There is something more going on. And it could be as simple as... dun dun dun duuuuuun... your plate size! It could be that in one day you actually fill up more than your fair share of plates without you even realizing. It's the bite, hand grabs, finishing off your kids meals, all these small traps that end up leaving you wondering one thing: how the eff am I still this weight when I eat so healthy???
Ah, my dear... the answer is simple. In fact I have 5 answers for you... care to hear them?? Hmmm??
1. Consciously control your portions. Notice I didn't say auto-pilot your portions. Auto-pilot is the death of sane, reason, and control. You will drive yourself insane, unreasonably so with no feelings of control. Train wreck. Do NOT open that box of crackers, or your blue corn, low-sodium tortilla chips, or your low-fat weight watchers chocolate dream cookies and leave them sitting on the counter expecting your conscious self to reign supreme here. It won't happen. Auto-pilot kicks in and you're screwed. Next thing you're wallowing in guilt because you've binged like Netflix on those snacks.
2. Don't sabotage yourself by buying "treats" for yourself. Don't be all high and mighty right now and say your don't do that. C'mon, we all do it. It's the "I deserve this effin treat after the day I had dealing with __________" fill in the blank. (Mine is "Tasmanian devils" as I lovingly refer to my children). The days are long my friend. Long. But we can't let that derail us. Don't leave yourself treats, like crackers, or blue corn, low-sodium tortilla chips, or low-fat weight watchers chocolate dream cookies (I don't know why I'm harping on these snacks). These small, hand-full turns into something more. Refer back to No. 1 for a refresher. Hint: Auto-pilot.
3. Eat with your eyes. We all like pretty things, so why shouldn't our food be pretty and abundant? When you take the time to prepare your food, you're going through a conscious process and visually you're understanding and seeing every ingredient that goes into your meal or snack. When sitting down and enjoying the food you've prepared, placing it on a smaller, prettier plate can actually increase your enjoyment. It's more visually appealing and satisfying. You're eating joy. Pure unadulterated joy. Go buy yourself some new dinner plates, and make sure they're pretty.... and small. You'll feel like you're feasting when you've filled the plate up with veggies and a healthy protein, on your new small pretty plate.
4. Be ready. Be set. Be prepared. Do you start your day off at work without an action plan? If you run your own business, do you go about it without setting goals and markers so you can gauge success? When your little kids are home from school, do you wing it and hope they can find something to entertain themselves with throughout the day? I didn't think so. So why the hell aren't you planning out your meals and snacks for the day. Getting healthy doesn't just happen. Losing weight doesn't just happen. Auto-pilot just happens, and we know how messy that can get. Beginning of the week, or at the start or end of your day, take stock of what you got in the kitchen and make a plan. 10 minutes is all it should take. Open up one of the many cookbooks you have and pick out two recipes. Make a list and make it happen. Plan your portions. How much will you make, who will eat what and can you make leftovers work for lunch the next day.
5. Understand that you eat more than you think. Yes you do. Yes. You. Do. Empty calories are always sneaking in and there is only one way to combat them. You know what I'm going to say. You know.. do I have to say it? Ok, for those who may not know, what you must do is live by this mantra: If you bite it, write it. Start logging down what you eat. Not for an hour, not for a day, not from Monday to Friday. One month, every single day, every single bite. Weight loss takes work and this is part of the work.
So pull up your sleeves and get down to it. Understand your current portions, how big (or small) they may be and adjust accordingly. Weight loss doesn't just happen, but it doesn't have to be impossible to happen. It's work, it's time, it's effort, it's planning, and being conscious when it comes to food. Get off auto-pilot when it comes to eating right and controlling your portions. Small success lead to even bigger successes.