As you know I hate diets. I don't prescribe them and I don't make recommendations for them.
My clients get amazing results without having to resort to food restrictions which are what diets are all about. But the health industry constantly markets new diets and diet trends because it preys upon people's desire for a quick fix and the desire for novelty.
You see the amazing results for Keto.
You see the overwhelmingly positive results for Whole30.
People rave about and swear by Paleo. Eat like our ancestors did!
And there is a lot of money to be made in it too like $60 billion dollars worth. That means even when we know that,
(1) diets are temporary
(2) fat loss and caffeine supplements has no long term effects on metabolism
(3) there is no quick fix for weight loss (though we keep dreaming of one)
we still fork over our hard earned money hoping for a miracle.
Not to mention that there are still plenty of secrets that the diet industry is keeping from you to earn your trust and your wallet.
What really blows my mind away is that no one talks about people who failed on the diet because it's bad press. No one covers how after getting off the diet those lost pounds came back in half the time and it became harder to lose the next time around.
How about I offer another solution to help you lose weight and melt bodyfat that is,
- Not diet related
- Doesn’t wreck your metabolism
- Doesn’t involve a list of banned food or behaviors
- Doesn’t involve counting calories
- Doesn’t require weighing your food
Did you ears perk up? Are you interested in knowing what this is?
The solution I’m talking about is portion sizes! Okay yes weight loss does involve cutting back on foods BUT the bottom line is cutting back on calories and not necessarily certain foods which I’ll talk about in a moment.
There is no miracle remember?
I believe that you can eat whatever you want and still get results but the catch is that you cannot eat as much as you want.
So how can we incorporate this method of reducing portion sizes easily into your life?
(1) Stop Eating Straight Out Of The Package
This is one method I know that if I don’t follow with my favorite snacks the whole bag will disappear and I will end up hating myself. This is especially true when it comes to the Kettle Brand potato chips, the thick cut crunchy chips are just so addictive that it’s hard to stop once I start.
So before you go snacking on your snacks whether they are healthy or not get a separate bowl, put your snacks in the bowl and eat from the bowl itself versus from the package. This forces you to separate yourself from continuously eating till the entire package is gone and to also be mindful of how much you’re eating to prevent automatic behaviors.
Sometimes I find myself just getting a handful of chips and going back to my office on the second floor instead of grabbing a bowl. This forces me to go down a flight of stairs and back up if I want more chips, making the behavior extremely inconvenient which prevents me from overeating.
A Hint: The smaller the bowl the more it looks like you’re eating when you fill it up. This leads to eating less calories as oppose to using a regular bowl and putting half which doesn't look like much. Check out Delboeuf Illusion below. The black circles are the same size in both plates but it looks smaller on a bigger plate.
Next time when you snack eat from a smaller bowl. Cutting back instead of cutting out will help you lose fat without feeling deprived.
(2) Cook And Eat At Home
Right down the street I love this Indian restaurant called Pakwan which I order from only on workdays not weekends. During the workweek they have plate lunch specials where you get a meat curry, a veggie mix, basmati rice, and naan for $12.95.
I get a little bit of everything for lunch as oppose to ordering the full sizes of each dish which is perfect for me.
Because I love Indian food so much I wanted to cook it myself and learn about the spices. Ten YouTube home cooking videos, one grocery store trip for spices, and 45 minutes in the kitchen later my veggie curry is nowhere as tasty as my Pakwan lunch.
It’s missing this flavor and oomph that I cannot pinpoint.
Next week I share my dilemma with my Indian clients and I figured out why. I’m missing ghee (clarified butter) and coconut milk in my cooking! I’m missing the fat component in my Indian dish. Well that explains why Pakwan’s food tastes way better and probably a lot more calories than my dish.
Often times when we eat out and order healthy we underestimate the calories in our foods. The portion sizes that we get served are much bigger than what we usually eat at home which leads to overeating and the obesity problem that keeps growing every year.
Check out the chart below that illustrates how the average calories consumed by a US adult has increased over the year and how it’s related to the obesity rate.
(Data pulled and calculated from the ERS/USDA and NHANES data Did the Food Environment Cause the Obesity Epidemic?)
Eating at home ensures that you have control over your portion sizes and you eat fewer calories overall.
A Hint: Meal prepping is super effective at helping people lose weight for two main reasons. First, we eat healthier when we pre-decide what to eat ahead of time as oppose to letting our hunger drive our decision. Second, pre-deciding means that we are more likely to stick to our portion sizes when we do eat versus eating however much we want.
These are two habits are what differentiates between people who succeed at losing weight and keeping it off versus ones who don’t.
(3) Get Your Carbs From Vegetables
I only started measuring and weighing my food when I started working with my trainer. I had no idea how to go about it, what to do with my macros, and seriously how much I was eating before my trainer. All I knew was that I was not seeing any results – on the scale, the way my clothes fit, in the mirror etc – from eating healthy.
I thought I knew what I was doing but apparently not which was why I asked for help.
You know how in the Matrix when Keanu Reeves chooses the Red Pill that will show him the truth about the world he lives in and how the Matrix is a computer stimulated program created to enslave the human race? Well once he swallowed the Red Pill there was no going back and no unknowing what he knows.
I had the same experience working with a trainer when it came to food. I couldn’t be blind and ignore how much I was truly eating when I weighed out everything I ate and recorded it into My Fitness Pal. I was eating ‘healthy’ but even too much of healthy can cause you to not see results and that was exactly what was happening to me.
When I weighed my carbs everyday I couldn’t help but cry on the inside because I couldn’t eat as much as I usually did without going over my macros in that category. My plate looked sad with less carbs, I felt sad because I had to eat less, and the whole affair was just sad.
However, I soon discovered that I was able to eat more food if I got my carbs from vegetables instead of rice or pasta. It was fewer calories and fewer total carbs which meant I had room to eat more throughout the day.
Apply this to your next meal: take half the carbs you usually eat and substitute it with vegetables instead. You’ll find yourself more satisfied after your meal without feeling hungry and automatically eating less calories so you can easily lose weight.
A Hint: The leafier the vegetable the more filling it is for you. Vegetables like kale, spring greens, collard greens, and cabbage are considered high volume type of foods meaning that they take up a lot of space on your plate and in your stomach. When you switch out your calorie dense low volume carbs like pasta, bread, and rice with low calorie, high volume foods you’ll eat fewer calories.