We’ve got three simple tips for losing weight the healthy way: portal control, clean eating, and small healthy meals. Seems easy enough, right? Yet so many of us struggle every day, battling unhealthy food demons. Certified nutritionist and yoga instructor, Alex Curtis, gives us the visual aids we need to turn these tips into reality!
1. PORTION CONTROL: being able to visualize portion sizes is an important diet tool. If you understand what a portion really looks like you will be able to monitor how much you are consuming. Here are some helpful visualization tips.
- 1 cup cooked rice, pasta, etc. = 1 baseball
- 1 medium fruit = 1 baseball
- 1 cup fresh fruit/vegetables = 1 baseball
- 3 oz. meat/poultry = deck of cards
- 3 oz, grilled/baked fish = check book
- 2 tbs peanut butter or hummus = 1 golf ball
- 1 cup yogurt = 1 baseball
- 1 tbs dressing = 1 poker chip
- 1 cup strawberries = about 12
- 1 cup carrots = about 12 baby
- ¼ cup almonds = about 24
- 1 tsp oil = size of tip of thumb
2. CLEAN EATING: Foods we purchase daily are filled with added preservatives to keep their shelf life longer. In these processed foods there are substantial amounts of added refined sugars, which are a diet disaster! Try not to eat foods that have sugar as one of the top 4 ingredients. Ingredients are listed in order from highest amount to lowest. Added sugars can be written as sugar, corn syrup, fructose, and many other names (even tricky ones you cant pronounce). It is important to limit processed foods in your diet. Aim to eat foods that contain less than 6 ingredients. Stick to whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains such as quinoa, barley, and brown rice.
3. SMALL FREQUENT MEALS: It is important to not let yourself get hungry. Be in tune with your body and know when you are reaching a point of hunger. In order to keep your energy up and your metabolism going you need to eat about every 4 hours. When your body goes too long without food it starts to protect itself by storing calories and fat from the meals you do have. Your body is like a machine, it will protect itself from lack of food. Not letting yourself get too hungry will also prevent you from eating an excessive amount of calories during meals. When you are hungry you feel as if you could eat anything and everything, most likely consuming WAY more calories than needed. Monitor your hunger levels throughout the day and aim to eat 5-6 smaller meals.