Why are the French skinny even though they love bread and pastries?  It’s because their portions are smaller.  They don’t eat meals that look like the one pictured above.

 

Like many of you, I used to eat until I was full.  Besides being told to eat everything on my plate, I was also a growing boy where I needed food to fuel my high energy level.  I continued this mentality into my adult years where I ate until I couldn’t fit anymore.  I thought it was wasteful to leave food on my plate.  I also thought that after a hard day of work, I deserved to eat until my stomach hurt.  The result was that I would usually pass out in front of the television and fall into a food coma.  Even though my appetite diminished slightly as I grew older, I couldn’t shake the mentality of forking in more until I was stuffed.  Studies have also shown that there are many harmful effects of overeating.  What’s even worse is that when you overeat, it’s more likely that you’ll fall asleep with food in your stomach.  That’s when the body starts to store calories as fat along with other problems.  I decided that this was not a healthy habit and I needed to try a new routine. 

 

Start New Habits

One day at dinner, I decided to put a reasonable amount of food on my plate and stop eating before I felt full.  I tried to take my mind off it by talking to my wife or interacting with my kids.  My first thought was that I would soon head to the stove for another portion, but it didn’t happen.  I actually felt satisfied sitting at the table without being stuffed.  I waited a little longer for signals from my stomach, but this didn’t happen either.  I was completely satisfied!  Even better, I didn’t feel bloated afterwards.  My stomach didn’t feel stretched out.  Because I was taking in less, my calorie intake went down and my stomach shrunk in size.  I started to keep this routine with other meals and I could slowly feel more comfortable consuming less.  Sometimes, I would leave a part of my steak uneaten.  Another time, I wouldn’t finish my side dish.  No matter what was left, it didn’t matter.  I would stop before getting full.  It’s not a crime to have food left on your plate.  What’s better is that I put the remaining food in the refrigerator and had it for one of my small meals the next day.  The end result?  I lost five pounds.  Even better, my weight didn’t fluctuate afterwards because my stomach was smaller, and I did it gradually. 

 

If you think you’ll have problems getting used to this system, drink a good swig of water before your meal.  One of the tricks that I use to stop eating mindlessly at a meal is that I concentrate on the flavor of the food.  This will give me more satisfaction during the meal without having to consume more.  We’re so used to putting food in our mouth, that sometimes we forget to taste it.  Take notice of how savory that steak tastes or the zesty flavors in your bowl of soup.

 

I used to have 16 oz steaks for dinner and now I’m fine with an 8 oz portion.  I used to finish a whole pizza in college, now I enjoy three pieces.  It’s just a matter of learning to eat less gradually and changing bad habits into good ones.  The one rule to live by is to never leave the table stuffed.  The sooner you start new habits, the sooner you’ll lose weight.

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