Let's Avoid Overeating!!!
Welcome back everyone!! I know, I know it’s been a while since I had an opportunity to post a blog, but this first semester of grad school gave your girl the blues!! But I made it!
Let’s get into this!!!
Trying to figure out how much you need to eat to reach a certain goal, whether that be for weight loss or just sustaining is equally as important as choosing what to eat. Let me tell you PORTION CONTROL is not for the faint at heart especially when your stomach is sounding like thunder during severe weather!
Have you ever noticed that the sliced apples and peanut butter you have as a morning snack is typically perfectly satisfying? But sometimes that same snack does not do the trick when you are starving for lunch before 12 PM or when you do have the apple and peanut butter and dig the spoon back into the jar of peanut butter for just a little more. And then, you find yourself eating more, and then more, and then more peanut butter. So lets see, what is the deal? How much of the apple and peanut butter should you really be eating?
I use portion control as an education tool to help with keeping weight off long term and not just for 2-6 weeks. I teach my clients about Hunger Quotient. I actually learned this during one of my classes this semester and started using it as an education tool immediately. It can definitely be a concept that is hard to wrap your brain around when it comes to healthy eating (yup, healthy eating is mental work too!) But with some time you can learn this, and you will see that it becomes easy and it works!
This will be one of your greatest nutrition tools as far as knowledge goes and will get you one step closer to the healthy eater you are meant to be.
What is Hunger Quotient?
Have you ever heard of hunger quotient? Your HQ is a number on a scale of 1-10: How hungry are you really? It will help you figure out how hungry you are at any point in time.
Think about this scenario:
Have you ever noticed that when an infant is born they have the ability to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full? Sadly, as they grow that ability diminishes.
As adults we eat for so many reasons other than true hunger. Some even eat without even being hungry. For boredom, stress, or because it’s just simply there. And Yes, we have all done it! So don’t try and act like you haven’t because I know I have! Many times!
Connecting with your true hunger and a number to your readiness to eat is essential to eating the correct amount. Not only that, but also for the right reasons. I know some of you may be thinking, Kayla honestly this sounds easy, but in reality it does take loads and loads of practice. The pay off is a lifetime of weight management. This I do promise you if you learn to conquer HQ and portion control.
The goal of HQ is to always fall between a 4 and 6 at any point in time.
First things first you do not want to feel as if you are starving or feel stuffed. You should feel empowered knowing you will eat again within a few hours, so lets not over do it at meal times or even under do it at the next because you had so much at the previous meal.
At the beginning of your meals be aware of your slight hunger as you take a sip of water and pick up your fork. If you are at a 8 or higher on the hunger scale it is almost impossible to be in the moment because you can only focus on getting food in your belly.
Use every opportunity to eat just enough to feel comfortable. You should eat until you are about 80% full or a little less, this is what I call slightly satisfied.
When you are at a 4 you should feel “just right” because you have eaten just enough to feel content without needing to loosen your belt or take a nap. This should never happen!
Understanding your HQ forces you to slow down, again this can be the most difficult part of eating healthy.
Next time you are sitting down for a meal take a deep breath and a few sips of water, really try and figure out your HQ. Turn off your brain and try not to tell yourself “I always have room for dessert.”
Shut down those thoughts from childhood that says “I must clean my plate” because growing up I was not suppose to waist ANY food chile. I can’t promise you that shutting down these thoughts will be easy, but you can do it! Just take a few minutes to eat food mindfully and check in as you go.
Are you becoming satisfied? Are you enjoying the meal? Are you at a point where you can stop eating even though there are a few bites left? leftovers for the win!!
Honestly with each meal the question of “how much should I eat"?” changes meal to meal and day to day. But if you conquer the feeling of being slightly satisfied it will change EVERYTHING!
If you never eat past the feeling of slightly satisfied you will not over eat.
Take a minute to shut down the voices in your head and listen to your HQ, this will help you really figure out what your body needs.
Use HQ and not calorie counting to monitor your food intake. You are not eating numbers, you’re eating food!
Mastering this technique will likely help you eat the proper calories to meet your needs.
Just a reminder that today you may only need half your plate and tomorrow you may finish the whole plate to satisfy your belly, this is all normal.
Be confident in listening to your mind and body. This tool is a secret weapon to help you take charge of your goals of healthy eating.
Add this into your lifestyle and and don’t give up!
Let me know in the comments below if you try this technique after reading this blog! I would love to hear all about how hard or easy it was for you!