Thursday, June 30, 2011

Other Than Weight - What Can A Scale REALLY Tell You?

Get off the scale!
A scale can't measure health, fitness, talent,
purpose, personality, spirit, or love.
A scale can't  measure how good a worker,
parent, friend or partner you are.
A scale can't measure your insight, sense of
humour or self esteem. 

Get off the scale!
A scale can't tell you how enchanting your eyes are.
A scale can't express how wonderful
your hair looks when the sun shines on it.
A scale can't thank you for your
compassion and contagious smile.
A scale can't admire you for your
perseverance when challenged in life. 

Get off the scale!
The only thing a scale can give you is a numerical
reflection of your relationship with gravity.  That’s it!
Don’t give the scale more power than it has earned!

If, for some reason, you feel you must step on,
I want you to take note of the number, then
get off the scale and live your life!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Maximize Fat Loss - Plan to "Mindlessly Eat Less"

If you're like most people you can probably remember a time when you ate more than you intended.  Studies have concluded that external cues influence how much you eat, which foods you eat, how fast you eat, whether you enjoy what you eat and more.  It’s not enough, according to these studies, to know your portion size, to know to stop eating when you feel full, or, what foods are not conducive to your goals of weight or body fat loss.

The size of your plate, or container, will determine how much you eat.   If you purchase the large bucket of popcorn you generally will eat 34% MORE than if you bought a smaller container.  Same goes for your dinner plate.  Use a smaller plate – your eyes and your mind will feel satisfied sooner.  Once while vacationing in Vegas, my husband and I went to a buffet for dinner.  On the way to the buffet table, I noticed super huge servings on almost all the plates at the tables – so huge in fact, that I knew most stomachs cannot digest all that food, not to mention how many calories or grams of fat were on those plates – for one meal!  I found the super big plates right there by the ‘dinner’ items.  I knew I would overeat using that huge plate (seemed more like a platter which made me understand all that food on people’s tables!) so I went to the salad section of the buffet and found a smaller plate – actually, probably my plate size at home.

You’ll probably argue – ‘well, I'm paying for the food – I might as well eat as much as I can’.  A perfect example of how your environment can alter your portion sizes!  If dining at a buffet gives you the attitude of eating more because it’s all there or eating ‘your money’s worth’ – which most people do – then avoid buffet tables while you are trying to lose body fat or weight.  Better yet, avoid them altogether.  Unless you are super diligent, you WILL end up eating too much fat, sodium and sugar at buffets.  And I haven’t even gotten to the dessert table yet.

Who you follow in the buffet line can also affects how much you eat.  If a woman follows a woman, the person behind usually took about the same amount on their plate as the one in front.  If the woman was larger, the person behind took more (with the attitude “I’m not that big, therefore I can”) and if a woman followed a guy, it didn’t matter and for men – well, it didn’t matter – they just filled their plates!

Other examples of your environment affecting your consumption of food:

  • If you tend to leave your serving dishes on the table at home, when eating a meal, men will eat 29% more and women will eat 10% more than if you leave them on the counter or a side table;
  • When you eat with someone who eats faster than you, you will consume significantly more calories than if you eat alone;
  • When you believe you are eating ‘healthy food’ or at a healthy restaurant you‘re apt to consume more calories and fat.  For example, in one study, people who ate at McDonald’s estimated within 200 calories of the actual consumption of their meal.  However, people who ate at Subway (considered a healthier option than McDonald’s) under estimated their calorie consumption by almost half!; and,
  • You will eat more of a food when you can see it, so take the fruit out of the refrigerator and place it in a clear bowl on the table to encourage snacking on healthy food.

Watch out for foods labelled ‘low fat’.  People tend to eat 21 to 46% more calories if they think the food is healthier or lower in calories or fat than the alternative.  And knowing you have to cut back or eat foods lower in fat and calories isn’t enough!  You count with your eyes, not your mind when eating.

Knowing you need to stop when you are full isn’t enough.  Knowing you are aware of ‘mindless’ eating or after reading this article you feel “I know now, I can stop the influence” isn’t enough.  Most of us are too busy with life, kids, work – our lives are chaotic and stressful.  To think we can just eat ‘better’ or ‘less’, or be more mindful, doesn’t work for 95% of the population.  For most people, the solution is not mindful eating – it’s setting up our environment at home and at work, so that we mindlessly eat less.

Enjoy your meals, set up your environment for success, menu plan and journal what you eat.  Cut the excuses, we can all think of reasons to start ‘tomorrow’.  Start now to “mindlessly eat less”.