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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:43 pm 
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Dying from Nooch Lung

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My trick is to weigh all my carbs and only make a certain amount.... like rice, potatoes, pasta, cereal. I was on weight watchers twice for a good spell of time and I've found as soon as I stop weighing I start putting on weight. I find by doing that I can afford to have that extra bit from a AFR recipe. I generally only make the one recipe at a time and whatever carb to go with it.

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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:18 pm 
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Saggy Butt
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After having a baby and never getting to eat alone, I now hoover all my food in 30 seconds and don't get the "I'm full" signals until waaay too late. I'm relearning to eat slowly by putting down my fork and taking sips of water between every few bites. It's working! I'm eating so much less because I feel myself getting full as at happens.

I also use the bed of greens trick. All pastas and noodle dishes and curries go on greens.


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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:10 pm 
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Flounceiad 2011
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torque wrote:
molasses jane wrote:
New plan: put giant pile of kale under everything I eat. Fill up bowl with kale, not rice.

this was what i did starting about 4 months ago (with chard, not kale). Now rice is just not really appetizing to me. I had some today for the first time in ages and it was like "oh, rice, interesting" but not like "must eat all rice in pot", which is how i used to be.
Exactly! Once you get used to the change, a nice big mouthful of green leafies is way more satisfying than a pile of starch!
torque wrote:
sadly, i didn't stop drinking when i implemented this change, so i didn't lose anything yet. work in progress......
Right there with you, comrade!

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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:16 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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a big side of steamed, low calorie veggies can really help as well: broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, green beans etc. they are kind of boring when steamed, but they fill up the plate and they are healthy and if 50% of your plate is steamed vegetables and the rest is what you usually eat, then you can be pretty sure you won't overeat. and if you do overeat, it's steamed veggies, so whatever.


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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:07 pm 
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Nailed to the V
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I use a bunch of the tricks already listed here, but I thought I'd add my two cents.

I have a food scale and pretty much everything I eat is weighed before I consume it. That's how I know I am accurately measuring out just one serving of something. I also do the huge pile of leafy greens under everything I eat and it works beautifully for me. I don't do myfitnesspal, but I do Livestrong, which is very similar. It makes my life super easy, and I love the fact that it allows me to add my own recipes to it; that way, you can just tell it that you ate whatever recipe you made and it does the work of adding up the nutrition for you. It can be a lot of work at times, keeping track of everything, but it's very effective for me.

The one other trick that has been magical for me is increasing my water intake. It seems so simple but it really works for me! I do eat slower than I used to, and I'll put down the utensil every few bites and drink a bunch of water. I refill my glass several times throughout a meal. By the time I'm done eating, I'm truly not hungry anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:50 am 
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Not NOT A Furry
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I've learned to use EFT to deal with fear of being hungry. It's nice; feeling hungry doesn't freak me out anymore.

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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:57 pm 
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***LIES!!!***
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Just googled EFT - never heard of it. It sounds like something in between the exercise I described above and professional EMDR therapy. (Weirdly, the first link in the google search was to a Mercola site recommending the technique, ewwwww).


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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:58 pm 
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So Totally Yiffy
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I second or third the bed of greens advice. I was once a mainly carbs kind of vegan, and I always had to think about portion control. A few years ago a friend who mainly eats raw vegan introduced me to the theories behind raw foods and nutrition...wowzers!! I am not raw, but having a better grasp of nutrition by studying that and general nutrition principles has allowed me to be in more of the drivers seat of my own bodies health and weight.

I try to eat a huge salad every day, with avocado, nuts, tons of veges, sprouts. When I do this regularly, my carb cravings all but subside. And weight falls off pretty easily...and I am FULL. I also try to limit processed foods, if it has some weird scientific man-made name its not going in my face hole. If its some derivative of a derivative of something that was once food, not going in my face hole. Oreos are vegan yes, but as far as I am concerned are not food, and pretty toxic, so not eating it. But I eat chocolate regularly, just the good stuff, and vegan gluten free cakes and sweet potato fries in garlic miso sauce, delicious creamy chocolate avocado smoothies. I am not suffering by any means and I don't think you have to. I eliminated the crepe and started thinking about eating cleaner nutrient dense alternatives and the cravings really have gone away. I don't count calories any more. For me its a far more interesting and fun, eating this way. In a strange way I feel more free and healthier. Meh, my two cents.


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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:40 pm 
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I think that portion size is important, as is being mindful of hunger and learning not to fear it. But really only some foods need be limited and it's different for everyone. You'd never catch me eating more than one piece of fruit in a day (if that) but some people can eat a pound f ghrapes and t
wo bananas nd think nothlike others, I limitthe starchy carbs (bit not eliminate) and tryI ti cram in thea veggies!ing of it!


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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:41 pm 
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Aye sorry, phone posting. Think ya'll got the essence.


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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:07 am 
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Prefers Jar Jar Binks over Han Solo
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Portion sizes are my biggest issue. I was thinking just the other day that overall in terms of what I eat, I'm doing quite well. But on the how much I eat, there is room for improvement. As an example, I make the chickpea cutlets recipe from Vcon using a whole can of chickpeas, so the result is 1.5 the recipe. And I eat that just by myself, in one meal, with a side of a large bowl of roasted potatoes. It all fits in my stomach, but of course I don't even want to think how many calories that is. Even when I eat a salad, it means a whole head of lettuce, a large carrot, 4 mushrooms, and half a pound of tofu.
Also I found that the more I eat, the more my stomach stretches, and the next meal if it's a reasonable portion will feel too little and I'll feel hungry. When I manage to eat reasonable portions for 4-5 following meals, my stomach starts to feel full much sooner.
And in addition, I get bored when I eat at home, because I eat alone and eating is not entertaining, so I usually read a book or the internet, so of course I don't pay attention to what I am eating which doesn't help my body in understanding when it's full.

I tried to eat everything out of a reasonably sized bowl, which resulted in the perverse thinking of "well it's such a small bowl, I can actually have two". Back to square 1...
I really have no idea what to do differently that will actually work!
Sorry, not a helpful post for your question. But if anyone has other suggestions, I'd love to get the advice.

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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:19 am 
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Should Write a Goddam Book Already
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The book Intuitive Eating talks a lot about learnign to identify and honor your hunger and fullness signals and mindful eating. I found this book to be life changing, so much so that I am working on becoming a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor.
http://www.intuitiveeating.org/
http://www.amazon.com/Intuitive-Eating- ... ive+eating
I have also heard that a book called "The Rules of Normal Eating" is pretty cool too, though I haven't read it yet.
Even though I am working hard on honoring my body's signals I still have a very hard time not cleaning my plate. So at home I help myself out by using the "small" bowls and plates. Which if you think about it really, or look at plates and portion sizes from like 30 years ago, would have been closer to normal back then. Everything is supersized now!


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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:28 am 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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Anek wrote:
Portion sizes are my biggest issue. I was thinking just the other day that overall in terms of what I eat, I'm doing quite well. But on the how much I eat, there is room for improvement. As an example, I make the chickpea cutlets recipe from Vcon using a whole can of chickpeas, so the result is 1.5 the recipe. And I eat that just by myself, in one meal, with a side of a large bowl of roasted potatoes. It all fits in my stomach, but of course I don't even want to think how many calories that is. Even when I eat a salad, it means a whole head of lettuce, a large carrot, 4 mushrooms, and half a pound of tofu.
Also I found that the more I eat, the more my stomach stretches, and the next meal if it's a reasonable portion will feel too little and I'll feel hungry. When I manage to eat reasonable portions for 4-5 following meals, my stomach starts to feel full much sooner.
And in addition, I get bored when I eat at home, because I eat alone and eating is not entertaining, so I usually read a book or the internet, so of course I don't pay attention to what I am eating which doesn't help my body in understanding when it's full.

I tried to eat everything out of a reasonably sized bowl, which resulted in the perverse thinking of "well it's such a small bowl, I can actually have two". Back to square 1...
I really have no idea what to do differently that will actually work!
Sorry, not a helpful post for your question. But if anyone has other suggestions, I'd love to get the advice.


I know what you mean. I usually use the internet as a distraction, but I need to stop and just eat my food. If you super focus on it-how it tastes, feels, etc, that might help? And just having to deal and eat without distractions. It's only like 15 minutes anyways.

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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:07 pm 
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Anek--everything you write resonates and is exactly why I started this thread. I feel good that I'm not the only one struggling with this! For me, it has nothing to do with fear of hunger. I just like food and am accustomed to eating a certain amount! In the past week, I've been trying using a smaller bowl, and upping the greens and other veggies--I am still eating rice/pasta, but far less. And actually, adding more kale into everything means I end up eating more than before, so that's fun. But 75% of it is veggies. I don't know if it's helping or not, but I do feel good and less snacky during the afternoons.

I think what frustrates me the most is I wish I could just not think about it at all and just eat what I want when I want. I feel like I've spent 1/3 of my life thinking about food--how much to eat, when to eat, what not to eat, blah blah blah, and I'm just sick of it. Being vegan for 18 years has meant that thinking about food has been such a big part of my life for so long too. Which is wonderful, but also tiring.

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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:43 pm 
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Should Write a Goddam Book Already
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molasses jane wrote:
I think what frustrates me the most is I wish I could just not think about it at all and just eat what I want when I want. I feel like I've spent 1/3 of my life thinking about food--how much to eat, when to eat, what not to eat, blah blah blah, and I'm just sick of it. Being vegan for 18 years has meant that thinking about food has been such a big part of my life for so long too. Which is wonderful, but also tiring.


Thinking about food constantly is so very tiresome, isn't it? I know it's not what you were asking, but I'm going to reiterate what I stated above--portioning out food is only going to add to the amount of time you spend thinking about it. Is that going to be a minor annoyance for you or is it going to cause you a significant amount of stress? Given all the shiitake attached to thinking about weight loss (even if you only want to lose 5 pounds), I think it's the rare person who isn't going to experience negative impact to emotional well-being when thinking so heavily about food quantities. Just something to think about.

And I'm not saying this as someone who doesn't care about my size; working freelance for the past eight months means I've gained a pants-size (I don't own a scale; I gauge by how my clothes fit) and lost muscle mass. I don't like it. But I also know that thinking about portion sizes only reinforces negative feelings about myself--even if those negative feelings come in the form of worrying that I'll exacerbate my back problems if I don't lose the weight. Not all of the feelings are about image--but worry about health is a stressor, and the worry really shouldn't displace doing what I can to be healthy.

I do know that if I refrain from eating in front of the computer or television, I'll be inclined to shrink a little. If I talk to my partner or read a book while eating, I'll eat more slowly and know when I'm full but instead of thinking about food, I'll be paying attention to conversation or ideas.

I also know that reducing food portions isn't a substitute for exercise. Doesn't matter how controlled my eating is--my body and my brain are still going to feel like crepe if I'm not moving. I know in my own life, I've come to realize that sitting in front of the computer as much as I do is a far larger culprit in my mediocre fitness than is the quantity of food I eat.

Hello! Soapbox!

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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:00 pm 
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Seagull of the PPK
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tinglepants! wrote:
working freelance for the past eight months means I've gained a pants-size....
I've come to realize that sitting in front of the computer as much as I do is a far larger culprit in my mediocre fitness than is the quantity of food I eat.

jeez isn't this true. i really enjoy working for myself but it is so true, and such a bisque.

(says the person who is currently translating a monograph about the 500 bazillion types of mangoes that exist, and feels this manic compulsion to go eat mangoes every half an hour. Thank goodness it's mango season, and I got a whole trunkload for free, and they're relatively non caloric, because if i were translating about, say, donuts or sweet chili doritos i think i would be forked.)

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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:03 am 
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lillianp wrote:
And just having to deal and eat without distractions. It's only like 15 minutes anyways.


This is so true. I never thought of it in these terms. We are used to spend time being bored at lectures, work, commuting... what's 15 minutes? It might actually help with some brain relaxation. I'm going to focus on this point and eat at the table with my reasonably sized bowl. Fingers crossed!


molasses jane - I agree with you! It seems that 50% of my free time is spent thinking about food. That is boring! But I found that if I don't plan (and therefore think) I will just eat whatever and that ends up being very unhealthy and full of processed/pre-made stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:53 pm 
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***LIES!!!***
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Can you use your planning time to allow yourself to think LESS about food? If you just plan the whole day and don't give yourself choices, at least you're not doing any mental wrestling about food.


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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:13 am 
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Along the same lines as meal planning would be to cook meals and portion ahead of time in tupperware. That way it's there in the fridge, ready to go, in an appropriate size and you don't have to think about it.


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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:40 am 
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Should Write a Goddam Book Already
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Several years ago I lost 65 pounds and have maintained it. I did it by running 4 or 5 times per week along with calorie counting. What I end up doing is what's listed above. After I cook a meal, I portion it all out so I limit myself to one portion and I have lunches ready for the work week. If I'm still hungry 20 minutes after I'm done I'll eat some fruit or carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:40 am 
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It's a constant struggle for me. I'm a binge eater, so if I don't watch what I do very VERY carefully, I am through a whole bag of chips, box of cookies, box of crackers etc. Tracking on myfitnesspal has helped me a lot because I'm brutally honest and if I binge on something I don't get to eat later or I work out extra hard. The two years I wasn't tracking or working out I put on over 100 lbs so it's essential to my health that I watch what I do.
I don't know if those of you struggling with this identify with this statement but here goes: I never feel full. Ever. Until it hurts. I have no normal shut off. I've always been that way. I remember as a kid, going to buffets like Bonanza or Ryans and I would just eat forever because I could and I never got "full" until I hurt. That's how I knew to stop. In reality, I had over eaten a long time before that, I just had no signals.
I do all the tricks, I eat all steamed vegetables first, put a ton of kale or spinach in everything, and try to avoid opening a sleeve of crackers like the plague. It mostly works, but it isn't as easy as some people make it. For me it's a battle every single second of every single day.

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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:24 am 
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Assilembob - I'm like you, I have no shut off so I have to work hard to enable my own mental shut off. I did lose 160 lbs at my lowest weight but maintained a 140 lb loss for 5 years until I gained about 50 lbs. I'm better, but working on getting back to where I was at.

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 Post subject: Re: portion sizes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:54 am 
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I would like to report some progress!
The point of it being only 15 minutes is really helping, now I concentrate on the food without worrying about missing out on books or internet.
I am eating at the table, out of a reasonably sized bowl, and I actually manage to feel almost full by the end of it, and if I am still hungry half an hour later I'll eat a grapefruit.
I even managed to leave half the food I had piled on my plate the one time I didn't eat out of the bowl, even though it was absolutely delicious, just because I was feeling full! This has almost never happened before.

I also asked my boyfriend to help: we have a master/sub relationship and I asked him to "give me instructions" on the eating part (normally that part of the relationship stays in the bedroom), which he did in a very reasonable and flexible way, so that I have full control of what I eat while still having a rule to follow.

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