I was sitting in the break room at work munching on a bag of Frito’s while talking with a co-worker. Before I knew it I had polished off half the bag. I read the label and was astounded to find out normal serving size was about ten chips. I had probably eaten four times that amount. Ten chips was 110 calories! I call it mindless eating and most of us do it. How many times a day do you mindlessly eat?
Overeating can happen so easily, you’re sitting at a restaurant with friends eating dinner focusing on the conversation. Before you know it you’ve eaten way more than you wanted to. Now is a good time to become aware of where you mindlessly eat.
Mindless eating comes in two forms, first by putting food in your mouth without realizing it and second by not reading food labels and not knowing what is in the food you are eating. The good news is you can combat mindless eating.
First, say you are eating potato chips, yes you can eat them on The Half Cup Diet, but, take the allotted ten chips and put the bag away. If you want cookies take no more than three and put the package back in the cupboard. If you are out to eat ask for a “to go” container as soon as you place your order. When you get your food cut the meal in half and put half in the “to go” box. Now you can eat and converse without worrying about over eating.
When I pack my lunch in the morning, I measure everything out ahead of time and put it in containers. I pack enough food to cover my lunch and snacks. I usually pack fruit and cheese, One cup of soup and ten corn chips. Sometimes I pack cut up vegetables and three tablespoons of dip, but I always measure everything out so when I sit down to lunch I can just eat without thinking about it.
Another way we eat mindlessly is by not reading food labels. Do you know what the serving size is on the back of a bag of potato chips? Ten chips, that’s how much a serving size is. The brands differ, but most of them are around ten chips and even that is 150 calories. When was the last time you opened a bag of chips and ate only ten chips? Do you know how much sugar is in your morning orange juice? Are you aware of the amount of salt in your lunchtime pickle?
According to the book Salt, Sugar Fat, Americans on average consume twenty-two teaspoons of sugar a day, just eating a normal diet!!! Time to read labels and become aware of how much sugar, salt and fat are in the foods you are consuming. Read ketchup labels, salad dressing labels, cereal labels and juice labels. Once you start seeing where your calories are coming from it’s easier to alter your diet.
Now that I’m aware I buy only 100% juice, 100% maple syrup and 100% pure honey. Can you believe that some companies actually add high fructose corn syrup to maple syrup and honey? I only buy canned fruit packed in 100% juice, or fresh. Once I started reading labels I cleaned up my diet and looked for ways to go more natural.
The Half Cup Diet is all about what and how much you are putting in your mouth. This is because this diet is more about what you should be eating. For example you know you have to three to five servings of vegetables a day how you get them is up to you, but eating fresh certainly going to be more healthy than vegetables canned and processed with salt. Are you going to buy fruit in heavy syrup or are you going to buy fruit in juice or fresh? It's these small changes that actually make a difference in weight loss.
Since you can eat what you want it's important to know what and how much is in your food. How much salt, how much sugar is in the food you eat? What sort of preservatives and additives are in your food and what is a serving size? Once you start reading labels you will probably want to eat more natural foods. Do you know what those look like? Learn what all natural looks like and get as close as you can.
Read up on what constitutes organic and what constitutes all natural. Learn to get back to the basics. You may want to switch to real butter instead of margarine. You may want to stay away from sugar substitutes and go back to using real sugar. You may want to eat full fat all natural salad dressings. Think of it this way if you have been eating fat free dressings, sugar substitutes and margarine and you are still over weight someone has been lying to you. Since you will be eating less food you will have allowances to put all these better items back into your diet.
So dieting isn't about eating all the new fangled diet foods that are on the market. Dieting is about knowing what is in your food and knowing how much you are putting into your mouth. If you know what ingredients are in your food and you know what a serving size looks like that is half the battle. Get back to basics and become aware of what you consume.