Updated: Jan 20, 2021
A lot of the time its not your diet that's stopping you from losing weight but your portion sizes, let's talk about it!
Portion sizes & calories deficits
Let's be honest now, this is a safe place : ) a lot of us eat more than we need to, we eat for eatings sake. You might not actually be hungry, you just want to eat. Right? I'm guilty of it too sometimes. So now we got that on the table, let's discuss. Eating a balanced nutritious diet in a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you consume) means you're a good chunk on the way to weight loss but if you're portion sizes are too big, then you are consuming excess calories, which will slow or inhibit weight loss altogether.
It's your appetite!
Now comes the part where you say you've tried to reduce portion sizes, but you were just too hungry and ended up eating more anyway. The thing here is to actually reduce your appetite, and in turn portion sizes will go down with it. Please note, here at Finest Fitness, we are all about healthy, sustainable weight loss, so nowhere in this blog am I encouraging you to starve yourself or take appetite suppressing medication...hell no! The most important thing to do is listen to your body. Let's go onto tips to reduce appetite!
1) Eat off a smaller plate
Eating with your eyes is a real thing...I do it every Christmas lol. When eating off a smaller plate, you don't give your mind the luxury to do this; see this is all a (healthy) mind game. Doing this encourages you to eat a smaller portion as not so much fits on the plate, and a lot of the time doing this tells your brain you are fuller quicker & after practicing this for a period of time, you won't have to tell your brain your satisfied, because you just will be. In the worst case scenario, if you do go for seconds on the same plate, you're essentially having one normal sized portion instead of going for a second portion on a bigger plate which would result in a lot more food & calories consumed.
2) Stay hydrated
Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, a feeling of hunger can actually be thirst...your dehydration can sometimes disguise itself as hunger and what do you do as a result? Eat instead of drink! To fix this, try to consume enough water for your weight, height, age & activity level using this formula:
Your weight (kg) x 0.033
In times when initial hunger strikes, drink some water, don't replace hunger for food, but this acts as a test to distinguish your thirst from your hunger. if after drinking subsequent water, you feel okay & more or less satisfied, then chances are it was your thirst talking. however, if after that you are still hungry, go and get some food! Whether that's your next meal or just a healthy snack to get you through, go for it.
The same goes for when you eat your meals. Always have a large glass of water with your meal, and preferably try and drink this before/at the beginning of your meal to fill up some space.
3) Give your stomach some time!
Now I don't like to get too science-y with this, but give your stomach some time. Let me break it down for you. In your body your hunger hormone is grehlin, appetite suppressing hormone is PYY and your full hormone is lepin. Naturally, as you embark on your weight loss journey, your grehlin hormones kick in more. Now you're PYY is located away from your stomach & so takes a few minutes to kick in. So after a meal, before going for seconds or a dessert, just wait. Give yourself five minutes to see if you really are still hungry.
4) Snacking isn't the enemy, what you snack on is
As you embark on your journey to reduce your appetite, you will get hungry along the way. Although its best to keep snacking to a minimum, snacking is not your enemy here, it's what you snack on! Stick to healthy, small snacks that will give you that full feeling e.g. fruit & veg (especially with a high water content), a protein bar if you're on the go and burning those calories...something along those lines. In my meal plans that are for sale here on my website, I incorporate 2 small snacks throughout the day, because being hungry is very counter-productive & I don't encourage it at all!
5) Fill your plate with the right things
As mentioned above, it's about eating the right things, but this time in your meals. Change your plates proportions; add more veg to the plate, and reduce the carbs; this is especially useful at the beginning of weight loss where your appetite size is still more or less the same. This will allow for slightly bigger portions, as vegetables are low in calories, high in vitamins & nutrients & water (e.g. cucumber) so you can gradually reduce those portion sizes and consequently your appetite size without feeling as if you're depriving yourself of food.
For any blog suggestions, contact me via my social media, I'd love to answer your questions! & for customised or standard meal plans head over to my shop and find the perfect plan for you!