by Emma Hammond 0 comments
As much as I preach ditching the diet & balanced eating, the reality is if you are trying to lose weight it is necessary to create a caloric deficit. It is MUCH more complicated than eat less & move more! Quality of food matters, type of exercise is important & so many other factors that I will rant about another day. Regardless there may come an appropriate time to reduce your food intake in order to lose body fat. Plain & simple. You may even have to deal with a bit of hunger here & there while you try to find a balance between your energy out versus energy in. However you should be able to find a middle ground where you can maintain a deficit while not binging on the closet pint of ice cream if left alone for 5 minutes. This is where eating more while losing weight comes in to play..
Contrary to most people’s experiences, “dieting” can be done in a healthy, safe & not completely torturous way. Yes I know because YES I have at times reduced my calories intake in order to shed excess body fat. In fact at one point I shed over 30lbs. Trainers & health coaches struggle too! In recent years I play with leaning out for special occasions, vacations or simply to self experiment with different nutrition protocols as research. The great part of my good & bad experiments is I learned a lot about how to lose body fat, keep cravings in check, maintain strong workouts, skip the starvation/binge cycle & actually achieve the results I desired.
One of the top tips I still use daily to maintain my weight is VOLUME eating. Volume eating? So eat tons of foods & still lose weight?!? Well yes, kind of! I am a person who needs to chew my food & enjoy the experience of eating. I don’t get satisfied off a smoothie, I am displeased with a tiny portion I can eat in 2 bites & even enjoy fairly frequent eating. Yay snacks! The issue with that is when I consume foods that are a higher caloric bang for the buck compared to their portion size.
For example I am feeling a midday snack coming on. I generally aim for a snack to be in the 200 calorie range.
Option A: I could eat a 2 tbsp of peanut butter that contains around 200 calories. Delicious yes? But also disappears in one quick bite which = not super satisfying for ME.Option B: A cup of nonfat plain greek yogurt w/ sliced strawberries, 1/2 a tbsp of peanut butter & a cup of coffee or tea with almond milk for just under 200 calories. Delicious, takes time to eat, has texture, protein & a bit of that peanut butter I was craving.
For me this is a no brainer! The fact that I have to sit down & eat the yogurt in multiple bites as opposed to eating one big spoonful of peanut butter that let’s be real, I’m likely to refill, is an easy decision. Same calories but more volume for the win!
It’s a part of the reason I include a big ass salad every day. I know it drives my husband crazy when he has to wait 45 minutes for me to finish a salad the size of my head, after he’s done in a few bites of a sandwich. Which probably had twice the calories of my salad btw.. But the time it takes to slow down & eat plus the high fiber & volume of vegetables does the trick every time.
I would much rather eat 100 calories of crunchy carrots & salsa than 5 potato chips. I get more enjoyment & satiety eating 1/2 a plate of roasted broccoli then 1 small scoop of mac & cheese. Having a big bowl of berries satisfies my sweet tooth more than struggling to eat just one bite of cheesecake for the same caloric amount. I also frankly don’t have to overtax my willpower by trying to just eat half of the plate or just one bite of ice cream. Again that is what works for ME!
What are great foods to help fill you up, provide you lots of texture, taste & time to actually eat? Here are a few of my favorites when I feel the urge to eat but want to stick within my intake goals:
Vegetables: I choose those that are non-starchy, fiber filled & that I actually enjoy!
~ Big ass salads for meals (watch the cheese, heavy dressings & crunchy tortilla type toppings).
~ Snack on cucumber, carrots, peppers, cooked or uncooked broccoli & dip in salsa for more flavor.
~ Fill 1/2 your dinner plate with vegetables over other sides. You still get a full plate & fill up quick!
Fruit: I don’t believe anyone ever became obese by eating too much fruit BUT I have seen clients over do the amount they eat in a day. Hello “5 apple a day client”, you know who you are…. 😉
~ Try sticking with mostly berries as a great sweet tooth satisfier. I promise your waistline will thank you for overeating berries as opposed to cookies. I love dipping strawberries in yogurt mixed w/ cocoa powder!
Protein: If I am struggling with feeling full I lean towards filling up on protein over carbs & fats. That protein is more likely to fuel my muscle growth, recovery from workouts & less likely to be stored as body fat.
~ Increase the portion of leaner meats such as chicken, turkey & fish.
~ Plain greek yogurt is a great option, as I eat a full cup with 24g of protein for less than 200 calories.
~ Cottage cheese is another protein filled option, if you like that lovable curd…:)
~ Make a big ole smoothie if that floats your boat. Throw in some protein powder, spinach, unsweetened almond milk & berries for a lot of nutrition in
~ Egg Whites are another option if trying to keep calories on the lower side. Yes I prefer to eat the whole egg BUT when I am trying to lose a few pounds I am ok with a big egg white omelet filled with tons of veggies. Especially if I know I will be going out to eat that day & consuming a higher fat meal. It’s about balance!
Did notice that all of these options are REAL FOOD. Not 100 calorie packs of cookies or weight watchers muffins. No I am not bashing weight watchers per se but YES I do think when you are in a calorie deficit it’s even MORE important that you include foods that have nutritional value. Empty calories = empty energy, satiety & so on that WILL lead you to being hungry & undernourished. Of course you can’t sustain that! Why should you?
In the end take time to learn & listen to what works for you. Not your friend, the magazine cover or newest trendy diet guru. If a diet isn’t sustainable I can promise you it won’t KEEP you at your goal. Try out some of these swaps & enjoy what it feels like to eat more, while getting the nutrition your body needs to do all that you ask it to do.
Struggle with this concept? Email today & let’s troubleshoot volume eating for you! Emma@healthybalancewithemma.com
diet myths, eat more, Fat Loss, Nutrition, volume eating, weight loss