Enjoy your food, but eat less. This was a statement that is rather confusing and created a lot of buzz in the nutrition world. Eat less of what, how much less? The USDA new “Super Tracker” may help the public with this. You can see based on your specific profile how much you should be eating and eating for optimal health from all the food groups. Perhaps you can consider a SMART goal or two related to using the “Super Tracker”. Today, I’ll give you some guidance that has worked for my clients in the past and even in my own household
So step one is start to record and track your progress. The Super Tracker has some great tips and tools including food-a-pedia, activity tracker, and more. It even has a place for your top 5 goals, once you personalize your plan. I think it is a pretty user friendly website-much easier than previous versions. Personally, for me, it is motivating to see everything tracked right in front of me. Used appropriately, the tracker can be a great tool. If this tool does not work for you, search for one that will! There are plenty of trackers-even on smartphones.
One thing that I suggest that you try is measuring your food (measuring cups and a food scale can be very affordable). It can be challenging when decipher a food label or even the tracker to eyeball what the portion should look like on the plate. However seeing what exactly you eat vs what is a serving is quite interesting! I’ve tried it with my husband lately (shh don’t tell him I am talking about him). He was surprised at what he saw and has started to make an effort to think about the amount of food he put on his plate (even without the measuring cup). Are going to measure forever-no eventually you will be able to it without measuring cups or scales. Also you probably won’t pull out your cups at a restaurant or party, so it is good to learn at home and then you can visualize the portions when you are out. Ultimately, if you see your portions creeping up go ahead and start to measure your food again to get you back on track. You can also use household items for portion sizes, although this only works well for some people.
Remember that it a lifestyle change you are looking to achieve and new habits must be formed. It can take some time to get used to something new. Some say 21 days is the time it takes to create a sound habit. So will you feel hungry at first? Perhaps-you may be used to overeating and will need to learn how it feels to be satiated without being stuffed. Will there be struggles-yes! It is part of the experience, but move on to the next meal or snack- it is a mind game that you can win.
There are awesome tools to help you achieve your year (and lifetime) of health! You do not have to do it alone.