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Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Day 10 - Eating Clean Mini Challenge

Based on research, Michael Pollan says instead of using our internal cues to know when to stop eating most of us “allow external, and usually visual, cues to determine how much we [should] eat.” Think back to your last meal…did you stop eating when your gut told you you’d had enough or when your plate was clean, the package was empty, or the T.V. show was over?

Day 10 Eating Clean Challenge: Listen to your internal cues and stop eating when you feel full.

I've mentioned before but I'll say it again, when I first discovered this whole world of eating what I called Real food or now refer to as Clean eating (it's easier that way) I read the book In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.  

Pollan Says:

Supposedly it takes twenty minutes before the brain gets the word that the belly is full; unfortunately most of us take considerably less than twenty minutes to finish a meal, with the result that the sensation of feeling full exerts little if any influence on how much we eat. What this suggests is that eating more slowly, and then consulting our sense of satiety, might help us to eat less. The French are better at this than we are, as Brian Wansink discovered when he asked a group of French people how they knew when to stop eating. ‘When I feel full,’ they replied. (What a novel idea! The Americans said things like ‘When my plate is clean’ or ‘When I run out.’) Perhaps it is their long, leisurely meals that give the French the opportunity to realize when they are full.

I don’t know about you, but as long as I can remember I’ve been told to “clean my plate.” I'm finding that meal planing along with the 21 Day fix portion control program has been very helpful for me in understanding how much is the correct amount for me. I fill my containers up and put my portions onto my plate and it's usually more food than I expect it to be.  This makes it easy to know I'm getting the correct portion of carbs, veggies and protein.  I've now become very good at eyeballing how much I should be having so I don't overload on the potatoes or not take enough protein.  
But I've also been 3/4 the way through dinner and felt that full feeling and allowed myself to stop, even if I have half a protein left on my plate.  I know I can have that half of a protein later on.
But aside from that portion control container system,  sometimes it can be difficult to stop eating an exceptionally good meal when there are only one or two or even three bites left. I know we’ve all been taught how awful it is to “waste” food and even when you do start to feel that full feeling it can be hard to leave those last few bites on your plate. 
The key is when you start with less food you can always add more. So instead of taking 2 scoops of potatoes, start with one and if you really loved them and Feel hungry you can go back for more. You may be surprised at how often you don’t feel the need to pile on more…especially if you rest for a few minutes before going back. This is something I’ve honestly struggled with myself ever since I first read Pollan’s book, but I continue to try as hard as I can to not be won over by a delicious meal and instead stay in check by listening to my body. As Pollan says “Better to go to waste than to waist,” which will “help you eat less in the short term and develop self-control in the long.”
Not to mention “Americans are on average eating 200 more calories a day than they were in the 1970s.” We think this concept of controlling our portions goes hand-in-hand with eating real food because I have personally found that real food is incredibly filling. Your body is getting the nutrients it needs to be more satisfied too so you have fewer cravings for high calorie low nutrient dense foods between meals. You truly don’t need to eat as much to get to that “full” feeling as you would with the empty calories that make up highly processed food. But following through on this concept can sometimes be easier said than done, which is why I'm devoting today's mini challenge to the “way we eat.”
Check out these tips from the “How should I eat?” section of Michael Pollan’s book Food Rules:
  • Pay more, eat less.
  • Stop eating before you’re full.
  • Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Spend as much time enjoying the meal as it took to prepare it.
  • Buy smaller plates and glasses.
  • Serve a proper portion and don’t go back for seconds.
  • Do all your eating at a table. (A desk does not count!)
  • Try not to eat alone.
  • Leave something on your plate.

Which one of these tips speaks to you the most?  For me it is probably the first one: "Pay more, eat less".  This is because I often hear people say that eating healthy costs so much more money than packaged junk food and processed meals.  And it's true but I can tell you that your body will not be satisfied by that bag of chips and will leave you searching for more an hour later.  For example if I drink Shakeology in the morning for Breakfast, it costs me about $5.  Compared to a muffin from the coffee shop that might be only $2, but the sugar in that muffin and the lack of nutrients will leave me hungry an hour later and searching for another sugary treat to fill the void.  Cravings are directly related to nutritional needs and when the nutritional needs are satisfied the cravings stop.  

This topic came up in my Challenge group last week actually when one of the ladies posted in the group to ask if it was normal to lose her Chocolate cravings while on the 21 Day fix. Because that program is all about eating to fuel your body with real food and drinking shakeology, her body is satisfied nutritionally so her cravings have gone!  Big Win! 

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