And, even though I started out on Weight Watchers and following the points system, there were times (still are, actually) when I felt like I wanted to eat a second helping of something awesome–and if I had the points in my daily budget, it didn’t seem like a big deal.
So in the process of losing weight, I was always looking for ways to refine my process and make it go more smoothly and BLISSFULLY (which is why the book is called Project Blissful!).
That’s what led me to do the research on the whole eating seconds thing – and since I’m no scientist, I’ll just let the ones from Harvard Medical School tell you the science behind it.
“Stretch receptors in the stomach are activated as it fills with food or water; these signal the brain directly through the vagus nerve that connects gut and brainstem. Hormonal signals are released as partially digested food enters the small intestine. One example is cholecystokinin (CCK), released by the intestines in response to food consumed during a meal. Another hormone, leptin, produced by fat cells, is an adiposity signal that communicates with the brain about long-range needs and satiety, based on the body’s energy stores. Research suggests that leptin amplifies the CCK signals, to enhance the feeling of fullness. Other research suggests that leptin also interacts with the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain to produce a feeling of pleasure after eating. The theory is that, by eating too quickly, people may not give this intricate hormonal cross-talk system enough time to work.” ~Ann MacDonald, Contributor, Harvard Health (See the full scientific explanation at the Harvard Medical School website.)
The 20-Minute Rule That Changed My Life
Anyhoo, since it takes your brain approximately 20 minutes to inform your body that you’ve had enough, I would sometimes end up eating more than I wanted.
So, I made a new rule, and it hasn’t failed me yet.
I allow myself to eat literally WHATEVER I WANT, but I only take one serving at a time AND I wait 20 minutes between servings. I also try to eat slowly, for the same reason. (According to Harvard researchers, there’s a good reason for doing so.) For me, that usually means I don’t eat a second serving, because I really do feel satiated by the single serving in most cases.
Your Fit Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It
Starting today, make the same rule for yourself. If you still feel hungry after eating a single serving or plate of food, give yourself a 20-minute break before loading up that plate again or taking a second helping. It’s so simple, but this single change can offer you a serious advantage on your weight-loss journey.
Will you give it a shot? What are your best weight-loss tips? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!
Who doesn’t love to snack? But if you’re not careful, doing so can cause big trouble for your diet. If you frequently eat between meals, those extra portions could have a big impact on your health – either positive or negative. They will definitely play an important role in helping you to manage your weight and take in all the nutrients your body needs.
So why do so many people find that when they snack throughout the day they’re actually heavier at the end of the week? Well, it’s quite simple, really – they’re eating more calories overall. Right?
Well…sorta. See, USDA studies show that many Americans who snack are taking in about one-third of our daily empty calories from those afternoon candy bars and late night refrigerator raids.
Do you know what that means??
That adds up to most of us are consuming two to four times the recommended limit in solid fats and added sugars. TWO to FOUR times!
It’s enough to turn your stomach (to flab!). So what are you gonna do about it?
The Mayo Clinic suggests keeping snacks below 100 calories. “Generous portions of fruits or vegetables can easily help fill you up while staying below that calorie count. All of the following servings have fewer than 100 calories:
Medium apple: 95 calories
Small banana: 90 calories
Two kiwis: 84 calories
20 medium baby carrots: 70 calories
20 grapes: 68 calories
Medium orange: 65 calories
20 cherry tomatoes: 61 calories
Medium peach: 58 calories
Medium red pepper: 37 calories
20 pea pods: 28 calories
For comparison, one reduced-fat cheese stick has about 60 calories to 100-calories, but it also has 4.5 grams of fat. While the protein and fat may help curb your appetite, a single cheese stick may not be as satisfying as, say, 20 baby carrots, which add up to nearly 10 times the weight of the cheese stick, and have 70 calories and less than 1 gram of fat.”
Blissfully Healthy Ways to Eat More and Still Lose Weight: The Magic of Snacking
I say we revolt! Let’s turn those numbers around! But how? Oh, don’t worry, as usual, I’ve got a plan for you. See, by learning how to choose smart snacks that are good for your health and well-being. Try these blissed-out tips to get started.
Blissed Out Eating – How to Make Better Food Choices
Focus on whole grains. Bake your own treats or look for packaged food that lists whole grains as the first ingredient. Whole wheat flour has more nutrients and fiber than white flour.
Take the sweet and the salty down a notch. Reduce sugar and sodium. Many junk foods are loaded with sugar and sodium. Satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit instead.
Balance it out. Plan a balanced menu. Think of your snacks as miniature meals that need to include all three food groups. Along with complex carbohydrates, add in lean proteins and healthy fats.
Eat the WHOLE thing! Opt for whole foods. You may be tempted to simplify things by just grabbing an energy bar or buying cookies that are labeled low fat or low sugar. In fact, many convenience foods are less healthy than the label suggests. Buy natural foods like raw nuts and plain yogurt. (Then again, if it’s a matter of convenience, don’t beat yourself up if the energy bars work best for you. Do what you need to do, yo!)
Drink up. If you’re pressed for time, you can snack on healthy beverages. Tea contains antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients. Water will keep you hydrated and feeling full. For heartier fare, whip up smoothies in minutes with vegetables, natural peanut butter, or other goodies.
Eat more produce. On average, we’re eating 3 servings of fruits and vegetables compared to the recommendations for 7 to 13 servings. Snacks can help you fill in the gap.
Find substitutions. You probably have certain snacks that you crave the most. If they’re high in sugar or saturated fat, consider how to adjust them. Oven-baked fries are much slimmer than the fast food version. A square of dark chocolate is lighter than a doughnut.
Keep an eye on your portion sizes. It’s easy to consume as many calories as a full meal if you’re scarfing down potato chips or cheesecake. Measure out a single serving instead of eating out of the container. And if you’re good at eyeballing, check yourself every now and then, especially if you see something crazy happening on weigh-in day.
Don’t eat mindlessly. Stay in control by giving your full attention to your food while you eat it. Enjoy the process of cracking nuts and eating them one by one instead of wolfing down a whole package while watching TV. Spoon out leftovers onto a plate and pull up a chair rather than eating with the refrigerator door open.
Take it with ya. Pack a bag. Carry sensible treats around with you to avoid desperately searching for something wholesome in vending machines or gas stations. Pack a cooler with carrot sticks and yogurt drinks.
Don’t get hungry, angry, lonely, tired. Manage stress and boredom. Distinguish between true hunger and appetite. Do you eat for entertainment or to comfort yourself when you feel blue? Pick up a hobby or invite a friend out for a walk instead.
Keep a journal. If you need more help, a snacking journal can track how much you’re really eating. Spot the triggers that make you want to overindulge and develop strategies for dealing with them.
Choose healthy but yummy snacks that stabilize your blood sugar and give you the energy you need to cruise right on through your busy day. Good-for-you, whole foods and advance planning will help you to stay fit and healthy while you graze between meals.
Project Blissful is a whole-life makeover that helps you become the best possible version of yourself. Author and certified life coach Angela Atkinson has herself lost more than 100 pounds without surgery or hard-core weight loss drugs. In this book, she shares all of the intimate details on how she lost the weight and what she does to keep it off.
Plus, you’ll learn:
How to start losing weight today (and without feeling miserable in the process)
How to love yourself healthy and thin
How to find your ideal weight and reach it without pain
How to lose weight without traditional exercise
How to baby-step your way through small habits that add up to big results