Sunday, April 15, 2018

Type 2 Nutrition #428: Portion Control?

Weight loss strategies are full of advice to control portion size…but nobody wants to measure! So, instead of a scale, we are counseled to use a clenched fist to estimate a protein portion. We are told to use a small plate so that a full plate makes the serving look bigger. Both devices work, but if you continue to eat a “balanced” diet loaded with nutrient-poor, high-carbohydrate, “processed” foods, you’re still going to be hungry.
Alternatively, if you are eating a Low Carbohydrate diet, you can fill your small plate with energy-dense protein and fat, and a few low-glycemic veggies, and you will feel full and remain sated for a longer time.
And if you are eating a Very Low Carb diet, you can eat these same healthy foods…or not. That is, you can skip a meal without hunger and save both time and money. Case in point: I am never hungry at “breakfast.”
Eating three meals a day is a social construct and a cultural habit. We’ve been told (by the cereal makers) that it’s important to “start the day off well with a big breakfast” and “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” And guess what? It’s usually all carbohydrates, like fruit juice, cereals with milk and added sugar, and sugar-laden yogurt or bread with jelly or tea with honey.
Result: our blood sugar spikes, then crashes and it’s snack time or lunchtime, so we scarf down more carbs. By mid-afternoon, our blood sugar has crashed again and we’re ready for a nap…or a snack (candy bar, anyone?).
Do you see a pattern here? Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Well, maybe a diet of 3 meals a day, plus snacks, that is 55% – 60% carbs, or higher, is the problem! Maybe a change in what and when we eat, or even why we eat, would fix that problem. D’ya think?
For me, diet and portion control begin with 3 precepts (H/T to Diet Doctor): 1) Eat strictly a Low Carb Diet, 2) Eat only when hungry and 3) Use Intermittent Fasting as needed to reach and maintain a stable weight.
Here are a few practical tips that I use that you might consider:
1) For “Breakfast,” I have “downsized” and just drink a medium-sized mug of coffee to take my pills. Thus, I need a smaller pour of heavy cream to color and flavor the brew. I now get 3 weeks from a quart, at about 1½ oz/pour (150kcal). If you eat them (I don’t anymore), eggs & bacon are portion controlled. Cereals are not.
2) For “Lunch,” if I eat lunch, I eat from tins:  a tin of kippered herring in brine, or squid parts in its own ink, or Brisling sardines in olive oil or water. The small tin limits the meal, and it is all protein and healthy fats.
3) During the day I only drink a beverage that will not raise my blood sugar. I drink cold-brewed iced tea, “sweetened” with liquid stevia. I have tested this drink multiple times and it does not raise my blood sugar.
4) For “Supper,” if I am not fasting, I eat two small, pasture-raised lamb chops (an 8-rib rack provides 2 meals for 2 people), or half an 8oz Sam’s Club filet, or some similar premeasured portion of protein. We also share a low-glycemic vegetable, either tossed in butter or roasted in olive oil, or a salad with my homemade dressing.
5) For a supper beverage, I prefer one or two 5oz portions of red wine in a glass filled with seltzer. I know it’s only 5oz because I always get 5 pours from a 750ml (25.36oz) bottle. Sometimes I have iced tea instead.
6) If I have a “nervous eating urge” after supper, I use the wine glass for a Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar Cocktail: 1 Tbs of vinegar, a few dashes of bitters, and several drops of liquid stevia; add ice, swirl and fill with seltzer.
If you’re not hungry most or virtually all the time, as you are NOT when you eat Very Low Carb, portion control is…ahem, a piece of cake. BECAUSE YOU DON’T THINK ABOUT EATING OR PORTION CONTROL WHEN YOU’RE NOT THINKING ABOUT FOOD. And, about that piece of cake, you won’t crave it. You can enjoy it on special occasions, but you won’t NEED that carb snack to keep from falling asleep. You’re full of pep and “vinegar.” ;-)

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