Posted by | Posted in Nutrition | Posted on 16-06-2009
This past weekend, family was in town, and as a result, we ate out almost every meal. My wife and I have never really been big on eating out, and after this weekend of eating, I’m glad we’re not. It’s not that I didn’t have fun going to different restaurants this weekend, or that I don’t like restaurant food. The problem is that sometimes I tend to like restaurant food too much. I’m not going to lie, when a big juicy steak is sitting in front of me on a plate, I’m going to eat the whole thing. My willpower isn’t always the greatest because even though I know I should take some of my meal home for leftovers, I don’t always do it. I’m typically pretty good at taking Italian home in a doggy bag, but that’s about it.
What’s the point to all this?
This past weekend showed me why a lot of people struggle with weight loss. As our society continues to become busier and busier, the amount of home-cooked meals around the dinner table keeps getting less and less. It’s no secret the portion sizes at restaurants are getting bigger … way too much for one sitting.
Your body can be seen as a funnel. If you take a bucket of water and pour it into the funnel at one time, what happens? The funnel can’t process that much water at one time, and it overflows on the sides. The same thing goes with our bodies. If we eat too many calories at one time, our bodies can’t process that many calories fast enough and there’s an overflow with the overflow being the storage of excess body fat in our problem areas. The way to prevent this overflow is to eat smaller, more frequent portions. Or, in the case of the funnel, pour a little water in the funnel, let it process through, and pour a little more in. Eating the majority of your calories in one sitting (eating at a restaurant) leads to the storage of excess body fat. If you space your calories into smaller meals throughout the day, you help combat the storage of excess body fat.
My suggestion before has been that when you go out to eat, before you even start eating, put half of your meal into a box to take home. I’ve realized this is easier said than done. Many restaurants put endless warm rolls and butter, breadsticks, salads, or chips and dip in front of you, and it can be very hard to “box these up”. With many restaurants, you can eat over a 1000 calories as a result of all the “complimentary” food that comes before you actually get the meal you’ve ordered! A poor willpower can get the best of anyone when all this great looking food is in front of you.
Here’s the challenge.
Instead of trying to box your meals up at restaurants this summer, try increasing the number of meals you eat at home. These should be good, old-fashioned home-cooked meals, not bringing a bucket of chicken home for the family to enjoy. Grill some chicken on the grill, bake some fish, whatever it is, you will have a lot more control on the portion sizes because you’re making it. Willpower won’t be as big of an issue, and as a result of smaller portions, you’ll still have some great tasting food, you’ll still be around the family, you’ll still be full without feeling you’re going to burst after the meal, but most importantly, you’ll prevent yourself from consuming too many calories at one time.