This wraps up Half Week. I hope you have seen a difference from cutting down on portions. If nothing else you may no understand that you can be “full” when you eat less. That’s half of our goal! To lose weight you need only to eat less and exercise more. Just because our dedicated Half Week has ended doesn’t mean you stop. Keep eating half portions. That may take some help. Because people around you can unknowingly undermine your efforts by enticing you to eat more, or have a tasty snack. “You’ve been so good, it won’t hurt.” Yes it will. That’s a step backward.
Let those around you know that you are dieting. Have them understand that they can help you with encouragement and by not leading you into temptation. (Sounds familiar.) Without them on your side as well, you don’t have a prayer.
TODAY: ASK THOSE CLOSE TO YOU TO HELP KEEP YOU ON A DIET AND EXERCISE PLAN. YOU CAN EVEN INVITE THEM TO PARTICIPATE AS WELL. TO START, ENCOURAGE THEM TO SIGN UP FOR THE DIET NAG TOO.
We’ve been celebrating Half Week and you have probably realized by now that this has been an exercise in the easy way to reduce calories. Fix your meals the way you always have, order the meals you always have, eat what you want, just take the portions you are used to and cut them in half. Set them aside, share them, freeze them for another meal do anything you want with them, just DON’T EAT THAT OTHER HALF. In the end it will all add up to less you.
TODAY: WALK DOUBLE YOUR USUAL DISTANCE.
Salads can hide calories with the mask of eating healthy. All that green crunch has to be good for you right? Well, just 2-tablespoons of the salad dressing you drizzle on top can contain up to 140 calories if it’s creamy. A lot of times you don’t even realize how much you put on, especially when it’s at a salad bar. You really don’t need to drench every bit of salad with goo. Vegetables really do have flavor. The dressing is supposed to just add to the flavors, not mask them.
Here’s a tip to help you use a LOT less dressing, yet still enjoy the flavors you savor. Put a small amount of dressing in a cup on the side. Then dip the tip of the tines of your fork into the dressing before gathering a portion of the lettuce and veggies. The flavorful dressing will dance on your tongue before mingling with the cool stuff. It’s that easy. Use less dressing and cut calories with your fork.
TODAY: REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF DRESSING YOU USE ON SALADS.
During Half Week let’s look at what the reduced calories from reduced portions can mean to you.
Let’s consider a snack first. A mere half ounce of, my favorite, potato chips is 80 calories. That’s about what you get in one of those little bags. But if you’re getting all the calories you need each day. (We did the calculator yesterday.) 80 calories a day adds up to eight extra pounds in a year.
French fries are another vice. If you regularly eat a large order of McDonald’s fries you consume 500 calories. If you reduce 250 calories, you cut 25 pounds in a year.
Do you like pasta? Many portions of spaghetti are about two cups. That’s 420 calories. You save 210 calories by having only one cup. Saving 210 calories a day would be 21 pounds in a year! I think you’re getting it now.
TODAY: CALCULATE HOW MUCH WEIGHT YOU CAN KEEP OFF IN A YEAR BY CONSUMING HALF PORTIONS OF YOUR FAVORITE FOODS.
We’re continuing Half Week. The bonus to slimmer meals is the savings for your budget. Obviously if you’re eating half, you’re spending half. If you’re eating out, don’t be afraid to order a full meal and split it. Or take half of it home to eat for another meal later. There are also those “early bird” meals that are usually reduced portions as well. I’ve suggested kids meals as an alternative before. Happy Meals can be pretty satisfying.
Get over the tendency to be impressed by the size of portions some places serve. The obsession with the big value meals results in excess eating at one sitting. That’s what got us the extra weight in the first place. You don’t have to finish everything on your plate at every meal, unless it’s half as much as you have been used to eating. Go head and make your orders Slimmer Sized.
TODAY: EAT HALF PORTIONS FOR HALF OF YOUR MEALS
On day two of Half Week let’s explore calorie counting. If you have a little basic knowledge of how many calories you are consuming to maintain your current weight, you’ll understand better how cutting calories can help you lose weight.
It’s an easy calculation:
- If you don’t exercise at all: Weight x 14 = estimated calories per day
- If you exercise some: Weight x 17 = estimated calories per day
- If you exercise daily or do manual labor: Weight x 20 = estimated calories per day
So if you weigh 240 and don’t exercise you consume 3,360 calories just sitting there. (literally) If you eat more than that, you will continue to gain weight. If you eat less you will lose weight. It’s that simple. Of course you could exercise, use up some calories and lose weight, eat less and lose weight, or… (can you guess?) exercise AND eat less to hit big minus sign on your weight calculator.
That’s how calorie counting can work for you. of course you need to start looking at some labels to figure out what you are consuming. Even the fast food restaurants will tell you what the meals total. But you know how much you have been eating. You probably put the same amount on your plate without even knowing you’re doing it. So you can do it all the simple way and just eat half as much.
That leads to our new formula: Eat Less + Exercise More = Less Weight
TODAY: READ SOME LABELS ON FOODS YOU NORMALLY EAT FOR CALORIE CONTENT. DAY 2 OF EATING HALF PORTIONS
We’re half way through the first month of the year. So this week we’re going to revisit the “Half Week” diet and go “halfsies”. Eat half as much at half of your meals. Don’t make up the difference at those FULL meals though! If you can reduce portions at those meals as well, you’ll be that far ahead. It should be a lot easier than denying yourself anything. Remember that you should eat several small meals a day. Not full size, high calorie, large order of fries meals. These should have protein and veggies. You can have the carbs you crave if you have a small amount. Just cut back on your portions, drink plenty of water and eat slower. By the end of the week, those smaller portions will start to look normal. Keep it up and your waistline will too.
TODAY: EAT HALF, EXERCISE THE FULL AMOUNT.