Here’s a question from a Paleo Plan subscriber that I thought you might be able to relate with…
Good morning! Quick questions here.
So the last three months have been a dieting/fitness nightmare. My work schedule switched to a hybrid night schedule. I’m working 1-10 at night. It’s really jacked things up. That being said, my eating has been nasty. And you know what? I feel like total garbage. So excuses, sob stories here, just need to crank things up.
No waiting until the first of the year stuff here. I’m going to lock into the meal plans pretty tight. Yes I’m going to have some carb flu/feeling like s&*t for a bit but I feel like garbage already eating all crazy.
The only question I have and yes I’ve asked a variant of this before is regarding servings. What is the right serving size for me? I want to make sure I’m eating enough but I don’t want to overstuff. How in the world do you find that balance? Silly question probably but the practical answer eludes me.
Wow, sounds like you’ve been going through a lot of changes. So, you asked how to find the balance between eating enough and not overstuffing? Well, the answer is actually quite simple. It just takes some practice, but I think if you master this simple skill, you’ll never gain weight again… The key to your success is this: Just don’t eat too much ;)
I know that sounds like a smart ass remark, but it’s not. You have to find the balance on your own, within your own body and not by anyone else’s rules. You have to check in with your body regularly as you eat. Ask questions, have conversations with yourself, and be honest. Don’t read while you’re eating, don’t be walking around, etc. – just sit your butt down and eat… and listen.
Here are some examples of productive conversations you can have with yourself.
“Am I still hungry or am I just eating because it tastes good? Yeah, I think I’m done eating. I satisfied and not overly stuffed. I’ll save this masterpiece for later.”
“I’m feeling a little full, but it could just be that I need to burp. I’ll give myself a couple minutes without eating and then see how I feel. (2 minutes pass) Yep, still hungry! Goin’ in for more.”
Here are some examples of conversations you should avoid having.
“I’m full, but I don’t want to waste this food and I don’t want to store it and eat it later, so I’ll just eat it. (10 minutes later) Oh my, what have I done… ugh.”
“Holy crap. This is delicious!! I feel super sick to my stomach right now and I know I’m going to regret this, but I’m just going to eat this whole pot of food/batch of cookies/(enter exorbitant amount of food here).”
“I really shouldn’t eat too much. Eating too much makes you fat. I’ll just have this veggie salad with no fat and no protein and then I’ll lose weight. (1 hour later) I’m so hungry! Where are those cookies?”
If you have the right conversations and avoid the wrong conversations, then pretty soon you’ll get to know what’s the perfect amount for you. You’ll find out that if you eat too little, you’ll feel weak, hungry, and maybe binge-y in an hour. If you eat just enough, your workouts will feel good and you won’t need to eat for at least a couple hours. If you eat too much, you’ll feel lethargic, bloated, and generally uncomfortable. It’s really just a matter of observing, listening, and then taking appropriate action the next time.
I wish I could give you an exact serving size that your particular body needs for every meal of every day, but I just can’t. Moreover, I won’t, because I think you’re at a point where you’re ready to really learn this, practice it, and have it become second nature to you every meal of every day. Listening to my body is the one thing that keeps me at a constant weight, and I truly believe it’s the key to weight management success for almost everyone.
I hope that helps!