HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CALORIC INTAKE

Looking to lose weight or to maintain your weight? Then you need to manage your calories!

If you want to be very accurate you can literally count and track your calories in and out. I simply don't think that that is realistic for anyone day to day. Don't get me wrong I certainly think that calorie counting is a great tool and a very good concept to understand, but if you are looking for easy and maintainable ways to manage you caloric intake try these!

Protein Packed Single Serving Mac & Cheese

PORTION CONTROL: SNACKS

When getting a snack from the kitchen portion out what you would like (remember to look at serving sizes) put it in a bowl and put away the bag or box. I personally like to leave the kitchen and enjoy my snack elsewhere so I don't feel like going back to the kitchen and getting more. I also recommend when you first feel that bit of hunger coming along think, "would I eat an apple right now?" If so you are probably hungry, next you should decide if you need a full meal or just a snack! If you wouldn't eat an apple, you are probably just in a snacking mood.


Here is an example of a food label for Snyders Gluten Free Pretzel Sticks. These were my favorite snacks in college!

I used to be able to destroy at least half of the bag in one sitting if not more until I finally realized that a single serving was 32 sticks/1 oz! Taking a bowl of pretzels to my room instead of the whole bag helped me save some money, some calories, and some pretzels for later.

 

PORTION CONTROL: MEALS

I have 2 main ways of controlling my portions during meal times. The first is to meal prep (I normally do this when I'm working or going to school). I'm sure you are familiar with the concept of batch cooking but I like to portion it out in separate containers. Then if I want more, I wouldn't have it for the next day! I tend to do this with the main parts of the meal (the most calorically dense). For example if I am having spaghetti squash and a lentil bolognese for the next four nights I would just portion that out in 4 separate jars and make a different vegetable each night. I don't tend to portion out my vegetables as much as they are often light in calories and if you want more vegetables go for it!


The second way I portion control my meals is by making single servings! I tend to do this more now (during quarantine) as I have plenty of time to cook each day! As you can see in my recent instagram I made just one serving of my protein packed mac & cheese as I knew if there was more I could've eaten another bowl. I find this helpful as I am often full after one bowl or plate of something but it takes up to 20min after you eat for your body to feel full! I find this especially great with pasta for me personally as a serving is only about 2oz and I know if I make more I will eat it. It takes time to figure out how to cook for single servings and for 1, so if you make too much of something, just pack it up and put it in the fridge instead of leaving it out.

 

HUNGER CUES

My last tip is to listen to your body's hunger cues. This is important as some people may not understand that they even have hunger cues. I encourage you to let yourself get a little bit hungry every once and a while to understand where your body is at. If you feel good when you wake up and don't feel anything going on in your stomach until 11am you don't need to eat breakfast because that's what people do. This is why I don't think intermittent fasting works for everyone as some people are hungry right when they wake up and some aren't, both are OK!


I also recommend eating slower, making sure you are drinking enough water, and eating uninterrupted. If you eat slower you have a better chance of catching that cue that says "hey I'm full!" If you drink enough water you won't be mistaking thirst for hunger and feeding what really needs water. Lastly the most important... EAT UNINTERRUPTED! Eating while you are watching videos, tv, texting, reading etc. allows for you to miss how much and what you are eating. I can guarantee you that you eat almost 2x as much food as you actually need if you are consistently eating while doing something else. I know this holds true for me because if I put on Sex and the City I could eat my whole kitchen haha! Something about watching Carrie Bradshaw's boy problems just makes me want to snack endlessly.

 

I hope you enjoyed this article and remember it takes a while to build up a habit, don’t get discouraged if one method doesn’t work for you! Keep trying and find what you can maintain! #Caloricmanagement #Calories #Hungercues #plantbased #coolbeansnutrition

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