So every time I start to watch what I eat I go into it like a prize fight. My stomach is my mortal enemy and I must beat it into submission. After fighting the same opponent over and over like playing Punch Out I wanted to try a new approach.
This time I am getting into the ring with food instead of my stomach . Now the trick with this fight is knowing your opponent. Being a chef I am very familiar with many varieties of food and how to cook them. Problem is I didn’t know how to use food to my advantage. Luckily for me I have a friend who has been in the ring much longer than I have and helped me learn. So If I can pass anything along to you I will be honoring her.
The first round for me was allowing my stomach to shrink without feeling starved and grabbing food I shouldn’t. For me I don’t have a lot of time during the day to sit down to enjoy a meal while at work. Therefore, I needed to find things I can have quickly but are healthy. Before work I will either have a bowl of cereal (and not Lucky Charms) or a yogurt. Then for lunch I always have a shake. I purchased a Nutri Bullet that I keep at my desk. I pack chocolate whey powder, PB2 peanut butter powder, half of a banana, and skim milk. The shake is only 311 calories and helps me feel full during that downtime in the middle of the day. I also keep snacks on hand as well. I have raw unsalted almonds, raisins, dried cranberries, sesame sticks, etc.
For dinner I have had to completely change my routine. I have always been a big meat and potatoes guy. The vegetables have always been an afterthought or just an extra side. I would always have Gaston sized portions and even go for seconds. Now I make the protein the side and the vegetables the star. I have also found that its not always what you eat but how you eat as well. So here are some tips I have found.
- Eat a salad first. I have found that at dinner time I am very hungry. So I treat it like a two course meal. While my main course is finishing I will enjoy a small tossed salad. This way I am not as hungry when I enjoy my main course.
- Only cook one portion per person. As a chef it is very hard for me to cook for only two people. However, if you only have one portion per person you can’t go for seconds.
- Plan your meals. I use my Sunday’s to plan at least three or four days worth of meals and begin to prep them. Even if you are tired after a long day of work you have meals that need minimal attention to finish. It helps you not stop for a quick fast food dinner on your way home.
- Try new things. Now that I am eating less meat and more vegetables I have been trying to branch out. There has been many trendy vegetables lately. Most of which has been kale. The leafy green vegetable not only adds bulk to soups and stews, but has tons of nutrients.
If you have downloaded a calorie tracking app on your smartphone it is fun to see how eating these nutrient rich foods will not only help you punch out your gut, but you’ll feel much healthier overall.