Tag Archives: Stomach

Tricks for eating out and enjoying it!

3 Sep

The vital part of losing all the weight was finding a balance.  To be able to continue my love affair with food, I had to try really hard to find the best way to sort out how much I actually needed to eat.

My stomach was shrinking, my body was actually helping me to help myself. So the smaller portions weren’t that difficult to manage at home, the biggest challenge came when I had dinner with a friend, he is a great cook, the food was bound to be good, so how would I be able to cope, in my head was a fear I would eat too much and my stomach would protest and make me ill or that I would offend because I’d be seen to not appreciate his hard work by not being able to eat it if I was worried about eating too much and how bad it was for me! The trauma of it all!

As predicted the food was great, I asked for about half of what he had dished up, it didn’t actually look too bad, not ridiculously small anyway, I had still had something of everything, and I really enjoyed it!

That’s been the thing, I haven’t damaged my relationship with food in any way, I love food more now than before. Back then there was a love hate thing going on, I loved eating it but hated the control it had over me and my body.

Because I now have control, I can enjoy it and relax.

There were other challenges to come, eating out was an interesting one, of course I don’t have control over the portion size, however I decided early on that this wasn’t going to force me to always end up choosing what looked like the lower calorie option in a restaurant, that seemed like quite a waste!  Or even worse never be able to go out or always feel it was traumatic and no fun!

And after all because I was doing well at home, I should be able to go out and enjoy food too, for a long-term sustainable approach, this had to be tackled head on.

So the trick is to eat about half, then put your knife and fork down, I normally then have a bit of a chat with my fellow diners, while this is happening, my head and my stomach sort themselves out and I can then decide if I am full or not.  Amazingly this is the point where I do normally decide I have had enough, I have enjoyed the food, savoured it and am not stuffed, I then place the napkin over the food or if it’s looking like the staff are beginning to clear I put my cutlery on the plate, it’s then normally taken away – result. I have changed the way I eat, I stop more than I used too, I think we all perhaps just look at the food on our plates and just shovel, it’s a kind of endurance challenge!

Yes it takes a bit of willpower to be able to do that however I counterbalance with the thought of being stuffed and perhaps feeling ill later and the waste that will be, together with the fact that because I use this technique I can eat what I want, not the salad or the boring options.  It makes eating so exciting!  I’d never have been able to have gone on a week’s foodie holiday in Italy without being able to perfect it!

There are some things I do to help myself, I may not have the chips, I love chips however I love new potatoes just as much and I can have a few more of those…but essentially there isn’t much I won’t eat now.

I can do it for puddings too, more difficult but it can be done, Pizza Express have really helped me out here with their ‘tiny’ desserts which come with coffee, a result!    And often if I’ve been really good with the main then a pudding on a special night out is not going to end the world, especially now I’m in maintaining my weight loss!

Same principle for takeaways, stop when you’ve had your small plate full, chat, reflect and if you then think ‘I’m full’, put the lids back on the containers, for some reason once I couldn’t see the food, I lost interest, others could help themselves but I was more than happy…..with a pizza, cut into 8ths not quarters…it’s all really about tricks.

And if the waste bothers you, well for takeaways, order less next time!  Even talk to your takeaway proprietor and see whether they can do you smaller portions, you may be surprised.  I’d love to see pubs and restaurants reduce their portion sizes anyway, some are just crazy, you don’t need to eat massive amounts to enjoy good food.

Give it a go once your stomach has started to shrink, you’ll be getting used to smaller portions, and have in your mind that this is the way forwards to be able to have a normal and healthy relationship with food, it is a head game of tricks!  I can go out and eat, enjoy a takeaway and the lovely food that friends prepare, that’s what motivates me!

So again, it’s all about less.  Just let your head and stomach work together, stop regularly when you’re eating and think, believe me it does work.

The photo is of my first attempt at home at making pasta from scratch! Went quite well, because I’ve sorted my relationship with food, I even love cooking more!

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Hunger Pangs

27 Aug

I’ve been asked a few times how this all got started, so let’s go back to day one.

This is perhaps not the healthiest way, but it happened by accident, didn’t last for too long and what came out were a few interesting and crucial learnings about food, appetite and me.

I lost my appetite, almost completely, I might have managed the odd cereal bar but for two weeks I barely eat anything. It was an emotional time and unusually did not result in massive comfort eating but exactly the opposite, I like to think my head was just telling me it was time.

I am though very pleased it happened because:

  • I knew what hunger and being empty actually felt like, we all say ‘we’re starving’ but I can guarantee that you’re not really.
  • My stomach had shrunk over the two weeks, once my appetite started to return I found I physically couldn’t eat as much without feeling sick.
  • It was becoming interesting, my clothes felt a little loose?

I realised that this was perhaps a once in a lifetime opportunity to change, I could just return to how things were, stretch my stomach back or I could see what might happen. It was at this stage that I knew the simplest answer was to just reduce what I normally eat.  I love food and after getting my appetite back I was really looking forward to my favourite things! At the time I had no idea if it would work?

The stomach shrinking thing is interesting, it is of course the basis of most gastric surgery procedures, I was proving to myself that you could do it naturally, if you read about it, this is perfectly normal, your stomach will shrink if you reduce the amount you eat for a sustained amount of time.

For a girl who is a bit geeky it was intriguing, I was listening to my body, now I knew what hungry REALLY felt like, I could control it, I also knew what full should REALLY feel like!

It was fascinating stuff and sowed the first seeds of motivation.  Within a month I had dropped a jeans size.

I found this very useful blog post about managing hunger pangs, of course you will still get them, the trick is to take control of them, I think over time I have used all of these tips and tricks, so it was great to see them all written down!  They do work, it does take a bit of patience at the beginning as you reduce the amount of food you eat but your body will play ball, you just need to get your head to work with it.

Remember a few days of confusion and persistence will pay off in the long-term.

Taming your Hunger

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