Monday, May 7, 2012

[WLE#2] Lessons from Kikipotamus: Eat Smaller Meals

This is another post in my Well Lifestyle Experiment (WLE), and also another lesson I learned from my visit with Kelly.

Eating frequent, regular, small meals can feel so much better than a couple of large meals. Kelly and I ate three small meals plus snacks if needed while she was here. They were extremely high-quality food and tasty as well. Neither of us made a habit of going back for seconds. And I was satisfied! I didn't feel deprived or hungry between meals.

The Smarter Science of Slim is a research-based book about weight management via regulating blood glucose levels by food choices. Since I'm pre-diabetic, this book has been invaluable to me in summing up in one place everything I know and believe in about healthy eating, stuff I forget half the time, say, when I'm starving and getting ready to eat (more about this in a future post). It recommends that your meals be between 200-500 calories a day (but of foods that keep your blood sugar stable) and when I do both--eat small meals and carefully select their make-up--I feel fantastic.

Meals in restaurants are so huge compared to what my particular body actually needs. In addition, most of the people (not Kelly) that I ever eat with eat so much more than I do that I often feel odd just having a tiny meal. My biggest obstacles in following the "smaller meals" guidelines are:

(1) Fear I'll be hungry too soon.
So for this I take a "food bag" of healthy snacks with me wherever I go, so that if I accidentally eat too little, I will not get hypoglycemic. Or too hungry, which for me eventually leads to hypoglycemia. The trick is being hungry but not TOO hungry.

(2) Peer pressure.
Everyone else is eating a lot and I want to join in! Because it's FUN! That attitude isn't helpful for me and is one of the factors that has helped me to become almost 100 pounds overweight. I am learning that I can eat what my body needs and join in, having something healthy to drink as well, and not focus on the amounts. Other people may be able to handle larger amounts of food. Other people can also perhaps handle huge carb hits to their blood sugar. I cannot! Accepting this and honoring my individuality are going to be helpful for me in becoming healthier.

Have you ever tried eating small meals? Or do you eat them already? What are your challenges with this and what helpful things have you done?


laundrygirl said...

My biggest struggle is with portion control. You are right - peer pressure does come into play. I've tried to counteract this by filling up on vegetables before eating other things. It doesn't change my need for portion control but I get fewer calories with veggies than with meat or starches. There are some foods I just simply don't order because I know the portion will be huge and I'll be too tempted to eat it all. {Sigh!} I'd love for food not to be an 'issue' in my life...

patti said...

Smaller portions more regularly is a smart way of eating. I am guilty of thoughtless eating on occasion, which sabotages my best efforts to eat well the rest of the time.

As far as peer pressure goes - I really don't worry about what others think since it is my own health at stake. I know so many people who are gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian etc. so it appears that odd ways of eating are becoming more commonplace here.

Olivia said...

Kristine, Me too. It tires me sometimes, just wears me out. Sometimes it feels as though the world of food is filled with land mines and it is hard to find the good things. I'm feeling that way as I prepare for a trip today. Have to bring lots of food with me as I'll be somewhere where there are few food options. Filling up on veggies sounds like such a great idea, Kristine. I'll take it! xoO

Olivia said...

Patti, It does indeed seem like so many people have health issues and need to eat specific foods and stay away from others. I think that here in this part of the country people are more respectful of differences with regards to food; I'm going to a part of the country where people eat more traditionally and probably am anticipating difficulties. However, this part of the US where I live is in general more tolerant of differences.

You're right that our health is at stake and if we don't put it first, who will?


Kate said...

This is a great post. I run into the part where everyone eatsore than me idea so I resonate with that. I often just eat half of what I get at a restaurant and take the rest home. I do need to eat smaller meals too. It's hard in this culture when so much socialization revolves around eating. In th end you have to do what is right for you. It's all a process we have to go through, to find what works right for us.

Olivia said...

That's great, Kate. Don't you think that this is life--finding what works for us and sticking to it? Having the courage to be different? Wish I had discovered this sooner, but it's never too late :) xoo

Karen Smithey said...

What a great post! I do much better when I only eat if I am hungry. Sometimes, though, I want to eat even if I'm NOT hungry... Which is clearly a problem.

I am checking in looking for new posts, but having to go back and comment on old posts!!!!

Olivia said...

Hi, Karen, Thanks for being so supportive :) My blog is on the back burner for now with all of my health issues. I'm not sure when I'll be able to continue with it, but hope to...I have a few new health challenges and am just struggling to keep in touch with people, so I appreciate your staying in touch with me, Karen! xoO