For the majority of people, calories still matter. It is not exactly this simple, but regularly consuming more calories than you expend will lead to weight gain. Keeping a daily food journal has been shown to be the best tactic in maintaining weight loss, but clients often scoff at the idea, believing that it is too time-consuming. Food tracking is always recommended, however, for those who absolutely refuse, here are 4 ways to help your clients cut calories without having to count them.
Use your hand as a guide for portion sizes
What does a serving of protein look like? How many vegetables should I be eating? How much is too much for carbohydrates? Questions like these come from clients on a daily basis. Using the size of your hand is a quick and easy reference point to portion control. A serving of protein is the size of your palm. Vegetables are about the size of a closed fist. A handful is can be used for a portion of starchy carbohydrates. A thumb size can be used for healthy fats.This strategy can be especially useful when dining out. You don’t often know how many calories a restaurant meal contains, but following this guide can help clients stay within a reasonable range.
Eat slowly and mindfully
Mindfulness is the state of non-judgemental awareness of your thoughts and feelings in the present moment. By slowing down, chewing and actually experiencing the act of eating, clients will gain greater satisfaction with the food they eat. Getting clients to think about how their food is tasting, how the different textures feel in their mouths as they chew their food, and paying attention to how full they’re getting goes a long way in self portioning. The bottom line? Actually listen to your body because it really does a good job of letting you know when its needs are met, as long as you are paying attention.
Use smaller plates or bowls
Our brains are very poor at judging portions across different sized containers. When using larger bowls or plates, the extra blank space makes the portion appear smaller when compared to it being on one smaller in size. You can essentially trick your brain into feeling more satisfied by filling a smaller plate with food. When placed on a much larger plate, this same amount of food does not seem as sufficient.
Eat more protein
Protein not only helps to keep you feeling full for much longer, it also requires more energy for your body to digest. 20-35% of protein calories goes towards digestion. In comparison, only 5-15% of carbohydrate calories goes towards digestion and 0-5% of fat calories goes towards digestion. Therefore, by eating more protein and decreasing the amount of carbohydrates and fats, you are automatically increasing your overall energy expenditure.
Successful weight loss and maintenance takes work, but not all clients will be ready to put in the required effort right away. Don’t write them off. Helping them experience success with a few of these simple strategiesSign up for our free 5 day mini course