I ask a lot of questions as a certified nutrition specialist and personal trainer to determine how ready someone is for change. It enables me to learn what kind of support they have from friends or family. I will ask, “Does this sound like something you can do?” We talk about their goals and their motivation for asking for my assistance to help them. Do they want to lose weight, eat better; what are the reasons behind this? It’s not always about them; it’s usually about wanting to be there for their family. They want to be able to run around with their kids or grandkids but they just don’t have the energy for it. By changing some of their habits – getting them to move more and choose healthier food options, it helps them to feel better and have the energy to do those things.
My objective is to help teach people to do something that hopefully they will incorporate into their everyday lives for the rest of their lives, and not just make it a temporary thing for a month or two. It is all about adopting sustainable, healthy habits that add up to long-term benefits.
Let’s Give a Hand to Portion Control
When it comes to portion control, we know a lot of restaurants give huge portions that could be two meals. When your food is brought out, ask your waiter or waitress to bring you a to-go box and put half in the box right away. Another option is to split the meal with your dining partner. If you can, remove half of it off your plate, because if you don’t take it off the plate, you’re going to eat it. If it is out of sight, you’re probably not going to overeat.
I love to teach people how to use your hand as your guide for portion control. No more measuring, and your hands are always with you!
The palm of your hand should be the size of your protein.
Your fist is the size of your vegetable serving.
A cupped hand should be your starchy carb such as rice, pasta or a potato.
Your thumb is the amount of your fat like dressing, oil or sauces.
For a woman, for each meal, one palm is your protein, one fist is your vegetable, one cupped hand is your starchy carb and your thumb is your fat. For a man, each meal is two of these.
One Success Story: “I got myself into this situation and I want to get myself out.”
Here’s a success story of one woman I was able to help. She lost over half of herself in body weight, gained muscle and went on to run a half marathon. That was her goal; it’s not everyone’s goal. She approached me when lap band surgery was very popular. She knew she was a candidate and was approved, but she decided she didn’t want to do the surgery. She said, “I got myself into this situation and I want to get myself out. Let’s see if I can do it on my own.” She was very motivated, though there were many times she wanted to call me and say, “I’m not coming.” She has kept the weight off, she loves her new way of life and she feels great. She now has a family and she said she wouldn’t have been able to have children if she didn’t lose the weight. Now she is running around with her kids and teaching them healthy habits. It warms my heart being able to see that I can help someone achieve their goal and I know she will be healthy for the rest of her life.