Dear T & T – Sigh-Master’s Meal Pattern Play

November 17th, 2010 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Yesterday (the 3rd post in a series of 5) I briefly outlined the importance of an important meal pattern to my trusty follower – Sigh Master. I do realize with frantic schedules life and mealtime can’t always be perfectly planned. Let’s see what can be done to help on this front. If you try what I’m suggesting for the coming month or two you may find you’ll end up eating less while barely even feeling like you’re on any special plan. Sound good??

Meal Pattern Panacea

Ok, so when your eating pattern is not consistent and meals are skipped or left with a very long time in between that makes anybody super hungry. When you hit the “passed hunger” phase, many people stuff themselves pass the “full” cue because of this. You admitted to loving eating and overdoing. Welcome to the club!! Hey I’m Italian and I really love food too. When you’re guard is down with max hunger pangs anyone is likely to eat more than intended. Let’s try to get a handle on this pronto. I discussed yesterday about how this may effect your metabolism so I won’t repeat it again today…..

Cue Into the Cues – Hunger & Satiety

Working on a regular eating pattern while focusing on hunger and satiety cues is a key to getting a handle on your weight. To me this seems to be your biggest issue. What this involves is committing to having 3 meals with ~2 snacks each day. For the next 2 weeks, before you go to eat rate how hungry you are on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is not at all hungry and 10 is super duper hungry. What you are aiming for on a regular basis is being moderately hungry before meals, say 5-7. Similarly after you eat rate how full you are on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is not at all full and 10 is totally stuffed. What you are aiming for is being moderately satisfied after meals, say 5-7 on a regular basis. Got it?

Plan out your meals as you usually do. You don’t need special food at all, just special attention to your hunger and satiety and how you eat. If you keep a small notepad with your daily ratings you can review this from day to day and week to week. Awareness of this is key. I’m sure in time you’ll see what an important role this plays with your overall intake.

Filling the Tank Perception Delay

I’m sure you’ve heard that when you eat it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to register to your brain that you’re feeling full. If you’re a fast eater and are used to that “over full” feeling, this behaviour alone could be adding to your weight dilemma. I love focusing on changing a behaviour because they indirectly affect how much you eat overall.

The trick here is to get used to tasting your food, eating at a slower pace, preferably sitting down using utensils and a plate with few distractions. Funny, working on this one behaviour will ultimately bring you more joy when eating. How great is that??  Give this a try for a few weeks and let me know how it’s going.

Jumping Jack Stash – To Serve as Gas

Yesterday I talked about having some failsafe snacks and meal handy. No these aren’t for noshing on whenever and where ever. They’re your mini fuel saviours in times of schedules shifting that wreak havoc on your eating pattern. You want to avoid your hunger feeling before a meal to register at a 3 or lower. This is the zone when people end up eating out of control because they’re too hungry.

You have to really do some self reflecting on this because if you stash super tempting treats this strategy will surely backfire. Choose some good reasonable snacks that won’t make you day dream about them!! Here are some ideas:

  • Fruit (fresh or handy fruit cups)
  • Cut up veggies or preprepared ones (carrots, broccoli)
  • milk, yoghurt, cheese, pudding cup
  • trail-mix, raisins, unsalted nuts
  • cereal bars
  • meal replacements
  • small container of leftovers or prepared entrees

Managing Your Blood Sugar – Steady as She Goes

What you want to do is have better control of your hunger. Keep in mind that the main macronutrients in our diet are protein, fat and carbohydrates (simple and complex). Eating a mixed meal from a few of the food groups will ensure you get a mix of all 3 macronutrients. Eating a mixed meal or snack with get digested into your system slowly and steadily raising your blood sugar. Then over time it will decrease at a similar rate – albeit slowly and steadily. This is what you are aiming for ultimately.

Now if you only eat a carbohydrate food when you’re really hungry your blood sugar will rise quickly and go down at a similar rate. Equip yourself with a variety of snacks to help you through the very long stretches between meals.

If you’re only a little hungry a fruit will tide you over. Now, when I’m feeling more hungry at a snack time I’ll combine say a glass of milk with a banana or have a few handfuls of a trail-mix. I bring this in my computer bag when I travel as an example.

Getting prepared to adhere to a regular meal and snack pattern is key.

Next Steps

While you’re getting started with this set yourself up with supports at home and at work until you feel in the groove of this plan. Because you eat out quite a bit do some extra planning before these times to help set you up to succeed (see post on July 26, March 29 & August 16). You CAN eat out and still manage your weight just fine. It just takes extra planning.

Also, set some goals for yourself that are reasonable to strive for. I’m a big believer in setting small goals that feel attainable, then re-evaluate this over time in steps. Like I always say “slow and steady wins the race”. I’m here for you SM every step of the way. Let me know how I may be of further help and do read tomorrow’s post as well to set you on your way :-)

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