Posts Tagged ‘hunger scale’

Week 3: Prioritize Portion Size this #NutritionMonth!

March 11th, 2016 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

When it comes to healthy eating, how much you eat can be just as important as what you eat. Eating portions that are too big can lead to overeating and weight gain. Follow these tips to manage the munchies while enjoying realistic portions.

Give yourself a hand! Size up your portions with handy estimates.

Wondering if you’re eating too much or too little? Use your hand and try these estimates on for size:

• 1 cup of leafy green veggies or 1 whole piece of fruit = 1 fist
• Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables = ½ fist
• 1 slice of bread or ½ bagel = 1 hand
• 1 cup of milk or ¾ cup of yogurt = 1 fist
• 50 grams of cheese = 2 thumbs
• Serving of chicken = palm of hand
• ¾ cup of pulses (e.g. lentils, black beans, chick peas) = 1 fist

For more handy serving sizes, visit:

Size counts! Package, plate and portion sizes can influence how much you eat.

Larger portions, huge packages and bigger plates and bowls can all cause overeating. Set your table for portion-size success with these tips:

• Use smaller, lunch-sized plates and bowls for meals. You’ll eat less but still feel satisfied.
• Serve food, or have family members serve themselves, from the counter or the stove.
• Keep serving dishes of vegetables on the table. If you’re still hungry, eat second portions of veggies.
• Put large glasses of water on the table. You might even drink more water.

Manage munchies! Keep treat-type snack foods out of sight so you’ll be less likely to nibble.
Studies show, you are more likely to choose available, easily reached foods. Try these tips to make healthy choices easier:
• Keep nourishing snacks (e.g. hardboiled eggs, cut up veggies, yogurt, nuts, whole grain crackers) on an eye-level shelf in the fridge or cupboards so something healthy is the first thing you see.
• Put high-fat, high-sugar treats, such as cookies, into non-transparent containers at the back of the fridge or cupboard so they’re out of sight.
• Clear kitchen counters of all food except for a bowl of fresh fruit for crunchy snacking.

Fuel up! For long-lasting satisfaction, eat fibre- and protein-rich foods.
Finding yourself hungry too soon after eating meals or snacks? You might need to add more fibre- and protein-rich foods to your meals. Fibre helps fill you up and protein helps your energy last longer. Together, they deliver meal and snack satisfaction.

• Fibre up. Choose more vegetables, whole fruits, whole grains (e.g. barley or oatmeal), ground flax, nuts and seeds, and pulses (e.g. lentils, black beans, chickpeas).
• Put protein on your plate. Enjoy small portions of meat, fish, poultry or alternatives (eggs, pulses, tofu) and milk products.
For fantastic fibre-filled or protein-packed recipes, visit:

Adapted from The Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month Campaign Materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at:

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Summertime Scoop – Feeling Sandwiched?

August 13th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

Feeling sandwiched at lunch? Want to branch out from ordering one daily? Here are some ideas to tantalize your taste buds, help you change it up and fill you up but not let you down by overdoing it! Each of these ideas includes food from at least 3 food groups with a extra dose of veggies that adds taste and crunch, plus helps fill you up to catapult you into your afternoon feeling energized!

These choices help steer you away from deep fried choices, mayo galore and salty/sugary sauces and dressing.

You may have a hankering for a snack in the afternoon, so reach for some fresh fruit as your first line of snacking defence. Check these out:

Go East, FAR East – Try Japanese chicken or beef teriyaki that gets made when you order it asking them to limit the soya sauce over plain rice. This custom lunch choice provides protein a few servings of veggies with grains. Great to enjoy over 2 workdays!

Don’t be a Geek & Try Greek – Try hummus and pita with a side Greek salad sprinkled with feta cheese.

Bella Italia – Choose a single pizza slice topped with veggies and single cheese with a mixed green salad on the side or minestrone soup containing beans and pasta in the broth.

Say Ole to Mexican – Check out the burrito. If the serving size is 12” cut it in half and save the other half for tomorrow or split it with a friend.

Belly Up to the Bar… The Salad Bar – On a bed of greens ensure a quarter of your plate is filled with protein choices, such as chic peas, kidney beans, lentils, nuts & seeds and hard-boiled egg. Not a lover of a bed of greens? Choose other veggies either fresh or vinaigrette choosing a rainbow of colours (tomato wedges, cucumber slices, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, coleslaw, 3 bean salad, Greek salad, carrot slaw). Add grain salads like quinoa or wheat berry to the other quarter of the plate. Use olive oil and balsamic to punch up the flavor. This combination fills you up and sustains you for the afternoon. If you don’t balance your plate out with enough protein and whole grains you’ll be hungry in an hour.

You Still Looking for a Man-wich wanting a sub? - Choose a 6” sub instead of the foot-long with veggies and cheese topped with a wide array of veggies.

While you’re at it, review Chapter 9 “Facing Routine Curveballs and Challenges”, and “Work Life” (eating) Balance for more ideas about lunch at work in my e-book, Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books.

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Thoughts on “Full”

June 30th, 2014 1 Comment Tags: , , , , , ,

I’ve been doing some thinking about the word “full” lately, hmmmmm. I found myself travelling again and wound up into a semi-annoyed state. It was a long hot day of trekking from point A to B to C and I was eventually waiting a while for my flight. A fellow’s voice over the PA said over and over “this flight is VERY full, blah blah blah….” Feeling like queen cranky pants I said under my breath, ok buddy either the flight is full or it isn’t full, what does “very full” mean in the context of travel?

Then I got to thinking about this same term “full” in context of eating, hmmmm. There certainly ARE shades of difference, from “almost full”, to “full” to feeling like a “stuffed sausage, kind of full”. What we’re really talking about here is fullness and satiety, being able to recognize that satiation is upon you then making a concerted effort to hit the “whoa horsey” button, put your fork down and stop.

In the context of eating, fullness and satiety are definitely a “grey zone” issue with many factors that can result in overdoing it on a more regular basis. Here’s some food for thought to help you ease into becoming “full”:

Slow as you Go – Yes it’s true folks, it takes 20 minutes for your stomach receptors to register fullness to your brain, so eating slowly is the name of the game. If you’re a fast eater, chances are you end up overdoing it regularly and experience that overstuffed feeling often. Slow down, you move too fast!

Choose to Chew – Make a switch from being a gobbler to a chewer. No you don’t need to chew your food a ridiculous number of times, but chew your food thoroughly, swallow, repeat…until full.

Savour the Flavour – One of the greatest joys of eating is experiencing the taste of fab food. When I see people eating on the run it makes me sad to think they’re really missing out on an everyday pleasure that’s so wonderful when we choose to savour the flavour.

Down with Taking Two – Some people think of having a second helping of their food without even finishing what’s on their plate. Learn to make an assessment of where your fullness gauge is before you automatically start taking seconds. Chances are you’ve had quite enough and you don’t need seconds.

Stop Right There! When you do feel that warm, comfortable feeling of fullness, put your fork down and push your plate away. If you’re used to regularly overeating this seemingly simple behaviour will take time to learn, but you will do yourself a huge favour when you do. If you’re hungry later, have a little snack!

If you want to take control of your eating and weight as you “fill UP” daily check out my e-book Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books with healthy and stealthy ideas to help you work this out.

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Posted in Eating Vortex, Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic | 1 Comment »

Rethink Shrink!

December 27th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I don’t know about you, but I need to take action on my stomach stretch receptors and fast to help make them shrink back to normal. How about you? Between the parties, the dinners,the lunches and the brunches my tum-tum has gotten used to eating and drinking a bit more than usual, don’t ya think? If I don’t do a full court press on this soon it might be hard to do a 180 shift if I wait until January 1 or later.

Last week while I was working around 10:00am my stomach was making those fake hunger grumbling sounds as if I was fasting for Ramadan and it was almost sundown. It wasn’t. I just had breakfast a few hours ago, and my brain knew that my stomach was playing a game – na na na na na.

One important strategy is up the ante on exercise and activity now that you have some spare time on your hands. Take in all that winter has to offer, bundle up and vamoose outside and move that caboose – walk, play, toboggan, shovel….

The other thing NOT to do is fall prey to the ole “oh, I won’t eat all day and wait for dinner”. No no no on that one. You can head down a slippery slope of binging and fasting as fast as you can say Dahoo Dorey. Don’t skip ANY meals and make sure you get your appetite suppressant- protein at meals to ensure you feel satisfied. If your blood sugar plunges too quickly because you’ve only  nibbled on veggies and fruit all day you’ll be truly famished and tempted to nosh on those many leftover goodies that may be hanging around. Why do they call them goodies when at this point we know they aren’t??!!

Speaking of which, make a plan to share your goodies with neighbours, family, friends, perhaps freeze some. But if all of these treat dishes are sitting under your nose for the coming week you can do a big slide-a-rooney from now to New Year’s and your slinky black number you were planning on wearing New Year’s Eve might need to be taken out – OUCH.

I don’t think that’s part of your plan. So put your thinking cap on and fast, make a plan, check it twice and for goodness sakes, think shrink!!

And speaking of little black dresses, get reading Skinny on Slim The Little Black Dress of Diet Books and fast, for more healthy and stealthy tips which will set you up perfectly to take on the New Year right around the corner.

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Sensory Sensation, Another Stealthy & Healthy Diet Trick

May 31st, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

I recently reached for a succulent nectarine as a snack and I got to thinking more deeply about taste, mMmmmMmmm. What a wonderful sensation this is when you take time to pay attention to it. Think about it and experience it – that taste explosion of my dinner salad for example that included a variety of kinds of crisp lettuces, slices of spanish onion to give it punch, pieces of a juicy plum, some dried blueberries, a handful of crunchy slivered almonds then dressed to the nines with balsamic vinegar, olive oil with a dash of salt and fresh ground pepper. A dish like this makes you love your veggies and yearn for more that’s for sure.

Then came the main course: I had a small serving of gnocchi pasta topped with my Mom’s “norma” sauce cooked el dente sprinkled with hot chilli peppers and parmesan cheese. Each bite was savoured while the music played adding to my sensory experience upping my joy-meter to the max. Take a look at this photo of one of my favourite dishes of Rod Butters, chef at RauDz Restaurant in Kelowna. This is his signature dish of oat encrusted arctic char simply to die for. The taste explosion you experience when enjoying this dish is unmatched and his consistent delivery of it is unwavering.

Creating a love affair with what you eat creates a deeper connection to the food you choose not to mention experiencing the sensation of fullness so you realize you’ve had enough and move on. Tasting and experiencing your food fully could be a healthy and stealthy weight manage trick to up your eating satisfaction while coming alive to how it makes you feel, especially when the needle on the tank is approaching the “full” indicator.

When you get into the habit of putting experiencing your sensory eating sensation as a priority your taste will surely become more discerning. I challenge you to put your favourite food to the test. I’m sure you’ll find some super processed foods leave a dastardly aftertaste in your mouth and have you feeling yucking after an hour. You’ll be leaving them off your list once you experience this.

Check out Chapter 4 of my book Skinny on Slim and turn the beat around how you eat for more healthy and stealthy tips to help you manage your weight. Find my spring special on the book here and all outlets where it’s sold. Also available on i-Tunes, Kobo/Chapters, Barnes & Noble, Diesel and Sony.

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If Clueing in to the Cues is the Answer….

November 30th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

If clueing in to the cues is the answer then what’s the question? The question I have begun to ask last week – those secrets of weight loss success. Honing in on hunger and satiety – those cues that affect our eating are so key.

I read about a study that looked at weight and study participants’ focus on internal cues versus external cues. Not surprisingly they found normal weight individuals are influenced by internal cues “ding, I’m full” and overweight subjects external cues “dong, my family-sized platter is empty”.

For those overweight individuals wanting to gravitate to “the normal weight camp” attention to internal cues is of paramount importance. You are not destined to stay overweight. With time and focus you can begin to realize that you might be eating past the “full” cue out of habit because you were taught to finish all of the food on your plate “because of starving children somewhere in the world”. Look, support those charities because helping kids is surely a noble cause. But finishing all of the food on your plate isn’t helping anyone, especially you.

Take a week to begin this awareness exercise and I’m confident that in time you’ll realize that it’s actually uncomfortable overeating day in and day out. In time you’ll actually put your fork down when you’re full. Over time you could lose weight just by cuing in to your cues. Really!

Give it a try and let me know how it goes….

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Second Breakfast

September 21st, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Aye lassie, a little bird told me that today is the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit. Apparently we were supposed to celebrate this milestone by having “second breakfast” at 11 am. Quite serendipitously earlier in the day I cut up a plum and nectarine and was nibbling on these when 11 rolled around. Hmmmmm I hope I don’t start growing hair on my feet :-)

We all know that breakfast certainly is the most important meal in the day. It helps get us started, provides fuel for our body and mind. Having all of our meals each day is paramount, but breakfast certainly has that special place in the day providing our initial spark to get going.

There’s something to be said about having second breakfast too or a mid morning snack. I routinely have a fruit or two between breakfast and lunch because I get up and have an early breakfast so this helps me through to lunch time. I do the same late afternoon before dinner too. Some people swear by sticking to 3 square meals each day and I like to poo poo that right out of the gate.

Having a small planned snack between meals helps keep that ravenous hunger at bay because when we’re in that state many people eat too fast and eat too much. A planned snack keeps you from hitting that vending machine chocked full of junk that temps you into mindless eating. There’s a BIG difference in approach.

So plan a second breakfast AND a second lunch for that matter in snack-sized proportion to help manage your hunger. Sam and Frodo would certainly approve!

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Trade-off Turnaround – Weekend Free for All

February 28th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Do you allow yourself limitless food-loving eating days? You know, the ole “it’s the weekend, we can eat what we want and we won’t stop for nobody!” Ya, those kind of days.

Oh for the love of the free for all eating frenzy. Well folks, listen up because all calories count, even on weekends, stat holidays, vacations, birthdays, anniversaries and wait, even leap years too. So, following the “trade-off” series theme I started back in November, 2011, here’s a weekend eater’s free-for-all scenario, so listen UP:

  • For some reason you have the all-or-none approach and gorge with gusto every weekend from TGIF to Sunday evening. Good grief! After the weekend you find yourself singing “Monday, Monday, da da, da da….” These uncontrolled binges can result in having an additional 3,000 calories/week (at least) along with a food and drink hangover and upset stomach to boot that’ll wear off by Wednesday. NOT good! Let’s say you decide to put a lid on this nutty noshing and drinking and splurge less to say 1,000 calories/week extra. Live it up, but not like it’s 1999 though….
  • Doing this regularly for the balance of the year can save you ~2,000 calories/week.
  • Doing this over an entire year can result in a 29 pound weight loss each year!

There are many ways to enjoy the weekend, for which eating is one of life’s joys of many. Mix it up a little and take the focus off overeating and onto something else. You may even feel good on a Monday morning too when you do!

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Trade-off Turnaround – Speedy Eater

February 8th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Focusing in on how you eat is almost as important as what you eat. There’s a lot that’s not helpful with speed eating. Namely you end up low in the food enjoyment scale and high on amounts. It takes time for your stomach to register to your brain that you’re full. The speedy eater may be playing “Beat the Clock” when eating, yet could be taking in too much food too often which can tip the scale upward. This week’s trade-off turnaround segment is focusing in on the speedy eater in this scenario:

  • Let say you are generally a fast eater and are not in-tuned to your satiety cues (i.e. the “whooo horsey, I’ve eaten enough already”, cue). We know it takes about 20 minutes before your fullness registers to your brain.
  • Right now you eat PAST the “really full” cue with your woofing nature to the tune of 300 calories/day MORE than if you learned to slow down.
  • You decide to eat a fruit and drink a glass of water 30 minutes before lunch and dinner AND chew your food and enjoy it. On a scale from 1-10 on the satiety scale you stop when you reach 7-9 rather than past 10 at 12-14.
  • The case provided 2,100 calories/week AND less enjoyment of your food.
  • Making this 1 change to get in tune with your satiety can result in a 30-pound weight loss in a year!

I love a weight loss goal that doesn’t even focus on food, yet focuses on eating behaviour. This one change can get you enjoying your food by every bite-ful. Yes eating is one of life’s simple pleasures, so get your “joy meter” rising when you do!

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Soup Savvy

January 15th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , ,

Our temperature took a nose dive. It was Mother Nature’s nudge to find an old boot and a big stock pot and make some soup already! Today I made Mother Dearest’s Beef Barley Soup, posted in the Food Revolution Recipe category some time ago. It’s easier to make than pie and ohhhh soooo yummy.

It’s one of those stealth “weight friendly” foods that helps keep your appetite in check. The literature shows that starting your meal with a steaming bowl of soup helps fill you up leaving you to eat less your main meal. I love this barley soup with a meal or with crusty bread AS a meal. It is one savvy food that’s soothing and satisfying at the same time.

Ahhh soup, what is it about having a big old cauldron bubbling on your stove on a cold winter’s day that’s so soothing. Maybe it helps conjure up past memories of my Mom making some. When I was a kid I used to walk to and from school plus home again for lunch – imagine! I loved having a bowl of soup and a sandwich. When I was done I’d go catch an episode of The Flintstones then would walk back to school!! Those were the days, yes indeed :-)

If you’re still waiting for your nudge from Mother Nature, consider this post yours. Work some soup in your meal repertoire as one stealth way to manage your waistline and connect to the past. Enjoy!

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