Sunday, November 9, 2008

Meal Plan

Some people I hadn't seen for a couple of months commented on my having lost some weight recently. I'm an eats-when-bored type, and I've been losing a little bit of extra weight lately, so they asked me how I did it.

Other than some strategic dressing to de-emphasize my problem spots? And being too busy at work most days to snack?

"I'm eating less," I told them. They laughed, in that "Why didn't I think of that?" way. "Really, I'm eating less," I said.

But I didn't tell them one of the most effective ways to make it happen.

And that is planning. Because I get in trouble with food if I don't think about it until it's too late and by lunchtime I'm gnawing on a chair leg, overcome by hunger pangs. There are a few other things that keep me on the right path, food-wise.

  1. Menu-driven. The super-organized Mr. Spandrel got us on the kick of planning the week's dinner menu on Sundays - then we shop for the ingredients we need. Saves time, money and thinking about what to eat after a long day at work. And if we're having a richer dinner, I have a salad for lunch.
  2. Brown-bagging it. Bring lunch at least a few times a week makes a big difference. Not only is it cheaper and more reliable, but the portion sizes are more controllable. Typical: Boar's Head Turkey, wheat bread, lettuce and tomatoes when in season. Whole grain Fig Newtons. These days, an apple.
  3. Adora calcium chocolate - by far the best chewable calcium supplement. It's a real piece of chocolate with 500 mg of calcium, but without the strange calcium taste. And it feels like a treat!
  4. Always eat breakfast. Mine is the same thing every day - a certain combo of cereal that keeps me filled until lunchtime, orange juice, and sometimes tea. If I'm starving or didn't have a real dinner the night before, I'll have crispy wheat toast with strawberry jam (Bonne Maman), too. Tea in the wintertime.
  5. Have places you never, ever eat. For example, I won't take food into my home office. So spending lots of online time at home means I don't snack as much.
  6. Out of sight, out of mind. When we have snacks and goodies at home, we put them away. If I don't see them as soon as I enter the kitchen, I'm not as likely to scarf down too many.
  7. Snacks go in a bowl. I have these cute little blue bowls we use for snacks, and a portion fits neatly into one bowl. So rather than eating the whole bag of whatever it is, I pour just a bowlful. (That doesn't mean I never go back for seconds, but it's easier to control!)


Kitty said...

that's really awesome. Great for you for being disciplined!

We have free snacks at work, which is terrible. I've gained weight because of it, and it must stop!

thanks for such an inspirational post. I will attempt to follow your footsteps!

Spandrel Studios said...

Glad it was inspirational!

The office I'm in is big with the snacks - cakes, cookies, and a vendor who spoils us with the most incredible donuts and rugelach. I'd sworn off them for years, but one taste of 'em and I was lured right back!

I've been surprised at how good habits take hold, almost as easily as bad ones have! All I can say is, find something healthy you like and see what works! Good luck, Kitty!