EATING MORE BUT LOSING WEIGHT
Fruits and veggies have lots of water content. Compare the weight of three potatoes to the weight of a bag of chips. Big difference! The difference is water content. When foods have lots of water in them, they are heavy and feel heavy in your stomach. Another word for heavy in your stomach is FULL. Full is a good feeling.
You may be wondering why we recommend eating as much plant food (fruits and veggies) as possible. It is because if you can stuff yourself with all of the goodness, nutrients, and vitamins that come from plant-based foods, you will be FULL. Then you naturally won’t stuff yourself with the junky stuff.
The junky stuff takes many, many more calories to fill you up than fruits and veggies.
The goal of this training isn’t to get you to start counting calories; please don’t. It just shows you why you want to eat as much of the good stuff as you can get into your body. It’s time to EAT!
The focus for you is getting as many fruits and veggies into your body as possible.
Let’s discuss why you don’t have to worry about overeating when you have a plant-based diet. Imagine in your hands, 300 calories worth of potato chips (my junky food of choice). Three hundred calories would roughly be two large handfuls. I could eat that in 20 seconds. I would probably then eat two more large handfuls. And then one more.
Compare that to 300 calories of broccoli. Three hundred calories of broccoli would be difficult to consume. Imagine three large full-sized heads of broccoli. They would barely fit on a full-sized dinner plate. If the broccoli was cooked and chopped into bite-sized pieces, it would fill an entire serving-for-six serving bowl. You would have a very difficult time eating 300 calories of broccoli in a day.
Your body’s fullness chemical processes (that tell your brain that you are full) evolved when people ate only fruits, vegetables, and meat. Maybe in another million years of eating junky stuff our body will evolve to feel full on 300 calories of potato chips, but it isn’t how our body is currently designed. Our fullness-meter is triggered with food volume. Eat MORE fruits and veggies.
WHY DO I LOSE WEIGHT WHEN I EAT MORE
Let’s talk about the answer to this question: why do I lose weight when I eat more. The goal again isn’t to stop eating junky food. It is to get full, and build a habit and taste preference for eating the good stuff.
Right now you may not enjoy eating fruits and veggies. You may be habit-trained to crave highly processed and extremely salty, sweet, or soaked-in-fat foods. The goal isn’t to BREAK yourself of old eating habits. It is to slowly, drip by drip, introduce your body to the good stuff.
It is completely normal to not enjoy the good stuff if it is less familiar to you. Just take a few bites each day. You will be AMAZED at what a daily habit will do for you. Slowly your body will not just get used to the flavor of fruits and veggies, it will grow you PREFER fruits and veggies. Your body will want the good stuff. That is a good day when you realized that you are ordering the veggies on the side over the french fries, not due to discipline or restriction, but because that is what you PREFER!
Let’s talk about how to eat more to weigh less. Here are the basic principles of Intuitive Eating. (For a deep-dive into the topic, read the classic Intuitive Eating book by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole.) For a drip by drip method of learning the principles of Intuitive Eating, just keep moving through this Eating Well Habit Deck.
Today you are going to practice feeling your hunger. Throughout the day, regardless of whether you are eating or not eating, eating veggies or lunches or potato chips, check in with your body and ask yourself this question:
- 1-10, what is my hunger level?
- A one would be not hungry.
- A four would be, “I could eat.”
- A six would be, “I’m getting hungry.”
- An eight would be, “I’m satisfied and full.”
- A ten would be, “I couldn’t put in another bite. I feel overstuffed.”
You don’t need to DO anything with your hunger level ratings today, just notice your levels throughout the day.
I don’t know where fruit got its bad name. Somewhere along the decades of dieting news, it was introduced that fruit has sugar in it, therefore is bad for you. Challenge this thinking whenever it crops up. Stop the rules in your head that have you counting calories and restricting and obsessing and weighing.
Fruit is wonderful! Blueberries, frozen peaches, baked apples. Yummmmm.