I was asked recently by a few people about how I stay thin and fit with all of this cooking… And they probably meant “all of that eating”…
Home cooked meals definitely help one lose weight. Because I’m so small (5’1”, very small-boned, even for a Japanese), a few pounds make a huge difference on me. My weight is back to my college level finally mainly because I’m not eating out as much. I’m in my late 40s, my metabolism has slowed down, so I try to keep my portions smaller, and eat more variety and vegetables. (Back to a Japanese style diet.) Actually, Japanese dishes only shows up on our table once or twice a week. And you can do the same type of diet with any other cuisine.
The key is a balanced diet — many different things in smaller portions. To accomplish this, eat slowly and use smaller plates (if you use bigger plate, everything looks small, so you end up with more).
For example, we have been eating about 4 oz of meat/fish maximum each meal vs 6 oz that we used to. (It’s easy, there’s 2 of us, so I just buy 1/2 lbs. and split.) I now use about 2.5 oz of pasta (divide 1 lb of pasta into 3, and use one of them for 2 of us) vs 4 oz before (1/2 bag each time for 2.) The difference looks small, yet both translate into a 33% portion reduction.
Do I get hungry? No. Because we eat more vegetables. You save not only calories but money per meal too!
When you do Kitchen Wizardry, keep your vegetables in stick form, or separate into smaller portions, just like you see on a crudite/veggie platter. Then not only do you save time for meal preparation, you can also use them for healthy snacks or as an appetizer, instead of crackers, chips, etc which have a lot higher calories. Also when you bring lunch to work bring these veggies instead of getting a bag of chips that often comes with a store-bought sandwich. It saves you money, time and calories. Go for a walk with the time saved!
Another thing is I barely eat any sweets, nor do I drink much soda or alcohol. My snacks are mostly leftovers or make-over versions, not typical American snacks of crackers and cheese, chips etc. According to my husband, an American, that’s probably the real reason why I can still eat a lot and stay pretty thin.
If you have a sweet tooth, have a very small portion.
Whatever it is (especially those small portions), eat slowly, put down your utensils after you put one small bite in your mouth, and really savor the flavor. This way, your brain will be satisfied even from just a small piece of chocolate. Rather than depriving yourself of what you love and rebound with binge eating, you could enjoy your guilty pleasure more often without guilt.