Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Diet "Tips and Strategies", 80/20

I'm not going to say I hate diet tips and strategies....you didn't hear me say it, did you?

There are a million and one diet tips and strategies, or maybe just a few, but interpreted a million different ways!  They are all good, and they all probably work if you DO them!  That's key, right?  Doing them, not knowing them!  I try and never offer tips as if they are easy to follow through with because I know that when it's just not time, it's just not time!  It seems that more often than not we have the best of intentions and then something happens....oh yes, I remember...

"It's all easy until you get hungry!"

Hunger of course can be a just a feeling, or indeed a fact.  The science behind weight loss, no matter what some popular books/authors write about these days, for me, comes down to calories in, calories out.  What it comes down to for you? Well, only you really know what and how much you eat, but this I know.  If I dropped you off on a deserted island and came back for you 1 month later you would weigh less, a lot less.  I'd put money on it.

I completely understand wanting more food for no apparent good reason other than it tastes good, and it feels good when I'm eating it, AND I can have whatever I want, when ever I want, pretty much all of the time. I'm spoiled.  Or, more accurately I may be, literally, spoiling (my health).  Anyway, enough with the know it all attitude and back to some diet tips!

As I posted a couple of days ago I tend to serve myself larger portions of food at meal times.  I know I'm doing it.  It's not a secret or a mystery, I admit I do it.  I'm not really liking doing it anymore so I think I'm going to change that habit.  Okay, I changed it.  Extra large portions also include second helpings!  But I think I may be ready to take it a step further.

I really, really liked Amanda's comment to my last blog post about stopping at 80% full!  I think I'm going to tweak it a bit, and change it to starting with only an 80% serving!  I think it's a pretty easy strategy to "eyeball".  In fact now that I think about it my portions have easily crept up by an additional 20%-50%, so cutting them back to "normal" is 80%! lol

This is something that I can feel good about right away. I got tired of lying to myself.  It's just not fun.  In fact, it would be funny if the science worked out perfectly and by cutting my calories 20% I would lose 20% of my body weight!  Hmnn...wouldn't that be a fun game to play?

Diet tips and strategies come and go...and then come around again!  Really, I only offer up some suggestions as I find my own way through the feelings and emotions that seem to be connected around my eating and the foods I chose to eat or not eat.

I prefer to look at tips and strategies as "rules".  To me it feel like rules have less emotion behind them.  It's much easier to actually not help myself to seconds when I take the choice out if it. I mean, I'm not making crazy rules!  Crazy rules are just crazy!  I never want to feel as if I'm punishing myself because I don't feel as if I've been "bad".  So I started eating a little too much, or maybe a lot.  I can change that, I have changed that, and that's that.

What have you changed?  What worked for you?  Do you have rules?  Do you have a strategy?

Or do you never think about eating and/or food?  I'm always interested to hear about "you"
people!  lol  What's that like?  I can imagine a time when I will feel the same.  Maybe tomorrow?  That would be nice.


Hanneke said...

I wanted to respond to your last post but then I didn't.

I really liked it, and as so many others I have always struggled with portion size, too much snacking etc. I recently read something that I currently use in my life. Like you say, lots of things work, and sometimes you move away from them because other things work for you.

I read about Meb Keflezighi, he's a world class marathoner. It was an article about what he eats. It turns out he doesn't eat that much more than anybody else and he logs 120-140 miles a week. It even said "sometimes Meb treats himself to a party sized snickers" I thought that was funny. Most people who train for a marathon will indulge in a whole pint of Ben & Jerry's.

So I looked up the daily diet routine of some other runners like Paula Radcliffe who is a little older and has children. Also her diet is not that much different from a regular person. She eats a little more after a long run but that's about it. Of course her diet is no junk food but whole foods, however no crazy snacking or rewards.

I have no desire to look like a professional marathon runner at all. I couldn't look like one of them if I wanted too, I am built very different. However I did take away from it the essence that I do not need to over consume calories just because I run 60+ miles a week and train KB 3X weekly. Secretly sometimes I do like to think that.

It does help me at the moment during the day to think "What would an athlete eat?" And then more in the sense of how much rather than exactly the content. I cook everything at home so what is not an issue. How much is.

Candice Clem said...

I love being full. There's something connected to the feeling and I just really like it. I love to feast. I don't think that it's necessarily always a bad thing for me to feel that way, so I try to fill up on veggies and meat instead of filling up on pizza. :)

I don't think my portions are THAT big though... I'm probably going to notice it more after this post!

I went through a metabolic effect nutrition course and they said that sometimes, people that crave that full feeling, is often GABA (calming brain hormone) deficient. Which makes sense because being full tends to calm people down and put them in a comatose state!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Great comment! I am always "studying" Mark and my friends that have body weights that never 'seem' to fluctuate and they all have one common theme. They don't like feeling full and heavy. This touches on what Candice commented on, and I'm going to get to that...

After coming back from my weekend competition it was clear that the honeymoon is over and I've got to clean up my act if I want to see some real accomplishments in GS sport. Looking at the top level athletes is the frist place. Eating like an athlete is part of being one. That includes nutritionally and emotionally. (or non emotionally).

You bring up another really important point and that is how deceiving it can be to look at someone that 'seems' to be able to eat whatever they want to and never gain weight! I'm always telling people that although it seems as if thin people can eat whatever they want, they don't!

Just like we may know really over weight people that never seem to 'eat that much' because we don't see everything someone else eats (not even the people we live with sometimes).

It's also interesting to read how you also 'reward' yourself. Most people would think running 60+ miles a week would afford you some rewards. But as you point out, it's not the kind of reward an athlete is looking for. An athlete puts sport first. Performance and results is the reward. And as we know it doesn't feel good to not be our best. Whatever we choose to express our 'best' through.

Thank you for your comment!

Tracy Reifkind said...


The feeling of being full. Oh yes, it's one that I'm very familiar with! And I've never heard about GABA but the theory doesn't surprise me at all.

I used to write about how I loved feeling full...oh how much I loved feeling full, stuffed even. That is why I started eating the way I do, veggies first. It most definitely helped me to eat more, but take in fewer calories, and unknowingly increased my nutrition in a way that I felt (and feel) really healthy for the first time in my life. But recently I stopped making that 'claim', how I love feeling full and stuffed.

I don't want to love it! It's not necessary! That I truly believe. So I stopped saying it, or if I do say it I change my statement right away.

If your bodyweight is where you want it to be then of course your portions are exactly how big they should be.

I know when my portions are too big in relation to the result I want to experience, so when I'm ready to change it I do. As a trainer yourself I'm sure one of the biggest comments you hear is, "But I don't eat that much." Well, until you really find out, by keeping an honest food journal, you can wish all you want to.

Thanks for you comment!

Diana said...

Not that your post wasn't good enough, but the comments were awesome! "putting the sport first"..I love that! Need to put that on my brain for safe keeping!
I will be emailing you...

Tracy Reifkind said...


I agree! The comments were of great value!

chrystad72 said...

the 80/20 tip is a great one! I tend to try to eat like this too. Once im 80% hungry i stop, drink some water and let it all digest. I just tell myself that the food isnt going anywhere and if Im hungry in a little bit I can eat some more later on. Besides there is always tomorrow!

For me, That takes the "rules" factor out of it. I don't like eating by rules really...just being mindful (even though I do tend to graze a bit too much at night!) eating slowly with no distractions helps too. That way I really appreciate and enjoy what Im eating rather than inhaling it. Just works for me I guess.

Tracy Reifkind said...


If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Mine? It's broke! Or I should say it needs a bit of tweaking! lol

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