Tag Archives: Dinner

Healthy Habits for Weight Loss: Dinner and Portions

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There are a lot of reasons to lose weight and there are a lot of ways to do it.  With our wedding approaching in November we decided to make this an overall healthy year.  So in January started to focus on what we were eating, how much we were eating and set out to change some habits and lose weight along the way.  I’ll be sharing some of our new healthy habits over a series of short posts.  Let’s start with dinner and portion sizes.

I grew up in a house where my mom cooked dinner every night.  We sat down as  family, talked about our days and shared a meal together.  She made everything from tacos, to shake and bake pork chops with mashed potatoes.  We always had a fresh vegetable and salad with our meals.  My mom also made pretty much everything from scratch which helped to keep our meals healthy.  Michael grew up in a similar house and together we bonded over cooking and sharing meals.  When we moved in together, cooking dinner and having a meal became a daily occurrence.  We have always tried to keep it healthy with lean protein and green veggies but we knew this wouldn’t be enough to help us shed a few pounds.

One of the first things we changed up this year was our dinners.  Michael has always struggled with GI issues, and complained that our dinners left him feeling full at night which made sleeping uncomfortable.  So we’ve started to shift to a lighter dinner.   We’ve also really focused on our portions.  For example, Wednesday night is always taco night for us.  We used to make guacamole with 2 avocados and would each eat three tacos with extra lean ground chicken.  I’d say most nights we ate 3/4 of a pound of turkey.  Now make guacamole with  1 avocado, each eat 2 tacos and have less than 1/2 a pound of meat between us.  Most other nights we have been having a salad or soup.  Salads are topped with salmon or chicken baked in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.  We’ll put some butternut squash, tomatoes, cucumber, and whatever else sounds good!  We’ve always tossed our salads with a yogurt based dressing and kept it very light so we continue to do that.   Even when we order takeout I serve out my portion and then package up the remaining serving so as not to over eat or tempt myself!

Salmon over Salad with Veggies!

Salmon over Salad with Veggies!

For me the switch was really hard to adjust to mentally.  I was afraid I’d be hungry or not get enough to eat, after all I was already at a healthy weight.  And to add to that, I’ve always been a big eater.  Growing up I always had seconds, and when I was skiing in college and burning about 2,000 calories in a single workout I had seconds.  To the astonishment of those around me I could always eat and eat and still be at a healthy weight with lean, toned muscles.  Recently though, I’ve noticed I want to eat less and I’m fuller faster.  It’s likely a product of my age and activity level but had me thinking about how much I was eating on a regular basis.  The first thing I noticed when it came to eating lighter, smaller meals was that I really didn’t miss the larger portions or second helpings.  Not one bit.  I also noticed that I was sleeping and feeling better with our lighter dinners.  Michael has also been feeling much better since we’ve started eating lighter and has had less GI issues as well.  I think the greatest change is that this habit is even translating when we go out to dinner.  We order less food, order healthier options and we don’t eat our whole serving.  It’s so unlike us but goes to show how mindful eating can make a difference…a difference you can see and feel!

Over the next few posts I’ll talk about breakfast, desserts, meal prep and more!  All of these changes are really making a difference for us.  And the positive results make us want to continue our healthy habits!

How do you monitor your portions at dinner?  Does mindful eating  help you keep your portions smaller?

What I Ate Wednesday #75

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I love spring, mostly because it brings with it grilling weather and changes up my taste buds.  Gone are the days of heavy stews, soups and roasts.  I’m digging salads, fresh veggies, grilled meats and so much more.  We’ve been focusing more on veggies, portion control, less sugars and more protein.  Michael is starting to lose weight and I’ve been feeling really good when it comes to food.  I’ve found that it’s easier to say no to the junk food because it just really doesn’t make me feel good since we’ve been eating so much good stuff!

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Breakfast.

I’ve been loving pancakes and waffles.  During the week I’ve been having waffles with peanut butter and bananas, or with maple syrup and fruit.  This weekend we made homemade pancakes with fresh strawberries on top.  I’ve been perking up my coffee with chocolate almond milk which makes it taste so good!

Homemade Pancakes, Fresh Strawberries and Coffee

Homemade Pancakes, Fresh Strawberries and Coffee

Lunch. 

Lunch has been filled with variety.  Last week I was loving turkey with American cheese and mustard on a sandwich thin.  This week I have chicken and a baked sweet potato topped with salsa and sour cream.  Also in the mix have been frozen burritos.  I even bought some fresh bread to have an old-fashioned peanut butter and jelly one day.  Snacks have been lots and lots of fruit…bananas, strawberries, grapes, and apples.  I’ve also been loving raw almonds or yogurt.

Snacks:  Red Grapes and Raw Almonds

Snacks: Red Grapes and Raw Almonds

Dinner.

Friday night we went to dinner at this italian restaurant near by.  There are only 7 tables in the restaurant and it always seems like there is a long wait for a table.  We got lucky and only waited 10 minutes to get a table.  The restaurant is famous for its fresh baked bread which is incredible!  I had fettucine with mushrooms and truffle oil which was so good!  Sunday we made grilled chicken, roasted potatoes, corn on the cob and salads for dinner…and margaritas (it was Cinco de Mayo)!  Also in the mix has been fish, salad and broccoli.  We also made a healthier version of steak sandwiches with peppers and onions and a little bit of cheese.  It’s so good!

Dinner

Dinner

Dessert.

I couldn’t resist the other night…I NEEDED a bowl of fro yo in my life.  Moose tracks frozen yogurt to the rescue and it was good!

Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt

Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt

Waffles or Pancakes? What are your go to snacks? What new dinner ideas are you loving?  Favorite Fro Yo flavor?