The topic of this blog is about weight control and I’m not talking about what you eat. I’m going to talk about how you eat. As many of you know, I’m an international fashion model, and as you also know, models need to maintain their weight to maintain their job—unless they are a plus-size model, then it’s a different issue. Typically, clothes sizes that designers have you wear are size four. During a woman’s life, her sizes can fluctuate with different times of the month or different phases in her life or simply as she ages. These tips that I’ve created have helped me stay steady with my weight and fluctuate only four pounds for my whole adult life. I know they work.
If you’re interested in maintaining your weight or if you need help losing some poundage without too much suffering, I hope these eight tips will help. The first tip is very obvious but it needs to be said and that is to serve yourself a smaller portion. This way you don’t have to change your diet or shop for food that you’ve never shopped for before. You don’t have to change your palette to incorporate new tastes that you might not like. You can stick with the food that you like but just serve a smaller portion. You can even make it look visually larger by spreading it around on your plate so that your plate looks full—it’s just not as thick with food. That way you won’t feel like you’re skimming because the plate will still look full. Now, is that not simple? You’re just tricking yourself but that tip combined with some of the other tips that I’ll give you will help you control your eating habits.
The second tip is that, once you’re at the table and you’ve used your fork to give yourself a mouthful of food, put the fork down. Let go of the fork. Do not touch your fork and you chew your mouthful thoroughly. Once you’ve finished with that mouthful, then and only then do you pick up your fork for another bite. This motion will help you to slow down. That’s really important because when you’re slowing down you’re not consuming as much and you’re not eager to dip not the next mouthful before you even finish the food that’s in your mouth. This brings me to the third tip.
Tip number three is to masticate your food thoroughly. The food in your mouth needs to really mix with your saliva and become saturated so that when your food hits your stomach, it’s almost in liquid form. This helps the digestive acids in your stomach break down the food more easily, more quickly. You’ll be able to feel when you are full and you’ve consumed enough nutrition. If you chew quickly, the food ends up in your stomach in chunky pieces, your stomach acids have to work harder to properly digest the food and you don’t get the signals to your brain saying, “Okay, that’s enough. I’ve had enough food,” because it takes longer for the whole process to take place. Meanwhile, you’re eating more because you don’t feel full. The simple trick of putting your fork down will help you slow down and chew your food more thoroughly, more conscientiously. You’ll be allowing time for your body to register when you’ve had enough food.
I’ve noticed that, generally, slimmer people eat more slowly and larger people eat more quickly. In east India there’s an expression: “Drink your solids and chew your liquids”. This expression says it all. Drinking your solids mean you’ve chewed your solids so well that they have become liquified. Chewing your drinks is equally as important so you can mix your saliva with the drink to help begin the digestive process in your mouth. Drinks need to be digested, too, with water being the exception.
Let’s talk about chewing. Have you ever counted how many times you chew one mouthful of food? If it is 10 chews or under, this is not enough times to break down your food before you swallow. Try to increase chewing every bite up to at least 20 times before swallowing.
The next tip is one of my favorites because it really works for me psychologically. After I finish a meal I brush my teeth. It’s similar to when you get your teeth cleaned at the dentist’s office and your teeth feel so clean that you don’t want to eat for a long while. The same thing at home—
after a meal give yourself that nicely cleaned feeling by brushing your teeth after a meal. You won’t be so quick to snack after a meal because you just went through that whole process of cleaning your teeth and your teeth feel so clean you want to leave it like that.
Drinking water is a great way to fill up and to cleanse the body. I highly recommend that for weight control. It gives you a nice full feeling while it hydrates and revives you.
Next tip, at the end of the day, envision everything you’ve eaten and drank as a buffet. See how you react to that. Does it look like a lot? If so, where might you be able to cut down with your consumption the next day? It’s very interesting to imagine everything that you’re going to consume in one day spread out on a table. Sometimes it can be quite overwhelming to think that you’re going to consume that much or that you did consume that much. It’s an observation of your eating habits to help you become more aware of the quantity you eat. This type of mental observation helps you change unconscious actions and habits around eating.
The last trick that has helped me is, when I’m hungry, I imagine hunger as my friend helping me. You might want to try this, too, whenever you are feeling hunger and are driven to eat something quickly. When you have extra weight to lose, you might want to stop a moment and consider those feelings of hunger as something that’s really good for your body. Think of it as your body working for you to clean up all the excess, cleanse your intestinal tract and burn those extra calories. Really, hunger is helping your body to function properly. You know you have to clean out the old to bring in the new. Of course, use your common sense when you’re really hungry. I don’t want you to get faint or anything, but if you do have a lot of weight that you’re trying to drop and you’re dealing with those feelings of hunger, take a moment to feel into the hunger pangs without letting those feelings of hunger drive you to immediately eat. Think of those hunger pangs as your friend. Try to embrace them and realize that your body is working for you to strengthen your whole digestive tract.
One of my favorite quotes which helps me appreciate the feeling of hunger is by Mark Twain: