Of the literally hundreds of strategies you could enlist in an effort to drop those extra inches from around your waistline (counting calories, diet pills, exercise, Dead Sea salt wraps…) one device stands consistently at the front of the weight-loss pack.
It’s tiny, uncomplicated, inexpensive, and very effective. This powerful little bulge-busting wonder is none other than the humble 1 cup and 2 cup plastic container. As commonplace as it seems, this item has the power to put you on the path to success (a lot faster than the dormant treadmill in the corner of the spare bedroom!)
Here are 3 effective and easy ways to start eating right and, more importantly, eating the right size servings:
Container Rule #1 - A hard and fast rule in our house is - if you go to the trouble of preparing an approved meal, always make more than you need and store the rest in individual 1 and 2 cup containers. If, say, we grill 8 chicken breasts and make lots of roasted red potatoes and steamed broccoli, each item goes into a separate 1 cup container and these are stacked neatly in the refrigerator, ready to be packed in an Igloo or lunch box the next day. Having consistent container sizes makes it easy to pack 4 to 5 small, healthy meals, so you won’t run out during the day.
Container Rule #2 – When cooking a meal that contains all 3 items – carb, protein, and vegetables – using the 2 cup container works very well, especially with recipes like the one below:
LivingFit Healthy Brunswick Stew
1-1/2 pounds ground sirloin, browned, drained, and rinsed
2 (16 oz) cans of corn, drained
2 (16 oz) cans of diced tomatoes
1 (16 oz) can of creamed corn
1 large onion, chopped
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients, bring to a boil on medium heat then reduce and cook over low to medium heat for 1 to 2 hours, stirring continually. The best time to taste test this recipe is NOT at the beginning. Try taking your first taste after the first hour of cooking, as it takes at least that long for the vinegar to pull the sweetness out of the onions and corn (this is what creates that distinctive flavor!) Use 2 cup containers for proper portioning.
With a recipe like this, in order to consume the correct portion of protein, carb, and vegetable, you need to eat close to a full 2 cup portion. (This is the kind of meal to eat when you are really hungry – very tasty, very filling, and really yummy.) This Brunswick Stew recipe is one of my Mom’s old Southern favorites and is a great “cook-ahead” dish.
Container Rule #3 – One of my favorite new fast-food restaurants is a place call Chipotle’s
This is a great habit to get into when you tend to dine out a lot. Take advantage of the typically oversized portions almost every restaurant serves by automatically asking for a to-go box when you order your meal. Then, as soon as you get home, make it a rule to move your to-go box contents to proper sized containers that ensure you eat the correct portion sizes.
When I am traveling I try to order things like grilled chicken, rice, and veggies (with no extra sauce or fatty salad dressing.) I always take a to-go box back to my hotel room so that I have another small meal to eat later in the evening or the next day.
Just remember, when it comes to shedding unwanted fat, what you eat and when you eat isn't nearly as important as how much you eat.
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