finntx

Portion Control Concerns and Meal Planning

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I breastfed/pumped milk for my son up until early September when he turned 1. I have realized that my fullness meter is broken. To keep my milk production at the level I needed, I basically never allowed myself to get too hungry. Now that I don't have that driving my diet, I'm ready to eat like a normal person.

I'm working on my meal plan for next week and I'm having a hard time figuring out how much I should plan for each meal. For example: I'm planning to have a veggie hash (sweet potato, onion, and poblano peppers) with eggs for breakfast. My plan is to roast all veggies on Sunday and just cook eggs each morning. I can fit 4 eggs in the palm of my hand so I have that part down. But do I plan one sweet potato per meal, 1/2 onion, 1 poblano? 

I won't have time to grocery shop mid week and ideally I don't want to roast veggies mid week as our weekly schedule is already so packed. I'm concerned that I may not have time for this.

I know the idea is not to snack between meals, but is that okay for the first few days. I guess I'm feeling kind of lost since I'm also trying to reset my fullness meter. I know this will be my biggest hurdle so I'm trying to plan now for ways around it. Any advice would be helpful.

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Hi @finntx - welcome and kudos for understanding that you may have some initial challenges in getting back to what you need just to keep you alive, not you and another person. :)

Start out with a template meal that includes 2-3 cups of cooked veggie. Include both starchy and non starchy so a good veggie combo for your breakfast plan would probably be a fist sized serving of sweet potato and then green beans, a couple huge handfuls of spinach etc. Start with just one serving of starchy veggie per day and see how you do. Make sure you add fat to the meal as well and then see how you do. If you're starved at 3 hours, you need a larger meal. If you're still full at 6 hours, cut back a bit.

If you do need to eat between meals, have protein + fat or protein + veggie. We don't recommend relying on fruit or nuts as they can cause false hunger and cravings and that will inhibit what you're trying to do which is find your satiety point.

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Ok, I have a couple of follow up questions. I read "It Starts with Food" a few months ago and I am skimming it again now so please forgive me if I'm asking questions that are answered in there.

1. I can eat breakfast at 5am or 7am. I wake up at 430am so I'm thinking I would be better to eat at 5am versus waiting until 7am. My lunch time is at 1130am and then I eat dinner around 6pm. Is that spacing meals too far apart or should I try to find a different schedule.

2. I can add some avocado to my breakfast, but I like to add Nutpods creamer to my coffee once I get to work (around 730am). Am I doing any harm by skipping the fat at breakfast and having it a little later?

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You can try that eating schedule. You definitely want to eat within an hour of waking up, so go for the 5 am breakfast. If you can push that to 5:30 or 6:00, you'll probably have a better time waiting til 11:30 for lunch, but if it has to be 5 am, you will probably be able to make it work, though the first week or two it might be hard, so perhaps be sure you have something like some olives, some pre cut raw veggies with some dressing or guac, a hard boiled egg, or something like that to help tide you over to lunch time.  

Add avocado, and then have your nutpods as well. There's about 1 gram of fat in each tablespoon of nutpods. If you use a quarter cup -- about a third of the little carton -- you've added a whopping 3 grams of fat. The avocado, which a serving size is a half to a whole avocado, is probably anywhere from 15-30 grams of fat, depending on if you have a half one, a whole one, and how big your avocado is. Those 3-4 grams of fat in your nutpods are not making that much difference. The fat in your breakfast will help keep you satisfied longer, which you really need if you're trying to stretch the time until lunch. Eat the avocado, and then if you want nutpods in your coffee, have that as well.

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I'm on day 2. For breakfast I had sweet potato, green beans, red onion, poblano pepper (all roasted), spinach sauteed with 3 eggs. I forgot to add the avocado. 3 hours later I am can now understand why the fat is needed. I won't forget tomorrow. But, one question, I couldn't finish my breakfast so I packed it up and I'm finishing it now. 

I'm hungry within 3 hours. This could be due to forgetting the fat. But could this also be due to not enough protein? As I mentioned above, I can fit 4 eggs in my palm and I only did 3 this morning. But I couldn't finish my breakfast this morning. I'm a little confused by the 2 things as they seem contradictory. Should I keep the 3 eggs tomorrow but add avocado and see if that keeps me fuller until closer to lunch?

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3 minutes ago, finntx said:

. Should I keep the 3 eggs tomorrow but add avocado and see if that keeps me fuller until closer to lunch?

Morning, yes, this would be a good idea. I suspect you are hungry because of the lack of fat. But try tomorrow and see how that goes!

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Ok, so I added half an avocado this morning and felt much more satisfied. I was able to eat almost all of my breakfast.

I was feeling hungry around 7am (2 hours after eating) but I think it was more a habitual hunger/need to eat than a physical need. I'm in the process of making a habit change for breakfast time. I used to bring my breakfast to work and eat at 7am (2.5hrs after waking up). This week I am eating at home instead so I think I am just used to eating at 7am and even though I wasn't actually hungry, my body felt like it should have been eating out of habit. I'm hoping this fades over time.

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4 hours ago, finntx said:

Ok, so I added half an avocado this morning and felt much more satisfied. I was able to eat almost all of my breakfast.

I was feeling hungry around 7am (2 hours after eating) but I think it was more a habitual hunger/need to eat than a physical need. I'm in the process of making a habit change for breakfast time. I used to bring my breakfast to work and eat at 7am (2.5hrs after waking up). This week I am eating at home instead so I think I am just used to eating at 7am and even though I wasn't actually hungry, my body felt like it should have been eating out of habit. I'm hoping this fades over time.

Good to hear on the avo! Habit-eating is a funny one for sure. I used to eat an apple at 10am every day. When I realized I didn't really NEED it but just used it to break up the morning, I stopped doing it and it was a while before I started to not notice 10am apple-time!

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I have a similar problem.  I'm on day 8 and always get hungry about 4or 4:30.  That makes sense, since i eat lunch around noon or 12:30.  Unfortunately, my family's schedule doesn't allow for dinner until 6:30.  What should I eat when I'm hungry to keep me going until 6:30?  One palm of nuts seems to leave me hungry again in a half hour.  Would a boiled egg be ok?

Thanks so much!

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1 hour ago, D Russell said:

I have a similar problem.  I'm on day 8 and always get hungry about 4or 4:30.  That makes sense, since i eat lunch around noon or 12:30.  Unfortunately, my family's schedule doesn't allow for dinner until 6:30.  What should I eat when I'm hungry to keep me going until 6:30?  One palm of nuts seems to leave me hungry again in a half hour.  Would a boiled egg be ok?

Thanks so much!

Our recommendation would be to eat a protein and a fat. An egg and some avocado or a chicken thigh and some mayo would be good.

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