Downsizing might not sound enticing when it refers to your employer handing you a pink slip. However, downsizing can be a good thing! Shrinking your portion sizes can lead to shrinking your waistline as well as the number on the scale. And the whole process can be painless!
The key to pain-free downsizing is tiny steps. You will need to trick your body into believing it is receiving the same amount of food, even though you are downsizing. This sounds impossible, but is actually totally doable.
Recently I switched breads. You might remember I normally chose a flourless sprouted wheat bread from Trader Joe's. I've been using this bread for my sandwiches for years. This particular bread is 80 calories per slice. Not terrible! But I decided to try the Sprouted Grain bread from Aldi. By switching, I saved more than $1 per loaf of bread. (However, the Aldi loaf is smaller, so the price per ounce might not be less.) Because the slices are smaller, I am also saving on calories. The Aldi bread is 60 calories per slice. So every time I make a sandwich, I now save 40 calories. This isn't much, but over the course of a week, I might save 280 calories. Over the course of a month, more than 1000 calories. This adds up! And this is all from one tiny, painless switch. My sandwich still tastes the same, and I can add a few more spinach leaves to bulk it up if I want.
Bigger switches might look like changing from eating a sandwich to having a salad. You might keep the same protein source, but just throw your sliced turkey or tuna salad on top of mixed greens instead of bread. (This idea doesn't work as well with a PB&J, however...) This could potentially save you 200 calories per day, depending on your bread of choice. In addition, your meal is going to be much lower carb. However, if you love sandwiches, you could end up feeling ripped off, angry, sad, and deprived. These feelings could lead to binges later in the day. So remember to take your feelings into account! This is one reason why many diets fail.
Another middle-of-the-road switcheroo could be having a small salad or a bowl of soup with half a sandwich. This solution cuts your sandwich calories in half, includes only one slice of bread, and potentially adds extra greens, veggies, bone broth, and healthy fats. Again, this option will probably be lower carb, depending on exactly what you put on your salad or in your soup. For example, soup containing pasta, noodles, or rice could end up being higher carb than half a sandwich. Salads covered in croutons might contain more bread than half a sandwich.
Remember: start with what you love. Enjoying your meals is an absolute necessity, especially when you are trying to lose weight. A diet you hate will never work. You just won't stick with it. But baby steps can and will work, as long as you commit to them.
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