Day 16

What to Expect:

“I know this isn't a weight-loss plan, but I was secretly hoping that I would lose some weight!”

You may experience: Some movement on the scale or (even better) extra room in your clothes. But you may not see this, even if you’re getting healthier.

Your best bet: Step away from the scale. It’s best not to get on the scale except once before and once after your 21DSD—otherwise, you’ll drive yourself crazy watching those numbers. Instead, review the many reasons why you decided to begin this detox in the first place, and focus on the amazing changes that have happened in your body and your life so far.

Today's Lesson:

Portion size tips

While all of the recipes in this book were created with a certain portion size in mind, that doesn’t mean that those portions are necessarily the right ones for you! You probably won’t find you want less food, but you may find that you need more of certain things. There truly is no one prescription or formula for portion size, so here’s how to figure out what’s right for you.

Step 1: Know your starting point.

It’s really hard to improve your satiety after meals—and figure out if more food or less food would be sufficient for you—if you don’t know where you’re starting. If you feel like you’re not full for long enough after meals, or if you serve yourself meals over and over again that you can’t finish, start by measuring out the portion of each dish with a food scale, measuring cups, and/or measuring spoons. But please don’t let this make you crazy or obsessive about portions—it’s simply information.

Measure your portions for several days so you get a good overall sense of how much you are eating and what your portion sizes look like. Realistically, you won’t be around these measuring tools all the time, so you’ll want to learn how to eyeball amounts—this week of measuring should help with that!

Pay close attention to how much you are eating and how you feel afterward. You may notice that you need closer to six ounces of meat when you were only eating four ounces at a time. Focus on feeling full and satisfied. You’re measuring for information, not deprivation!

Step 2: Test, test, test.

Now you need to test how you feel with different portions. For each meal, track:

  • which foods you ate
  • how much you ate of each food
  • when you ate
  • how you felt before and after eating

Be sure to write down how long the meal kept you full, when (and if) you got “hangry,” and how long after that meal you needed to eat again. All this varies for each and every person, and it may change depending on the type of exercise you do on a particular day, your overall lifestyle, or even the amount of stress you have.

It’s important to learn how to test and adjust your portions because life factors constantly change … which leads to step 3.

Step 3: Balance your plate, then balance it again

Pay attention to how your body responds when you add more of one type of food to your plate. If it’s not the result you want, then rebalance your plate, being mindful of your portions, and try to shift something different the next time you change it. Perhaps you need to add more protein to feel your best, or perhaps more fat. You may find you need to add a little more of both protein and fat, or just one or the other. The satiety you’ll feel as a result of these shifts varies from person to person, so rebalancing your plate for your own appetite needs is key. Also note if your activity level has changed—that will change how you will balance your plate (most likely, if you’re moving more, you’ll need more protein and healthy carbs).

Many people have told me that when they added more carbs to their plate, they gained weight. Often this happens because you’re adding calories (in the form of healthy carbs) to your plate without readjusting what was on your plate already. If you want to add healthy carbs without increasing your overall calorie intake, then you’ll need to adjust your intake of protein (somewhat) and fats (mostly) to avoid overeating.

The Dish from Diane:

Throw away your scale. I’m serious. I haven’t owned a bathroom scale in probably more than ten years, and I’ll tell you what, I’m happier for it.

Yes, the scale does provide some information: it tells you about the Earth’s gravitational pull on your body. But you can get better-quality information about your health in more ways than we can count. How do your clothes fit? How is your energy? Your performance in the gym. Your moods. Your skin. Your more positive mental attitude overall. Need I go on? These are all better ways to evaluate your health than weighing yourself.

If you’re concerned about overall weight loss, trust how your clothes fit, photos you take along the way to track progress, and basic body measurements (the kind you use to determine your clothing size) rather than the scale. If you are exercising, you’re likely building muscle and losing fat, and that won’t reflect in the way you’re hoping it will on the scale. Don’t forget that body fat weighs less than muscle mass—you could weigh less than someone of similar stature and still have more body fat.

Today's Checklist:

  • Throw away your scale. Yes, really.
  • Post to social media using the hashtag #21DSD about your day 16 experience and a photo of your scale in the trash can.

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