If I could have a quarter for every time people have said to me, "I'm watching what I eat, so I don't understand why I'm gaining weight," I would truly be a millionaire.
What most people don't understand is that eating a a 3-part equation. It's not just what you eat, but also when and how much. The calories in/calories out equation is true, but how you burn those calories is affected by all 3 parts of this equation.
WHAT TO EAT: Obviously you want to eat healthier foods. We all know the kinds of foods we should eat. Lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, things that are actually food. What you don't want to eat are things that are "food products" like pop tarts and toaster scramblers. They aren't food but rather scientific creations. No thanks.
WHEN TO EAT: If you've been on RaceDay for very long you know the answer to this question. You eat only when you FEEL hungry. That tummy better let you know and not your brain looking at the clock and thinking "Oh it's time to eat." It's never time to eat unless your body tells you so. I do realize this is harder with kids because you've got lunch times and what not, but once you figure out how to eat right you can time this to be right on schedule with them. Don't be eating because you don't want to "waste" food, or because it's there, or because it looks good, or because you're bored. Only eat when you feel hungry. That's it.
HOW MUCH TO EAT: Portion sizes have been highly distorted in this country of ours. We have fast food restaurants trying to make us feel like we have to super size everything to get a good value. Even stores like Costco are distorting our perceptions of how much is enough. There is only one meter that can truly tell us how much is the right amount for us and for our activity level for the day and that is our own body. How much should you eat? Only until you no longer feel hungry. This means that some days you may eat 2 sandwiches at lunch and other days you may only eat 1/2 a sandwich. Our activity levels, hormone levels, stress levels, etc. all play a part in the equation of how much we need and our body can tell us. If you have in your mind how much you should eat, you may very well over eat or under eat. You have to listen to what you body says. (not your tongue--your body)
If you can get this 3-part equation down--what, when and how much--you are well on your way to establishing healthy eating habits for life.