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Portion Distortion: How NOT to Overeat!

Nov 15, 2012

Let's face it...we live in a society that worships LARGE portions. The more, the better, right? Well, not the case when you're trying to watch your waistline and your long-term health. We're going into the holidays and we'll all be faced with portion control issues, being bombarded by endless party foods, family-style meals, and desserts galore. Now is not the only time of year to watch your portion sizes, of course, so we've provided some tips that you can use all year long to help keep yourself in check and stay away from over doing it.

  1. Downsize your dinner plate. Research has shown that humans will pretty much eat the amount of food that is placed in front of them. So, simply having your meal on a smaller plate will inherently cause you to eat less...just don't go back for seconds!
  2. Take time to read serving sizes. We've all been victim to assuming that a packaged good is one serving...and it turned out that the package of granola we just downed was 4 servings! If you have to have the treat, stick to 1 serving.
  3. Purchase (and use!) a digital scale for weighing proteins and measuring cups for portioning veggies and side dishes. You won't have to do this forever, just long enough to know what 4 to 6 ounces of protein or 1/2 cup of carrots look like.
  4. Pay attention to your food when you're eating by dining at the kitchen table or in the dining room. Eating in front of the TV or computer will take your attention away from your food and will lead to overeating, even if you're technically full.
  5. Thoroughly chew your food. Chewing your food until it's liquified gives your brain and stomach time to release satiety hormones that tell you're getting full. Not to mention, fully chewed food is easier to digest.
  6. Start your main meals with a fibrous salad. Filling up on lots of leafies will help you feel full enough to not over do it during your main meal.
  7. Make sleeping a priority. Chronically sleepless people tend to overeat. This is due to an imbalance in the hormone cortisol which not only leads to insomnia, but also drives sugar cravings.
  8. Choose lots of fiber-rich foods throughout the day. Fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds added to meals and snacks will trigger those all-important satiety hormones and keep you fuller longer.
  9. Keep your distance from the serving dishes. Folks who serve themselves and then sit at the table to eat tend to eat less than those that put their serving dishes on the table with the family meal. An even better option is to portion your meal and immediately put leftovers in the fridge or freezer.
  10. Get your nutrition from real food, not liquid calories from sugary drinks. Processed juices and sugary drinks drive hunger upward and will cause you to over eat. Drink water through the day and save your calories for things you chew!


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