Simple Ways to Eat Less

Monday January 26, 2015

Setting a goal, such as losing weight, and implementing steps to achieve it are two different things. How we eat is influenced by many factors such as the environment, how much is served and how hungry we are, how mindful we are about eating, our emotional state and so on. You can control these factors by bringing them to your attention until they become habits.

There are several different tips to keep off the pounds:

  1. Enjoy every bite – Chew your food slowly. Aim for each meal to take 20 minutes. Eat sitting at the table and don’t watch TV.
  2. Use smaller plates, cups and bowls. Research has found that when people use larger bowls, plates and serving utensils, they serve themselves more and consume more food.
  3. Pre-portion your foods into a smaller container so you know how much you are eating. If you eat directly from the bag or box it is hard to keep track of your intake.
  4. Know what your “challenging” foods are. These are foods you can’t resist. Keep these foods out of the house. They will call your name until they are gone. Healthiest foods are on the perimeter of the grocery store.
  5. Keep a food journal. Studies have shown that dieters who kept track of their food lost twice as much as those who did not. Writing it down helps limit mindless eating.
  6. Use the plate method. Most plates at restaurants, or even at home, are backwards – big portions of meat and carbohydrates with very few (if any) vegetables. Fill half of your plate with disease-fighting vegetables, a quarter with lean protein and a quarter with whole grains.
  7. Pack in the protein. Studies have shown that protein plays a key role in regulating food intake and appetite. Protein helps increase feelings of fullness because it takes longer to digest. (Stick to lean sources of protein: beans, hummus, eggs, fish, lean meats and low-fat dairy products)
  8. Eat breakfast. Studies have found that people who eat breakfast have a lower BMI (body mass index) and consume fewer total calories each day than people who skip breakfast.
  9. Doggy bag it. Portions served at most restaurants set you up to overeat. Ask your server to box up half of your meal before it comes to the table.