I've been falling behind on my blogging, so I wanted to make sure I wrote something today. And, here it is!
I just read an article about why we overeat, and I find it so fascinating! It is something we have all done from time to time - ok, maybe a lot of the time! Especially with the holidays coming, the temptation to overeat will be ominous. There are many things we can do to help us keep from overeating. Much of the time it's just an awareness that we need. So often, we eat while we are watching TV or working on our computers, lap-tops, or cell phones. If we stop and pay attention to our food, rather than mindlessly eating, we will do a much better job of control our portion sizes and we will feel more satisfied by the food we do eat.
What I found interesting in the article I read, which was entitled "Portion Distortion" by Matthew Kayey, MS, RD in IDEA Food & Nutrition Tips, was that research has shown that our plates, bowls, and drinking glasses contribute to our portion control problems. I've noticed myself that the plates I use to serve my family are much larger than the dishes I was served on as a kid. I often will serve our food on the salad plates because we just don't need to eat off such a large dinner plate. The bowls we use are huge! I found some bowls that matched our dishes, and they are supposed to be "ice cream bowls". If you eat ice cream out of these bowls, you are going to have a large serving! We used them for cereal, and even for that, they are too big.
I used to encourage my clients to actually measure their food with mearsuring cups for one week, just to get used to seeing the correct size of the serving of food. It helps so much to see the correct serving size of food on your dishes. You might be surprised to find that you've been eating 2 cups of cereal rather than just one.
Once you are serving yourself the correct portion sizes, you can use one of the many apps that help record what you are eating. My Fitness Pal and Lose It! are two of my favorites. They help you record how many calories you are consuming as well as the calories you expend from exercise & activity. It really helps you to be more aware of how much you are eating and whether you need to get moving to meet your set calorie requirement for the day.
Make sure you are reading food labels on packaged food to see what a serving size is. Again, it's just being aware of how much and what you are putting in your body. It's much better to pour yourself a serving of what you want to eat, than just mindlessly eating it straight from the box or bag. Sure it is a pain in the neck to measure it out, but it is worth it when you see that you are not overeating and feeling bad about it later.
The article I read also mentioned that people ate less when they cut up their food into smaller bites. Instead of cutting a large slice of pizza, cut what you would have eaten in half. You can still eat the other half if you want it, but you'll feel like you are eating more!
To sum it all up, here are some tips to remember to help you with portion control.
1. Eat with smaller plates, bowls, & drinking glasses.
2. Read food labels to determine appropriate portion sizes.
3. Measure your portions to make sure you aren't eating to much.
4. Cut servings in to smaller sizes.
5. Eat slowly. Chew your food thoroughly before you swallow it.
6. Turn off the TV, computer, or any electronic device that might distract you.
7. Make sure you are getting enough sleep. We overeat when we are tired.
8. Keep extra food away from the table so you'll have to get up to get more.
9. Eat home cooked food so you are in control of the portion size.
10. Get the majority of your calories from the food you eat rather than from high calorie drinks.