overeating all in your mind? How can we control our portions?

Finally reading my October issue of Cooking Light magazine this Saturday morning and ran across an interesting article “10 Little secrets of Portion Control”. The tips they offer to eat healthier and control your portions are similar to what I’ve been talking about during my Eating Healthy Lunch n Learns (some tips listed below). What was really interesting is Cornell University food psychologist, Brian Wansink PhD’s, findings of how we think about portions. He says “The cards are stacked against most Americans. Our bodies think we’re still hunter-gathers threatened by imminent famine at the end of every season.” He also states; “….we’re bombarded by subtle and not-so-subtle cues that trigger instructive as opposed to conscious eating behavior.”

Other interesting findings in the article are:

· We pour 19% more juice into a glass that is short & wide versus a tall and thin glass because because the eye is a poor judge of volume in relation to height and width.

· Subjects who ate while watching television consumed nearly 30% more food

So I wonder, how do we change these behaviors – how do we re-program our brains? I believe we need to continue to reminder ourselves (by writing & reading this article), and by putting key practices in place to help us keep our portions under control. So next time you are starving and want to super-size your meal, refer back to this article:

Here are some suggestions recommended in the article and some recommended by yours truly:

· Use smaller plates: 8” – 10” plate

· Before eating, divide the plate in half, fill the largest half with fruits or vegetables, Leaving the rest for equal parts protein and starch

· At a restaurant that provides bread as soon as you sit down, ask the waiter to remove the bread from the table

· Also at a restaurant, reserve half of your meal to take home for lunch the next day. If you set it aside first, you’ll only eat what’s on your plate.

· Avoid eating while watching TV or working on the computer

· SLOW DOWN – if you eat slowly you’ll notice when your full (something yours truly struggles with all the time!)

· Use tall thin glasses instead of short wide ones – some drinks are only empty calories

To read the entire article, pick up the latest issue of Cooking Light Magazine (10/2009). You can also learn more about Dr. Wansink book at http://mindlesseating.org/index.htm or follow him on twitter – http://twitter.com/mindlesseating.

Happy Eating my friends!



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