The Appropriate Portion

Small Diet Modifications Can Mean Big Changes
Dropping a few extra pounds may mean reversing the voice in your head that sounds suspiciously like your mother telling you to clean your plate. Here's why: eating just one hundred extra daily calories--which may come from finishing everything on your plate, even after you're full--can represent ten added pounds in a year. Conversely, and fortunately, reducing your daily intake by just a small amount can help you manage and even lose weight. Following are a few portion control tips to help you meet your goals.

Eat at Home
Dine in, and fill your own plate. Studies show that most people serve themselves smaller portions at home, but eat more when someone else fills their plate. Restaurant portions have grown significantly in recent years, in some cases doubling, and research has directly tied obesity with regular dining out. When you dine at home, serve yourself only what you think you can comfortably eat. Store leftovers in individual serving containers, and freeze them or take them for lunch the next day.

Slow Down
Pay attention to how fast you're eating. Slowing down helps you eat less and better recognize when you're full. When you dine out, ask your server for a box. If you continue to pick at your plate while talking with friends, you'll soon eat the whole thing without even thinking about it. This mindless eating can account for a lot of calories.

Divvy up Dinner
Sharing an entree with your dining partner and ordering an extra salad is a great way to avoid eating a large meal. If you're traveling and dining alone, try an appetizer and salad.

You've heard the reports: Obesity is one of the greatest risk factors for heart disease, degenerative arthritis, and cancer, and it's now epidemic in the United States with an alarming 66 percent of all adults obese.

The good news is watching your portions, slowing down, and being mindful of the food you consume can make a difference. Even your mother would agree, you don't always need to clean your plate.

Category: Nutrition