I hate to be cliché and say that one of my new years resolutions is about eating healthier. So I won’t.

Instead I will concentrate less on trying to keep a resolution and more on changing my behavior for the sake of a healthier life.

As I had previously mentioned in a previous post I may have some issues with portion control. Sometimes I forget that I’m a petite woman who only needs about 1200-1400 calories a day. Let’s just say that I can eat much more than that.

Therefore, instead of saying that I will cut out all desserts and french fries from the diet, I think this is more about how much to eat and instead of what not to eat.

I stumbled upon an article this morning that definitely caught my attention about a nutrition professor who lost 27 lbs from eating Twinkies for breakfast lunch and dinner. (Not anything the professor nor I would ever promote.) Click here to find out more about the article.

The method in this diet experiment was caloric restriction.

As a dietitian, it almost breaks my heart to hear the results of this experiment. How could someone who ate Twinkies for every meal lose weight and improve his lipid levels? What’s the main message here? Eat Twinkies and you’ll lose weight? Of course not!

Overall as a society, we are consuming way too many calories. There is no need for the average person to consume more than 2000 calories a day (give or take this amount depending on one’s height, weight, age and activity level). The take-home message wasn’t about what he had eaten that aided in his weight loss. It was all about the amount of calories he was consuming.

 

(Taken from The Healthy Today Show.) What to know if you have portion distortion? Click here.

So how can the everyday person, including myself, learn how to dial down the calories and eat appropriate portions?

I don’t have all the answers but I may have a few tips to share.

  1. Mindful eating. What does this even mean?! It means turning off the TV during dinner or eating away from the office desk or computer. Try and eliminate those everyday distractions at the breakfast, lunch and dinner table. Look, taste and enjoy what you are actually eating.
  2. Choose the right size. Do you really need to supersize that? Dinner plates 50 years ago used to look like the salad plates we have now. Somehow big portions have become the standard. Try using a salad plate instead of a large dinner plate at meals. If you’re still hungry then go back for seconds.
  3. Take your time. Yes, eating lunch can be a hassle for all us busy bees. It’s hard enough to find time to do anything let alone eat. But a way to prevent overeating is to chew your food slowly and savor the flavors, giving yourself at least 20 minutes to sit and eat a meal. Try not to rush. Signals of satiety do not reach your brain until about 20 minutes after you take that first bite.

 

Behavior change is all about taking one step at a time. Try not to over do yourself and make goals that are too extreme and too fast.

As for me, I think I might just start with taking my time. I’m not trying to stress myself out with this by any means. If anything, I want to at least enjoy my meal.

-Jen

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