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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Portion Control and Christmas Shopping

Right away you are wondering what Christmas shopping has to do with portion control. Maybe nothing for most people but if I had stayed home this morning to write as usual, I could have avoided alot of frustration. Two and a half hours of shopping yielded zero presents. However, some people tend to overeat when frustrated, anxious, bored or unhappy. (There's your connection!) It is important to recognize your triggers for overeating and to avoid them or find other ways of coping.

I eat when I'm bored so I try to keep busy to take my mind away from food, or I remind myself that I'm eating from boredom, not hunger. I overeat when I get too hungry and haven't eaten soon enough. Therefore I eat regular meals and small snacks. We all overeat at parties and holidays so we need to plan ahead to compensate. You get the picture. Think about what prompts you to eat more than necessary and how you can change that bad habit.

Another problem is that Americans have become accustomed to larger servings of food than we truly need. All you can eat buffets, Big Gulps and McDonald's super size it have led the way to obesity. This can be a difficult habit to break. One way to eat less is to use salad plates instead of dinner plates since they are smaller and hold less food. You can also buy "portion" plates where an appropriate serving size is marked on the plate. Skip seconds unless it's the steamed broccoli or water. Avoid buffets like the plague and remember, you shouldn't have to peer around your food to see your spouse sitting across the table. It's also desirable to actually see your plate instead covering every inch with food. My mother-in-law only eats half her food at restaurants and has the waiter put the other half in a doggie bag to take home. Two meals for the price of one!

I hope today's blog makes you think about how much food you eat and how you can cut back. Remember that skipping meals won't help you cut calories in the long run. Regular, sensible meals provide what your body needs in a steady flow, maintaining better health.

Have a happy weekend and may your Christmas shopping go well!

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