Most of us are struggling with the same problems with our waistline. We love food and we eat too much of it.
Recently, I received an e-mail from Jo asking about portion size.
I would like to know how to control portion size. I recently joined the gym and go about 2-3 times a week. I do the treadmill for 30 minutes and the elliptical for 20 minutes. I'm a relatively healthy eater (I love salt) but for me, it's always been about portion control vs. unhealthy foods. I don't know why my stomach has to hurt before I stop eating.
First of all, way to go on the gym membership. It is hard to change and making a gym visit a habit is a fantastic way to get in shape!
Portion size is a huge issue because as humans we eat what is in front of us. Millions of years of evolution lead us to eat MORE not less (gotta pack on fat for the next ice age!).
One of my favorite sources on food psychology is a book called "Mindless Eating" by Brian Wansink, Ph.D. (see below).
In it, Dr. Wansink reviews research on eating behavior and gives advice on how to get your portion sizes under control.
One of my favorite studies in the book includes a refillable soup bowl. A person ate over a QUART of soup because his bowl keeps filling up. He never checks his senses to see if he is full. Isn't that nuts?
His book has really helped me think about how much I am eating. Especially, when I am going out to eat (which is a big danger zone for me).
He gives tips on how to reduce your portion size as it relates to your problem eating areas. For example, if you eat for comfort try eating Homemade Chicken Soup instead of other higher calorie foods (like cookies).
Some more obvious ideas:
1. Downsize the size of your plates. Smaller plates equals smaller portions.
2. Measure out your snacks into little portions. Eat from a bowl, not a bag.
3. Wait 15 minutes before you go get seconds. Tune into your body.
Please share your ideas on how to control portion size. We could all use the advice.