Some foods are good for us, providing nutrients our bodies need without unnecessary additives or sweeteners. But that doesn't mean you can eat an unlimited amount.
Sure, you can eat mounds of broccoli, and the worst thing that would happen is that your date will be turned off by the green twigs peeking out from between your molars.
But most "healthy" foods, including whole-grain pastas and "light' salad dressings, must be consumed in moderation if you want to achieve or maintain a healthy weight. And less healthy foods, such as red meat and fried foods, must be minimized.
Here are some helpful hints to keep from eating too much.
- Drink water before each meal. Having a glass or two of water before your meals will help you feel fuller, without adding any extra calories.
- Reduce your plate, bowl and cup size. Using smaller dishes can help you keep your portion sizes in check. Try using a salad plate for dinner, a small saucer for cereal and yogurt, and small glasses for juice and milk. Ask for smaller sizes at restaurants. There is a short size (8 oz.) at Starbucks, that isn’t advertised.
- Eat slowly. It takes time for your brain to recognize when you are full. Eating slowly gives your brain a chance to receive the appropriate signals from your digestive system to signal satiety.
- Don’t eat from the package. We cannot judge how much we’ve eaten when we pick straight from the bag or box. Take one serving out of the package and set it on a plate or in a bowl so that you can see exactly how much you are eating. This will make it easier to stop before you eat too much.
- Don’t eat in front of the television or computer. If you eat while watching TV, surfing the net, or even reading, it takes your focus away from the food and makes you more likely to over consume.
- Eat nutrient-rich foods. If you feel the need for a larger portion, fill your plate with mostly vegetables or salad, and enjoy a smaller portion of those higher calorie foods.