In Defense of Eating Right

In my last post, I suggested things that might be able to keep you at a good, healthy weight. In case you’re wondering if they were just a figment of my imagination, I’m here to tell you the answer.

No, they’re not.

Just. Say. No.  Credit: Shutterstock.com

Just. Say. No.
Credit: Shutterstock.com

There are good, legit reasons they work.

Eating right is a delicate balance. You want to eat enough to nourish and fill you up, but not so much so that you gain excess weight. There are so many factors that impact you weight. Here, the ones you can control.

(Don’t) Snack right out of the container/bag/box.  If you do, you’ll quickly lose track of just how much you’re eating. Before you know it, that entire bag/box of popcorn/pretzels/cookies are going, going, gone.

(Don’t) Eat – and chew – quickly.  If you do, you won’t have time to enjoy your food. Slowing down will help you avoid overeating and help you pick up on your body’s voice that says, “I’ve had enough.” Chewing also helps break your food down into smaller particles that are more easily digested.

(Don’t) comfort yourself with food when you’re stressed. It might feel good – for the moment – but after that moment passes, you’re likely to be left with more stress because you are berating yourself for eating so much. And the stress still remains, or worse, grows.

(Don’t) skip breakfast. Research shows breakfast eaters consume less calories throughout the day; in fact, they even lose weight. Skip this important meal and you’re likely to be starving by mid-morning, making up for the skipped meal – and more.

(Don’t) swap your water with diet sodas, juices and energy drinks. There’s research hat suggests that drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water before each meal (while also cutting back on food portions) may help you lose weight and keep that weight off for at least a year. And although the research on drinking diet soda has gone from saying it only makes you crave sweets more and is bad for your health,  to it’s okay to do, why not stay safe and stick with water? After all, it’s natural and has no chemicals.

(Don’t) go to a party hungry. Instead, have a small healthy snack about an hour before you go.; hummus and carrots or some cheese with whole grain crackers or an apple are all good choices.  This way, you won’t be tempted by the greasy fattening hors d’oeuvres you’d never eat under normal circumstances but will eat now because you’ve arrived ravenous.

(Don’t) eat while you’re driving/reading/watching TV. (Or basically, whenever you’re doing something else.)  If you do, you’ll lose track of how much, or even what, you’ve eaten. Eating mindfully helps you stay aware of your eating habits and truly enjoy your food.

(Don’t) use big plates instead of smaller ones. It’s simple: the bigger the surface, the more you’re likely to fill it. Our eye just doesn’t like seeing empty spaces on a plate. And chances are great that a small(er) plate of food will do you just fine.

Stop eating before you’re full. The brain is a funny thing when it comes to food; it’s slow to catch up to the stomach. Your stomach feels full for about 10 – 20 minutes before that message reaches your brain. Better to stop when you’re about 70 percent full; chances are that 70 morphs into about 100 in just a few minute’s time.

If something is healthy, eat more of it. Olive oil is healthy. So are things like nuts and avocados. But they’re just not healthy: they’re also caloric. So watch your portions, even if you are eating a healthy food. A tablespoon of olive oil will cost you 119 calories; one cup of sliced almonds, 529; half an avocado comes in at roughly 140 calories.

More Reading for You:

Baby Steps Toward Better Health

What You’re Probably Not Getting Enough Of

 

 

Comments

  1. I am guilty of so many of these, especially snacking right from the bag and not drinking enough water. Will have to work on these!
    Lois Alter Mark recently posted..crest pro-health takes on tartarMy Profile

  2. Such great tips…..good common sense advice to follow. Thanks for putting it all together in one place. I am going to have to tweet.
    Lisa Froman recently posted..Why Selfishness is Sometimes GoodMy Profile

  3. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    I eliminated diet soda a few years ago and now I can’t stand the taste of it. However. I do need to drink more water. Great tips as always, Sheryl.

  4. Good advice. It’s all things I know, but am challenged to do day after day.
    Connie McLeod recently posted..It Takes a VillageMy Profile

  5. So … I probably shouldn’t tell you that I’m reading this while eating my lunch.
    Roxanne recently posted..Pet Loss and The Anniversary EffectMy Profile

  6. Lots of good ideas here. I wonder about dieting together with my husband? Any advice?
    Alexandra recently posted..FrontpageMy Profile

  7. And the slower chewing tip is a good tip for reasons beyond weight control.

    • Oh, yes, Slower chewing helps break down the food and makes it easier to digest, I understand. (It’s also more attractive than gulping :)

  8. I usually do skip breakfast, but I eat on small plates, drink water, and stop before my tummy is too full. Great advice.
    Estelle Sobel Erasmus recently posted..Our Family Trip to AustraliaMy Profile

  9. I do a lot of these and know them by heart. It’s not eating the wrong things when I’m so hungry I fill up on what’s easy to grab and chomp. I’ll have to work on that.
    Cathy Chester recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: The Magic Of A GardenMy Profile

  10. Great tips. When my husband and I are eating alone at home (when the kids are out), I fill our plates with serving sizes instead of serving food family style, so there’s no temptation to have a little more.
    Brette recently posted..Hotel Review: Fairmont Southampton, BermudaMy Profile

  11. All good tips. I should paste these on my kitchen cupboard—the one where I keep chocolate:-)
    Irene S. Levine recently posted..Win a six-day trip for two to Peru (contest ends 8/15/14)My Profile

  12. You make so much sense. But why is it that we know what to do, we just don’t do it???? Aacchhh…

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