Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus.See all posts »
When someone asks me what I think is the biggest contributor to our weight problem as a society, I don't even have to hesitate before I answer: Portions! We are simply eating too much.
People love to tell me what they don't eat.
"I cut out the ice cream."And the lists go on and on. But then they ask, "If I have cut all of these things out, why am I still fat?" I answer nicely, "Maybe it isn't what you aren't eating that is the problem: maybe you are eating too much of even the healthy foods."
"I don't drink alcohol anymore."
"I won't touch fried food."
"I have banned sugar and everything white."
Americans love a bargain. If I can get two sandwiches for $2 and one sandwich is $1.79 then I have to get two, right? If you want to keep gaining weight, keep looking for those kinds of bargains. The most popular restaurants are those who give large portions for a modest price.
As you start the New Year, here are 3 quick tips for portion control:
- Eat from smaller plates at home. The plates in our cabinets are on average 36% larger than they were in the 1960's. My family eats most of our meals from the salad plate in our house. Reduce the size of your plate and you will reduce the size of your waist. Check out www.smallplatemovement.org for great tips and to join the movement of using 10" plates!
- Ditch the bread. When I met my husband 6 years ago, he had to have bread with every meal. Now we very rarely have bread (unless it is a sandwich!) because we have other complex carbs and don't need the bread in addition. Forgo the bread at home and ask the waiter to skip the bread basket at restaurants, too.
- Leave a few bites behind. Sorry to Moms everywhere: we do not need to be in the "clean plate club" anymore! The starving children in other countries will not get what I leave behind and it will only go to storage in my body (known as fat). Leave a few bites on your plate and concentrate on stopping when you are satisfied, not full.
Image of plates courtesy of www.smallplatemovement.org