3. Ditch your health halo. Frozen yogurt or ice cream? The “healthy” choice seems to be the frozen yogurt, right? Obviously, one serving of frozen yogurt is lower in fat and calories than one serving of ice cream. However, studies have found that eating a lower calorie option, like frozen yogurt, may lead a person to consume more calories overall. The reason for this is because we tend to eat more of a product when we consider it to be “healthier,” or when we give it a “health halo.”
4. Be aware that your environment affects how much you eat. External factors, such as the shape of foods plates and glasses, the colors of the wall, the number of people in the room, the loudness of the music and the lighting can largely affect how much food you shovel into your mouth at each meal. Studies have found that a person may consume significantly less by eating more slowly or using smaller plates or bowls. Also, what’s out of sight is out of mind. Store your junk food on either the very bottom or top shelf of the pantry. And when the waiter at your favorite restaurant asks if you want to see the dessert menu, don’t give yourself the opportunity to peruse!
5. Your plan may look different than the next gal’s. We are all different and our plans to get healthy may need to be tweaked to fit our own needs. Your gender, health status, weight, allergies, medications, job and exercise routine should all be factored in. Your best bet is to meet with a registered dietitian in your area to get an eating plan that works specifically for you and your needs.
The take away message is easy: Stick with whole foods that are minimally processed, eat until you’re no longer hungry (not stuffed), use smaller plates and glassware and limit convenience foods to reduce overall sodium intake. With these simple solutions, you’ll be on the fast track to a slimmer, healthier you.
Brigid Titgemeier, B.S., contributed to this column.
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