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  1. Healthy Eating
  2. Download e-book The Dish Diet: Watch Your Plate Not Your Weight
  3. 20 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain During the Holidays
  4. Log in menu

This can help you determine the optimal macronutrient ratio for a well-balanced meal.

Healthy Eating

Remember that this is a rough guide, as people have different dietary needs. For example, those who are more physically active often require more food.

How much should I eat?

As vegetables and salad are naturally low in calories but high in fiber and other nutrients, filling up on these may help you avoid overeating calorie-dense foods. Another way to gauge appropriate portion size without any measuring tools is by simply using your hands. As your hands usually correspond to your body size, bigger people who require more food typically have bigger hands 8. Restaurants are notorious for serving large portions 1.

Download e-book The Dish Diet: Watch Your Plate Not Your Weight

In fact, restaurant serving sizes are, on average, about 2. This will save you a lot of calories and help prevent overeating. Alternatively, you could share a meal with someone or order a starter and side instead of a main dish. Filling up on water will make you feel less hungry.

Being well hydrated also helps you distinguish between hunger and thirst.

20 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain During the Holidays

In another study in young normal-weight men, drinking a similar amount of water immediately before a meal resulted in greater feelings of fullness and reduced food intake Therefore, having a glass of water before each meal can help prevent overeating and aid portion control. Eating quickly makes you less aware of getting full — and therefore increases your likelihood of overeating. As your brain can take around 20 minutes to register that you are full after eating, slowing down can reduce your total intake.

For example, one study in healthy women noted that eating slowly led to greater feelings of fullness and a decrease in food intake compared to eating quickly In addition, eating on the go or while distracted or watching TV boosts your likelihood of overeating Health experts recommend taking smaller bites and chewing every mouthful at least five or six times before swallowing Jumbo-size packages or food served from large containers encourages overeating and less awareness of appropriate portion sizes.

This is especially true for snacks. Evidence suggests that people tend to eat more out of large packages than small ones — regardless of food taste or quality 16 , In another study, participants consumed over fewer grams of snacks per week when given gram snack packs than when given snacks in standard-sized packages Rather than eating snacks from the original packaging, empty them into a small bowl to prevent eating more than you need.

The same applies to bulk portions of family meals.

Rather than serving food directly from the stove, re-portion it onto plates before serving. Doing so will help prevent overfilling your plate and discourage returning for seconds. However, it may help to invest in a scale or measuring cup to weigh food and correctly assess your intake Reading food labels also increases awareness of proper portions. However, doing so may be helpful for a short period to develop awareness of what an appropriate portion size looks like. After a while, you may not need to measure everything.

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Research suggests that people are often surprised at how much food they eat 3 , In weight-loss studies, those who kept a food diary tended to lose more weight overall This likely occurred because they became more aware of what they ate — including their unhealthy choices — and adjusted their diet accordingly. Unwanted weight gain may start with large portion sizes. However, there are many practical steps you can take to control portions. These simple changes have proven successful in reducing portions without compromising on taste or feelings of fullness.

Commit to incorporating one new healthy eating goal each week over the next six weeks. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables: Choose red, orange, and dark-green vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, along with other vegetables for your meals. Add fruit to meals as part of main or side dishes or as dessert. The more colorful you make your plate, the more likely you are to get the vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs to be healthy. Make half the grains you eat whole grains: An easy way to eat more whole grains is to switch from a refined-grain food to a whole-grain food.

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For example, eat whole-wheat bread instead of white bread. Read the ingredients list and choose products that list a whole-grain ingredients first. Look for things like: "whole wheat," "brown rice," "bulgur," "buckwheat," "oatmeal," "rolled oats," quinoa," or "wild rice. Choose a variety of lean protein foods: Meat, poultry, seafood, dry beans or peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the protein foods group. Compare sodium in foods: Use the Nutrition Facts label to choose lower sodium versions of foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals.

Select canned foods labeled "low sodium," "reduced sodium," or "no salt added.

Drink water instead of sugary drinks: Cut calories by drinking water or unsweetened beverages. Soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks are a major source of added sugar and calories in American diets. Eat some seafood: Seafood includes fish such as salmon, tuna, and trout and shellfish such as crab, mussels, and oysters. Seafood has protein, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids heart-healthy fat. Adults should try to eat at least eight ounces a week of a variety of seafood.