Eat Moderately The First Step To Loose Weight

Did you know that your new automobile is​ likely to​ have a​ larger cup-holder than your older model? That restaurants use larger plates,​ bakers are selling larger muffins,​ pizzerias have larger pans,​ and fast food companies are using larger French fries and drink containers than 20 years ago? Did you know that identical recipes for cookies and desserts in​ the​ old editions of​ “Joy of​ Cooking” specify fewer servings?

It is​ evident to​ all of​ us that overweight and obesity have increased sharply in​ the​ USA in​ adults and children in​ the​ last few years. Since studies show that activity of​ people has not changed much in​ the​ last decades,​ the​ increase in​ body overweight must come from a​ change in​ the​ food intake. Considering that about half the​ people in​ the​ USA consume their meals outside the​ home,​ the​ portion sizes become an​ important factor in​ the​ increase of​ body overweight.

The American Journal of​ Public Health published a​ study about the​ current sizes of​ portions in​ restaurants,​ fast foods,​ and food manufacturers. the​ authors compared the​ data with the​ sizes of​ the​ past 30 years,​ and they came up with some amazing numbers. First they noted that all the​ portions offered in​ every category exceed by far the​ guidelines of​ the​ USDA and the​ FDA. Cookies are seven times bigger than recommended,​ cooked pasta five times larger,​ muffins three times larger,​ and so on.

Then they discovered that portion sizes began to​ grow in​ the​ 1970s and have continued to​ grow at​ the​ same rate as​ body overweight. Food and fast food companies today promote larger items and use larger sizes as​ selling points. Widespread price competition has induced manufacturers to​ introduce larger items as​ a​ means to​ expand market share,​ since they discovered that profit rises when the​ product size is​ increased. in​ the​ mid ‘50s Mc Donald offered only one size of​ French fries: that size today is​ called “small”. the​ food industry invests billions in​ making their products more attractive,​ sexier,​ saltier,​ or​ sweeter and we​ are vulnerable to​ their promotions. This happens at​ a​ moment when we​ became more sedentary and kids spend longer hours in​ front of​ the​ TV or​ their computers.

Going to​ Europe or​ other countries we​ see some striking differences in​ the​ food habits. First of​ all there is​ not so much advertising about food. Most of​ the​ Italian TV ads are about basic ingredients such as​ olive oil,​ wine,​ and pasta,​ and not so much about prepackaged food or​ fast food chains. in​ addition the​ portion sizes are considerably smaller than in​ America. I recently had dinner in​ a​ steakhouse and the​ smallest portion available on​ the​ menu was a​ 10 oz filet mignon. That is​ about three times larger than the​ average size of​ a​ portion of​ meat in​ Italy.

I noticed myself many times that people moving to​ the​ USA from other countries would gain weight in​ few months. There is​ no doubt in​ my mind that the​ large amount of​ food we​ ingest today is​ one of​ the​ main causes for the​ general growth of​ overweight in​ America. This doesn’t affect only people with a​ weight problem,​ but also those who are maybe only a​ few pounds over and struggle to​ control the​ size of​ their waistline. in​ an​ environment where lifestyle and advertising pushes to​ eat out more and in​ larger quantities it​ is​ imperative that we​ learn how to​ control ourselves.

One very good way to​ start I learned from a​ trainer at​ the​ gym,​ and I encourage everyone to​ try. it​ is​ very simple: On a​ notepad write down everyday for a​ week everything that you ingest. Take note of​ the​ quantities,​ not only for the​ main meals,​ but even the​ smallest things such as​ drinks,​ candies and snacks. Then with the​ help of​ a​ calorie chart add up the​ numbers. Many people say “I don’t know how I gain weight. I don’t eat very much”. I bet they are ready for a​ big surprise. it​ is​ incredible how all those little things we​ munch during the​ day add up to​ a​ large number of​ calories.

After the​ shock,​ the​ realization will come that something needs to​ be done. First it​ is​ important to​ understand what a​ regular portion looks like. 3 oz meat: is​ approximately the​ size of​ a​ deck of​ cards or​ a​ bar of​ soap (when was the​ last time you saw a​ steak of​ that size?); 3 oz fish: the​ size of​ a​ checkbook; 1 oz cheese: the​ size of​ matchbox; one medium potato: the​ size of​ a​ computer mouse; 1 cup pasta: the​ size of​ two eggs.
When eating out choose the​ small or​ medium sizes instead of​ the​ large ones. Ask for half of​ the​ meal to​ be packed to​ go. Share your portion with a​ friend. Don’t eat the​ bread and butter before the​ meal. For your home don’t buy a​ lot of​ food,​ but buy single serving packages. if​ you snack don’t eat from the​ bag,​ but place a​ few chips or​ crackers on​ a​ dish. Cut in​ the​ amount of​ sauces,​ mayonnaise and cream cheese,​ and use low calories types. if​ you are a​ big eater fill yourself with a​ large quantity of​ vegetables and eventually fresh fruit.

In conclusion: Everyone that tries to​ keep weight under control knows how difficult it​ is. the​ first step is​ to​ be inventive in​ ways to​ reduce the​ sizes of​ the​ food portions.

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