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11 tips to help you eat less, eat healthy!

Last updated on: November 10, 2010 11:31 IST

11 tips to help you eat less, eat healthy!

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Have trouble avoiding those extra helpings? Here's what you need to do.

One of the biggest factors determining weight loss success is portion control. We tend to eat way too much at meal times and our snacks are often super-sized. It's very easy to overeat when oversized portions and all-you-can eat buffets surround us. For many people, food is like a drug. You can become addicted and need a larger amount of food to satisfy your hunger.

A 'portion' is how much food you choose to eat at one time. Portion size dramatically impacts the calories that you consume. Portion sizes began to increase in the 1980s and have been skyrocketing ever since. Dietitians agree that portion control is central to healthy eating and keeping our weight in check.

Here are some tips that can help you keep your portion size under control at meal times and contribute to your overall health:

1. Eat high quality, not quantity

Avoid fast foods and eat fibre-rich foods such as vegetables and cereals. These fibre-rich foods have the ability to make you feel fuller over a long period of time. Thus you eat less throughout the day.

Fast foods are stripped of nutrients, so your body will have you eat more calories in its hunt for nutrients. Replace chips and sweetened soft drinks with healthier raw veggies, fruits, whole-grain biscuits and low-fat cheese.


Image: Eat fibre-rich foods such as cereals
Photographs: Courtesy Lifemojo.com
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2. Don't clear your plate

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Some people will clear their plate no matter how much food is in front of them. This is a bad habit when it comes to weight loss. By skipping on the leftovers, you'll save on a lot of calories.


Image: Don't stuff yourself just to empty your plate
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
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3. Use smaller dishes

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Our dish sizes are also increasing day by day. The common psychology behind this is that the bigger the plate, the more food you can put on it. The same is true of bowls and glasses. Using smaller dinnerware may help you consume fewer calories. Eating with a small spoon will help you eat slower and savour your meal.


Image: Use smaller dishes
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
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4. Focus on eating

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Don't multitask when you are eating. Watching the TV or working on the computer leads to overeating. Try to sit down to dinner as a family, relax and enjoy your dinner.


Image: Focus on eating, n ot watching television
Photographs: LA Intern/Wikimedia Commons
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5. Eat at regular intervals

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Eating at regular intervals throughout the day is the best way to keep your metabolism high. If you wait until you're hungry, you're more likely to overindulge at the next meal. The ideal meal plan is to have three balanced meals and two snacks a day.


Image: Eat at regular intervals
Photographs: Jorge Barrios/Wikimedia Commons
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6. Drink plenty of water

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Water keeps you hydrated to avoid overstuffing. It also reduces your appetite to some extent. Don't like water? Have green tea. Drinking green tea, at least thirty-minutes before meal times, will help curb your appetite. However, other drinks like sodas and fruit juices can contain a lot of extra calories and carbohydrates.


Image: Drink plenty of water
Photographs: Jorge Barrios/Wikimedia Commons
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7. Eat slowly

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Slowing the pace a little gives your body time to send the message that you are full. So put your fork down between bites. Take time to savour each bite throughout your meal. 'Mindful eating' is a great way to help you with portion control.


Image: Eat slowly
Photographs: Richard/Wikimedia Commons
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8. Avoid eating out

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Portion sizes at restaurants can be up to four times as big as they should be. Avoid eating out as much as possible. Also, do not visit a restaurant starving. This will lead to overeating. Even if you have to eat out, ensure that you order fibre-rich foods and vegetables on the menu.


Image: Avoid eating out
Photographs: Dorina Andress/Wikimedia Commons
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9. Don't eat straight out of the dish

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Don't eat directly out of large dishes or packages of snack foods. The larger the package, the more you are likely to eat. Plate the food and put the package away. That way you can see exactly how much you're eating.


Image: Don't eat out of the dish
Photographs: Alpha/Wikimedia Commons
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10. Count calories

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Weighing and measuring everything you eat helps in maintaining portion control. Make the measuring cup, spoons and scale your best friend. Read the labels carefully.


Image: Count calories
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
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11. Share a meal

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Share your meal with a dining partner. Both of you can share and still go away full. It's also a great way of socialising.

Cutting one's portion size can be a very efficient way to continue one's new health focus. Initially it will be tough, but the results speak for themselves.


Image: Share a meal
Photographs: Andrew Bossi/Wikimedia Commons
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LifeMojo is a wellness company, helping people to live a healthier life. LifeMojo provides online and on phone nutrition consultation services to help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals.