Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Put Your Fork Down!

Simple Strategies to Help You Eat Less Effortlessly
 by JJ Virgin

Dashboard dining, TV dinners, movie munching – let’s face it, we are becoming a society of mindless eaters which can wreak havoc on our waistlines. The good news is that you can build simple eating behavior strategies into your lifestyle that can help you easily eat 20% without even noticing the loss (except on the scale that is). 
Remember too much healthy food is still unhealthy. Calories do count, of course where they come from counts most so while I am telling you to shrink your plate and slow it down, I am always going to emphasize loading up with non starchy veggies. 
Strategy #1:  Learn from the French Women: stop eating when you are no longer hungry RATHER than continuing to eat until you are full.   And since it takes 20 minutes or more for us to register being full anyway it is easy to overeat if we are racing through our meals.
Strategy #2:  Dine with slowpokes and pace your eating to theirs.  I am a notoriously fast eater and this strategy along with reminder myself to CHEW and put my fork down during bites has helped slow me down tremendously.
Strategy #3:   Shrink your plate.  Turns out our dinner plates have been getting bigger (yep supersizing is happening on the home front too).  So shift over to the salad plates and soup bowls.  My only exception is for salad greens and steamed veggies – load up on these!
Strategy #4:  Serve the right amount of food (live by my balanced plate of clean lean protein, healthy fats, a rainbow of non starchy veggies and a small amount of high fiber, low glycemic starchy carbs) and then pack up the rest BEFORE you start eating.  The only additional food that should be at the table are (you guessed it) non starchy veggies. 
Strategy #5:   Drink up, between meals.  Quite often we are mistaking hunger for thirst so crank up the pure spring water and green tea between meals.  Carry a safe drinking bottle with you so you can track your amounts because what you measure you can improve.
Strategy #6:  Get the enemy out of the house, the glove box, the office….out of sight = out of mind. 
Strategy #7:  Know your numbers.  More and more restaurants are posting calories now but the studies still show people aren’t paying attention and tend to UNDERESTIMATE the calorie load of their meals on an average of 25% especially if they perceive the meal to be “healthy”.  It’s easy for the calories to crank up with “secret sauces”, hidden sugars and damaged fats and these are the type of calories that make you better at storing fat and creating inflammation so read the labels and know what you are getting.
Be proactive with your eating strategies, it’s much less painful than having to fix the damage that mindless eating can wreak after the fact.

©2011 JJ Virgin & Associates, Inc. Nutrition and Fitness Expert JJ Virgin is a the author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy and the co-star of TLC’s Freaky Eaters reality series. Visit her at to grab her free audio: Top Ten Hottest Tips to Get Slim and Sexy Fast


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