Baby Steps to Proper Dieting

         

Souplantation is a place that I go to fairly often for lunch. It is moderately priced, but seems like a great deal after you have eaten a big salad, soup, pasta, and a dessert. I do not feel like I am getting my money’s worth out of a trip there if I only eat a little bit of food. That is typical of a mindset of how we eat today. Many times we are thinking about what we are eating and not how much of it is being eaten or vice versa. It is easy to allow yourself to buy the item that tastes the best and ever easier to allow yourself to eat until you are stuffed.

It takes some amount of discipline in order to control your diet, but it does not have to be as hard as it is made out to be. If you can handle a month of a particular way of shopping for food and preparing it then most likely it will become habitual rather than just a quick experiment in healthy eating. There are many different ways to eat correctly; here are a few to get us started on the road to better health! A couple of these tips may feel repetitive, but they need to be covered again because a lot of people are not abiding by them.

Portion control cannot be stressed enough. Over eating happens so frequently and it can be so easily remedied. If you can observe the rules of politeness while you eat (20 chews per swallow) you will find yourself becoming satisfied much faster than your food can disappear. It can take your stomach up to half an hour to communicate your level of fullness with your brain. That is why all of a sudden at the end of a meal you sit back and groan at how much you ate. The benefits of portion control are threefold, you will not eat as much so your weight will decrease, you will be able to take a better portion home so you will get two meals for the price of one, and you will have better manners!

The more you can eat that Mother Earth grew, the better. A wide variety in your diet will assure you are getting needed vitamins and nutrients. Also cutting down on the highly processed foods will be of great benefit to your long-term health. Eat as much fruits and vegetables as you can. If you hear people talking about cutting down on the sugars you get in fruits, remember, I have never met anyone in my life that was obese from eating apples, have you?

The less sodium you consume will also help you lose weight. Sodium retains water in your system, and raises your blood pressure. Salt plays a big role in giving our food flavor. Costco sells a no salt seasoning that is delicious and allows you to add flavor to your meal while controlling your salt intake. Also the less trans fats you consume will significantly impact your waist size. After cut downs were implemented about ten years ago, trans fats have been largely cut down from the large market suppliers. This does not mean they do not exist entirely so make sure if you are eating an item frequently you make sure it is healthy to eat.

All of these tips will not immediately solve your dieting woes, but they are a big step in the right direction without being overwhelming. You cannot jump from not caring what you eat to weighing food, and logging everything in a journal. That is too much of a change for most people, instead gradually cut things out of your diet and replace them with fruit or vegetables. Once you have a nice base to start from getting into specifically measured diets will not be such a shock to the system, and will keep you eating right for the rest of your life

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of liz west