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4 Ways to Make Smaller Portions Less Painful

By Victoria Meisinger

Temptation is our worst enemy when it comes down to eating healthy portion sizes. Our bodies say no, but our minds just can't resist. The best way to avoid this sneaky problem is by simply not allowing it to develop in the first place.

Here are some key tips to making smaller portions more palatable in your daily life.

Start With a Glass of Water

The average ideal meal should never fill you up to the point in which you feel you might explode. However, too many of us refuse to stop eating till we do. Drinking a large glass of water beforehand is a great way to fill up without all those extra calories. It also improves digestion; water dilutes the food within the stomach, further breaking it down, and speeding up the process.

Eat Slower

A moment at the lips, forever at the hips; at least, that’s what my mom likes to say. One of the major problems with overeating is the speed you eat. If something tastes good, our taste buds naturally want more of it because they want to make that flavor last as long as it can. That is why a person who eats one cookie within the span of three minutes would get the same satisfaction as a person who eats two; the flavor lasts about the same amount of time, it’s just the amount of swallowing that differs. Therefore, take your time and enjoy your food.

Use the Right Dishware

How many times have you eaten from a large bag of chips and found yourself, minutes later, with half of them already gone? That’s probably because with oversized packaging, it’s hard to keep track of how much you’re really eating. Next time, pour a serving into a bowl and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to avoid going overboard. The idea is to avoid situations where the helping is open-ended; just eat the portion that you've determined instead of eating until you're "full." Experts also recommend using smaller plates because it tricks the mind into thinking there’s more food on your plate. Sometimes our eyes are bigger than our stomachs.

Eliminate Distractions

It’s hard to resist going to the movies without buying a bucket of popcorn. It’s the perfect addition (more like addiction) to the on-screen entertainment; when our attention is elsewhere, eating just sort of becomes a mindless action. Eating with distractions doesn’t allow your brain the time necessary to process what you’re doing absentmindedly, depriving it of that satisfaction, and merely just filling up your belly. Nor do you get much enjoyment out of it either, leaving you yearning for more. When you’re focused, it’s easier to feel that satisfaction and think “Wow, that was good,” instead of, “Oh ... it’s gone.”

Smaller portion sizes don’t have to be painful. They can be just as satisfying, and perhaps have you leaving the table happier because you’re not weighed down by an excessive, heavy meal. However, don’t cut down too much: our metabolisms get weak when underfed. Just eat slow, eat healthy, and stay happy.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Derby, Kans.


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