Diet Center Tip of the Week: If there’s weight gain, consider these 3 things

If you have noticed a weight gain and are not sure why, here are three areas to consider.

Hi, this is Eunice from Diet Center.

1. Portion sizes – Research shows that how much we eat is influenced by how much is on our plate. Researchers at Penn State served various portion sizes of macaroni and cheese. They found that the amount consumed increases with portion size. So, when served 16 ounces of mac and cheese, an average of 10 ounces was consumed. When served 22 ounces, the subjects consumed an average of 13 ounces. When served 25 ounces, the group consumed an average of 15 ounces of macaroni and cheese – 50 percent more than was consumed with the original, smaller serving!

With higher sales of large meals, food establishments help promote “portion distortion.” When people eat out, they expect to get a large portion for their money. The trouble is that people also consume a large portion to get their money’s worth.

Here are some strategies to avoid “portion distortion.”

Be aware of how hungry you really are and how much food you need. Look for foods that are low in calories but are naturally filling (ex. fruits and vegetables).

You can still get your money’s worth if you save half of your food for another meal. Think about the value a smaller portion offers to your weight loss.

2. Overeating – Overeating is the ultimate cause of weight gain. So you want to train yourself to stop eating when you have had enough. A good way to accomplish this is eat slowly and leave something on your plate. It doesn’t have to go to waste, save your leftovers for another meal. If you acquire the ability to leave food when you haven’t overloaded your plate, it will be much easier to not overeat at a restaurant or dinner party when you are served a larger portion. You will also be less inclined to eat off of your spouse’s or child’s plates. So forget the “clean plate club” and start practicing a more healthful eating style.

3. Fast food – Fast food spells trouble for many people trying to lose weight. That’s why it is important to develop new eating behaviors, including avoiding fast food. Research supports why fast food should be restricted in a weight management plan. The study found that people who ate fast food several times a week are prone to weight gain. The researchers looked at 3,000 healthy young adults for 15 years. The study found that people who ate fast food more than twice a week on average gained 10 more pounds than people who ate fast food less than once a week.

If you need something quick, try to be prepared for such times. Keep convenient items such as fresh fruit, yogurt, and pre-washed salad greens on hand, which are things that can be grabbed quickly.

Thank you for reading Diet Center’s tip of the week. I am here to help with four weight loss programs to choose from.