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Mon, Dec. 09

Focus on portion control to lose unwanted weight

Has your weight loss slowed down or stopped? Are you eating the appropriate foods? How are your portion sizes? Are you using a scale and measuring cups and measuring spoons to ensure correct serving sizes? If not, you may need to focus more on portion control. Maybe at one time you did measure your portions. Maybe your eating habits changed so drastically that it did not seem necessary to weigh and measure your food. You may feel that it is not necessary to weigh and measure your food, or that it is a waste of time. Take a look at the difference in calories between correct serving sizes and estimated serving sizes:

• 1/3 cup rice = 80 calories - A heaping 1/3 cup of rice = 120 calories

• 1 tsp. margarine = 45 calories - A chunk of margarine = 95 calories

• 1/2 cup 2 percent cottage cheese = 100 calories - A heaping 1/2 cup cottage cheese = 140 calories

With just these three estimated portions, you will have about 140 extra calories. If you do this daily, you will consume about 980 calories extra in a week. Think about how estimated portions of all your food items may add up to an even greater amount of excess calories!

What about the way you eat?

The way you eat your meals can help you become in tune with your body, and consume just enough to meet your needs. Simple measures can be taken to help avoid consuming excess calories:

• Slow down: Even if you're in a rush, relax at meal times. If you don't have at least 20 minutes for your meal (the time it takes for your brain to know you're full), try consuming a calorie and portion-controlled Diet Center Meal Replacement Bar.

• Pause in the middle of a meal: taking a deep breath and focusing on the experience, will help you to relax and enjoy yourself (as well as help you slow down).

• Cook practical amounts: Unless you plan on pre-portioning and freezing leftovers, don't cook excess amounts of food. If you do prepare extra for future meals, serve yourself appropriate portions (we already talked about the value of correct serving sizes). Larger portions will make it easier to overeat.

• Leave serving dishes away from the table: Make up your plate with the portions and items appropriate for your meal. This will help you avoid having second servings. You may feel this deprives your family but why not work with them on appropriate serving sizes. They can always get more if they want more.

• Leave or clear the table immediately after eating: getting food out of sight, will keep the temptation to eat more out of your mind.

Try to take these measures to change the way you eat, so you can control what and how much you eat so you can control how much you weigh.

Thank you for reading Diet Center's tip of the week. Call (928) 753-5066 or stop by 1848 Hope Ave. for more information.

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