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Explore Factors That Influence
How Much We Eat
Discoveries of How Our Environment Influences The Amount We Eat
As in the picture
above, when we are served larger portions, we tend to eat more!
If you can see
the food, and if the food is close to you, you'll probably eat more!
There is truth to the old adage, out of sight, out of mind!
Having a great
variety of foods that are randomly arranged makes us want to eat more.
Think of a potluck that you attended recently. So much food, so little time!
Eating from a
LARGE bag or box of something. Have you ever noticed that when you eat
from the whole bag of potato chips or other snacks that it's easy to get
"hand-to-mouth dis-ease" and end up eating way too much?
How to Get
Control of Portion Sizes
Keeping a food journal
can shed light
on how much and what you eat and you'll discover the factors that influence
your food choices.
Pause for your
cause! Whenever you feel an urge to eat,
check in to see what you are hungering for.
Is it emotional, soul nurturing, or food?
Set up your home, work, and travel environment to
support your success.
Eating regular meals and snacks
can keep you from
getting over hungry.
Weigh and measure foods at home
so that you get used to how a "portion" looks.
It is helpful to use measuring cups as portioning tools to serve yourself.
Also, you can get 1-cup or 2-cup plastic storage bowls to serve yourself. I
do this at home with my yogurt and fruit. I take a 2-cup bowl, fill it
half-way with yogurt, and put in flavorings and sweetener, I then fill it up
with frozen blueberries until the 2-cup mark. That makes "food portioning"
very easy to do. Most people underestimate what they have eaten by about
25 - 30%! You might think, "Oh, I'm just eating like a bird!" Watch out!
You may be eating like an ostrich, not a robin!
eating slowly and with awareness
will help you eat less.
Pay attention to levels of hunger and fullness
and STOP eating just
when you feel satisfied. It's NOT your last meal, you will be able to eat
Eating veggies or
when you sit down for a meal will help fill up your stomach
and you will eat less. I also do this when I'm having a late
dinner with friends. I usually eat around 5:30 pm and if I wait until 7 or
7:30 pm, I'll overeat. So
I have a small snack (like some raw veggies or fruit) to tide me over so I don't overeat.
I don't eat
from a "whole container" of anything. I always take a single portion out
and then put the other away. For me, I LOVE salted peanuts. I keep them in
the basement because I find it TOO easy to just grab handfuls of them if
they're in the kitchen, so I take a single portion (to mix with raisins)
upstairs and leave the can downstairs! Then if I want another portion, I
have to go downstairs to get it! This technique stops mindless eating.
Check out food
labels to see the "reference amount"
that is listed, serve yourself a
"usual portion," and then double-checking to see how many "servings" you are
adequate amounts of fluids can help you eat less. We may sometimes
confuse signals of being thirsty with hunger and find ourselves eating food
when what we really need is water!
Check out this
really excellent book at:
You'll discover many surprising facts about why you make the food choices
that you do and how to make gradual changes that help you eat less.