Many Americans eat an unhealthy diet, which can lead to all sorts of nutritional deficiencies and medical conditions. Developing good eating habits is the first step to a healthy lifestyle and feeling good. In this multi-part series, we will discuss eating a healthy diet, tips for weight control, the perils of vitamin deficiency, and supplementation. The dinner table is where we begin and your path to feeling great starts here.
The Ideal Dinner Plate
Naturally…You believes in a macronutrient-dense diet with a balance of healthy carbs, proteins, and fats. Our dinner plates, when filled with food, should contain 40 percent vegetables, 30% lean protein, 15% starches, and 15% fat. The typical American dinner plate contains more protein and starches, so adjust your plate composition to follow these guidelines when possible.
Controlling portion size is important if you want to maintain a healthy weight level. There are several factors that influence the amount of food consumed at a meal, including plate size. Believe it or not, the size of a plate or bowl, as well as the size of the utensil used, has a big impact on how much will be eaten. Large plates can make food appear smaller, often leading to overeating. In a study cited by Healthline, people using a large bowl ate 77% more pasta than those using a medium-sized bowl. Using smaller plates helps keep portions smaller and prevents overeating.
Another factor is the amount of food served. People eat more food when larger portions are served. When you are eating at home, serve smaller portions, trying to follow the plate composition guidelines above. Do not serve yourself more food until your entire plate is clean. Then wait 10 minutes. If you are still hungry, serve yourself half of the size of the original portions.
Restaurant portions tend to be larger than average. Restaurant serving sizes are, on average, about 2.5 times larger than standard serving sizes. To avoid overeating, ask for a to-go box when you place your order, then when your food arrives, put half of it into the box and close it up. Not only will you eat a proper portion, but you will have dinner for the next day!
Slow Down and Slim Down
Another trick to reduce the amount of food you eat is to slow down. People who eat quickly tend to eat more food because it takes 20 minutes for the signal that you are full to travel from the stomach to the brain. A faster eater will eat more during those 20 minutes. Metabolic syndrome is a name given to five risk factors are high blood pressure, high triglycerides, or the fats found in the blood, high blood sugar, low levels of the “good” cholesterol, and a large waistline. A study cited by Medical News Daily “Eating speed was associated with obesity and future prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Eating slowly may therefore […] be a crucial lifestyle factor for preventing metabolic syndrome.”
Mindful Eating Helps You Keep Control
When people are distracted during a meal they tend to eat more. Distractions can include driving a car, scrolling through social media, responding to email, and watching television. Slowing down and deliberately eating a meal is mindful eating and can prevent overeating. Here are some tips for eating mindfully, from Harvard University.
Eating properly is the first step to a healthy life. This includes food choices, portion sizes, and eating mindfully. All of these things are within your control. Nutritional deficiencies can arise even in people with healthy diets. When that happens, physical conditions can occur. Specific foods and supplements may be used to treat those conditions. Learn more about this in our next article, the second part of this series on Eating Well, Nutrition, and Supplementation. Your path to feeling great starts here, and look for our next article. Uuntil then, if you have any questions, visit our website. You can learn more about supplementation and the Six Keys to Optimal Health. You can also start a live chat with me to discuss this or any natural health topic. Let’s chat soon!