Tummy tricks for a healthier waistline

October 28, 2011

As the holiday season fast approaches, those extra pounds may be fast approaching, too. It all starts with Halloween, a day full of tantalizing treats.

Instead of overindulging on all that candy, here are some ways to trick your tummy into eating less.

Research shows leaving candy wrappers in plain view rather than discarding them lowers consumption of Halloween candies by up to half.

“We tend to eat with our eyes and not our stomachs,” says John Simmons, M.D., assistant professor of family and community medicine and Texas A&M Physician at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. “Once the food is gone, it’s difficult to track how much we have eaten unless you use a visual reminder like the candy wrappers.”

Ultimately, the amount we consume depends upon what is around us. If food is visible and convenient, we are more likely to eat it.

It’s also important to use portion control, Dr. Simmons says.

“Remember that a single serving of meat should be the size of a deck of cards,” he says.

When Thanksgiving rolls around, use this trick. Fill up half of your plate with a salad or vegetable, then add a carbohydrate to a quarter of the plate. Use the rest of the plate for turkey. One especially effective method is to use a smaller dinner plate.

“Measuring portion sizes is imperative, especially during the holidays,” Dr. Simmons says. “Base your portions on what you need to feel full, not what you want.”

Also, don’t feel the need to clean that plate.

“Halfway through your meal, think about what you have eaten,” Dr. Simmons says. “If you are full, stop.”


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