'Why Am I Fat?'
8 reasons you may be eating too much.
5. Portion Distortion continued...
Another answer to the portion dilemma is to eat more foods that are less
calorically dense. These are foods that contain lots of water and fiber, but
not many calories -- like fruits, vegetables, salads, and broth-based soups.
Researcher Barbara Rolls, PhD, and colleagues at Penn State University found
that it's possible to reduce calories without increasing hunger by eating more of these types of foods.
Mindful eating can help here, too. "Eat slowly, taste the food and become
more in touch with what you are eating and how it tastes so you can enjoy it
more and start to appreciate satisfaction with smaller portions," Moores
6. Giant-Size Packages
You'll find plenty of bargains on mega-sized packages at super-discount
stores like Costco or Sam's. But unfortunately, experts say, these giant
containers can affect us on an unconscious level and cause us to eat more.
Researchers have found that when you eat from a large container, you are likely
to consume 25% to 50% more than you would from a smaller package -- especially
when you're eating snacks and sweets.
"First, try to get out of the habit of always eating something while you are
sitting, relaxing, or watching television," says American Dietetic Association
spokeswoman Tara Gidus, MS, RD. "Try a cup of tea, glass of water, or chew a
piece of sugarless gum. If you want a snack, portion it out of the bag or
container or buy smaller packages like the 100-calorie snack packs."
7. Not-So-Dainty Dishware
Researchers have found that we tend to eat more when we're served from
larger containers. Wansink and colleagues found that when students were given
food in larger bowls, they served themselves 53% more and consumed 56% more
than those who used smaller bowls.
When you use smaller bowls, plates, spoons, and cups, you won't feel
deprived because the food will look more plentiful, Wansink says. Daintier
dishware and smaller utensils can also help slow your eating.
8. Too Much Variety
A buffet restaurant can be a dieter's nightmare. Too many choices encourages
having a taste (or more) of everything, and before you know it, your plate
runneth over. "Too much variety on your plate at one meal can often mean too
much food overall," says Connie Diekman, MEd, RD, director of nutrition at Washington University and past president of
the American Dietetic Association.
So use variety to help meet your nutritional needs, but concentrate on the
right foods. Eating a variety of foods is great, as long as the foods are low
in calories and rich in nutrients -- like fruits, beans, vegetables, broth
soups, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.