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Q: I can’t seem to stop eating! I keep gaining weight. What can I do?

A: Plenty of people can match you forkful for forkful. Try these tips:

Eat slowly. This isn’t a new concept; remember all those familiar dieting tips such as "sip water between bites" and "chew thoroughly before swallowing?" Those are all aimed at slowing you down when you eat. Research by Mark Gold, MD, at the University of Florida in Gainesville shows it takes 12 or more minutes for food satisfaction signals to reach the brain of a thin person, but 20 or more minutes for an obese person.

Be aware. "Be more attentive about the whole eating experience; don’t eat when you are driving or at the computer," says Linda Bacon, PhD, nutrition professor at the City College of San Francisco. Create a soothing environment, turn off the distractions, sit at a table, and pay attention to and enjoy each mouthful of food.

Present it right. Use a smaller plate and pay attention to the appearance of a meal. Both make eating a more pleasurable and satisfying experience.

Snack smart. Be sure to eat nutritious foods between meals to keep cravings at bay and help you stick to a healthy meal plan.

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD, WebMD Nutrition Expert

 

Reviewed on March 01, 2008

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