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Friday, November 7, 2008

Worth sharing...

I got this in my email today from everyday health and thought it was good. I try to do some of these things but definitely not enough. Some good stuff here. Talk to me and tell me what you do or think?

Eat slowly. Chewing and swallowing your food at a leisurely pace can help you keep from overeating. Here's why: It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to "tell" you when you feel full. Until then, you continue to feel hungry and want to eat. If you eat quickly, you'll end up consuming more than you need to feel full. But eating slowly gives your brain the time it needs to signal that you've had enough.

Make changes gradually. Don't expect to change your diet and activity level overnight. Instead of switching all at once to a low-calorie eating plan, try gradually decreasing the calories of your meals and snacks. For example, start by cutting out snacking or limiting yourself to certain snacks at certain times of day (such as a mid-morning banana or a late-afternoon apple). Also, gradually reduce the calorie content of particular foods. For example, if you're used to drinking whole milk, first switch to milk with 2% fat; then, as you get used to the taste of less fat, go on to milk with 1% fat and finally to skim milk. Another strategy is to lower the calorie content of one meal at a time. In the first week, you might want to eat a low-calorie breakfast, but keep lunch and dinner the same as before. During the second week, you might reduce the calorie content of your lunch. Finally, you can begin eating low-calorie dinners.

Keep a record. Keeping a daily log of what you eat and what physical activities you engage in can help keep you motivated to stay with your diet and exercise plan. Looking over a week's worth of entries can tell you how successful you've been and can help you identify areas where you need to improve.

Seek social support. You'll find it easier to maintain behavioral changes if you have the support and encouragement of others. Social support can come in many forms and from various people. For starters, ask your family members to keep high-calorie foods out of the house, or at least to refrain from eating them in front of you. You might even try to enlist your family to eat the same meals you do. Exercise with someone else, or join a support group. The camaraderie can help keep your spirits up during the inevitable periods when you become discouraged with your progress.

Use a list when buying food. Stick to your grocery list, and steer clear of those aisles or areas with the kinds of calorie-dense foods that you need to avoid.

Out of sight, out of mind. At home, put the most tempting foods high up in the cupboard, at the very back of the fridge, or in other inconvenient spots. Replace the cookie jar and candy bowl with a fruit bowl. Never eat directly out of a large package; many small containers are better than a few large ones, because they provide convenient stopping points. And don't put out too many different varieties of the same kind of food — you'll be tempted to sample from each one and eat a lot more than if you were faced with fewer choices.

Don't go all out when eating out. Eat a low-calorie snack before going out; you're less likely to go off your diet if you're feeling full when you get to the party or restaurant. Go elsewhere for after-dinner coffee so you are less tempted to segue right into dessert.

Make a plan for special occasions. Decide how much you're going to eat before an event, and do your best to stick with that plan. Set some limits before you go to the movies or watch the Sunday afternoon football games. It's so easy to mindlessly munch when you're in front of a screen of any kind.

Be a copycat. When eating with a group of people, look around. Who's eating the least? Who has the healthiest food on their plate? Model your eating habits on those people's.

Find physical activities that you enjoy. For example, if you don't like exercising outdoors on cold days, join a fitness club, or get an exercise bicycle and hand weights to use at home. If the problem is a time crunch, exercise in increments of 10 minutes whenever you have the time — before work, after work, or during your lunch hour.

Reduce stress. If you overeat when you are under stress, find a stress-reduction method that works for you: meditation, relaxation techniques, listening to music, exercising, or talking to a friend.