WHERE We Eat
An abundance of unhealthy food is offered almost everywhere we go. We're bombarded by cookies, pastries, and snack foods at almost every turn:
- Business meetings
- Teachers lounges
- Office break rooms
- After-work events
And not only that, more meals than ever are eaten outside the home. Research shows that the average American eats out four times a week, often calorie-laden foods in larger than needed portion sizes.
Recently I attended a meeting where I received a box lunch containing a large deli sandwich, potato chips, and a large cookie.
Here's what I did:
I took out the chicken breast sandwich with tomatoes and lettuce and removed one slice of bread. I then put that slice of bread back in the box with the cookie and chips and threw the box in the garbage. Yes, I threw the food in the garbage. Why? I took out all the food my body needed.
The extra food would result in extra calories - and I knew where the calories would go - to my fat stores. The surplus food is much better off in the wastebasket than on my waist!
Just because you are given a plate full of food doesn't mean you have to eat it all - especially if you are trying to lose weight.
WHEN We Eat
If you're like me, you were brought up eating three square meals a day. That was a good plan for folks who worked the farm, had other manual labor jobs, or who had far more active lifestyles.
With our sedentary jobs and inactive lives, this approach to eating has contributed to our obesity epidemic and expanding waistlines.
A better approach is to eat less food more often. I call this style of eating Frequent Fractionated Fuelings - eating smaller portions of healthy foods five or six times a day.
Here's a sample of what I do:
- I have a small breakfast - fewer than 200 calories.
- In the mid-morning I have a piece of fruit.
- At noon, I'll have hummus and a salad.
- In the mid-afternoon, I snack on a few nuts - about a half-ounce.
- For dinner, I'll have a salad, a vegetable, and a small piece baked fish.
This way, I don't take in more calories than I need - and therefore the excess calories don't become fat - and I'm not hungry either. I've found the right balance.
With WHOM We Eat
Who we eat with makes a big difference in weight control. As the old saying goes: Birds of a feather flock together.
Research shows that eating with people who consistently overeat encourages us to likewise eat more than our bodies need - and we consequently gain weight.
It's important to remember, though, that you and only you are responsible for what you eat.
We tell our kids not to give in to peer pressure; we can't either.
Remain committed to eating healthfully.
The WAY We Eat
In the past, families ate their meals together at home, seated around a dinner table, spending the dinner hour talking about the day's activities or perhaps current events.
Today, however, we find ourselves eating while standing - in a rush, on the go - or, worse, sitting in front of a TV.
Numerous studies show that eating more slowly, taking time to taste the food and enjoy its flavor, has certain weight-loss benefits:
- You'll eat less.
- You'll feel fuller longer.
- You'll more likely stop eating before feeling full.
- You'll be less likely to snack later.
Slow down and savor your food. You're more likely to eat less food that way.
SUMMING IT UP TO SLIM IT DOWN
Taking a hard look at our attitudes about food can help us better manage our eating habits and get us to or keep us at our proper BMI.
My upcoming LWA e-Learning course lesson healthy eating will help participants Assess Attitudes About Eating:
- Why you eat - is it for the right reasons?
- Where you eat - does it promote healthy eating?
- When you eat - does it encourage eating too much or just enough?
- Who you eat with - do they support healthy eating?
- The way you eat - do you have time to enjoy your meal?
Critique Caloric Consumption:
It's an essential element of health. It's about Living WELL AwareTM.