Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Juice, it's no better the pop

Your child doesn't like apples, oranges, bananas, and every other fruit under the sun, so you go for the next best alternative juice. He loves it and in fact he can get all 6 servings of fruits and vegetables just by drinking 3 cups of it. There's one problem juice isn't exactly equal to fruit.

For juice to count as a serving of fruit it must be labeled as '100% fruit juice'. Juices labeled as 'drink', 'beverage', 'punch', 'cocktail', or 'ade' are mostly made of sugar, flavouring, and water, so there is little or no actual fruit juice.

If you buy the 100% fruit juice, you'll get your vitamin and minerals, sounds good so far. Unfortunately, the sugar and calories in juice are comparable to soft drinks and you're missing out on the fiber in fruits that keeps us full. Guidelines suggest limiting to 125ml per day. Unfortunately, the juice companies didn't get the memo and will continue to make 250ml juice boxes and 591ml bottles of juice. Thank goodness for Junior Juice -the only juice (I know of) in 125ml box. Even better yet, keep juice out of the daily routine and let them get excited when juice comes around.

100% pure fruit juice 1 can (355 mL)
165 calories
11 tsp sugar


Regular pop 1 can (355 mL)
156 calories
10.7 tsp sugar

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Get Motivated!

Running is my exercise staple, but I have not been for that last month. Why? No, not because it's getting a little colder and darker, and I'm a wimp. I have plantar faciitis which is really annoying because I've never had a real running injury. I still sneak a short run in every week or two to see if still hurts and yep, it does. Now, I'm left lazy and bored needing an alternative workout.

Go the gym; it seems easy enough, right?
But I like to be outside listening to some good tunes not inside watching TV and listening to heavy foot runners on treadmills. Even though I knew I would probably get bored, I got my membership anyway. I figured if got enough good tunes I could learn to love the gym, so here's my favorite motivating workout songs for the moment, and the gym is slowing growing on me. What are favorite 'get moving' songs?

1. Walcott, A- Punk - Vampire Weekend
2. Mercy - Duffy
3. Shut Up and Let Me Go - The Ting Tings
4. The Thanks I Get - Wilco
5. Love Lockdown - Kanye West
6. Human - The Killers
7. The entire CD of 80s movie hits
8. Do your thing - Basement Jaxx
9. Heart Songs - Weezer
10. Blue Eyes -Timmy Curran

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Organic Foods...Don't Believe the Hype

When people ask me if I buy organic food, I say "No because it's too expensive", but that is not the only reason.

Secondly, I don't think organic foods taste any better. Although the Food and Agriculture Organization reported some produce to receive higher tasting scores, I've tasted plenty of conventional produce that was delicious enough for me. As well, some organic food may actually taste more bitter due to high levels of antioxidants. Of course, I would agree better tasting if its fresh from the garden, but unfortunately, organic produce at the grocery store is usually not local.

My third reason is there is little difference in the nutritional value between organic and non-organic foods. Consumers are being misled by claims that organic foods are healthier than ordinary foods. "It is a fantastic opportunity to make money out of people because you can charge more for the food", said by Tom Sander, the professor of nutrition and dietetics at Kings College London. Sanders goes to claims organic food has no higher nutrition value compared to conventional food. While organic food has been shown to have higher vitamin C and antioxidants and perhaps iron and magnesium and less unwanted and potentially toxic nitrates. However, the difference of nutrients amounts is categorized as insignificant by the Food Standards Agency. Possible reasoning for this is organic produce may have lower water content, so nutrients may be more concentrated in organic produce. As for me, a well-formulated diet, organic or not, will meet all your nutrition requirements for health and longevity.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lunch is out

I'd like to think I'm still up with style, but I've been notified by numerous teens, school lunches are out. I'd probe to see if they replaced it with buying food- cafeteria, fast food, or even convenience stores. The answer was no. Like it's not bad enough hassling kids to eat breakfast. Now, they're going until 3 or 4pm before they eat anything at all. Why does something so enjoyable as eating end up being a chore?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A month without diet coke

Confession, I have 3 addictions: diet coke, chocolate, and running. I'm glad I'm addicted to running because nothing makes me feel better soo early in the morning than running, and its good for me. The 2 other addictions I could go without. I'm not brave enough to eliminate chocolate which is just too delicious to quit. For now, I'm focusing on the refreshing diet cola I've come to love over the last 3 years and save the chocolate for later. I've tried to cut back or limit to certain days, but I always fall back into my routine. So, I stopped completely. I prepared myself by tucking advil liquid gels in purse for the 3pm cola headache. I'll admit the first week awful and I began to wonder if I would become addicted to advil instead. I couldn't give in after making a big scene that I was "quiting diet coke" temporarily of course. (Really in my mind, I didn't know how long I would last so I didn't set a date for failure, but hoping for a month). After the first week, the cravings subsided and the diet cola turned from a necessary drink to an enjoyable thought. Now a month later, I feel empowered, and just might hold out on the diet cola for few more months. I feel ready for any change; I might even tackle my chocolate addiction.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


The new buzzword pregorexia has developed as an alarming number of women are determined to keep their figures even during pregnancy. Moms to be speak proudly of not looking pregnant when viewed from behind - while wearing 'normal' jeans into the second trimester has become something of a badge of honour.

The new trend is inspired by magazines covered with thin celebrity moms with small baby bumps who fret about calories and exercise during the pregnancy and is fuelled by increasing amount of designer pregnancy wear. Mothers no longer hide in pregnancy smocks; instead, mothers have wide variety high-fashion, tight-fitting pregnancy wear to choose from. While they are trying to keep up their style and maintain figure, pregorexics are risking their health and that of their unborn child.

A baby will take the nutrients it needs from mother's stores and her daily intake, but this becomes problematic if mom's stores are already low. 'It's vital women know that pregnancy is no time to be starving yourself,' says Pat O'Brien, a consultant obstetrician at University College Hospital and the Portland Hospital in London. 'During the nine months it is in the womb the baby is growing faster than it ever will in later life.'

Specifically, pregorexics tend to cut down of dairy products which is essential for mom and baby. Major concerns are calcium from mother's teeth and bones taken for use by baby and could eventually lead to calcium and vitamin D deficiency. Cases of mothers and babies with bone disorder rickets have been reported.

As well, the demand for iron (found in red meat) increases during pregnancy as women need around 50% more in order to make red blood cells for the fetus, placenta, and her own body.

This may lead anemia, which can make them light-headed, irritable and exhausted, and in extreme cases, cause heart palpitations.

Poor diet and extreme exercise in pregnancy also increase the risk of having a low birthweight baby. This is linked to a host of problems later in life, including heart disease, depression, poor growth and cognitive development as reported by Marsh.

Furthermore, as Rosie Dodds, policy researcher at the National Childbirth Trust explains, women who diet and over-exercise while pregnant could harm their chances of breastfeeding by depleting fat stores thought to be used in milk production.

Of course, putting on too much weight is problematic as well. If prior to pregnancy you're at a normal weight, 25-35 lbs weight gain is healthy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Antioxidants for you Brain

In case you did not have enough reasons to feed more fruits and vegetables to your kids, here’s one more. Fruits and vegetables have vitamins A, C, and E, all of which are antioxidants. In her article “Memory Loss and the Brain,” Catherine E. Myers, a Professor of Psychology at Rutger University-Newark, defines antioxidants as substances which help protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, by breaking them down into harmless components or by preventing them from attacking cells.” Your brain requires an ample supply antioxidants. Specifically, antioxidants promote and preserve memory in children and adults alike. As well, antioxidants can save your children later in life from susceptibility to genetic diseases and disorders such as Parkinson’s, ALS, and Alzheimer’s. All fruits and vegetables have antioxidants, so offer your kids a variety of fruits and vegetables, especially their favorites.

10 Best Fruits and Veggies for Antioxidants:
1. Apples
2. Artichokes
3. Berries
4. Broccoli
5. Carrots
6. Grapefruit
7. Red grapes
8. Russet potatoes
9. Spinach
10. Tomatoes

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Hide and See" Diet

As much as we hate to admit it, our environment has more control over us than we realize. For example, eating with chopsticks can be challenging with slow and small bites. Brian Wansink, Ph. D. observed 200 customers at a Chinese buffet; half were normal weight, and half were overweight. Out of the 33 chopstick users, 26 were normal weight and only 7 were overweight. What can you do to gain control? Make eating inconvenient...Out of site out of mind. Notice what foods you pick up today without much thought, and think of a way to make it inconvenient. If its a candy jar on your desk at work, you may want to get an opaque container instead of a clear one, move it farther away or into a drawer, or if you're feeling really keen get rid of it. Replace cookie jar with a fruit basket. Keep your cookies or other treats in the cupboard. Leave serving dishes in the kitchen instead of on the table. There's many more ways to change your environment; what have you changed or can change? Bottom Line: Realize your environment has a significant effect on our diet (even if we know), so take away temptions. Make eating inconvient.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Any Moms of Picky Eaters?

I need to interview a mom of school-age child preferably a picky eater (and come one which kid isn't at some point) and how you get good nutrition into him/her. Any volunteers or anyone you would recommend? Also, anyone willing to share photos of kids eating, playing with food, etc.?

Sno balls falling from trees?

"The stem on an apple recalls its attachment to a tree. The rough brown flecks in a cracker recall rippling fields of wheat. The neon orange of an artificial cheese puff recalls clown wigs, costume jewelry, Rit dye. Likewise, ask your child if she's ever seen a puffed food, like a marshmallow or cheese puff, hanging from a vine.", the article Natural Selection by Catherine Newman, mom of 2 and writer for the Wondertime magazine. Check out http://wondertime.go.com/life-at-home/article/how-to-choose-healthy-snacks.html to read the whole article which is very informative and humourous.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Healthy Food Rule

"The more it looks different from nature, the more processed, the less healthy it is." Karen W. Cullen, pediatrician from the Children's Nutrition Research Center.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

100 calorie snacks are healthy, right?

If we're looking at strictly calories, then yes it appears as a perfect snack. Unfortunately, a healthy snack is not just about watching the calories. These snacks may be high is sugar, fat, and salt, may lack many vitamins and minerals we need everyday, and cost the same as the regular-sized product. Chips were not a healthier choice in a large bag nor are they in a small package. Don't get me wrong, these snacks do have a useful purpose: portion control. When you want a sweet treat or a salty snack, you can have it without the worry or temptation to go overboard.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Einstein ate his vegetable

"I have always eaten animal flesh with a somewhat guilty conscience. So I am living without fats, without meat, without fish, but am feeling quite well this way. It always seems to me that man was not born to be a carnivore...Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein. By adopting a vegetarian diet, we can all be smart as Einstein! Not really, but diet quality does affect our academic performance.

Researchers at the UofA surveyed around 5000 Canadian fifth grade student and their parents regarding dietary intake, collected heights, weights, and BMI, and conducted a literary assessment. Students with an increased fruit and vegetable intake and less caloric intake from fat (just like Einstein) were significantly less likely to fail the literary assessment. " We demonstrated that the above and beyond socioeconomic factors, diet quality is important to academic performance," the author conclude. "These finding support the broader implemenation and investment in effective school nutrition programs that have the potential to improve diet quality, academic performance, and, over the long term, their health."

Source: Diet Quality and Academic Performance, Michelle D. Florence, MSc, PDt, Mark Asbridge, PhD, Paul J. Veugelers, PhD.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

What's a healthy cereal?

You pick up a chocolate Lucky Charms cereal box and notice it's made from whole grains. On the back, it even discusses a healthy breakfast, and the nutrition label lists all sorts of nutrients. Does this make it healthy? Unfortunately, no.

Here's what to look for on the nutrition label on cereal.
  1. Serving Size. Check to make sure the serving is actually the amount you eat or similar to other cereals if you're comparing.
  2. Whole grain as the first ingredient.

  3. Fat. Look for less than 4g of fat per serving.

  4. Sugar. No more than 8-10g per serving.

  5. Fiber. Aim for at least 4g of fiber per serving. 2g = source of fiber 4g = good source of fiber 6g = very good source of fiber.

6. As for the rest of label, ignore (at least when comparing cereals).

For example, one cup (250 ml) serving of All-Bran Guardian contains 110 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 6 grams of fibre, 10 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein. And it's number one ingredient is a whole grain - whole oat flour! This cereal is on the higher end for sugar, but is a good tasting high fiber cereal.

First, Breakfast

Yes, breakfast is still the most important meal of the day. Now, here's the benefits to prove it.

Control Your Weight: After you've slept the night, you need to "break" your "fast" as you haven't eaten since the day before. When your body doesn't "break" the overnight "fast", your body begins to conserve energy as it doesn't know the next time you'll decide to eat. In other words, your metabolism slows down and you're burning less calories. When lunch time comes or the next time you eat, you're body is likely to crave energy-dense foods instead of well-balanced meal. The same thing can be said for later meals or snacks.
If you don't eat breakfast to restrict calories, don't because you'll make you for it later in the day and more. Tip: Start eating breakfast to curb you late night snacking.

Better concentration and be more productive throughout the morning: Researchers believe this is due to replenishing glucose, the brain's main energy source. Breakfast is especially important for children and adolescents. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to have better concentration, problem-solving skills and eye-hand coordination. They may also be more alert, creative and less likely to miss days of school. Tip: If you have no time to eat breakfast or don't feel like eating first thing, take a piece of fruit and baggie of high fiber cereal to eat on the way to work.

Consume more vitamins and minerals and less fat and cholesterol during the day.
While the reason is unclear, one study claims that increasing daily eating frequency is associated with consuming more favorable nutrients and fewer less favorable nutrients, such as dietary cholesterol. Tip: Aim for 3 of the 4 food groups at breakfast. For example, glass of milk, piece of fruit, and toast.

Have more strength and endurance. People who eat breakfast — and thus have higher energy levels — may engage in more physical activity than may people who don't eat breakfast. Tip: Make 2 changes at once: Start eating breakfast regularly and start a new fitness activity.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

What is Normal Eating?

While eating disorders and the obesity epidemic appear to be completely different issues, there can be a common ground of a troubled relationship with food. What you should and shouldn’t eat, what you ate yesterday, what you might eat tomorrow—food is always on your mind. You’ve done it all: dieting, bingeing, depriving yourself of nourishment, living to eat, obsessing about weight, stuffing your emotions with food, and yo-yoing wildly between sizes. You wish you could have a positive relationship with food, but don’t know how.
The only permanent way to establish the relationship with food you’ve always wanted is to become a “normal” eater—to say “yes” and “no” to food in just the right balance in order to maintain a healthy, comfortable weight.

Normal eating is going to the table hungry and eating until you are satisfied. It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it—not just stop eating because you think you should. Normal eating is being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food. Normal eating is giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad or bored, or just because it feels good. Normal eating is mostly three meals a day, or four or five, or it can be choosing to munch along the way. It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful. Normal eating is overeating at times, feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. And it can be undereating at times and wishing you had more. Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating. Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life.

In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to your hunger, your schedule, your proximity to food and your feelings.

Monday, May 12, 2008

My child has started drinking “energy drinks” such as Red Bull. Is this a concern?

Energy drinks such as Red Bull are marketed as providing improved energy, concentration and athletic performance. Ingredients in these drinks include substances such as caffeine, taurine (an amino acid, one of the building blocks of protein) and glucuronolactone (a carbohydrate).

Energy drinks contain similar amounts of caffeine as a cup of coffee and approximately three times the amount of caffeine as a similar amount of cola type soft drink. For example, one can of Red Bull contains 80 milligrams (mg) of caffeine. Health Canada recommends that children 10-12 years of age limit their caffeine intake to no more than 85 mg per day.

Energy drinks should not be confused with sports drinks such as Gatorade, which can be useful to re-hydrate the body after engaging in intense workouts lasting longer than an hour. Energy drinks are not thirst quenchers and may actually lead to dehydration.

Health Canada has reports of incidences of adverse reactions such as electrolyte disturbances, nausea and vomiting and heart irregularities involving energy drinks. The incidents involved improper use of energy drinks such as drinking them with alcohol or drinking them in greater quantities than recommended.

If you choose to use an energy drink be aware of the following:
-the amount of caffeine in one can of Red Bull is approximately the daily limit of caffeine for a pre-teen
-the label of Red Bull suggests a limit of no more than two cans per day
-the label of Red Bull reads Not recommended for children
-Health Canada does not recommend mixing Red Bull with alcohol
-there are many other energy drinks on the market which have not been evaluated by Health Canada; it is wise to read the label and contact a health professional if you have questions.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for improved energy and concentration then consider the benefits of regular meals and snacks and adequate consumption of water throughout the day. Adequate sleep and regular activity are also important.

Reference: Health Canada. It’s Your Health Fact-sheet “Safe Use of Energy Drinks”. June 2005.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Why Family Meals?

Whether you have family together always, sometimes, or never, there is something here you need to hear. Family meals are important for so many obvious and some not so obvious reasons. I could rant about all the research to support family meals, but what speaks just as loud to me is my experience in nutrition counseling. A couple of my favourite meal time don’ts: I’m sorry, a new pool table is not reason for a throwing out a kitchen table or no or your 7 year-old daughter cannot prepare dinner for herself while you eat in your bedroom.

Meals support food regulation and appropriate growth, make you a family, support good parenting, provide children with social and emotional support, connect us to our history, reassure children they will be fed, teach children to behave well in polite company, and teach children to like a variety of food.

To make meal times rewarding: parents must choose food they find rewarding to plan, prepare, provide, and eat, offer everyone in the family the same meal, put four or five foods and let everyone pick and choose from what is on the table, match familiar with unfamiliar food, favorite with not-so-favorite, teach and expect your children to behave nicely, and understand enough about children’s normal eating behaviour to feel successful with feeding. Include infants at the table (even if they are not eating all the food), put meals before nutrition, control the food supply while allowing choices, and accept slow progress if you are starting family meals for the first time.
Once family meals are occuring, the next logical step is making the meals nutritious. The meal should provide four to five foods (protein source, grains or starchy foods, 1 or 2 fruits or a vegetables or broth, milk, and butter, margarine, salad dressing or other fatty foods. The key principle here is to be considerate without catering. Parents can do this by following these guidelines: don’t make (or expect) anybody to eat – even yourself, let children (and other people) pick and choose from what is on the table, and include enough fat. For example, “3 more bites and then you can have dessert”, encouraging certain foods for nutrition “eat all your brocolli”, or having forbidden foods ie. no chips, cookies. Goal is to have structure but the child still decides. If you would like more info on family meals, check out the book Your Child’s Weight Helping Without Harming Birth Through Adolescence by Ellyn Satter. What tips do you have that you’ve used with your kids?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Children's sleep important to prevent obesity

You probably have enough reasons why you want your baby/toddler to sleep, but you probably did not think of preventing obesity in your child. Research has been done in children making a link between infant sleep and overweight. Elsie M. Taveras, M.D., of Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in Boston tracked the sleep habits of children from birth to age three. She and her colleagues found that even after taking into account the mothers' BMI (Body Mass Index), infants who slept less than 12 hours a day had a higher BMI for their age and sex, higher skinfold thickness, and were more likely to be overweight at age three than children who slept 12 hours or more as infants.
The authors note the amount of TV watching had a minimal effect on the associations between sleep and overweight, although the combination of not enough sleep and more time in front of the TV caused the highest risk weight problems.
The researchers conclude clinicians and parents would benefit from using their research to find ways to improve quality and length of sleep for infants. Goodnight.
SOURCE: Short Sleep Duration in Infancy and Risk of Childhood Overweight Elsie M. Taveras; Sheryl L. Rifas-Shiman; Emily Oken; Erica P. Gunderson; Matthew W. Gillman Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008;162(4):305-311.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

How to Stop Your Mindless Eating

By following this exercise, you can control your mindless eating. I recently listened to a talk on emotional eating by Colleen Cannon PhD, R Psych and Wendy Shah, RD, and you can change your eating behaviours by changing your thoughts and emotions.

Step 1: First grab a pen and paper. Consider what thoughts and emotions (feelings) influence our eating behaviours. Make a list of 20 reasons of why you eat.

Step 2: Now, divide each of reasons into one of 3 categories: 1. Stomach - this would be physiological reasons for eating ie. hunger. 2. Mouth - this is when your craving a specific food or texture ie. eating ice cream on a hot day. 3. Heart - this is all the emotional reasons (probably what most of your list is) ie. bored, angry, celebration with friends, etc.

Step 3: List 6 things you do to comfort or nuture yourself.

Step 4: Cross out all items that include any food, are in the distant future (ie. vacation you have in 2 months), and anything that takes a significant amount of time or money. Hopefully, you have something left on your list. These items should be something you can do to comfort/nuture yourself quickly instead of eating. For example, after a difficult work day instead going for your favourite comfort food, use something off your list like going for walk.

Step 5: Write down the intials of 3 people that mean a lot to you.

Step 6: Write down their birthday or phone number as quickly as possible. What did you think about as you writing? Getting that number down, right? Hence, any type of mind game can be a perfect distraction.

Step 7: If your list of 6 items is all crossed out or even if its not, brainstorm again for some distractions. Your list may include talking to a friend, listening to music, reading a book, some sort of activity, being outdoors, crosswords, or other mindgames.
Now you the tools to turn your mindless eating into mind full eating by using distractions to change your behaviours, thoughts, and emotions. For more information, check out Craving Change's upcoming website at http://www.cravingchange.ca/.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

8 Reason YOU need to take a daily multivitamin

8. Perfect way to get your vitamin D throughout the year. Forget taking a supplement solely for vitamin, you can get the same amount from a multivitamin. Supplementation with vitamin D may help prevent cancer, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's Disease, aid in treatment of autoimmune disease such as Diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis and high blood pressure, and may boost your immunity.
7. Reduce neural tube defects like spina bifida by as much as 70%. Whether your planning or not, all women of childbearing age should take a multivitamin with folic acid.
6. A mulitvit costs less than most other dietary supplements. All those fancy 'organic' and 'natural' vitamin products and often contain similar contents to any brand of multivitamin.
5. Get Smart! Improved eye health and brain function have been linked with multivitamin.
4. Take a chill pill. Daily multivitamin helps to alleviate stress.
3. Improve immune function and reduce infectious disease. Potentially, cutting your sick days in half.
2. Taking a multivitamin may aid in weight loss. Studies have higher multivitamin in lower BMI. As well, daily use may help you lose weight in conjunction with calorie controlled diet, and control your appetite.
1. Consider it insurance for your diet. Too many studies have shown that most diets -- even fairly healthy ones fall well below Recommended Dietary Allowance for many nutrients. Supplements are a proven bridge between what we should eat and what we actually eat.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Portion Distortion

Just look at this picture as I plead my case that portions have been getting larger and larger. For example, an average plate of restaurant pasta is 6 servings of grains according to the Canada's Food Guide and meeting your DAILY requirement for grain products or movie bag of popcorn is ~75% of an adult's daily caloric needs. One problem the gimmics from restaurants of bottomless fries and foutain soda, supersize for 99 cents, buy one get one free, etc. because we want more 'bang for our buck'. The fast food industry is not solely to blame for expanding our portions and waistlines. Our portions can be distorted anywhere we eat. Eating is done in your car, at your desk, in front of your TV, and occassionally around the table. What's the problem with this? First off, while people are eating on-the-go we are more prone to poor food choices. Secondly, our bodies is less aware of hunger signals and how much were actually eating. Our mind has been tricked into thinking our body needs more food than it does. The more that is on our plates the more we end up eating regardless of our hunger. Whether portions sizes are large or small, we need to be conscious of what we allow on our plate and into our mouth.

Tips to start 'undistorting' what we perceive to be a typical portion and begin to listen to our stomachs, not our eyes, to determine when to put the fork down.
1. Eat on smaller plates. This will help you eat smaller portion sizes.
2. Build a healthy plate. Half of your plate should be filled with vegetables or fruits. The other half should be divided equally between meat and grains.
This is the diet plate that was used on Type 2 Diabetics and gave 5% weight loss over 6 months. There are other similar portion control plates available as well.
Pint-sized portions. Remember, children have smaller stomachs than adults and need smaller portions – about half the size of adult portions.
4.Hands up! A small fist equals one cup of food, a thumb-tip equals one teaspoon and three thumb-tips equal a tablespoon.
5.Wrap it up! When eating at a restaurant, ask your server to wrap up half of your meal right away. Not only will you be watching your portions, you'll also have a meal for the next day!
6. Watch children eat. They have no problem leaving half their meal behind because their eat more by their hunger than adults.