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Eat your way to better health

GEHA | September 8, 2020

Nutrition and exercise
Control your portions, control your weight.

You’ve likely heard the news: More Americans than ever are overweight. In fact, approximately one in three adults and one in six children are considered obese.

You’re also likely aware of the serious health conditions obesity can contribute to, including stroke, heart disease and type-2 diabetes.

Losing weight can seem an insurmountable challenge, with promises of quick-fixes and fad diets. For example, eat like a caveman this week. Try intermittent fasting the next.

Instead of trying the next new thing, try focusing on one simple change: controlling your portions.

Right size, not super size
Portions have grown along with our waistlines. We unintentionally consume more calories when we’re served larger portions, according to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More time at home can mean more mindless munching while binge-watching our favorite shows. There’s a reason people refer to gaining "the COVID-19" pounds during this pandemic.

Try these tips to eat your way to better health:

  • Serve dinner on individual plates instead of putting serving dishes on the table. This can help you avoid a second or third helping.
  • Use smaller plates.
  • Repackage snacks. Divide the contents of a large package into several smaller containers so you don’t over-consume. Never eat straight from the package – use a small bowl or container instead.
  • When buying in bulk, store excess snacks in an inconvenient place like on a high shelf or at the back of the pantry.
  • Put especially tempting food out of your immediate eyesight. For example, put your ice cream at the back of the freezer. Move healthier food up front.
  • Replace the candy dish with a fruit bowl.
  • When you eat out, consider splitting an entrée. Or ask for a to-go box and wrap up half your meal as soon as you’re served.
Small steps can lead to healthy habits – and a healthier you.
"How to avoid portion size pitfalls to help manage your weight.", Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 August, 2020.