Saturday, February 5, 2011

Using Mind Control for Portion Control

Today's post is from Tracy Adler, who developed Yum Yum Dishes to help portion control:

2011 is here and like a lot of people you’ve made that one New Year’s resolution where come March, you’ll find yourself picking up a plate at the beginning of an all-you-can-eat buffet and wondering… what the heck happened?

You’ve promised yourself to get in shape and you want to keep that promise, but there are two obstacles you probably have to overcome if you’re making this resolution in the first place — your love of eating and your love of eating too much.

It’s common sense that diet and exercise are important when it comes to shrinking your waistline, but more and more studies are showing that what and how much you eat is most important. Now, that doesn’t mean you can unplug the treadmill or cancel your gym membership; you still need to exercise, but if you focus more on healthy eating habits at the outset, you’ll lose those extra pounds you packed on over the holidays.

You have to transition to healthier foods and control your portions; the latter not quite as easy as it sounds. Portion control gets a lot of press these days, but when it comes to eating less, well, it’s definitely easier said and done. The main problem when it comes to limiting how much you eat is where you’re sticking your fork to get it. If you’re eating 4 ounces of pasta from a bowl the size of your head, you’ll never be able to convince your stomach it’s getting its fill. Plates and bowls these days are pretty standard sizes and take quite a bit of food to make a full load, but here’s a novel idea: What if you load your forks and spoons from smaller plates and bowls?

You’ll be surprised how much control your mind has over stomach. If you see a normal-sized bowl that’s only half full, you’ll definitely feel cheated. But you if see that same amount of food in a healthy-sized bowl, you’ll have an easier time tricking your stomach. You can tell yourself time and time again that 4 ounces of food is enough, but our stomachs are accustomed to enough — they’re used to being full. And what we see before we eat plays a huge part.

A couple years ago — after my second child was born — I realized I was snacking too much. I'd drag a bag of chips off the shelf and head for the couch. Before I knew it, half the bag was gone.

The fact is, I didn't realize how much I was eating. I decided to do something about it.

I started using a small dish for snacking. As long as I didn't re-fill the bowl, I could never over-snack! In a short time, I was back to my original weight. I thought others might like to try out this simple method of portion control. The Yum Yum Dish was born, a 4 ounce dish that's fun and easy to understand.

The Yum Yum Dish is perfect for anyone trying to make his or her New Year’s wish of a smaller waistline come true. Moderation is crucial. And all it takes is a little less food, and a lot of mind control.

Tracy Adler is a former restaurant owner and mother of two. She created Yum Yum Dishes™ to help parents teach their children about correct portion size and is a strong advocate in the fight against childhood obesity. For more information or to place an order visit

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