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GETTING THE BALANCE RIGHT

The knowledge of the food pyramid and food labels enables us to tailor our meals not only healthily but also to our own likes and dislikes.  

 

What is the Food Guide Pyramid?


 

NOTE: If you do not take fish or poultry, and if you have cut red meat, eggs and dairy products down to very low levels or do not eat them at all, then you should ensure that you eat a selection of vegetables, complex carbohydrates and other beans.

                                                                        

BREAKING BAD HABITS

Are you guilty of anyone of the following:

-    Overeating because you are having fun at a party;

-     Having many business meals, social gatherings and family engagements in which food plays an important part;

-    Eating to fill an emptiness or when under great stress?

If you have said yes to at least one of the above, do not be discouraged. Here are some tips that will help you to break the bad habits.

Bingers and Grazers

Bingers eat their meals very quickly, while grazers tend to consume smaller amounts of food throughout the day. If you fit into either one of these profiles, it is likely that you are having trouble shaking off a powerful urge to finish everything within sight.

If you binge…

Control the amount of food you prepare. For some, it is best to store very little food at home. Another trick is to munch on healthy food as you prepare a meal for e.g. cut-up vegetables with a low fat dip. Also, prepare small portions of food and keep any extras away before you start you meal.

 

Nighttime Eaters

Some people eat little in the day and then consume huge quantities of food at night. The reasons vary. It may be due to the lack of time for meals during the day, or thinking that you can lose weight by avoiding food the entire day. As such, it is likely that you are so  hungry that you will gobble down any food that is quick and easy, with no regard for the fat and nutritional content. 

If you eat mostly at night…

Try to change your patterns of eating so that you have at least one substantial meal during the day. Another alternative is to prepare food in advance so that when you come home, there will be healthy snacks or complete dinners that you can reheat instantly.

 

Big-Meal Eaters

Does your work or social life center around food? You may have a lot of business lunches and dinners or frequent family gatherings, in which food is a regular part of your life. This presents opportunities for over indulgence.

If you eat big meals in business and social gatherings…

The best way to but back is to plan ahead. Avoid temptations as such that occur when you walk into restaurants. Think positively about low-fat substitutes. Do not be afraid to seek help from your family members and friends in controlling your weight.

 

Comfort Eaters

At one point or another, almost all of us have eaten to comfort ourselves and not because we are hungry. Feelings of anxiety and depression are likely to lead to overeating. Also these foods may make you feel better, the also contain high amounts of fat and sugar.

If you are a comfort eater…

Try eating comfort foods in small doses. This may not necessarily work for all, but if you are lucky, you may be able to eat a small amount of a special treat and feel content. Stick to foods that are under 100 calories so that you will not feel the guilt afterward.

 

So, have you found out which of the above categories you belong to? If so, make the effort to rid your bad habit and be on your way to a healthy body!

 

References:

1.      Aronne, L.J., M.D. 1996. Weigh Less, Live Longer. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

2.      Lazarides, Linda. 1997. The Nutritional Health Bible. California: Harper Collins Publishers.