Sufficiently Sufficed or Stuffed?

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Do you eat to the point of contentment, or do you eat until you need to open the top button of your pants to be comfortable? New research shows that routinely eating until you are stuffed may be detrimental to your health.

Current findings demonstrate that people will over consume calories whether they are hungry or not. According to a survey conducted by the American Institute for Cancer Research, 69% of people will finish their meals, even when the portions are huge. In another study, published in the journal Appetite, subjects were offered various submarine sandwich sizes over four different days. The sizes of the sandwiches included 6-inch, 8-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch subs. The study found that when served the 12-inch sandwich women consumed 31% more calories and men consumed 56% more than compared to the 6-inch sandwich.

Unfortunately, food sizes have increased dramatically without consumers even being aware. For example, a study published by the Journal of the American Dietetic Association showed that in 1955, a single order of French fries weighed 2.4 ounces while today; an average single serving is 7.1 ounces. This is nearly a 200% increase! Restaurants and fast food chains are also using catch phrases such as "two for one", "super-sized" and "all you can eat" to lure consumers. However, bigger is not always better. This trend must change. Numerous studies have demonstrated that an over consumption of calories can increase the risk of obesity (adults and children), type 2 diabetes (adults and children), cancer, heart disease and high cholesterol. In fact, a mild to moderate form of caloric restriction is a one of the most powerful anti-aging steps an individual can take.

What can you do?

Initially, decreasing your portion sizes takes some focus. It is important to remember that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, and food habits are no exception. Try implementing the following steps one by one to cut unwanted calories from your diet.

1. Make your meals last at least twenty minutes. It takes this long for the stomach to send a "full" signal to the brain.

2. Use your utensils to eat and put them down between bites. Doing so will automatically slow your eating habits.

3. Avoid the super-sized menu items. More food usually translates into less health.

4. Pay attention to your hunger signal. It is okay to let your stomach growl once in a while. In fact, doing so actually enhances digestion.

5. Do not force a child to eat if he is not hungry. Doing so disassociates children from their true hunger signal.

The following article is an excerpt from Total Health & Weight Loss, The Truestar Way.

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