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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

5 Eating Habits to Kick

Don't want to argue, I don't want to debate
Don't want to hear about what kind of food you hate
You won't get no dessert 'till you clean off your plate
- “Eat It” lyrics by Weird Al Yankovic Women’s Health Magazine describes five eating habits to kick under the title, Quit the Clean-Plate Club. This is a popular meme as I found many web sites under “Quit the Clean-Plate Club” such as this one from Denver’s Children’s Hospital or this one from DailySpark.com.
Here are the five bad habits:
1. Eating your meal in a rush.It takes 20 minutes for a stomach to register that it’s full. By gobbling food quickly you’ll consume more than the body needs and exceed the full feeling. Slow down and enjoy the food.
2. Eating while distracted by TV or computer or driving.If you snack while reading email or watching TV you may be surprised to find you ate a whole bag of chips or the entire container of ice cream. Focus on the food you eat (see slow down above) or bring out only single servings portions so you don’t keep eating until a larger package is gone.
3. Eating while bored or stressed.A high-carb snack will give you a temporary energy boost but the blood sugar crash afterwards will leave you craving more. Nosh only when hungry. And keep food away from easy reach at the computer or TV chair.
4. Cleaning your plate.Portion sizes and plate sizes keep going up and people feel guilty about not cleaning their plate. Eat half a plate and save the rest for another meal.
5. Eating meat at every meal.Americans eat way too much meat. In an ideal meal the vegetables will out mass the meat 2 to 1. Think of a stir fry or salad with thin strips of meat and a lot of other stuff. Limit big-meat meals to one day a week – the Sunday Roast? Try meatless alternatives. Portobello mushrooms can be grilled or sautéed just like meat and are a great substitute. Enjoy pasta without the meatballs – be creative with the sauces. Beefsteak tomatoes make great sandwich filling (BLT without the B?) and there’s the British Tea tradition of Cumber sandwiches.
Bottom Line
Food is one of life’s pleasures. Slow down and enjoy every bite.
BonusI used the word “meme” above which may be new to some readers. It was penned by biologist Richard Dawkins at the end of his book, The Selfish Gene (1976), where he compared the propagation of ideas (memes) to that of genes. Ideas/themes must compete to survive and some memes spread like a virus – e.g. hit videos on YouTube.