Food “Stop Sign” To Control Over Eating

Edible food “Stop Signs” may be just the thing to remind you to quite eating.

The visual reminder helps people to manage portion control and acts to snap you out of the compulsion to continue eating out of momentum.

And it actually works.

People consumed 250 less calories when the edible “stop signs” were used.

Such mindless habit-eating helps explain why some people go overboard while snacking. Other reasons, the study notes: people aren’t good at self-monitoring how much they eat, or they eat what they believe — incorrectly — is an appropriate portion.

“By inserting visual markers in a snack-food package, we may be helping them to monitor how much they are eating and interrupt their semi-automated eating habits,” lead researcher Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, said in a statement.

“Portion Distortion”

Does offering smaller portions in restaurants help people to eat less?

Well, there is a recent study which suggests that this could be the case, indeed.

It turns out that people are willing to downsize but you have to ask them to do it.

When offered a smaller portion and being told that they would be cutting out 200 calories by doing so, a third of diners out of several hundred in the survey took the smaller portion.

Calorie labeling isn’t enough. And portion size needs to be determined before the order is filled to be effective.

It’s a part of our automated response mechanism.

Still, Schwartz says many people think restaurant portions are too big. And the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest dietary guidelines recommend smaller portions of grains like rice and noodles than what was served at the Chinese restaurant in the study. For example, the USDA recommends that a man (like me) between 19 and 30 years old eat no more than 8 ounces of grains a day. The full serving size of rice or noodles at the Chinese food restaurant was 10 ounces — and that’s just the side for lunch.

Walking your way to weight loss

If you really want to lose weight and feel better, getting started should be easier than you think. Many people get intimidated by the thought of going to the gym and radically changing your diet. While those might be great ideas, they mean nothing if the notion of an intense workout and diet prevent you from doing anything at all.

Start with the basics. Get off the couch and start walking!

When it comes to weight control, almost nothing is easier and cheaper than brisk walking.

Going for a walk every day can improve mood, increase energy, lower blood pressure and protect against diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer.

But to reap these benefits, you need to get the lead out and put some spring in your step.

It’s not window shopping or taking a stroll in the park. Walk like you’re late for the bus.

You should be able to carry on a conversation, but you’ll be a little breathless when you talk, says Miriam Nelson, director of the John Hancock Research Center on Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity Prevention at Tufts University in Boston.

Some of you may feel that you’re so out of shape that even brisk walking makes you nervous. Well, don’t feel like you have to walk like this from the beginning. Just get out of the house and walk around the block. Then, do it again in the next day or two, but walk a little further. Just moving a little will make you feel better, and then you’ll feel more excited about walking regularly and walking more briskly.

Check out the entire article for more information on how 3 MPH is the threshold for brisk walking.

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