Thursday, January 29, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Separate ‘need’ and ‘want’ to get a handle on portion control

By
From page A4 | January 04, 2013 |

By Lavinia Rodriguez
Tampa Bay Times

Everyone knows that portion control is key to managing weight. The problem is that the mind deals better when things are added than when they’re subtracted. Intellectually, you know that it is more healthful to eat reasonable portions. But emotionally, you still want the entire carton of ice cream, not just a scoop.

The first thing to remember is that when it comes to food, need and want are two separate issues. If the mind always told us to eat only what we need, few of us would be overweight.

But life isn’t that simple. Stress, habits, even how much you sleep can all have a lot to do with how much you eat.

Let’s take a closer look at each factor:

Stress

Most people lose their appetites when stress is extreme (such as when a loved one dies or you’ve been in a car accident). However, some people experience an increased appetite when they are under moderate, chronic stress.

Solutions include learning to manage stress through such methods as regular exercise, yoga, meditation, soothing music and confronting problem thinking that leads to greater stress.

Habits

If you usually eat under certain conditions your mind will learn to expect it.

For example, if you eat every night while watching TV, you’ll start salivating and your stomach will start releasing gastric juices to prepare for eating whenever you sit down to watch your favorite shows. If you try to keep from eating, your brain will keep insisting that you obey, making it extremely difficult to break the habit with “cold-turkey” methods.

Instead, aim for small steps toward changing your habit. You might focus on gradually changing the quality of the foods you eat while watching TV. Then work on reducing the quantities.

Another useful technique is to do something incompatible with eating during the time you usually watch TV. Working on a craft or doing stretches can distract you from eating.

What and how we eat

The types of foods you eat and their nutritional value also have an effect on appetite. The brain’s job is to keep you alive and well. If you eat poorly, the brain will attempt to get you to eat what you need, and the tendency will be to eat too much of the foods you do eat.

Eating too much sugar or starchy, non-nutritive foods (like white breads, pastas and cereals) can destabilize blood sugar levels in your body, which can affect hunger and appetite.

Fiber in foods is filling. A low-fiber diet contributes to eating bigger portions because you need to eat more to feel the same amount of fullness.

Being too restrictive and rigid with eating can create a psychological state of deprivation that makes you more preoccupied with the foods you’re trying to eliminate and later cause you to eat larger portions of those foods.

Sleep

According to the National Institutes of Health, when people don’t sleep enough, they are more likely to be overweight or obese, develop diabetes and prefer high-calorie, high-carb foods. If you are concerned about portion control, pay attention to your sleep patterns.

There are other factors that also can influence portion control, such as drinking alcohol, which causes you to eat more, and the easy availability of food (the open doughnut box at the office).

So, as with most issues surrounding eating and weight, portion control is not as simple as just telling yourself, “Don’t eat.” Take the time to examine how your lifestyle may be encouraging you to keep eating when it’s not necessary. Then you can start addressing those issues gradually and control your portion sizes without setting your mind up for a full-scale rebellion.

— Lavinia Rodriguez, Ph.D., is a Tampa psychologist and expert in weight management. She is the author of “Mind Over Fat Matters: Psychological Barriers to Weight Management.” Contact her at [email protected] Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, www.shns.com

Comments

comments

Scripps Howard News Service

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Holman continues to educate and inspire

    By Daniella Tutino | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    ‘Huck’ and ‘Tom’ float old Arboretum dock to removal

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Work continues to modernize Davis Healthcare Center

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

     
    Biologists: Raising California dam would harm salmon

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Teens arrested after midnight joyride

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Overweight video game avatars ‘play’ worse than fit ones

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Meet the mayor for coffee at Peet’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Author joins radio show

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Make your own SoulCollage on Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Walk through Quail Ridge Reserve on Feb. 14

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Calling all chicken owners: Apply for coop crawl, share information

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Hopmans named associate vice provost for global affairs

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Review motivation to refresh your healthy-habits plan

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Tips to protect skin this winter

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    For health and healthy appearance, there’s just one quick fix

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Measles outbreak grows

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    NAMI-Yolo examines inpatient services at potluck

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Basement living, with attitude to match

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    50 years since Ash Hall

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Can climate change bring us together?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Paso Fino coming to a vote

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    Aggies still looking for record hoops win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Blue Devil Hammond has a huge day at home

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Pent up? Join Davis’ latest athletic event

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Two in a row for Devil boys

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD roundup: Aggie football players crack the books

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Youth roundup: Harper hoopsters off to hot start

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Treys send Toronto past Kings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    It’s Girl Scout Cookie time!

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

    College Corner: Have wanderlust? Go overseas for college

    By Jennifer Borenstein | From Page: A8

     
    District learns from bomb threat incident

    By Kellen Browning | From Page: A8

    Feenstra-Fisher wedding

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Arts

    Show explores the evolution of dance

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    A rose by any other name — if there is one

    By Michael Lewis | From Page: A11

     
    Acclaimed guitarist Adrian Legg to play at The Palms on Saturday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    James George Tingus

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, January 29, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B6