Friday, August 29, 2014
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 DrRod@FatMatters.com. 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

    Saving Putah Creek: a quiet concert at sunset

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1

     
    Mr. Dolcini goes to Washington

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Winton to be feted for her many years of community work

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Celebrate the Senior Center at Sept. 9 luncheon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Solar-cooking workshop set at Food Co-op

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Equestrian eventing competition slated

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Forum explores local mental health services

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Dinner, auction benefit Yolo County CASA

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Kids can sign up for a library card and get a free book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Explorit Science Center: Volunteers supercharge summer camp

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Tee off for Davis’ continued prosperity

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

     
    Bodega Marine Laboratory hosts open house

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Local group charts a year’s worth of beauty in flowers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Free blood pressure screenings offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Name Droppers: UCD honors two of its own

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Forum

    Let’s sell the MRAP on eBay

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

     
    Seeing both sides of ‘tank’

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    What if we need MRAP?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

     
    How could tank be helpful?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: C2

    Don’t sentence our police to death

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C2

     
    Will Davis see river water?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    Travel buddy is getting too fat

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Sports

    Forget the score; focus on the energy brought by Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Returning seniors, new faces lead promising DHS links squad

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devil golfers return from Scotland with smiles on their faces

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils scrimmage with Sac

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD-Stanford: the clock is down to counting the minutes

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Wire briefs: Aces cruise past Cats at Raley

    By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B6

    Sports briefs: DHS girls fall by the slimmest of net margins

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘The November Man’: Who can be trusted?

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    B Street’s ‘The Ladies Foursome’ is aces

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Technology makes a great car better

    By Ali Arsham | From Page: C1 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Elaine Dracia Greenberg

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics