Try controlling portions and eating ‘mindfully’ to reach weight goal

For people who want to be ready for swimsuit season, the Today Show advises them to pay as much attention to how they eat as what they eat.

With perseverance, planning ahead and a shift in behavior, the show’s diet and nutrition editor Madelyn Fernstrom said dieters can lose 10 pounds by Memorial Day if they begin their quest in early spring. Most of Fernstrom’s tips focus on portion control.

“Limit your portions,” she said. “I know 100-calorie portions don’t work for everyone, but it’s a like a mental alert going off – ‘your food is over.'”

Start with the table setting. When glasses and dishes are downsized, the portions will be smaller, but they will appear to be normal size on more petite tableware. A smaller wineglass holds less wine and fewer alcoholic calories, a salad dish is a good substitute for a dinner plate and reduced-size soup bowls can be used.

Get rid of candy and other sweets in dishes around the home and replace them with “baby size” fruits – berries, kiwis cherry tomatoes or clementines. Healthy snacks need to be the order of the day.

Mindful eating
Fernstrom advises people to stop mindless consumption of food and replace it with mindful eating. Mostly, that entails slowing down while eating, taking time to chew several times and really tasting the food instead of gobbling it up.

“We need to be coming back to ourselves and say, ‘Does my body need this? Why am I eating this? Is it just because I’m so sad and stressed out?'” Lilian Cheung, M.D., of Harvard’s School of Public Health, a proponent of mindful eating, told the New York Times.

There are different techniques in mindful eating, such as occasionally switching the hand that holds the fork and taking a sip of water between mouthfuls. Fernstrom also encourages people to turn off all electronic devices during meals so people won’t be distracted and speed up their consumption.

Placing emphasis on how people eat to control their portions doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be as mindful of the foods they need to lose weight and maintain good nutrition.

In addition to including more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, medical experts say weight loss diet should limit foods that contain too much salt, sugar and unhealthy fats. Taking dietary aids such as Skinny D from Dr. Newton’s Naturals, a nutrient-filled supplement that’s clinically tested to reduce pounds and curb sugar cravings, is another option for maintaining nutritional balance.