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Healthy Eating & Portion Control

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Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - 7:00am

[Introduction Music, 20 seconds]

Today, we’re talking about portion control and healthy eating. Hello, I’m Amy Myers, and welcome to Farm & Family. Today, we’re speaking with Madison Welch, Mississippi State University dietetic intern.

Amy: Madison, today we are talking about eating healthy and portion control.  Why is this topic so important?

Madison: As a dietetic intern, you hear all about fad diets and quick ways to lose weight.  These diets might work short term, but it is important to incorporate a healthy lifestyle diet that you can manage throughout your life.  This is something that can work for everyone and is so easy to implement to lead a healthy life.  I think that when people hear the word “diet” they automatically shut down.  Food should never been restricted and should be something to enjoy, just making sure not to over eat. 

Amy: Speaking of overeating, don’t you have some tips on controlling portion sizes?

Madison: Yes, I do! Today we are given such big portions that it is so easy to overeat.  It takes your body 20 minutes to realize it is full, so you can see how easy it is to overeat. Putting your fork down and talking in between bites gives your body time to realize its full.  One great tool to avoid overeating is to choose a medium size plate instead of a large plate to put your food on.  Choosing a medium size plate ensures that you are getting enough food, but not putting too big of a portion on your plate.  It cuts down on the serving size of each portion, but your plate looks extremely full. 

Amy: What are some other tips that you have?

Madison: I think a big one is not skipping meals.  Sometimes we skip meals because we are not hungry or just don’t have something that we want to eat.  Skipping meals can cause you to eat double at your next meal because you are so hungry.  It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal but you end up eating double the calories and you just feel so full afterwards.  I think the best thing to do if you aren’t hungry at a certain meal time, choose a snack to eat.  This will keep you full until the next meal and prevent you from overeating. 

Amy: You mentioned eating a snack.  What are some good healthy snack ideas?

Madison: Yes, snacking in something most of us do, which is fine.  But, choosing the right snack is so important.  It is easier just to open a bag of chips to eat when you are hungry, but that won’t hold you over until the next meal and you’ll end up eating another snack.  Try choosing a healthy snack like cheese and unsalted mixed nuts or celery and peanut butter or celery and hummus.  These snacks are healthy and provide protein to hold you over until your next meal.  Also make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.  Water also keeps you full throughout they day and prevents you from snacking when you aren’t hungry.

Amy: Thank you, Madison.  These seem likely easy tips to incorporate.  Is their anything else you would like to mention?

Madison: Yes, that is what I love about these tips.  They aren’t intended to change your entire diet and how you eat, but to enhance your diet to make sure you aren’t overeating.  Nobody wants to completely cut out a food group, it’s all about enjoying your food and balance.  I think using the smaller plate idea makes it easier to incorporate instead of measuring out every food.  I also think we tend to mindlessly snack on pre-packaged foods.  So, really taking the time to make sure that the snack will hold you over and is something you enjoy is really important.  I think incorporating these simple tips will make a difference and is something easy to incorporate into your everyday life.  And one last thing, I know some people don’t love water, so try putting different fruits in your water to give it a different flavor you enjoy. 

Amy: Also, it’s really important to take small bites when you eat, correct?

Madison: Yes.

Amy: And of course, that’s because when you’re shoveling huge bites of food into your mouth, it causes large portions to hit your stomach all at once, so your stomach doesn’t have time to realize when it is full. And that will definitely cause you to over eat. So, slow down and take small bites. Sometimes I wish there was a more affordable way to get healthy snacks I can take with me on the go, so I don’t hastily swing into a fast food drive through, or over indulge when I eat later. What can I do?

Madison: Perhaps consider buying packaged snacks like fruit and nuts in bulk.  Local grocery stores, Amazon and other sites can be good places to look.  Just remember to check the nutrition facts, before buying in bulk.

Amy: Today, we’ve been speaking with dietetic intern Madison Welch. I’m Amy Myers, and this has been Farm & Family. Have a great day!

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Department: Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion

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