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Four Dinner Mistakes You May Be Making

Jun 27, 2008
You've been hard at work all day and now it is time to get home and enjoy dinner with your family. The best way to keep on track with your weight goals are to make sure you are not slipping up with any of these common mistakes.

1.You are eating too fast. You're finally home from work and the urge to get right into dinner and move on to the rest of the things you have to do, so speeding through dinner becomes a bad habit, and you need to break it. Take your time to savor every bite, and get the added bonus of enjoying time with your family at the dinner table. Multiple studies have shown that slower eaters consume less food and feel more satisfied than those that eat quickly.

2.You watch television while you eat dinner. When you eat dinner in front of the TV, you can easily get caught up in mindless eating. Instead of stopping when you have satisfied your hunger, you are more likely to continue putting fork to mouth until a commercial break or the end of a show, because you are not really paying attention to what you are eating, you are paying attention to the screen. Instead of falling into this bad habit, practice mindful eating and sit down at the table with your family. Set your VCR or Tivo to catch your shows, and watch them after you have finished. If you cannot do that, schedule your meal around the time when your favorite show is on, and eat before or after.

3.You are ignoring portion sizes. It may seem time consuming to portion out your meal sizes to the ounce, but if you can at least follow some loose guidelines for food portioning, you will sidestep this mishap. Spooning food on to your plate with out a real measurement can add up to very large quantities of food. A fast fix to this problem is to just downsize to smaller plates, such as using your salad plates in place of a dinner plate, or a large mug for soup instead of a soup bowl. Also use your salad forks and teaspoons instead of dinner forks and soup spoons, and that will help as well. And teach yourself some common measurement tricks. 3 ounces of protein looks about the size of a deck of cards. A half cup of rice or pasta will fill your cupped palm. This way you can keep an eye on portion control, with out having to get out the scale at each meal.

4.You are eating Family-Style. When you lay out all the dishes on the table and just let everyone help themselves, people tend to have eyes bigger than their stomachs. And taking seconds is easy, because the food is sitting right there in front of you. If you take the time to plate the food in the kitchen before sitting down to the dinner table, you can be sure that you are going to eat less. You will be able to better watch your portion sizes, and the left overs will be in the kitchen, and you will be much less tempted to have another serving, if it is not staring you in the face.
About the Author
Bodybuilder Chris McCombs is a long time Orange county resident, a Laguna Niguel personal trainer and a fitness business and marketing expert. You can learn more about Chris at http://www.socalworkout.com/
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