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Start the New Year off right with USDA's second MyPlate message "Enjoy your food, but eat less."

The new year is here, and it's certainly not too late to make a resolution. Perhaps you've made one already, but is it realistic? Dieting and weight loss seem to be among the most popular year after year. What exactly do they entail though? Sometimes, our resolutions are so broad and tough that we make it difficult for ourselves to stick to them. It's no wonder most of us barely make it through February before we crack.

Make it easier on yourself this year, and focus on small things at a time. Take portion control for instance. Instead of telling yourself you're going to cut out certain foods all together, how about "enjoy your food, but eat less?"

That just so happens to be the message of the second phase of the USDA MyPlate campaign. The best part about it is that it's realistic. Portion sizes have become out of control. Everywhere we turn, we're presented with value packs, super sized meals, and over-sized portions. We're inadvertently consuming more than we should, because it's right there in front of us.

So,  let's step back a bit. The dieting and weight loss resolutions will fall under this one if we do it right. Here are some helpful tips when it comes to portion control:

  • When eating out, ask for a "to-go" box for half of your meal. Most entrees served at restaurants are more than one person should consume in a single sitting.
  • Try to drink a glass of water before your meal.
  • Eat healthy snacks in between meals to appease your appetite.
  • Try eating on a smaller plate. Sometimes, the visual is all it takes.
  • Avoid eating directly from packages. We tend to eat more than we realize when we're eating straight from the boxes or bags. (This is especially true with snack foods)
  • Pre-portion tempting treats. When we're presented with larger portions of delicious treats, it's harder to resist. If you divvy them up in to "single-serving" snack bags, you prevent over indulging.
  • Enjoy a salad before your meal.
  • Avoid eating with distractions. The TV is the best example. If you're munching while watching the latest episode of your favorite show, you'll undoubtedly eat more.

Learning ZoneXpress has a wide array of portion control products with helpful reminders. Let's start this year off right and be mindful of our portion control. We all know a little bit can go a long way. So, here's to 2012! Enjoy your food, but eat less.

If you have any tips you would like to add, please comment below. We'd love to hear from you.




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