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Make 2018 the Year You Handle Your Hunger

This story originally appeared in the Live Smart Newsletter and was written by Jamie Epting, MS, RD,  from Clinical Nutrition at St. Peter’s Health Partners where Morrison Healthcare is the food service provider.

2018 New Year’s Diet Resolutions

As we begin a new year, many of us are conscious of our diets, as we discover we have probably indulged a little too much over the holidays!

One of the biggest stumbling blocks everyone faces when trying to control calories is dealing with hunger. Here are some great tips to keep yourself from over-eating when you’re hungry.

Tips to Avoid Over-Eating When You’re Hungry

  • Add high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole wheats and grains to your meals to bulk up dishes for larger portions with fewer calories. An added bonus is that many of these foods have a high water content which can also help to make you feel full.
  • Try making large salads with lean protein and low-calorie dressing or oil and vinegar. Add equal amounts of vegetables to pasta dishes to bulk them up for a larger portion with fewer calories and more vitamins and nutrients.
  • Drink a glass of water before your meal. Not only is it a great way to stay hydrated, but it gives you a feeling of fullness and keeps you from overeating due to thirst.
  • Set your plate for success. Fill your plate halfway with veggies and divide the other half for lean protein and whole grains. Include a serving of fruit and low-fat dairy.
  • Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. People who skip meals tend to overeat at the next one, so it’s important to maintain a steady supply of fuel to keep your metabolism going. Starting your day with a good breakfast is essential! Check out this breakfast idea to get you started.
  • Keep healthy, calorie-controlled snacks on hand. If you have the right foods available you are more likely to choose them. Pre-make small bags or containers (about 100-150 calories each) of low-calorie snacks like fruits, veggies, unsalted nuts, rice cakes, whole grain crackers or dried fruits.
  • When dining out, choose lean meats and fish that are baked, broiled or grilled, with sides of veggies and whole grains. Choose pasta dishes with marinara sauce and skip the high-fat, meat-based sauces. If the portions are huge, ask for a to-go container as soon as your meal arrives and pack up half for another meal.
  • Eat consciously. Remember to be in the moment and taste your food. When we rush through a meal to get on to the next activity we tend to overeat.
  • Turn off the TV and try to have family meals where good conversation is as nourishing as the food on your plate. Studies have shown children who regularly sit down to family meals are significantly less likely to have an eating disorder and are more likely to eat more nutritious foods and be at a healthy weight.

Make 2018 the year you make mindful eating part of your everyday life. It is a gift to yourself all year long! For more suggestions and tips on healthy eating and living well, visit https://www.choosemyplate.gov/

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