Weight Control and Portion Size

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People who are overweight and inactive are at greater risk for cancer and other chronic diseases. Researchers believe that overweight and inactivity cause the body to secrete high levels of insulin and other hormones known as ?growth factors.? Cells constantly exposed to these substances begin to divide quickly and often, which makes cancer more likely. The good news is that regular physical activity and weight loss can help restore insulin levels to normal. That may help reduce your risk of disease.

If you’re looking to lose weight, don’t cut out whole categories of foods or skip a meal to reduce your daily calories. Chances are, these strategies won’t work. Feeling deprived of your favorite foods or not eating a meal altogether could lead to overeating later on.

Instead, throughout the day fuel your body mostly with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. Meals centered around these foods tend to be lower in calories and fat than meals dominated by animal foods. For eating satisfaction and added health benefits, remember the New American Plate’s rule of thumb: two-thirds plant food to one-third animal food.

If you’ve switched to a healthier diet but are still having difficulty reaching a healthy weight, one factor to consider is portion size. Start by looking at your plate and analyzing how much you eat. Try this experiment: Measure out a regular portion of a favorite breakfast food. For instance, pour your usual portion of dry cereal into a bowl. Next, check the standard serving size chart, and measure out the standard serving size of your cereal. Compare the two bowls.

Ask yourself this question: How many standard servings go into the portion I regularly eat? If you are concerned about your weight, consider decreasing the number of servings in your portion. Cut back gradually so you’ll be less likely to notice the change. Even small reductions add up to substantial health benefits. Remember, maintaining the right proportion of plant foods to animal foods is important to your long-term health. So reduce the portion sizes on your plate, but maintain the “2/3 to 1/3” proportion. Also, exercise more. If you still do not see your weight gradually moving in a healthy direction, contact your doctor or a registered dietitian for a more individualized plan.

Source: The American Institute for Cancer Research

Author: Dots Rego- USA

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