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Marsh column: Success eating ‘normal’ food

By Ester Marsh
For the Salisbury Post
Q. As soon as I think about dieting I want to eat more. Do you have any tips for me to eat less and still eat normal food?
A. I believe in eating normal food. That is real life. I wouldn’t want to miss food at my church gatherings, family picnics, and annual celebrations! The key is not to eat too much.
“Duuuuuh.”
That is what you are saying now isn’t it? As I have mentioned before, you do not have to have a college degree to know when you are eating badly and/or too much.
I will get into tips that I use myself but I do have to mention that I am not a licensed nutritionist/dietitian.
(By the way, those online courses don’t count. It takes lots of education and very hard work to become a licensed nutritionist/dietitian. And as I have to in my line of work, they have to continue their education to keep their license).
A solid, affordable program in the community is Weight Watchers. They show you how to eat real food using portion control and encourage you to exercise.
But you could try this on your own:
* Eat at least three meals a day. Yes! That includes breakfast.
* When you eat and you have greasy fingers/mouth you know you ate too much fat.
* “Splurge” on veggies instead of carbs and meats.
* Watch your sauces whether it is on your veggies, pasta etc. Your salad and pastas can increase in calories tremendously when you add sauces/dressings/croutons/ bacon etc. etc.
* Use a small plate when eating. Wait 20 minutes before you go for your second helping.
* Keep track of what you are eating. If you can’t remember write it down.
* Drink water. If you need to spruce it up, make sure your add-in does not have calories.
* Don’t bring it in your house if you can’t resist it!
* If you do want to “treat” yourself buy smaller versions. Examples: pint of ice-cream instead of a gallon. Small bag of chips instead of the SUPER saver.
* As I said last week, this is the time for fresh veggies and fruits ó take advantage of that.
* When you have pizza night, eat a salad first before you eat pizza.
* Sit down with your family/friends for dinner and take your time.
Mypyramid.gov is an excellent and educational site which can help you learn what normal portions are and which are good foods to eat.
I wish you all the luck and strength. Never give up.
Ester Marsh is associate executive director of the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA. Contact her with health and fitness questions at 704-636-0111 or emarsh@rowanymca.com.

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