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11/23/09 3:41 P

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Turkey Day is fast approaching. With all the yummy food spread out on the table, do you have a plan for how much you are going to eat? Our challenge this week is to focus on portion control.

If you like quizzes take the Portion Distortion Quiz:

If you are a visual learner, check out the Picture-Perfect Portion Sizes Slideshow:

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What area of portion control are you focusing on this week/for Thanksgiving?
What Thanksgiving treat do you let yourself indulge?

Here are some ideas to help you avoid overeating and focus on portion sizes:
1. Break Leftovers Down
Instead of using one large container to store leftovers such as casseroles, side dishes, or pasta, why not separate them into individually-sized containers? That way, when you reach in the fridge to find something to reheat, you're retrieving just enough for one helping. Breaking down meal-sized servings into single servings will help you limit your food intake with no additional effort.

2. Say Yes to Salads
Eating a salad before lunch or dinner is a sure-fire way to keep from overeating. It will help curb your appetite and give you a sense of satiety sooner.
Of course, we're not talking a little bit of iceberg lettuce here. To reap full portion control benefits from rabbit food, load up your salad with veggies or even lean meat like turkey cubes. The fiber in the veggies will help you feel fuller and lean meat's protein will give you an instant energy boost.

3. Single out Trigger Foods
Buy snack foods in single serving sizes or divvy up full size packages into smaller, individual bags.
It may be difficult to stop eating, oh, say, chips straight out of the bag while watching your fav TV show, but are you as likely to inhale the contents of 12 zipper bags without some forethought? Doubtful.

4. Master Mini Meals
You can make sure your blood sugar stays at an even keel and keep hunger at bay by eating healthful small meals throughout the day. Mini meals are by far the best way to prevent overeating because you'll get never too hungry and lose control of your portion intake.

5. Keep Seconds Out of Sight
Don't serve family meals family-style. Keep pots and dishes away from the table where it's all too easy to go for seconds. Remember, it takes about 20 minutes to feel satiated. By giving yourself that "breather" you'll realize you weren't hungry enough for another helping after all.

6. Make Meat a Side Dish
Treat meat or meat-based entrees as a side dish rather than the main part of your meal.
By loading up on veggies and healthy grains as the bulk of your meal instead of using them as sides, you'll feel full sooner and get extra vitamins and fiber. Experiment with new vegetables and preparation methods to keep things interesting.

7. Meet Yourself Halfway
Make lunch a two-fer. Your mid-day meal can work double duty by being shared or serving as dinner.
At work, why not split take out with a buddy? At a restaurant, pack up half of your meal before you even start eating: Voila! You have an instant dinner!

8. Be a Kid at Heart (or Tummy?)
Order a kid's size meal when you go to fast food places to automatically control portions (and save money!).

9. Serving Standards
Learn to "eyeball" standard portion sizes and stick to them when dining out or dishing up meals.
Keep these tips in mind: 3 oz. of meat is the size of a deck of cards or an audio tape; 1 oz. of meat is the size of a matchbook; 1 cup of potatoes, rice or pasta looks like a tennis ball.

10. Treat Yourself
And last, but not least ... indulge a little!
Treating yourself once in a while to a "forbidden" food will keep you from feeling deprived; a sense of deprivation can easily lead to overeating. Stop a binge before it starts by indulging a little every now and then.

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