Be Fit For Life

with Ellen Cohen-Kaplan

Tips to control your portions…and weight

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The Jewish New Year is here, and that means at least a few meals with more calories than needed to satisfy your hunger. Despite beautiful weather for walking and riding, many days in a row of overeating can take its toll, and it’s easy to pile on the calories. It’s important to eat consciously, with portion control an essential tool in your armory of weight management.
This year, when I hosted a Rosh Hashanah dinner, I made a conscious effort to include plenty of roasted vegetables, an entree of peppers stuffed with roasted turnips (along with parmesan and goat cheese), a dip made of pureed white beans with pickled mushrooms and onions, soup, asparagus, green salad and fruit salad. Those were all the healthy and lower calorie options. I won’t go into the high calorie options, but suffice to say, we had too much dessert! In any case, I did the typical weight gain over the holidays and am now in the process of losing it. So, with that in mind- here are some ways to plan your everyday and holiday eating wisely.

  • Decide how much you’ll eat, (choose 1 helping) which foods, and stop there- if you say to yourself, I’ll have 2 very small portions of dessert, it will work better than “I’ll just sample each one.”
  • Eat slowly so your body and mind can take the 20 minutes needed to register satiety.
  • Don’t allow yourself to arrive to the meal ravenous, (no more than 4-5 hours between meals or snacks) because you will overeat to make up (and then some) for a calorie deficit during the day.
  • Eat a combination of protein and carbs at each snack or meal to fill you up.
  • Cut your food up into small bite-sized pieces.
  • Eat a lot of fiber (fruit, veggies, beans) to fill you up and keep your system running smoothly.
  • Use smaller plates so the food on it appears more plentiful.
  • Drink plenty of fluid before your meal because it’s easy to mistake hunger for thirst.
  • Drink water with lemon juice before meals to help insulin response.
  • Use grapefruit to satiate hunger (a no-no if you are on a statin medication); it has 52 calories per half, and aids with insulin resistance and potentially weight loss. Learn more about this  at

For more details about portion control and weight management, see this link:

Stay tuned for next week’s blog on how to measure and control portions with something you always have with you.

So watch those portions and enjoy your favorite outdoor activities in this beautiful weather!

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