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ACEO ATC Art Collage Original Halloween Dance Ballerina Pumpkin Candy Bag Stars
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Lose Weight using Portion Control

It's true that over the years our portion sizes have increased. Restaurants do it to attract business, grocery stores offer discounts to do the same, and most of us forget that there are actual serving suggestions on the back of the food we purchase. So the next time you eat a meal, just realize you might be having 2 or 3 servings instead of one.

One of the best ways to lose weight is through portion control. It will help you counteract the growth in portion sizes over the years.

A great example of this is when you head out to your favorite steakhouse or Italian restaurant and order steak or spaghetti. A normal serving size for spaghetti is only about a quarter of what they put on your plate there. When it comes to steaks, the regular serving size is 3 ounces, but at a restaurant we order 9, 12, or 16 ounce steaks most of the time.

While this information may be news to you, there are easy ways to combat this problem. If you don't want all the extra calories, then we suggest sharing your food with someone else you are dining with that night. If no one is interested in sharing, you might just want to tell the waiter/waitress to box half of it up before it even comes out. This way you’re less likely to overeat.

Keep in mind that eating right at home can be just as difficult. When we make meals nowadays, we often make enough to go back for seconds, thirds, and sometimes more. If your family eats this way, make sure you use a smaller plate, or a specially designed portion plate. You would be surprised at how this tricks your mind into believing you’re full when the plate is empty. Even if you do go back for seconds it's not nearly as much as if you were using a larger plate.

If you watch TV while you eat, this is just another way to pack on the weight without even knowing it. You ever notice yourself "mindless munching" on snacks when your favorite show is on? When you really are hungry, just turn off the TV and go sit at the kitchen table while you eat.

Long ago our parents used to scold us about eating a snack before dinner. Evidently this was supposed to spoil our meal, but it really doesn't hold true. Grab a healthy snack before your meal and you'll be fine. But make sure it is healthy -  a small salad or fruits and veggies will be perfect.

Many people do not realize that when they buy food in bulk, they tend to overeat without realizing it. So sometimes buying bigger is not always better. If you do buy in bulk, separate the package into small individual portions, making it easier to stay on track and be focused with the correct portion size.

Oh, and most importantly, if you have dishes sitting out with candy and cookies we highly recommend getting rid of them. If you have a cookie jar, or even sugar and flour canisters on the counter, you should put them away. Since your brain knows it's there, the first thing that will come to mind when you're hungry will be the first thing you see. So make a bowl of fruit and place it on the table. If you always go to the fridge, make a vegetable tray and stick it in there where it’s easy to reach.

All of these tips may be a lot to remember. But starting with just a few small steps, you can make a big difference in your health and your weight.

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