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Friday, May 13, 2011

How To Eat Properly

How to Eat Properly

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Modern Western culture has distorted the innate act of eating sensibly by its overwhelming abundance of food. Sure, the presence of a culture that is sufficient and advanced enough to feed all of its citizens three times what they actually need is comforting, but along with that comes obesity and disease. Read on to learn the tips and secrets to eating a healthy body.


  1. Know what being hungry feels like. This takes some practice. Know that being hungry is a feeling of needing food, any food, in the pit of your stomach. You are not hungry whenever you want to be, but when you HAVE to be.
  2. Eating is really fun. It takes skill, but when you acquire the entertaining hobby, you'll be hooked!
  3. When you're eating a meal, stop when you're satisfied, not when you're full. Don't you hate when you feel as if your stomach is full? This is a sign that you have made a mistake in the way you just ate. After you're done eating, your stomach should not feel empty, but also not completely full. Acquire the habit of eating slowly so you can stop when you are satisfied, not full; the brain needs about 20 minutes to get the "Not hungry anymore" signal.

    Diet Delivery Plan Comparison Chart

  4. Eat only when you're hungry.. Modern Western culture seems to think that people get hungry at about 9 AM, 12 noon, and again at 6 PM. While this may be a generally good schedule for eating, remember that (usually) you don't have to eat at meal time if you're not hungry yet. Also, if you are hungry between meals, go ahead and have a healthy snack. It's not good to starve yourself between meals; if you allow yourself to become too hungry, you'll just overeat when the meal comes. It's all about listening to your body. You cannot follow this suggestion, however, until you have mastered Step 2, knowing when you're hungry. Another thing to remember is that by eating a little bit whenever you're hungry throughout the day, you shouldn't be eating so much at meal times, because you won't be as hungry and because you haven't waited and starved yourself. If you follow the suggestion of eating between meals if you're hungry, but continue to eat the same amount as if you had not snacked at meal times, you'll only end up gaining weight.
  5. Realize that in general, your portion sizes are probably too big. Accepted portion sizes have practically doubled in the past 50 years. Remember that your stomach is about the size of your fist. Don't expect to stuff 10 times that amount of food into it without negative consequences. Something many people don't realize is that your stomach will stretch when you're used to eating a lot. If you only eat small amounts of food at a time, your stomach won't ever stretch out like it does when you gorge yourself on a big meal, and then, with a smaller stomach, it won't take as much to make you feel full. You can do this by only taking small, right-sized portions of food onto your plate, and when you're done with that, sit back and feel whether or not you're still hungry. Give yourself 10 to 20 minutes. If you really are still hungry after that time has passed, take a tiny bit more; however, if you give your body time to signal your brain, you'll find that you're usually not still truly hungry.
  6. It's how much you eat, not how you many meals you make out of it. Some people may find it easier to have a proper amount of food by breaking meals down to numerous smaller snacks throughout the day. Others may choose to eat all their food in two or even one large meal. The choice is irrelevant to overall health, all that matters is total food consumed. Do whichever one is easiest for you and makes it easier to stick to your goals.
  7. Eat breakfast every day. This starts your metabolism going early in the morning (since it slows down at night because you haven't eaten anything for awhile). You can also focus better throughout the day!
  8. Exercise. This again raises your metabolism, not to mention burns calories. Exercise also increases the digestive process, speeding up digestion. To get all you can out of exercise, try to combine typical gym-related work such as running on the treadmill and lifting weights with "fun" work like biking, hiking, or playing soccer with your kids. Exercise can also help you gauge whether or not you are hungry.
  9. Don't get suckered in by "low fat" or "no carb" diets. Sufficient protein and a variety of fats (including Omega 3 fat, commonly found in fish oil) are essential to the body functioning correctly, and many healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables are inherently high in carbohydrates. Don't fall for fad diets that involve restricting any one macronutrient.
  10. Keep in mind that sweets aren't the only things that taste good. Yes, everyone knows that cakes and cookies taste good to your taste buds. People living in the western world, however, have an over-abundance of fatty foods at their disposal and by no means should be eating it as much as some do today. But yes, it does taste so good. But remember, other things taste good, too. How about some nice spicy grilled chicken? Or a tropical banana smoothie (with low-fat yogurt)? And doesn't Marinara sauce on pasta taste good? These are all perfectly acceptable foods, eaten in moderation of course, as with everything else. And even foods that don't seem so appealing can taste good with a little preparation, such as adding some Cinnamon to applesauce, or cooking broccoli before eating it if you don't like the taste of raw broccoli.
  11. Don't fantasize about food. It is a proven fact that watching TV makes you want to eat more. It's because of all those mouth-watering commercials with close ups of perfectly prepared food. Don't watch these, it does nothing for your stomach to just think about food. Also, don't fantasize on your own time about just how great devouring an entire ice-cream cone would be. Just push it out of your mind and think of something else, then you won't want it as much. Or, think about how good those fresh strawberries you're going to have with lunch are going to taste.
  12. Don't waste calories on drinks. It is a good idea to drink only water or calorie-free drinks such as tea or diet soda whenever possible. Sugary drinks and juices may have hundreds of calories, and they don't make you feel any fuller. In essence, drinking them does nothing for you except quench your thirst and add calories to your count for the day.
  13. Eat slowly. Chew your food until it has turned to mush. This means at least 4-5 chews per bite of food. And no, you can't just take bigger bites so that this is a reasonable amount of chews; take small bites also. Remember that it takes about 15-20 minutes for your satisfied-feeling to get to your brain even if your stomach is bloated and regardless of how much you eat. You could eat 10 plates full of food, and as long as you did it within a few minutes, you still wouldn't feel satisfied. Likewise, you can eat just a smaller portion and feel satisfied if you give your system time for the digestive and hormonal processes to take place so the signal gets to the hypothalamus in your brain. Eating slowly helps to keep the amount of food you're eating small until you feel the satisfied feelings. It also prevents you from gorging yourself, and gives you more time to accurately reflect on whether your stomach feels full yet or not. It takes about a whole 15-20 minutes for your stomach to send the message to the brain that you are full, so you could be eating 15 minutes more than your body wants. Eating slowly prevents overeating and will get you satisfied with less calories without feeling hungry or deprived; there are now "plates for eating slowly" that keep your food warm while you enjoy, Google: "Heat Retentive Plates"
  14. Save your sweet-eating opportunities. You know that you're going to eat some sweets, like your neighbor's birthday cake, Christmas dessert at your grandma's house, the chocolate your boyfriend got you, or the cookies that your kid made you. The fact is that quite often people like to give you fatty foods as a thoughtful gift or work hard to make it for a special occasion and will be offended if you don't have some. And, of course, everyone wants to indulge and splurge every once in a while. The key is to allow yourself sweets at only these special times. It's a mistake to eat sweets regularly so that when you do reach these must-eat sweet times you've over-indulged.
  15. Change from eating whenever you can and exercising only when you must' to 'eating only when you must and exercising whenever you can.' Most people like eating, and don't like exercising. The result is that they eat every chance they get and exercise only when they have to. You must change your thinking around, to exercising being the necessity and eating being the luxury, and work towards developing a lifestyle that reflects this. However, avoid taking on eating as a chore. Enjoy it and savor every bite. This will help you eat slowly.
  16. Choose an appetizer instead. While it's not recommended that you eat hot wings and potato skins for every meal, appetizers often have more reasonable portions than full meals.
  17. Drink lots of water every day. This is very important. You may think you are hungry when, in fact, you are really just thirsty. It also makes your liver and kidney a lot happier. Try adding a slice of lemon, lime, or orange to your water for a great taste; cucumber slices for an even crispier taste!


  • Stick with it. This isn't a diet, or a fad, or something you will only do for a little while. It is a complete lifestyle that you must re-adjust yourself to until it becomes second nature.
  • To help with eating slowly, make it a habit to put down your utensils every time you take a bite. Don't pick them up again until you've chewed and swallowed.
  • Sometimes stomach noises don't indicate hunger, only the digestion process, which creates noises and gurgles in your stomach. Usually, hunger pangs are louder and have a slower repetition, like "Pang"...then a few seconds or minutes later... "Pang", that pattern instead. If you skip breakfast or working out etc is the most time you get this feeling.
  • Remember that there is a difference between being hungry and having an appetite. Sometimes you can crave food just because you want the taste but you don't really feel hungry (that is, your stomach isn't grumbling, and you don't feel pangs of hunger in your gut).
  • Sometimes when you are hungry, you only actually need fluids. So satisfy your thirst by drinking water or fresh fruit juice, and your hunger will go away. Forget about eating while you drink a refreshing glass of water. It's really hard to drink too much water.
  • Also, the first sign of feeling content with the amount of food you have eaten, is feeling thirsty.
  • A trick to help thwart (or postpone) a craving: when craving food (esp. junk food) shortly before a scheduled meal, use toothpaste to brush your tongue (brushing teeth too much can be bad for gums). This triggers an automatic aversion to eating anything for a short while because few flavors go well with toothpaste. This simple act can stop the craving for junk food in its tracks, or at the very least, hold it off long enough for you to prepare/arrive at a much healthier meal. Good breath is, of course, an added bonus.
  • Although an Ayurvedic practitioner will tell you that brushing or scraping the tongue will stimulate the digestive system, speeding up the body's reaction to hunger, if you want to use this method of postponing a craving or food desire, maybe try mouthwash instead.
  • Put an extra plate on the dinner table and put some of your meal on it for lunch tomorrow. After reading this article, you may see that your meal portion is too large. Normally you just work through it, but this time you'll offload enough for a second meal, and possibly avoid feeling bloated.
  • Fruits, vegetables, and nuts are nutritious and tasty things to eat. It's best to eat some portions of them everyday to maintain hunger control.
  • Trying eating with chopsticks when possible to slow your eating down.
  • Ask yourself, 'Am I really hungry, or am I bored?'
  • Do not compare yourself to models and actors on TV. Most people will never appear as perfect as them (unless you can afford a personal trainer and nutritionist to work with you for hours every day!). Instead concentrate on a healthy lifestyle suited for you.
  • Research more diet resources on the web, at your local library, or talk to your doctor.


  • Don't talk with your mouth full! Nobody looks good with chewed up food in their mouth.
  • Remember first and foremost that your lifestyle, including eating and exercising, is meant to take care of your body, not harm it.
  • Read the label of any flavored water that you choose, as many of them have as many calories, some even more than soda.

Things You'll Need

  • A "plate for eating slowly" also called "Heat Retentive Plate" is recommended (It keeps food hot and allows to eat slowly only until you are satisfied, not full; it helps acquire the habit of eating slowly by making it a pleasant experience).

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Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Eat Properly. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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