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Eating at Hofstra: Portion control

By Danielle CaseyStaff Writer The other day I bought a grilled chicken sandwich at BYOB. I will admit it was delicious, but it was definitely bigger than a deck of cards, the recommended serving size for meat. Even when we choose healthy foods, it is important to always keep portion size in mind. Portion control can be tricky. Have you ever looked at the jumble of numbers and long words, also known as the nutrition facts, on the back of pre-packaged food? This is not, in fact, a foreign language, but it can still be difficult to comprehend if you do not know what to look for. Let’s take a 20 fluid ounce bottle of Lipton Brisk iced tea as an example. Most semi-health-conscious people would flip the bottle over, see that a serving contains 80 calories and enjoy their sweet, refreshing drink. Upon observing a little more, you will notice that this bottle contains 2.5 servings, so you are really consuming 200 calories. This is a huge difference considering the fact that every 3500 calories that you consume and don’t burn off adds an additional pound to your weight. You have probably heard about the current national debate concerning Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to ban sugary super-sized drinks. Many people are reacting as if he took away the air they breathe. People are ranting about the right to make their own choices and the right to freedom. But think about the reasoning behind this new rule. A large Coca-Cola from McDonald’s contains 310 calories and 86 grams of carbohydrates. There is no way this can be good for you. Diners tend to finish everything on their plate, despite the recommended serving size. When ordering dinner in the Student Center or at Bits & Bites, don’t feel pressured to finish your entire meal then and there. It is not a bad idea to save half for later on in the day or even the next day. Ironically, to help prevent over-eating you should eat more throughout the day.  Instead of having three large meals, it is better to have four or five smaller meals. If you are hungry before dinner, have a small salad or baby carrots to hold you over. This way, you won’t go overboard later. It takes about 20 minutes for your body to realize that you are full. Don’t rush for seconds. Eat a reasonable amount of food and then wait a little while to see if you are still hungry. Most of the time, you will soon feel full and realize that one serving was enough. Both your hot bod and meal plan will be saved. Eating at a slower pace will have the same effect. Take the time to chat with your friends between bites. Be cautious when it comes to trigger foods. Have you realized, when you start eating certain foods, like potato chips and Goldfish crackers, that it is nearly impossible to stop? To avoid eating an entire bag of chips while watching Glee in your dorm room, put the amount that you intend to eat in a separate bag or bowl. It is extremely easy to overeat when you have a huge bag in front of you, especially if you are watching TV. We are lucky to have a great variety of meals to choose from on Hofstra’s campus. Enjoy them, but enjoy them in moderation.

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