The United States has one of the highest percentages of obesity of all industrialized countries. When you have a society with plentiful food choices, not all of them healthy ones, it’s no wonder why members of the population have major weight problems. For some people, food isn’t something that is thought of as sustenance. It’s used to comfort them, so they don’t have to deal with whatever issues are bothering them. They’ve been conditioned to stuff away from their feelings by reaching for sweet treats without even realizing what they’re doing.

None of us can escape the onslaught of commercials pushing everything from fast food to candy. In addition to glorified, unhealthy food items, portion sizes play a significant part in the population’s expanding waistlines. When people go into restaurants, they’re thrilled to see the huge amounts of food piled onto their plates, because they feel they’re getting their money’s worth. Many push themselves to finish eating everything brought to them, instead of stopping when they begin to feel full. Until attitudes about food consumption change, some will continue down the road of gluttony unabashed.

So how can someone who wants to eat less food in addition to eating healthier foods do so when there are temptations everywhere? The easiest answer is one that most people have a hard time applying to their lifestyle. They need to cut down or try and eliminate sugar and fat-laden food products from their diet, as well as push themselves away from the table before they feel overly full. Even if they are successful in accomplishing this, they could be suffering from the psychological component of eating when they aren’t truly hungry.

To start down the path of healthier eating, changes must begin at home. Refusing to bring junk food into an environment removes the temptation to indulge in these types of products Substituting snacks of fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt, vegetables, and sugar-free sweets for the higher calorie alternatives might also help to cut down on an individual’s grocery bill in addition to helping a person lose or maintain his or her weight.

When preparing meals, avoiding the overuse of salt, oil, and butter and using sugar substitutes such as Splenda, NutraSweet, or Equal can cut down on calories without sacrificing taste. For those people who love to bake, trying to include fruit in their recipes is an excellent way to make rich treats that will satisfy any palate. The way foods are prepared also plays an important part in lowering calories and fat. By grilling, roasting, or broiling meats, poultry, or fish the need to use oil is eliminated. Using different spices, such as basil, anise, cilantro, chives, cayenne, celery salt, paprika, rosemary, and Lawry’s seasoned salt can add flavor to certain meat, chicken, or seafood dishes.

Eating less and in a sustainable way will also enormously help our planet.

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