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portion control



Giada De Laurentiis’ Yoga Practice Disproves the Phrase ‘Never Trust a Skinny Chef’

Giada De Laurentiis is a household name for many foodies. Her Food Network shows and cookbooks have taken her to celebrity chef status and have earned her an Emmy for her show, “Everyday Italian,” while her books have landed on the New York Times bestseller list many times. The one thing that may set Giada apart from her other celeb chef colleagues is her figure. Great chefs are rarely thin and Giada has managed to be both. She recently revealed some of her secrets for remaining so trim in spite of a world filled with pesto and desserts.

Giada will be seen on newsstands everywhere this month as she graces the cover of November’s Women’s Health. The magazine cover highlights the questions many of us were wondering – how does she cook for a living and still manage to stay so fit? Inside, Giada tells Women’s Health writer Sarah Copeland that she’s asked that question often. So what did she say? Giada simply relies on portion control. She says she eats everything she cooks, just not much of it at one sitting.

Along with portion control, Kathryn Budig, Women’s Health yoga contributor and author of The Big Book of Yoga releasing this month, can testify that Giada gets intense yoga workouts three to four times a week. Budig is often the one who pushes Giada through these routines. She told us what those workout sessions look like.
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Portion Reality Check: Learn How to Manage Your Whole Diet

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist

You may be somewhat of a portion pro after reading my last two blogs: I’ve shown you how many starchy foods you can eat, and how many indulgent foods (sweets, alcohol and more) you can get away with. If you can get a handle on these fattening foods, half your calorie battle is won.

Now it’s time to focus on the rest of your diet: protein, fat, dairy (or dairy alternatives), fruits and vegetables. Find out how many servings you get of each using the chart below.

Keep in mind, it’s not just about quantity—the quality of these foods can make or break your long-term health, so I’ll steer you toward the healthiest choices down below.
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Servings Size Scams Don’t Effect the Well Informed

I get a lot of emails from people that know I’m a health writer that stumble upon interesting articles. They shoot me the link, usually with a subject line of “Can you believe this!?” Today I logged in to find an article sent to me called “Serving Size Scams Can Make You Fat” from MSNBC.com. Excited to share with you all which foods are “marketed as lower in calories than they really are,” I opened the link.

Fail. This is what I found:

Serving Size Rip-Off: Campbell’s Chunky Microwaveable Soup
Listed calories: 200
Servings per container: 2
Total calories: 400

They then go on to claim it is ludicrous that one single microwavable cup is 2 servings because people will only eat it all in one sitting.

They list Pop Tarts (who only eats just one?) packages of ramen noodles, pot pies and more processed foods that anyone interested in eating healthy wouldn’t touch anyway as shady labeling offenders…because they have more than one serving per package.

Wait, wait, wait. So because most people will devour the food in one sitting, companies should change their serving sizes to one entire package? Valid point if you want to make it, but to say they are “scamming” people is making excuses for those who aren’t informed on how to properly read a nutrition label. All the information on the package is correct and legal- it is not the company’s fault you don’t know how to interpret it.


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Restaurant Customers Want Smaller Portions

small piece of fruit tart on a big plateEarlier this week, McDonald’s announced they will be cutting the portion of fries that come with a Happy Meal and including a serving of fruit or vegetables with every meal. But McDonald’s isn’t the only company that might see success with a strategy of portion-reduction, as a new report reveals that consumers want smaller portions at restaurants.

In the United States, many restaurants have offered huge servings to convey a sense of value to customers. But a market research company, The NPD Group, found that 57 percent of the people they surveyed want to eat smaller portions when dinning out. The firm surveyed over 5,000 adults. Smaller portions were seen to be the most important to consumers between the ages of 35 and 45, an age when many people find it easy to gain weight.

“We were trying to understand what constitutes healthy eating or a healthy lifestyle in consumers’ minds,” Dori Hickey, NPD’s director of product management, told Nation’s Restaurant News. “What we saw was a difference in where they’ve been and where they aspire to be.”


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Keeping Your Cholesterol Numbers in Check

Many things come with age. Unfortunately, some of those are narrowed arteries and high cholesterol. These days, being prescribed medication for high cholesterol is almost a given, maybe even a right of passage from middle age to senior citizen-hood. But let’s face it, no one likes to take medication and many people would like to try supplements and lifestyle changes before they jump on the prescription bandwagon.

So first, let’s define a few things. When you get a lipid panel here are things you will see and what your target numbers are:

  • HDL=good cholesterol Goal: Greater than 40 mg/dL for men, greater than 50 mg/dL for women
  • Total cholesterol = combination of your LDL/HDL and other components Goal: Less than 200 mg/dL
  • Triglycerides = Fat that your body stores Goal: Less than 150 mg/dL


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