"7 Portion-Control Tricks for Weight-Loss" Review

Are you struggling with weight loss even though you've changed your diet drastically? The answer may lie in the amount on your plate. While substance is always the most important, don't forget that you can still gain weight from eating too much of the good stuff too.

In our overindulgent society, everything is supersized for value, and you should reconsider the amount you're eating every meal. Take a look at the portion-control tricks below and quickly adapt your eating approach (from the recent msn.com article "Portion-Control Tricks for Weight-Loss")!

Here are some Portion-Control Tricks for Weight-Loss.

1. Eating out- Share a meal with a friend, or eat half of your meal and bring the other half home. Always ask for your dressing on the side.

2. Plan your meals ahead of time- Write down your meals for the week and prepare them ahead of time.

3. Don’t skip meals- Skipping meals is harmful to your body. You will end up hungrier, which in turn will lead to overeating. Try eating a minimum of three times a day.

4. Don’t place serving bowls on the table- How will you ever control the amount of food you consume when you are staring at a full bowl of food in front of you at the table? Keep the serving bowls on the kitchen counter and the pots on the stove. This way, you are not tempted to dig in for some more.

5. Measure and weigh your food- Measuring and weighing your food is a great way to control your portions. Read the nutrition labels on your food and measure out one serving. This way you avoid overeating.

6. Use simple substitutions- Purchase natural, plant-based ingredients to control the calories you consume during your meal.

7. Use portion control plates- Yes, there are actually plates that are embedded with lines to separate your foods and portions.

What portion-control tricks do you use while meeting with a Chicago personal trainer?

Are you having trouble attaining any level of weight loss success? Check out the list of tips and tricks in my post The 68 Best Ways to Lose Body Fat and More.

Picture Credit: Welldoing.org - Which of these plates will help you lose weight?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " Portion-Control Tricks for Weight-Loss " on MSN.com.
"7 Portion-Control Tricks for Weight-Loss" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

6 Surprising Foods and Drinks You Should Never Eat Together

Some foods play really well together. Their chemical compounds merge to create a turbo-charged nutritional symbiosis. It's a beautiful and tasty thing. Other foods, however, don't play so nice together—we're talking combos that leave you bloated, send blood sugar levels soaring, and dampen the absorption of important nutrients. Here, six pairings to avoid if you want to feel your best:

1. Tea + milk

"Black tea is rich in antioxidants that work to decrease inflammation that's linked to many chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes," says Rumsey. However, splashing even a little milk (cow or soy) into your cup short-circuits those benefits: "Milk proteins bind to antioxidants in tea and prevent them from being absorbed," she explains.

What's more, milk doesn't even offer a calcium boost in this situation. "The caffeine in tea can decrease calcium absorption," says Rachel Meltzer Warren, RDN, author of The Smart Girl's Guide to Going Vegetarian. "If you really want to add something good to your tea, squeeze some lemon in there instead. It'll actually increase the amount of antioxidants that your body can absorb."

2. White bread + jam

"Simple carbohydrates spike blood sugar the most," says Liz Weinandy, RD, MPH, a dietitian at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Put two or more together—think white bread and jam or soda and French fries—and you've got a recipe for disaster. "Your blood sugar goes up fast, and your body has to work very hard to bring it down by releasing insulin from the pancreas," explains Weinandy. Once that inevitable drop happens, your energy and mood can bottom out, leaving you tired and irritated.

"In the long term, this process can eventually wear the pancreas down and create insulin resistance and diabetes," adds Weinandy. A smarter idea: Swap out those refined carbs for fiber-rich beans or legumes, which help to slow down digestion and keep you off the blood sugar roller coaster.

3. Salad + nonfat dressing

"When you avoid fat on your salad, you put up a roadblock to your absorption of nutrients," says Meltzer Warren. In fact, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that carotenoids—plant pigments linked to a reduced risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration—are more readily absorbed when paired with full-fat dressing as opposed to low-fat or fat-free varieties. But you don't need a heavy pour of ranch to reap the benefits—splash greens with olive oil and vinegar and you're good to go.

4. Alcohol + caffeine

You know the drill: You're drinking wine at dinner, start to yarn after a few glasses, and perk yourself up with a post-meal cappuccino. Bad idea. Why? The energy boost you get from caffeine can mask intoxication, so you underestimate how drunk you are. The same goes for directly mixing caffeine + booze (think vodka and Red Bull or coffee and Kahlua). Research out of Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that people who combine caffeine and alcohol are at a greater risk of being in an accident than those who steer clear of the combo.

5. Lentils + red wine

Red wines contain compounds called tannins. When tannins intermingle with plant-based sources of iron, like those found in lentils and soybeans, it seriously hinders your body's ability to absorb the mineral. This issue is particularly relevant to vegans and vegetarians, notes Rumsey: "Plant-based iron is already more difficult to absorb than meat-based iron," she says. "Add tannins to the mix and it's that much harder to get the iron you need."

6. Burgers + beer

"Both are processed by the liver, and your body naturally prioritizes breaking down the alcohol first, since it recognizes alcohol as a toxin," says Rumsey. This leaves fat floating in your blood stream, where it can then be stored in fat tissue. Moreover, you'll feel especially gross afterward. "Fat causes food to digest more slowly, which is why a high-fat meal can leave you feeling stuffed and bloated long after you eat it," says Rumsey.

Picture Credit: MSN.com/© istock/getty images

Article Credit:
Author: Holly Pevzner from Eat Clean
6 Surprising Foods and Drinks You Should Never Eat Together (Adapted)
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9 Mistakes That Lead to Overeating


Many people confuse the sensation of thirst for hunger. If you've recently eaten and you're feeling unsatisfied, take this advice from Mara Z. Vitolins, RD and Wake Forest assistant professor of public health sciences. "It is hard to distinguish between being thirsty and being hungry, so try drinking water and waiting 20 to 30 minutes to see if you're still hungry."


Skipping breakfast may seem like a great way to save calories, but when you head to your next meal, you'll be far more likely to gorge yourself on whatever is in sight. So plan ahead and cook a healthy breakfast.


Always chowing down in front of the TV or computer causes most people to overeat since they're not connected to the activity of eating. When your mind is deep in the plot of your show or all those emails, there's no time to focus on food. Designate mealtimes for just that, meals. The tube will still be there once you're done.


Don't count a single indulgence as an excuse to throw all caution to the wind. Either order a limited amount of food, be mindful about how you're feeling as you eat, or take Jillian Michaels's extreme tip and throw away leftovers. Hopefully you have enough self-control to take a step back and say no to that second enormous slice of pizza, but do whatever works for your needs.


When your partner isn't concerned about overeating habits, it can be hard to stay on track when you cook and eat together. Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, has a helpful tip for when you're cooking at home: "We'll have similar ingredients, but make different things. I have to make peace with the fact that we don't have the same needs, or maybe we're not on the same page as far as our goal." For example, on taco night, Sass enjoys a healthy taco salad with avocado and pico de gallo, while her husband goes for a big burrito with all the fixings.


Did you know that the size of your plate or bowl can lead to overeating? Researchers at Cornell call it the large-plate mistake. When there's more empty space on your plate or in your bowl, it makes your portion appear smaller than it actually is. Instead of piling more food on your plate, reach for smaller plates and smaller bowls whenever possible. When cooking at home, keep measuring cups and spoons on hand to make sure your serving sizes are appropriate: this way, you'll know exactly what you're getting.


Anyone who thinks that feeling bad after indulging will somehow make you healthier might be surprised to learn that it's just the opposite. In fact, you'll be more likely to overeat. In the well-known doughnut study, researchers found that women who received a self-compassion message after eating a doughnut ate less candy than those who weren't reassured with a compassionate message that everyone indulges sometimes.


Once you finish a tough workout, don't use it as an excuse to overindulge in a big, decadent treat. Unless it's mealtime, your average post-workout snack should be about 150 calories. If it's time for dinner, try one of these quick and healthy post-workout dinners. When you have something waiting for you at home, you won't be as tempted to head to a drive-through.


If you tend to self-soothe with food, you're not alone. Chowing down on a heaping helping of comfort food may seem like a quick fix when you're feeling stressed or blue, but you're only doing your body injustice. The next time you head for a snack, honestly ask yourself, "Am I hungry?" It seems so simple, but these three little words make a world of difference in taking stock of your overeating habits.

Picture Credit: allergyfreealaska.com

Article Credit:
Author: Lizzie Fuhr from PopSugar
9 Mistakes That Lead to Overeating (adapted from 10 Mistakes That Lead to Overeating)
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

4 Ways Your Brain Makes You Overeat—And How To Outsmart Yourself

Are you struggling to lose weight with your Chicago personal trainer? It may not be as simple as eliminating a food from your diet. You may need to trick your brain into weight loss! Check out these 4 ways to find out how.


Ever plowed through a pint of ice cream? Gone back for seconds (or thirds) at a buffet? Then you know how difficult it can be to put the skids on eating. You might curse your lack of willpower, but new research suggests it may be your brain that's undermining your best intentions.

Here are four ways your noggin may be nudging you to keep noshing—and how to change your behavior for the better:

1. The brain pumps out a stress hormone that makes you eat.

You may know that the brain can create cravings for comfort food when you're under duress. Now, a new study by researchers at the University of Florida has found that fat on the belly and thighs sends signals that can prevent the brain from turning off that stress response. The result? You keep feeling hunger and eating more. "We need to learn how to go in and break that cycle of stress and eating," says study co-author James Herman, PhD.

Outsmart your brain:

Drink less coffee. Research shows caffeine can actually worsen your stress response, making it a good idea to steer clear of java and opt for refreshment that'll help you feel more relaxed—herbal tea, for example. You might also use this news as motivation to eat clean and hit the gym, as the less fat you have, the better shot you give your brain at self-regulating that stress hormone.

2. A brain hormone prompts you to reach for higher-fat fare.

Ever wonder why some people seem perfectly satisfied with a bowl of salad while others would much prefer a burger and fries? Turns out a hormone deficiency in the brain could be to blame. In a new Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School study published in the journal Cell Reports, researchers found that low levels of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in mice led them to overeat—and they preferred high fat food. Sufficient levels of GLP-1, which is secreted from cells in both the small intestine and the brain, signal that we've eaten enough.

Outsmart your brain:

Get enough sleep. While there is a drug that was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that mimics the GLP-1 hormone and is being used as a treatment for obesity, you can boost your levels (and avoid potential side effects such as pancreatitis, gallbladder and kidney problems) by making sure you're getting enough shut-eye. One recent study published in The American Journal of Human Biology found that inadequate sleep alters the secretion of the hunger hormones, causing you to feel hungrier and overeat. Aim for 7 to 8 hours a night.

3. A high-cal diet actually rewires your brain circuits, encouraging overeating.

Let's face it: Eating is pleasurable. In fact, research shows it ranks right up there with sex and even addictive drug use. That's because eating can trigger the release of dopamine—the feel-good hormone that lights up the reward center of the brain, prompting us to continue to seek out the behavior that's making us feel so good.

According to one new study, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, rats who gorged on tasty, high-fat treats like bacon, sausage, chocolate, and cheesecake quickly became dependent on high quantities of these foods to feel good—similar to drug users who need to up their intake over time to get high, according to the researchers. The rats actually became so dependent on those high-fat foods that they found them hard to quit even after given mild electric shocks to dissuade them from the unhealthy fare.

Outsmart your brain:

Scale back on high-fat foods. This is particularly important when it comes to ones that are also high in salt and sugar (we're looking at you, potato chips). Research shows this combo actually stimulates our brain to crave more.

4. Sometimes, our psychological needs override our physical ones.

Scientists have proven what we've long suspected: Overeating is often an attempt to satisfy an emotional need rather than actual hunger. In a new study of 1,447 female college students, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 40% admitted to overeating in the past month—and there was also an association with feeling depressed and feeling totally out of control while overeating.

Outsmart your brain:

Avoid nighttime noshing. While it's darn-near impossible to avoid emotional eating altogether, one study published in the journal Eating Behaviors found that eating at night has been associated with a depressed mood. So, if you're already feeling down, the evening hours may prompt you to eat even more. Instead of staying up to watch TV, aim to hit the hay on the early side and treat yourself to a big, healthy breakfast the next morning.

Picture Credit: © Mark Andersen/Rubberball Productions/Getty Images

Article Credit:
Author: Prevention Magazine
4 Ways Your Brain Makes You Overeat—And How To Outsmart Yourself
Ways your brain causes weight gain while you meet with a personal trainer in Chicago.

7 Shocking Reasons Why You're Overeating


Variety may be the spice of life, but it isn't the ticket to weight loss: In a new study, people who ate a range of pepperoni pizza brands (as opposed to sticking to one) were less likely to think that the food would fill them up, and were more likely to overeat later. It makes sense if you think about it—since different brands pack different portions and calories, it's tough to figure out exactly how much to eat, and the wide array of options becomes pretty overwhelming.

Try this: Forget that whole "variety is the spice of life" mantra—at least when it comes to your favorite foods. Sticking to one or two brands for each can help you get a better grip on portion control. So look up how many slices, scoops, squares—whatever—make up a serving for your best-tasting buys, and only grab those at the grocery.


Are you like a line order cook in your house, dishing up one meal for you and the hubs and another for the kids? Not only will you be tempted to sneak a bite or two (and extra calories) off their plates, but the stress of making separate meals isn't worth it. "It takes too much time, and you're already busy enough," says Mark Macdonald, author of Why Kids Make You Fat…And How to Get Your Body Back. "The more tasks you put on your plate, the more crazed you feel, and the less energy you have to take care of yourself and eat well."

Try this: Think about where you fall on your priority list, and how you deserve to have your needs met, too. "I tell my patients that you can't be on the bottom, or not even on your list, when it comes to self-care," says Caroline Cederquist, M.D., author of The MD Factor. "We need to realize that what our children see us do is powerful."

And that means showing that everyone eats healthy—including you. So when you make that one meal, just flip the portion for you and the kids to make everyone happy. Give them a bigger serving of carbs and smaller portions of protein and veggies (so they're still happy about getting some nuggets, but also being exposed to healthier fare), while you dig into a double serving of vegetables, a portion of protein and a smaller amount (about 1/2 cup, nutritionists recommend) of carbs.


Okay, it's no secret that TV watching and eating don't exactly mix. Case in point: That moment when you look down at an empty bag of chips, but can hardly remember tasting them. But there's actually more to it, as research shows it may be more about what you're watching while you eat. Scientists recently discovered that people ate up to 55 percent more popcorn when viewing a sad movie compared to a comedy. Gotta feed your feelings, right?

Try this: First, opt for Jimmy Fallon over Nicholas Sparks. Next, think about why you're always zoning out in front of the TV—and pairing it with snacks—because you could be using it to cope with boredom or stress. "Some say that it's the only thing they get to do that's considered me-time, and food doesn't demand anything of them," says Cederquist. But that's not actually true, because comfort food wants to be carried around on your hips and belly—an awfully demanding need, she says.

So instead of turning to that nightly bowl of popcorn, Susan Albers, author of 50 More Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food, suggests figuring out which of the top three comfort techniques actually makes you feel better. (Because when you reach the bottom of the bowl, do you actually feel better about yourself? Probably not.) Try reaching out to a friend for a vent session; make time for your favorite way to exercise; or pick a calming activity, like a bath, to help you unwind. Albers says not only will you actually feel less stressed, but it'll also make you less tempted to munch later on.


When you're deciding to order the burger and fries over the steak salad, do you justify the splurge? Tell yourself you'll eat lighter later, or that you'll start your diet on Monday? Research suggests that that means you're more likely to downplay the calories or amount you're eating (and choose the immediate gratification of the ice cream over the health bennies in a bowl of berries) because you assume the future will work out—as in, you'll figure out a way to eat better later.

Try this: Ask yourself: Are you putting off your health and weight loss goals because they're easier to fantasize about rather than just going for it? "The only thing that impacts our lives are the actions we take," says Cederquist. That means not living in the past or future, but the right now (if you don't, those seemingly innocent choices for the immediate gratification will start to add up quickly). "Ask yourself, 'what is the best meal I can have right now?' Then make it," she says. Sometimes it really is that simple.


To boost your energy during the day, you rely on quick methods, like caffeine and energy drinks, and up your mood with wine at night. But all those things throw off your hormonal balance, including the stress hormone cortisol, says Jackie Warner, celebrity personal trainer and author of This is Why You're Sick and Tired. These quick fixes can lead to burnout and impair sleep, creating a cycle of exhaustion that leads to overeating and weight gain.

Try this: Apologies in advance for asking, but Warner would like you to take out the wine—or at least the daily indulgence of it. "People who sip a glass at night usually have 10 extra pounds they can't lose," she says, and it's often related to an "oral fixation" where you like to be doing something with your hands and mouth (like drinking or snacking) to cope with chronic stress. So think about the underlying cause, first: Is there too much on your plate at work? A frenzied schedule? A disorganized home?.

Albers uses what she calls the SWAP approach. Start by saying how you feel (angry, hurt, stressed); wait and count to five; address the feeling (I feel this way because this is happening in this part of my life); pursue another activity for five minutes. She says that's enough time to break free of the stress-eating (or drinking) habit, and opens the door to come up with more permanent strategies to fix any ongoing problems..


If one of your girlfriends is wolfing the chips and salsa, you will too. Recent research found that we feel pressure to eat like our dining companions—when pairs of women were analyzed while eating, scientists realized that when one took a bite, the other was more likely to do the same. Turns out women mimic each other's behaviors as a way to fit in, a habit that can make you eat way more than normal..

Try this: Since you're boosting your speed subconsciously, pick up habits that naturally help you slow down, says Kimberly Gomer, R.D., director of nutrition at Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa. Use chopsticks when they're available, or try eating with your non-dominant hand..

Most importantly, Gomer suggests taking a deep breath before digging in, and evaluating your hunger. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 is starving, 10 is food coma), you should aim to start eating at a 3 (I'm hungry!) and stop at a 6 (I feel light and energetic), she advises. To reach that, it may mean purposefully slowing down so you can feel hunger and fullness cues—and actually listening to them..


Alas, the truth finally comes out. Swiss researchers examined how personality traits influence eating habits, and they found that anxious, emotional, and—surprisingly—extroverted people are more likely to eat high-calorie sweet and savory foods, meat, and soda. On the other hand, if you're conscientious, you're less likely to emotionally eat. Consider yourself open to new experiences? You're more likely to experiment with fruits and veggies and pick the roasted Brussels sprouts and salad off the menu..

Try this: You can't change your personality, but you can change your eating styles. If, say, your anxiety pushes your hand into the chips to stress eat, it might help to be more active, say researchers. Emotional eaters who exercise often have a lower BMI, and they tend to eat healthier foods when stressed out. Bring on the carrots!.

Picture Credit: womansday.com

Article Credit:
Author: Jessica Migala from Redbook
7 Shocking Reasons Why You're Overeating
The underlying reasons why you haven't lost weight with your Chicago personal trainer.