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Healthy Eating Tips For Dining at the Table

How to Keep the Table a Healthy Place to Eat

A healthy diet is more than just eating the right foods, it's also being mindful of what your eating habits are. Like a lot of other things, change starts at home — more specifically, at the table. If you're committed to getting (or staying) fit in 2011, here are some mindful eating tips to remember the next time you sit down for a meal at home.

  • Eat at the table — The more distractions you have when you're eating, the less mindful you are of your meal. Keeping the television off or your laptop closed will allow you to be more focused on chewing your food properly and will help you avoid mindlessly stuffing your face. Think about it: how many times have you watched a movie and were then amazed at the amount of popcorn you ate through the whole thing?
  • Don't fill your entire plate — Even the healthiest eaters struggle with portion control, especially since plates are bigger today than they were in decades past. Forget the old mantra of "cleaning off your entire plate." Instead, slow down when you eat, and stop when you're full. If you need to eat off of a plate that is visually full of food, use smaller plates in your home.
  • Keep serving dishes off the table — Out of sight, out of mind! It works too. Studies show that if you put food in front of people or offer them an all-you-can-eat type scenario, they'll eat much more than they would otherwise. Instead of placing the entire bounty on your table, keep food in the kitchen. If you really want seconds, then you'll have to get up for them. The exception? Fresh veggies or a big salad.
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