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Could Redefining Portion Control Solve Obesity?

The British Nutrition Foundation believes most people aren’t aware of what a true “portion” really is, and that the world could go a long way toward solving the obesity crisis if people just learned how to gauge a portion,the Independent  says. To that end, the foundation has created a new guide that teaches consumers which foods to eat, and in what quantities.

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For example, foods like cooked rice and pasta should be the amount that would fit in two cupped hands. A cooked salmon filet or grilled chicken breast or steak should be about half the size of your hand; a baked potato should be the size of your fist.

The thing is, while portion control is indeed a good practice, it’s far from the answer to solving the obesity crisis, especially when you’re looking at two fists of pasta for your evening meal. The real focus should be on eliminating processed foods and high-carb products like pasta from your diet.

There's simply no doubt that processed foods are at the very heart of the obesity problem. The risks of a processed food diet, high in added sugars, harmful fats and synthetic ingredients, have been demonstrated in numerous studies. In short, most people eat far too many processed foods, net carbs, unhealthy fats and protein — and too few healthy fats. The result is weight gain and insulin resistance.

Exercise cannot compensate for the damage done by a high-carb, low-fat diet, and most do not get enough physical movement to boot. These factors set in motion metabolic and biological cascades that deteriorate your health.

Put another way, the struggle with weight gain and obesity is often fed by cheap, convenient foods, all of which add up to an increased number suffering heart disease, stroke, cancer and Type 2 diabetes. When you consider that about 90 percent of the money Americans spend on food goes to processed foods, it’s no wonder there is an obesity problem in the U.S.

Fortunately, though, there is a ray of hope, and it has nothing to do with the size of your hand and how much pasta it holds: Eating a diet consisting of 90 percent real food and only 10 percent or less processed foods is a doable goal for most that could make a significant difference in your weight and overall health.

This can be summarized in three words: EAT REAL FOOD. Intermittent fasting, aka time restricted feeding, can also help. Remember if you want to be healthy, you or someone you trust needs to spend some serious time in the kitchen preparing your own food.

Next, replace refined carbs with healthy fats and moderate amounts of protein. Optimizing your gut health is also important. Multiple studies have shown that obese people have different intestinal bacteria than lean people. You can reseed your body with good bacteria by regularly eating fermented foods (like fermented vegetables, especially fermented with starter culture that has strains that produce vitamin K2, natto, raw organic cheese and miso) or by taking a high-quality probiotic supplement.

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