Picking the lower-calorie stuff in the name of better health isn’t just misguided. It’s also impossible to do it accurately—and will probably end up making you so crazy that you quit altogether.
Hardly a day goes by when the media isn’t yammering on about a new study that finds we aren’t getting enough vitamin D, or calcium, or omega-3 fatty acids. But vitamin E? Almost zero play—save for a new PLoS One study that says nearly 90% of people in their twenties and 70% of people in their thirties aren’t getting enough, especially people who get their vitamin E through food alone.
“Your mom’s ideas about 100-calorie packs and nonfat cheesecake flavored yogurt being healthy are totally misguided. But she was right on the money when it comes to breakfast.”
“Only one study has looked at the connection between bras and breast cancer, and it found that women who wear bras are no more likely to develop the disease than women who don’t wear them.”
“Here’s a good rule of thumb: Once you find a version of a trendy health food at your local gas station, you know that Big Food is involved. And once they’re in the picture, things can get weird real fast. This is the point we’ve reached with green juice.”
“There’s certainly no shortage of quackish websites and crunchy green blogs warning that aluminum—the active ingredient in antiperspirant—causes breast cancer. But I wanted something more concrete.”
“You’re sitting in a stuffy meeting. Suddenly, your boss starts sporting a snout and black, pointy ears. His eyes gleam red, and scales form all over his skin.”
“If at any point in the near future, you see a commercial with a slim, bikini-clad woman happily sprinkling Dolcia Prima into her iced tea while she eats a cupcake by the pool (because with a name like that, you totally know it’s gonna happen), you might be better off just changing the channel.”
This is the time of year when you start seeing tons of stories on how not to eat 9,000 calories at holiday meals, or which holiday party snacks and treats will make it least likely that your jeans don’t fit come January 1. All good stuff, and it’s so nice to know that pumpkin pie, my very favorite, is one of the least caloric holiday desserts out there. (Not that I’d avoid it otherwise. Now, I can just have two slices.)
But I’d venture to guess that alcohol has the potential to play just as big a role in the potential for holiday weight gain. Really, it might even be more dangerous, since the body isn’t very good at sending out satiety signals for liquid calories the way it is with solid ones. Plus, the more you drink, the sillier you get, and you tend to lose all sense of sanity when it comes to your food choices.
Above all, though, is that it’s really hard to accurately eyeball portion sizes for wine. You can blame that on the bartender: Restaurants and bars aim to pour six-ounce servings, but many pour more—up to eight ounces. Even though a proper wine serving is just five ounces, most of us have become accustomed to a more generous pour.
Happily, I came across a recent study by the great folks at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab which unearthed some of the visual tricks that cause us to pour ourselves more wine than we might’ve intended to. What’s more, it’s a goldmine of smart tips for how to portion out less vino—and still feel satisfied. Take a look!
Use a narrow glass. Compared to wider ones, narrow glasses cause people to pour around 12 percent less wine.
Hold your glass. Keeping it in your hand while pouring will encourage you to dole out less than if you placed it on the table.
Pour for yourself. Only if you’re able to do so without it being weird, of course. You’ll likely be more mindful of portion size than if someone else is pouring the wine for you.
Go for red. In the study, white wine drinkers poured themselves nearly 10 percent more than those who chose red, likely because the color contrast isn’t as striking. Plus, who wants to drink chilly white wine when it’s cold out?
Image via behance.net