Good morning and Happy Labor Day!

I always enjoy a long weekend, and hope you are enjoying it also. Last night a group of friends were discussing how the holiday season is here – already the pumpkin spice drinks are showing up. Nothing like flavor to hide lots and lots of calories in a drink. My wife loves flavors in coffee – I prefer simple coffee – like the cup I am drinking now.

Portion sizes for foods have increased dramatically in the last forty years. The hamburger from the 1960’s has doubled in size, as have just about every dish. One of the hardest things for people to do is to leave food on the plate, especially at a restaurant.

But think about what most diets do– they select the foods you will eat, meaning you are going to leave some food behind. If you are on a “high protein” diet you will be leaving behind lots of simple carbohydrates – if you are on a low-fat diet you will be avoiding the high butter items.

How do you eat less with consistency? The answer is to stop eating with your eyes, and don’t ever feel full. Your eyes tell you to have an empty plate when you are done, or to finish the food in front of you. But often you pay attention to subtle signals you won’t need to finish the food – you will be “satisfied” with much less food.

Start the meal this way: first hydrate yourself – especially if you come to the table and feel “famished.” Next look at the food and decide what you are going to eat and how much – you don’t need the entire burger, but you might think about cutting it in half and piling on the lettuce and tomato on the half you will eat. You certainly don’t need that entire 12 ounce steak, and might find that after eating half you will feel “stuffed.”

Make your eating rules simple: Eat slowly – take 20 minutes. Eat all of the vegetables. Pay attention to your stomach and not your eyes. Pay attention to what you are feeling – knowing that hunger hormones stop producing once you begin to eat, but take 20-30 minutes before they are gone.

Eat with your brain, feel your stomach, ignore your eyes.

Have a great week. For my weight loss surgery patients – the conversation continues on our private site on Google plus. Get a free account and put me in your circles.