Poll: Identifying Food Vices

March 27, 2009

Last month’s poll

In February we discussed what kind of milk we all enjoy. With 64 voters in total, 11% drink whole milk, 22% drink low fat or 1% milk, 30% drink skim (fat free) milk, 20% drink soy or another dairy alternative, and 17% don’t drink any kind of milk. It’s fairly evenly distributed all across the board! I was surprised at how many people don’t drink milk at all. I suppose I really should have included an option for other types of calcium supplements and such, but hindsight is 20/20. For those of you who choose not to drink milk, out of pure curiosity, how do you manage to consume adequate amounts of calcium in your diet? I’m interested for my (probably very distant) future challenge of going vegan πŸ™‚

This month’s poll

As you might have noticed during the Sugar Challenge with my daily tracking of what I ate for the week, I have a bit of a portion control problem. I love food, and I love variety. I say that I eat mini meals throughout the day, but what that really means is that I eat constantly throughout the day. Food is never far from my wandering hand! I have begun to keep a personal food diary just so that I can watch my portion sizes a little better because it’s been getting out of hand. No matter how much exercising I do, I know that I don’t really need 2,500 calories a day, and that’s approximately where my food intake was getting to. Now I’m cutting back a little to a more reasonable amount for my size (and for how much I exercise/how hungry I am/what feels right for me). I am also happy to report that recording my food for this period of time is having a hugely positive affect on my eating and I think it is actually making me less obsessive this time around. I don’t imagine I’ll be doing it for too much longer, but right now it’s exactly what I need.

When it comes to portion control, I deal with it best when I take the time to think about exactly what kind of food I want to eat so that I really enjoy it each time. Also, I know that I need to keep busy to prevent myself from overeating. And at the moment, recording my eats is also keeping me aware of portion control. In the past I have been unable to record my food intake because of the obsessions that came along with it, but it appears that I have gotten past those unhealthy obsessions. For other ideas about working with portion control, check out this post at Healthy from 25 to 100.

So, for March’s poll, we’re looking at what our vices are. If we’ve got food issues, the best thing to do is identify what the problems are so that we can deal with them from there. My biggest food issue is portion control; what’s yours? And what do you do to deal with the issue?


  1. I tried going vegan once.

    Lasted like 2 days.

    I really do look up to people who can actually stay vegan though, so good luck with it.

  2. I’m with Tony on the veganism. Couldn’t do it myself!

    As to eating downfalls, it’s probably the sugar more than anything. Incorporating a few treats into my diet without having them escalate into a LOT of treats is always a challenge.

  3. I wanted to pick two things: sugar junkie & portion control but alas the poll only let me do one:( I’m with you on the portion creep though. It’s appalling how many calories I can eat without even feeling like I’m eating anything!

  4. sugar and salt! I usually am “good” – meaning I eat clean, low-sugar, etc, from morning till dinner time. After dinner is when I crave sweets. like lots of oce cream (low fat, but still) or brownies or whatever I can get my hands on. Not so smart for right before bedtime!

  5. Despite finding the no-added-sugar week quite easy and enjoyable, I’m normally a total sugar addict and very bad at stopping once I start. At the moment like you, Sagan, I’m trying to appreciate what I’m eating more at the time, but it’s easy to get distracted and just not even notice! Basically I’m trying to avoid sugar more often and and to buy things like those mini Green & Black chocolate bars so it’s not as tempting to carry on. But if anyone has great tips for how to actually manage this one without suddenly noticing you’ve picked your way through an entire bag of liquorice allsorts while doing your email, I’d love to know!

  6. I don’t drink milk…and I am sure to eat at least 3 (ideally) servings of cheese/yogurt every day. I also take a supplement, since osteoporosis runs in my family and I’ve also had a few stress fractures (from running).

    I really admire vegans. I don’t think I would last 2 days. 😦

  7. Hmm…I’m not really sure where I fall in this poll. I will have to give it some thought ~ would love to really nail down my problem area(s).

    As for the milk poll, I was one of those who don’t drink milk. I am mildly lactose intolerant – I can eat cheese and yogurt, but drinking milk does not agree with me at all (you don’t need me to go into the unpleasant results). I do love cheese, though I try to not go overboard, and I eat yogurt. I also take a calcium+magnesium tablet every night before bed, which is mainly because it seems to help with RLS, but the extra calcium is probably a good thing.

  8. I have a problem with portion distortion also. It all stems from the large portions that are “normal” at restaurants. So sometimes when my plate is not full, I feel like the meal is not “worth it.” Even though I usually end up with half of it for lunch the next day, it is hard to feel like I am not getting “value” from my meal when it is just the right size because restaurants usually charge the same for the smaller portions.

  9. Tony- yes, I plan on “working my way up” to veganism… doing it very slowly!

    Crabby- such a challenge! I wouldn’t be able to stay vegan for very long- it would just be a week πŸ™‚

    Charlotte- I think a lot of us have problems with a few areas, but I think that there’s also likely to be one thing which “gets to us” more than the rest!

    Leslie- POPCORN. After dinner I want popcorn and lots of it. Sighs.

    Liz- ha, me too! So easy to get distracted and it’s much easier to just not have things like that in the house.

    Holly & JavaChick- yum, cheese. I love cheese.

    Asithi- excellent point. When we’re used to seeing these massive portions, our brains are tricked into thinking that we always need to eat massive amounts of food in one sitting. Must… clean… plate…

  10. Hi Sagan!

    I voted portion control since problem NOS was not on there πŸ™‚

    I’m one of the no milk people. Dark green vegetables are a good source, and really , there are plenty of sources besides dairy. Countries with the highest dairy consumption have the highest incidence of osteoporosis is my understanding. I’ve written about this, but I really think the foods we eat that deplete calcium are the real culprit, not our intake. Prevent loss and you will be fine. I do eat seafood, but without that I am vegan, and it’s not that difficult. I do think fish is a good food source at this point, as my “vegan” thinking is not political, and I feel it’s normal to eat meat in the world, but it’s a more evolved choice not to, as we have the omnivore makeup to allow that if we wish.

  11. Good luck with your challenge of recording and monitoring how/when you eat. I’m really trying to do the same because my portions are so out of whack. I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost three years and as time goes by my portions start to look more like his! Can’t wait to hear more about your progress!

  12. Very cool Sagan! I am a carb guy…need to chill on the carbs here! If I stop working out I could be in trouble! Have a nice weekend!

  13. I’m exactly like you. I’m a snacker! I graze all the time. I take little bites here, little bites there.I munch while I throw meals together. I write down what I eat but half the time I forget the two bites of leftover pasta that I ate out of the fridge, or the four crackers I quickly shoved into my mouth while waiting for something else to heat up in the microwave. But it’s all those forgotten bites and unstructured eats that cause me so much trouble! I’ve been doing it a lot over the winter months (school stress makes snacking an especially troublesome habit) but I’m ready to crack down now. As in right now. I decided today that I really need to pay more attention and get back on track from where I’ve fallen off this past little while. What perfect timing to make such a decision and then read this post of yours. We must be sharing some brainwaves πŸ˜‰

  14. Never a sweet tooth, but salty snacks (as some of my videos can attest) are my downfall. The solution, for me at least, is to workout more and deny myself snacks during the week…and then treat myself on weekends.


  15. When I got allergic to milk I started taking supplements, and when I was able to add some dairy back in I kept taking them. Grandmother and mother with osteoporosis makes it seem a good idea.
    I couldn’t mark portion control since I don’t attempt to control portion size, so I marked sugar. I can’t eat a meal with nothing sweet and feel satisfied, no matter how large it is.

  16. I looked for an ‘all of the above’, but I didn’t see one. πŸ™‚ Seriously, even though my blood pressure is greatly improved, I know that it would be even better if I controlled my sodium a little better. I’ll add that to the list!

  17. Dr. J- love your stance on the vegan issue and I think you’ve really got it right when it comes to the foods we eat DEPLETING our calcium intake.

    Ashley- haha relationships will do that!

    Mark- must admit, haven’t been strength training AT ALL lately. Mmm carbs.

    Kristie- we can work on it together! Very timely indeed.

    Mike- designating time for treats is a great idea. When you know you can snack on them later, its easier to prevent a binge.

    Mary Anne- I really enjoy eating something sweet when I’m finished a meal. Somehow it just completes it.

    Cammy- shoot, knew I was forgetting something important! πŸ˜‰

  18. A friend of mine is suggesting I use Flavor Magic Portion Control Sheets, which she describes as basically a portioning guide that also seasons the food. Kind of like the β€œpalm of hand” rule, but more accurate. Does anyone have input on this one? She claims it is working for her with home cooking. I want to give it a shot but it looks like it is only available online.

  19. I dont have an option for the poll, my problem is money so I cant buy the foods I want. Recently I’ve been unable to buy any meat and would be dining on fish nightly if I could afford it! πŸ™‚

  20. love your pools! So interesting to see everyone’s input.. great idea! πŸ˜‰

    I am a BREAD addict πŸ˜‰

    I also have quite the sweet tooth πŸ˜‰

  21. An awesome weekend…yes?

  22. Hey Sagan, thanks for the link! Now that I have worked on my portion control, emotional eating etc, my other area lacking in any form of control – sugar. I just can’t stop myself from eating dessert and because it seems outside of intuitive eating I have no idea how to deal with it! At home it’s not so bad apart from dessert time where I only usually cave in, but at someone elses house where sweets are on the table, forget it! Ahh, dreaming of chocolate coated macadamia nuts….mmmm….

  23. I voted for portions since that was the closest to my issue. My issue is eating out (I tend to over indulge since I only eat out about once a week) and then combined with my skinnyish husband who likes to eat dessert, I always end up eating way too much. 😦

  24. […] World Discussions about being healthy in all aspects and enjoying life to the fullest! « Poll: Identifying Food Vices Interpretations of Marketing Strategies: Hidden Information March 30, 2009 On Friday, […]

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  26. This is great. My greatest food vice is snacking/bingeing at night. That vegetarian article you posted was interesting. There’s definitely a correlation between eating disorders and vegetarianism, but I wonder if it goes the other way too. I need to start watching my portions because I’m starting to eat a bit too much! I think I’ll join you in this challenge πŸ™‚

  27. […] question that 58 of us answered was: what is your biggest issue when it comes to eating? This was a toughie because you could only pick one answer; we were identifying our major vice. […]

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