UNITED STATES—When it comes to food its no easy task for many of us to limit our portions. We’re told time and time again, portion control is the key to losing weight and keeping a healthy body. So why don’t we do it? Our taste buds and drive to want more of something that tastes good is sometimes difficult to resist.

I argue this particularly with sweets. This is not to say that we don’t overindulge when it comes to fatty or salty items. I mean seriously how many people do you know who can literally eat only 1 chip? It’s almost impossible, and the companies who produce these products have no notion of portion control. For starters, a large bag of potato chips can be manifested into several smaller bags placed into a large bag.

By implementing such strategies this could help Americans realize this is a reasonable snack, compared to eating the entire bag of chips. Before you know it you’ve consumed nearly 1200 calories on a snack that is not that healthy for you to begin with. We tend to over-eat things we shouldn’t eat, compared to indulging in things that are healthy for us.

For example, we should be eating way more fruits and veggies. Yet, we rarely indulge in those items. I can understand the argument with fruit, its a natural sugar, and to one degree it’s ok to eat, but you shouldn’t be eating an entire watermelon each day.

On the other hand, we have veggies which can be unlimited in consumption. Well, perhaps carrots you might want to be careful with, as well as beets. Too much can have some effects on your body. The great thing about veggies is they can be substituted for some of those tasty snacks we can’t resist.

Now sweets, what is it about sweets that just take over our lives. Well its sugar and sugar is as addictive as any other drug out there. It keeps the body wanting more and more. I’ll give you an example; drink a bottle of soda or pop, the name varies depending on what part of the country you live in. You’re likely to be even thirstier because it’s a diuretic; it depletes valuable nutrients from the body.

The big kicker that will force people to think about their consumption of sweets is the amount of calories, fat and sugar in specific items. I recently purchased some store made muffins from a retailer, and I was stunned with how bad the muffins are for you. One muffin contains over 500 calories, 28 grams of fat and 43 grams of sugar. Yeah, that’s not good.

So as a way to prevent myself from overindulging, I cut the muffin into quarters. It slices the amount of calories, fat and sugar. Do I want more absolutely, but at the same time, I’m thinking this is the best approach for my body, with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and so many health issues becoming more prevalent in America, we have to do something to stay healthy.

The one item that I enjoy is a slice of cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory, but be warned this is one sweet item that you can indulge in, but don’t over do it. What does that mean? I think one slice is enough. More importantly, if you can eat more than one slice in a day, I’d be quite concerned about you.

I’m the type of individual who is unable to finish one slice in a day; I end up eating it over a period of three days. Why? It’s a treat that is so decadent and rich, the satiation you get from having the tiniest piece should satisfy you. That’s a good thing; I’m not consuming a ton of calories in one sitting they are branched out.

That’s the one issue so many Americans have, they overindulge in a specific item in one sitting and consume so many calories it leads to health problems. Eating an entire package of Oreo cookies is NOT GOOD. Two cookies contain about 150 calories; imagine if you ate about 30 cookies, yeah, your body won’t be thanking you.

The goal is not to tell people not to eat sweets because it’s a difficult task to accomplish, but the key is to ensure that you don’t overindulge in the amount of sweets, salty or fatty foods that you consume. In moderation anything is healthy for the body.