Things Your Parents Got Wrong About Food
Were you a member of the clean plate club when you were a kid? It’s time to review some of the eating habits that you grew up with.
Diet myths are “passed on for generations,” says Kathleen Fuller, PhD, author of Not Your Mother’s Diet.
Below are five outdated ideas about food that you may have learned from your parents– and the grown-up realities.
1. No snacking! You’ll ruin your appetite!
In fact, snacking are healthy, so long as you choose wisely. It keeps blood sugar steady and keeps you from getting too hungry between meals.
The general rule is going no more than four hours without eating something, either a meal or a snack.
Tip: Try cutting back moderately on meals so you can have one or two daily snacks between 100 and 200 calories. Good choices contain nuts, fruit, yogurt, and vegetables with dip.
2. Eat everything on your plate.
You will need to get in tune with your body to know when you’ve had enough, hence its fine to leave a little food in your plate.
Tip: As you’re eating, notice how you’re feeling. Are you full? Are you eating just because there is still food on your plate? Be specifically careful when you’re dining in a restaurant– the food is appealing, the plates are huge, and you may want to eat it all because you paid for it. If there are large portions, demand half now and have them box the other half.
3. Don’t eat before working out– you’ll get a cramp.
You won’t like to go running immediately after dinner, but eating a little bit 30 to 60 minutes before working out can help you maximize your training. This will help you get a boost of energy that helps you maximize your exercise session.
Tip: Choose high-carbohydrate, low-fat, low-fiber snacks with moderate amounts of protein in the 100- to 300-calorie variety, such as a glass of chocolate milk, a slice of toast with peanut butter, or a granola bar. Fruit is also fine, although it won’t have much protein (add a few nuts for that).
4. Hurry up!
Did your parents rush your breakfast so you were on time for school? If you still eat in a hurry, you might miss your body’s cues that you’re full.
It takes 20 minutes for the brain to register that you feel full, if you eat too quickly, you can scarf down a lot of food in a 20-minute period, and then you feel stuffed.
Tip: Slow down. Take mini-breaks by putting your food and utensils down between bites.
It’s not good to use food as a reward because it can send the wrong message. Because of this the wires get crossed, and we no longer eat because we’re hungry; we eat because we were good and we deserve something.