Don’t Clean Your Plate

Did your mother ever tell you to clean your plate? Well stop it! There’s an obesity epidemic in America and much of it is caused by well-meaning mothers. No, I’m not throwing stones, except maybe at myself. I’m as guilty as the next mom.We called it “food wars”. With four children and three adults in the house when they were little, we went through gobs of food. “Waste not, want not” was spoken frequently. “Clean your plate, there are starving children in China” was lobbed at the children and laden with guilt for throwing away food. Fortunately, they came out unscathed and none are obese, but it could have been different.The best way to stay healthy and happy is to watch your portions. Restaurant portions are way too large! If you eat out, share with a friend or wrap up half of the food for tomorrow’s lunch before you start eating. Or leave half of it on your plate.Choose healthy alternatives to fried, greasy food laden with chemicals. Believe it or not, healthy food tastes better!Your diet is what you eat every day, not a sporadic event in your life when you starve yourself to lose weight. That only serves to slow your metabolism so you regain it later when you return to poor eating habits. The best way to maintain a healthy weight is to eat healthy most of the time and move your body. This is not to say don’t enjoy a small piece of cake at a birthday party. Of course you can stray once in a while. Just don’t make it a regular occurrence.Frequent, small, healthy meals works best. Eat more early in the day and less later in the day. Exercise, even if it’s just walking around the block or taking the stairs at work. Eat slowly. Your brain doesn’t know your stomach is full for 20 minutes. Practice leaving just a bite of food on the plate then graduate to leaving more. And above all, love and forgive yourself!