Many people grow up hearing the phrase, “Mother knows best.” While this may be true in many cases, nutrition isn’t always one of them. It’s time to see if your parent’s advice stands up to the test of time!
1. Snacking will ruin your appetite.
Snacking helps keep your sugar levels stable and keeps you from getting too hungry between meals and then overeating. Eating about every four hours is my general recommendation. Just remember, calories from snacks still count, so make sure you choose foods high in fiber and low in fat and sugar. This will keep you feeling healthy and energized.
2. Clean your plate.
The thought that you have to finish everything on your plate is an old one that does more harm than good. In reality, you should always listen to your stomach for fullness signals.
Are you eating food just because it’s there in front of you? If so, stop! Eating mindfully is vitally important to recognize “fullness” and keep calories in check. This is especially true when eating out because of the extra large serving sizes that restaurants often serve.
3. You’ll get a cramp if you eat before exercising.
This bit of advice is partially true. I would not going running right after eating a three-course dinner. That’s just asking for stomach trouble. However, eating something small and nutritious about 30-60 minutes before exercising can help you get the most out of your workout.
Eating before exercise helps give you energy to make it through your workout session. Choose foods with both carbohydrates and proteins to give you fast energy and stamina, not to mention extra muscle building power. Snacks like chocolate milk, toast with peanut butter, a protein bar or a piece of fruit with nuts are great options.
4. Eat faster! We’ve got to hurry.
We’re all busy people and sometimes that means we eat our meals quickly so we can get onto the next thing. However, making time for meals is very important. By eating in a hurry, you may not be turning into your body’s cues.
People who eat fast are more likely to eat more than they should.
Make a conscious effort to eat slower. For example, setting your fork down between bites will help you take your time. You’ll be amazed at how much fuller you will feel after eating slower.
5. You’ve earned a dessert!
Perhaps your parents promised a trip to get ice cream in exchange for you making good grades. Maybe you earned a dessert if you ate all of your broccoli and spinach.
Bribing with food may be effective, but it sends the message that sweets are “special and good”, while portraying vegetables as not as appealing.
Instead of using food as a prize, reward yourself with other things such as calling a friend, playing basketball or getting a massage.
What tips would you give your kids after reading some facts behind these common sayings? Share with us some of your suggestions in the comments below.
This blog post was contributed by Megan Moore, a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator.