Growing up, I think it’s safe to say, most kids roll their eyes at almost anything their parents tell them. As we get older, we slowly begin to realize what everyone at one point or another says… my parents were right.

This definitely holds true with my parents, especially when it comes to eating habits. Through them, I learned to really discipline myself when it comes to eating. Here are three tips that I always remember when I feel like pigging out:

• Eat slowly. There were so many times my sister, myself, and my brother would come home from school, do homework, and come dinner-time we would be “starving”. First of all, whenever we would say we were “starving” our mother would correct us and say we never were. Children in third world countries are starving… we were not. Hello, reality check at age 11!

Which leads me to the whole eating slowly thing. Whenever we thought we were “starving” we would sit down at the dinner table and begin to scarf up our meals. Our mother would tell us to slow down and would say “your food isn’t going anywhere… just enjoy it”. My teeny-bopper self probably thought that was ridiculous and secretly wanted to lick my plate clean, but now that I’m in my mid-20s, I know for sure, that my food isn’t going anywhere. And besides, I’m such a lover of food now that I actually prefer eating very slowly, that way I can enjoy every morsel and bit of delicious flavor. Not only that, but when you eat slower, you get full faster and eat less… which equals more leftovers. So it’s really a win win all around. 😉

• Portion sizes are key, especially when it comes to snacking. I vividly remember my sister and I having conversations about how we thought our dad was “weird” for telling us to take “two cookies” or a “handful of chips” when we reached for snacks. “Why does he care how many we take?” we would always say. Hmmm, probably because he cared about us and didn’t want us to get into the habit of eating entire bags of junk food in one sitting? Yes, I think that was his point! So again, my 20-something self appreciates being able to take a handful of chips or a couple of cookies when I’m in a snacking kind of mood. My waistline also appreciates it!

• Wait a handful of minutes before going back for seconds. I think my mom told us to wait 10 minutes before going back for seconds. Nine times out of ten, after the time had passed, none of us were ever in the mood to eat more or we were all the sudden full. This is something I still do now. No matter what I’m eating, or how great it tastes, I try to wait before going back for more. And if you’re ever “debating” on going back for seconds, chances are you really don’t need to… just wait a little while and let your food settle.

 

So, after all is said and done, my 20-something self looks back on my teeny-bopper self and thinks “my parents are pretty brilliant… and yes, they were right”.

-Chelsee

What are your tricks for eating healthier?

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