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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2012/04/16

Advice needed

Hi Doc.
When I was young, my parents would make me stay at the table until I was done eating all my food, which they dished up. Also, they used to say, if you don''t eat all your food, you won''t get desert. So what do I do? Force in all my food, and then also the desert. Now I''m 28, and struggling to lose weight. I''ve been overweight for as long as I can remember. I''ll eat until my plate is empty, even though I''m full long ago. Also I can''t say no to food. I love chocolate. I''ve got Fibromyalgia and my body aches all the time, so I need to lose weight seriously. Do you think that parents (without realising it), might be contributing to children''s obesity later in life? I don''t want to do that to my own baby boy who''s 5 months now. Where do I start. Must I seek profesional help, or do you think I just need to get my head straghtened out, then I can lose weight myself? I need to lose like 35 kgs. That''s not childsplay.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time ! When your parents were brought up, I'm sure this is how they were trained, as in earlier generations, when food was more scarce, it was seen as essential that children must learn to clean their plates, "peas before pudding", not leave the table before finishing it all, and kids might even be made to feel guilty by being reminded of all the starving children in the world who would be so glad to have that broccolli you're being fussy about !
And you're actually raising an important issue usually overlooked amid all the modern panic about so much obesity - the way generations of children were trained to eat and clean their plates, generating a potential over-eating habit.
Of course, in those days food was healthier, with less junk food available.
Apart from working with a behaviour psychologist with an interest in nutrition to break these habits, you can start even more easily. If you feel compelled to clear your plate - make sure you serve yourself ( and/or are served ) smaller helpings ! It helps to use much smaller plates, so a smaller amount of food still looks generous.
If you feel you can't say no to food, control what food is around for you to say Yes to raw fruit and vegetable snacks, for instance, and chocolate only in a small reward ( controlled by someone else ! ) when you have reached each of a series of goals in a proper weight-loss program.
The problem isn't really cleaning your plate, but what is on the plate to start with. If its salad, clean away ! If its fried chicken and a fried mars bar, don't even put it on the plate to start with.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Phil | 2012/04/16

You are a grown up now  and make your own decisions. So I guess  you have to decide what is good for you, can''t really blame it on your parents?

It might be fair to say that they tought you to eat too much causing you over time to be over weight. But surely now that nobody can force you  you can change the habbit?

Good advice is  to forget the past since you can''t change it. The future is in your hands.

Reply to Phil
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/04/16

I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time ! When your parents were brought up, I'm sure this is how they were trained, as in earlier generations, when food was more scarce, it was seen as essential that children must learn to clean their plates, "peas before pudding", not leave the table before finishing it all, and kids might even be made to feel guilty by being reminded of all the starving children in the world who would be so glad to have that broccolli you're being fussy about !
And you're actually raising an important issue usually overlooked amid all the modern panic about so much obesity - the way generations of children were trained to eat and clean their plates, generating a potential over-eating habit.
Of course, in those days food was healthier, with less junk food available.
Apart from working with a behaviour psychologist with an interest in nutrition to break these habits, you can start even more easily. If you feel compelled to clear your plate - make sure you serve yourself ( and/or are served ) smaller helpings ! It helps to use much smaller plates, so a smaller amount of food still looks generous.
If you feel you can't say no to food, control what food is around for you to say Yes to raw fruit and vegetable snacks, for instance, and chocolate only in a small reward ( controlled by someone else ! ) when you have reached each of a series of goals in a proper weight-loss program.
The problem isn't really cleaning your plate, but what is on the plate to start with. If its salad, clean away ! If its fried chicken and a fried mars bar, don't even put it on the plate to start with.

Reply to cybershrink

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