All Women's Talk

7 Eating Beliefs We Grew up Learning That Are Wrong ...

By Heather

You probably developed certain eating beliefs growing up you didn’t even know you had; some of which could be affecting you today, and affecting your state of health. Many people find themselves in poor health yet have a hard time letting go of traditions, or old mindsets around food. If that’s the case with you, consider some of these eating beliefs that you grew up learning that are wrong. Consider changing some of your beliefs so you can not only improve your health, but also gain a new perspective that there might be more out there you can benefit from to give yourself a new state of health and vitality!

1 Clean Your Plate Rule

One of the most common eating beliefs many people develop is that we’re meant to clean our plates every time we eat. Is this you? If so, remember that just because your plate is full, doesn’t mean you have to clean it. Many restaurant meals are extremely large, and there’s no reason why you have to finish every bite. If you want to avoid the crash after a meal that makes you want to take a nap, consider eating just until you’re 80% full and no more. There’s always time to eat another meal later.

2 It’s a Waste to Throw It out

One reason many people have a hard time only eating until they’re 80% full is feeling guilty for not eating all their food. I understand this principle, but let me give you something to consider. Remember, you’re not doing anything for your health by stuffing yourself out of guilt that it’s a waste of food. Your body can only use what it absorbs, and eating too much greatly interferes with what you absorb. The body becomes stressed, overwhelmed, and can’t process everything it consumes at an efficient rate. If you feel guilty throwing out food, then consider composting it, or telling your server at a restaurant you prefer a half size serving if possible.

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3 Dessert Always

Another belief many people have is that you have to end the meal with something sweet. I love my sweets as much as the next person, but do be mindful if you really want and need dessert. If you had a large meal, you probably don’t need dessert, and if you’re full, allow your body to process what you’ve eaten and save the dessert for when you’re next hungry.

4 Meat is the Only Protein

Another belief many people grew up with is that you have to get all your protein from meat at each meal. I grew up in the South, and we only saw animal sources as protein options. Now I know I can get my protein from other sources from plants like hemp, chia, flax, and quinoa for example, and not just meat. And regardless what you might think, your body uses these proteins just as efficiently as meat to help you stay balanced and healthy.

5 Cook It All

Do you cook all your food? Another belief that was common where I grew up is that if it was edible, it had to be cooked. We didn’t eat salads, smoothies, or raw treats where I grew up. Everything was cooked. Try not using your stove for a week and getting creative with your meals. Salads, smoothies, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit and raw veggies are full of nutrition, and so wonderful for you. It can be a fun challenge, and a healthy one at that!

6 Eat Heavy Meals First

One eating belief I also grew up learning was to eat my biggest meal for breakfast. While that might work for some people, for me, it leaves me sluggish, tired, and suffering bad digestion. Instead of eating a huge breakfast, have a small or moderate sized one, and then perhaps a morning snack. Many people do much better with just eating a little something, than a meal that’s large and heavy. This one change can help you have more energy, focus, improve your digestion, and might just improve your metabolism too.

7 Salt is a Must

Around many dinner tables, you’ll likely see a salt shaker. Reaching for the salt shaker is automatic for many people, before they even taste their food to see if it tastes okay on its own. Added salt has been linked to multiple health issues ranging from heart disease to high blood pressure. Your taste buds also become addicted to salt, making it harder to quit. Instead of automatically adding salt at each meal, try adding some herbs and spices when cooking to enhance the flavor. This cuts down the sodium, trains your taste buds to crave nourishing foods, and also helps you shy away from the tradition that it isn’t a meal without a few shakes of salt first. One note though, pepper is completely fine! It’s amazing for your health and metabolism.

What eating belief did you grow up with? Anything particularly interesting, or were your eating beliefs more common like these?

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