Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My kid already knows this.

For a couple of weeks now I have been watching the new TLC show "I Can Make You Thin," starring British "weight loss guru" Paul McKenna. He has an interesting strategy for losing weight, in that it doesn't involve dieting in the traditional sense of the word. McKenna's ideas are based on consciously eating, as opposed to the kind of unconscious or subconscious eating that most people in modern countries tend to do. I haven't ordered his book yet as the jury is still out for me, but I think what he calls "the rules" make a lot of inherent sense. Here are the Basic 4 Rules:
  1. Eat whenever you are hungry
  2. Eat only what you want, never what you think you ‘should’.
  3. Eat consciously and enjoy every mouthful.
  4. Stop when you even think your body is full.

What I find most interesting about this strategy is that when I watch J and other young children eat, this is exactly what they do. When J is hungry, he eats. When he's not, he doesn't. He has no concept of what are foods that he "should" or "shouldn't" eat other than what I tell him, so he naturally likes to eat green beans and corn, and to this day refuses to eat cookies -- because that's what he likes. I don't think he purposely eats consciously, enjoying every mouthful, but because he's a little kid and eating solid food is still relatively new, it takes him a long time to chew, and when he likes something, well, he holds it in his mouth for awhile (sometimes for an hour. Ew.) And when he's full, he stops eating.

Somewhere along the way, as kids grow up, we TEACH them to become compulsive, emotional, obsessive, unconscious eaters. As a new mom I've spent plenty of time standing over the high chair obsessing about what and when and how much J is eating (I've even posted about it a few times). When I've read books or talked to the pediatrician or my mom, the answer is always the same: They'll eat when they're hungry. They'll like different things eventually. Oddly enough after thinking about applying McKenna's strategy to my own life, it's becoming easier for my Mom Brain to finally accept J's NORMAL toddler eating habits.

Like I said....interesting.

1 comment:

-Bridget said...

Very interesting theory. If we knew this as kids I wonder how we forgot this as adults? Does this come from being a member of the clean plate club? I won't be suscribing the girls to that. Hopefully they'll maintain healthy eating habits later in life.