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Most Americans Clean Their Plates. Most Americans are Obese. There is a Connection.

The encouragement to eat everything on your dinner (or breakfast or lunch) plate comes in many forms. “Don’t be wasteful.” “Make a happy plate!” “Finish your food or you’ll get no dessert.” Or, my personal least favorite, “There’s starving children in _____ that would love to have that food.”

No matter how you phrase it, most of us are taught from a young age to eat everything that is placed before us.

eating from plate

While wasting food is never a good idea, there are plenty of ways to prevent waste that don’t include stuffing ourselves with every last morsel of food.

However, if you’re part of the clean-your-plate crew, you’re not alone. The average adult eats 92 percent of the food on their plate, Shape Magazine reports, no matter what that food may be.

Eating everything on your plate, healthy or no, could be causing you to overeat without you noticing. In turn, that could cause unwanted weight gain.

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Happily, there are some simple steps you can take to “reprogram” yourself out of the need to eat everything placed in front of you.
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Military Wife Who Dropped 100 Pounds and Surprised Deployed Hubby Has Kept It Off For Almost A Year

Last spring, Misty Shaffer gathered with her family at the airport and waited anxiously for the arrival of her husband who had been stationed in Afghanistan for 12 months. When Larry scanned the crowd for his wife, his jaw dropped when he spotted her. After secretly losing 100 pounds while he was deployed, all Misty could do was smile.

When he finally remembered to speak, the Army Specialist simply said one word, “Wow!”

misty shaffer collage resize

I spoke with Misty by phone from her home in North Carolina. In a deep southern accent she confirmed that almost one year after surprising her husband, she has maintained her phenomenal weight loss. The story of how she lost the weight and why is still just as captivating as it was last year.

Misty Shaffer 2“I just wanted him to pick me up,” she said. During the long months without her husband, while she struggled with food cravings and cared for their young daughter, Misty held that vision in her mind. For the first time ever, she wanted to be swept into his arms.


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Graduating from Jenny Craig: You Hit Your Goal Weight. Now What?

Imagine it’s the day you’ve been dreaming of—where you glance down at the scale and have finally reached your goal weight! Celebration is in order. But, if you’re on Jenny Craig, which supplies pretty much all of the food its dieters eat, the thought of learning to maintain your weight while making your own meals may make you anxious.

Don’t worry. Jenny Craig’s chief nutritionist, Lisa Talamini, is here to help you feel more confident about the transition.

grocery shopping

According to Talamini, you already have the tools you need for success. Here’s why:

  • On the plan, members learn to make healthy choices by adding grocery foods to their weekly planned menus. So, even though you’ve been eating packaged meals you’ve also been planning your eating schedule and supplementing with veggies and other purchased foods. You’ll keep doing the same thing, only with more cooking and less zapping!


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A Fork in the Road: European Eating Beyond the Mediterranean Diet

Americans love fad diets. There is a long history of attaching ourselves to the next fad, dating back to the Vinegar diet in 1820. (No wonder I am constantly being asked to find a quick fix to the growing obesity epidemic in our country.) However, this is not the case in Europe where food culture and traditions hold fast against the deep pockets of the weight loss industry. Europeans have an innate sense to diet sensibly without falling victim to the 40 billion dollar weight loss industry that we Americans buy into year after year.

Eiffel tower food

Luckily, the tide may be turning in the U.S. The Federal Trade Commission recently announced an initiative against deceptive claims made by marketers of fad weight loss products. From food additives to dietary supplements, the government is making a move to intervene and crack down on deceptive and misleading propaganda.


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3 Steps to Perfect Pasta

Pasta is an incredibly versatile food. It’s an easy option on a busy night, or when funds are low. It’s a comforting option when you want something warm and filling. It’s also a heavy option when you’re trying to cut calories and watch your waistline.

 pasta pot

It’s this last reason that can give pasta a bad rap, especially among dieters. So we want to share a secret with you: You can eat pasta and lose weight. Really. We promise.

The problem is, most people don’t focus on making good pasta. So, let’s start there. Let’s assume you’re already buying a whole grain option, therefore getting maximum nutrients from each and every calorie.  But how are you preparing it? If you’re like most people, you’re probably just setting the pot to boil and dumping it in. If you take just a few extra steps, your pasta will taste much better.


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