It turns out, however, that both parents can now blame their extra pounds on their children well after the diaper stage. The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics took a look at BMIs for parents and non-parents and discovered that the non-parent group was generally much healthier over the span of 20 years. Furthermore, the study showed that the reasons why parents packed on the extra pounds was due to the accumulative effects of a life with higher stress, sleep deprivation and mindless eating: Parents worry about their little ones, get woken up throughout the night and then end up finishing their children's meals to not waste food.
Sure, it's easy to pass the blame onto our children, but let's take a look at some ways to change our own behaviors instead.
- Sleep more. Since I started tracking my own sleep, I have become obsessed with it and now know how much I need to actually be the best mommy I can be versus how much I need to just get by. So, figure out your bedtime and stick with it.
- Less stress. Short of shipping our little ones to Grandma's house for a week, we need to find a way to deal with our stress. So, although I hate running, I recognize that I feel less stressed out when I suck it up in the morning and just do it.
- Eat less. Better the food end up in the garbage than in your mouth. Also, teach your children portion control at an early age so they learn they don't have to fill their plates - just their tummies.