Busy Moms – Poor Diet

Read time: 2 minutes

Today’s busy moms are the saviors of future generations. Mother’s Day ought to be 365 days a year, and the rest of us ought to call our moms more often!

They take up a role that comes with great sacrifices. As such, I see and hear this all the time: Moms in general descend into a frantic rush of prepping their children for the day, and chauffeuring them around for sports and clubs and whatever else children do these days (and it always seems like they do more things in one day than I’ve done in my entire life). Moms, the ultimate altruists, often think about themselves last.

From my observation and conversations with busy moms, the most frequent complaint is there’s not enough time in the day, especially for healthy eating.

And so they end up eating whatever they feed their children, which (for reasons I don’t understand) is unhealthy food. (But that’s another topic that I won’t go there unless I walk in their maternal shoes).

Anyway, my point is that, from cultural conditioning, people feel obligated to eat just because it’s time to eat. Biologically, there’s no reason for this, and some research show that skipping meals here and there can have positive impact on health.

I asked one mother, who felt awful because she had just eaten the rest of the pizza that her children didn’t finish for lunch. She said she just didn’t have the time to get something healthy for herself (I know, ignore the cognitive dissonance here), and the next time she could eat was at dinner. So she felt obligated to “at least eat something.”

Was it an irrational fear of metabolic slowdown if she didn’t eat? Maybe. Was she conditioned to think that she must eat by the clock? Maybe. Starving? She said not really. She said it was “lunch time.”

So she ate the rest of the pizza, even though she wasn’t hungry. She could have skipped eating entirely until later, when she might have the opportunity to eat something healthful.

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a tool not too many people know about. Just understanding how IF works to our favor — in health and in body composition — could liberate people from the guilt they feel when missing a meal.

It’s OK to skip a meal. Or three.

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6 Responses to Busy Moms – Poor Diet

  1. amanda says:

    I couldn’t agree more! As a mom of 3(including a newborn) taking care of myself is a very high priority. As you well said as a mom there aren’t sick days or vacation days. Eating well is a necessity. I have never understood either why parents start feeding their children such processed crap. It is a horrible vicious cycle, not to mention I refuse to cook more than 1 meal so that will be a healthy one.

    I have just started IF’ing myself. I had read about it a few years ago, but until I cut the gluten(100%) and grains at the same time I just couldn’t do it. Now it seems to come naturally.

    Oh, and btw just ran across your blog the other day and love your focus! I am trying to change my fitness focus to be more that of a natural extension of just living and you have lots of great ideas and motivation for this.

  2. hiitmama says:

    I look at it like this – when you are on an airplane parents are trained to put the oxygen mask on themselves first, then place masks on their kids. You can’t help others unless you are still breathing yourself.

    I think this applies to food an exercise too. I workout first thing in the am – and my family expects that without question. Also, I make my own healthy food before I whip up kids’ foods. Leftover kids’ lunch? The garbage disposal is your best friend.

  3. Susanne says:

    Johnny, this is an excellent blog and I’m so glad I found it. I especially liked this article, and read the intermittent fasting links you provided. I also went through some of your older posts and it all made a lot of sense.

    But, as a huge eye-opener… I had to help host a birthday party for my kids’ playmates. I had decided to just go on a fast (first time ever), and forgone lunch, the cakes, and all the junk food served at the party, AND I WAS COMPLETELY FINE!

    There was something about a conscious decision to do an intermittent fast, which completely “turned off” any craving.

    Now that I understand that skipping a meal (or even several meals) won’t slow down my metabolism, the guilt and worry of missing meals are completely removed. And you’re completely right… it is liberating.

    Thank you for your blog!


  4. MonkeyChow says:

    You nailed this one!

    I see this in my wife too. And since I’m virtually ineffective at talking to my wife about this very topic (you married folks know how this is), I’ll defer her to this post… she has enjoyed many of your other posts.

    But I’ll have to say that, as a father, I also tend to not take care of my diet and it’s mostly due to time constraint. But, ever since I started reading your blog and about IF in general, I have allowed myself to skip meals if I can’t get to them, or avoid eating food I know isn’t good for me or even food I won’t really ENJOY. Why put something in my mouth if it’s not absolutely joyful?


  5. Grok says:

    I’ll touch it…

    Why do Mom’s feed their kids crap or fix something different than what they make for themselves?

    What happened to the days where the KIDS ate what went on the table, and if they didn’t, THE KID went hungry!

    Kids are the ones that should be eating the healthy food! They are the ones still developing physically & their life long habits.

    • Johnny from The Lean Saloon says:

      This has eluded me for a long time. The cognitive dissonance is blunt in this case, and I notice that it happens to both moms AND dads.

      The rationale is just that: the kids are still growing and they “need” it.

      Further thoughts?

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