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10 Diet Rules Meant to be Broken

Some food 'dos and don'ts are best ignored, experts say.

10 Food Rules to Ignore continued...

10. If you don't clean your plate, you're wasting food (don't forget those starving children Mom told you about).

Tying emotions to eating (like when you feel guilty about leaving food on your plate) sets the stage for emotional overeating, Aronowitz says. If you've been taught that cleaning your plate is the best way to show appreciation for a meal, she says, instead show your gratitude with verbal praise, by asking for the recipe, or by sending a thank-you gift or note the next day.

"Food is simply a source of fuel for the body -- not an emotional payoff or payment," says Aronowitz. If you just don't feel right leaving the table until you've cleaned your plate, she says, underestimate your hunger and put less food on your plate to begin with.

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Reviewed on December 19, 2007

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