So, I realize that childhood obesity rates are higher than they have ever been (mainly due to sitting in front of a screen all day).  But I still remember in my own childhood, it seemed that kids could eat whatever they wanted and NEVER gain weight.  And we were told that gaining weight was “just part of becoming an adult”.  And that our metabolisms slowed way down with age. But have you ever stopped to watch toddlers/young children, and the way they eat (or don’t) and the way they burn calories? What would happen if we really lived for a few months like our kids? I bet we would lose weight and be a lot healthier.  What do I mean? Well, here are a few tips for losing weight and getting in shape, brought to you by….kids.

1. Run EVERYWHERE.  Stop walking, stop strolling, or meandering. Just RUN everywhere.  Run from the sofa to the kitchen. Run from the bedroom to the bathroom. Run around in circles for no reason constantly. Run in the parking lot all the way to your office.  Run to the next cubicle even if it is only 5 feet away.

2. Do not sit at all unless you are forced to. Stand, hop, hop on one foot, stand on your head, twirl in circles, fidget and dance. This will make meetings, doing your hair, and even housework, so much more interesting.

3. Play. Stop taking your kids to the playground and then SITTING watching them play. Go dig in the dirt, swing on the monkey bars, play tag, crawl up the twisty slide, hide and seek, pretend to be a ballerina, or pretend to be a pirate invading the tree fort. And remember- run everywhere.

4. Do not eat unless you are hungry.

5. When you are finally hungry, take 2 bites and then go back and repeat steps 1-3 again.

6. Eat more only when you are forced to. Spit half of it out.  Hide another portion in your napkin. Feed some to the dog.

7. Do not clean your plate. Do not focus on eating things, just to say you did. Don’t eat things on purpose that you don’t like to eat. Eat smaller portions on a tiny plate- Who decided we adults needed to pile up these giant plates anyway?

8. Meals are not the center of your day.  Play is. Eating food is a necessary interruption, just until you can get back to playing. Pick where you eat solely by its playland.

9. Playing is not a drudgery. You don’t have to force yourself to do it.

10. You do not want to stop playing, not even to sleep. But you drop like a wind up doll around 9, and sleep till 6:30 or so, getting deep worry free rest, knowing that tomorrow will be another huge day of adventures and play. You actually get enough sleep to burn those calories. You wake up ready to face the day.  And run.  Everywhere.

I’m starting to see why my kids are so skinny…..If we really lived a little bit more like our kids we might actually be healthier and happier (minus the eating dirt and things off of the dirty theater floor etc.)

What great life tips have you learned from YOUR kids?