How many times have we heard “Finish up your food … Be thankful for the food on your plate … There are children in Africa that are starving.”?? Do you also, like half of the World, feel strongly about wasting food? It is quite normal to feel that way, as it is imbibed in us since childhood that we should not throw away food. But hang on, and give it a thought … we agree you should not waste food, but, should you really be doing it at the cost of your body storing that “extra bit” in your bellies or thighs. Isn’t the belief a wee bit faulty if it jeopardizes your own well-being?
You would happily eat every morsel of food on your plate if someone came forward and showed you how stuffing yourself will help reduce starvation in Africa! But is that going to happen? Absolutely not! So, you might as well save yourself from the guilt, and eat right instead.
As per a study on the state of the world’s health, for the first time in decades, the number of diseases is increasing and life expectancy is declining as a result of people eating too much than eating too little!. In other words, food wasted inside your belly is a bigger problem today. On the other hand, you don’t want to feel guilty about throwing the leftover food on your plate in the trash.
And now that you know this, you neither want to overeat nor do you want to feel guilty about throwing food away. Let’s take a minute and evaluate how you can deal with extra food on your plate and minimize wastage to make you feel less guilty. Here’s what you can do:
Start Small: Simply start with less food on your plate. If you want more, you can always go back and get second helpings. How are you ever going to figure out how much you needed to eat if you just HAVE TO finish eating that heap of food on your plate? Start with 1/2 of what you usually put on the plate. Reach out for second helpings (again, half of your first), if necessary.
Check with your belly: Simply take a moment to ask your body what it wants to eat, and how much and then serve yourself just as much. Once done with the first serving, wait for a few minutes until your stomach can send a signal to your brain. This way you will know exactly how much more you need to eat, and whether you need to eat at all. Yes, your body talks to you.
Eat Slowly: When you eat too quickly, it messes up the above-mentioned stomach-brain communication, thus making you reach out for more than what is necessary.
Share because ‘Sharing is Caring’: What do you do if you are eating out, where the serving sizes are standardized? Simply split the dish with a friend so you don’t waste the huge portions served at many restaurants. This way you can satisfy your taste buds, save on the extra calories, and also make your friend love you more. Quite the win-win situation, isn’t it? Here is an amazing story of girl who lost weight just by sharing food.
Opt for the doggy bags: Instead of overeating/wasting, take the leftovers home and you’ve got yourself a free lunch the next day. If you don’t want to eat it, feed the needy or your building watchman and add on to your karma. This way the receiver is happy, you are happy, and even your stomach is happy.
Do not go berserk with Buffets: Just because it’s free or paid for, you don’t need to be greedy. We have a natural instinct to fill our plates. Once the plate is filled with food, you would probably feel guilty if you didn’t finish it. Be nice to your belly and eat only what is required. Yes! Even at all-you-can-eat buffets.
What goes in first, goes out first: When unpacking groceries, move older products to the front of the fridge and put new products on the back. Thus, while cooking you will end up using the old grocery first before it expires, and avoid wastage. In the same way, check for leftovers in the fridge and try to use it first.
Shop smart: Plan meals, use grocery lists, and avoid impulsive buys. Always shop with your stomach full. You’re less likely to buy things you don’t need. Bonus: This will save some of your hard-earned money too.
Trigger Foods Out, Healthy Snacks In: Even the best of us cannot avoid the temptation to reach out for a cookie right after a meal. So what good were the small portions of food, when you are still giving your stomach more than it can handle? Keep trigger foods like cookies, chocolates, cakes out of your sight. Fill your kitchen cupboards with healthy snacks instead.
Does it make sense to finish the food on your plate and then pile more calories as fat? Would it not be easier to just leave the extra food on the plate? So, the next time you are eating, listen to your stomach and do not turn it into a dustbin.