Do you clean off your plate even when you are already full? Do you finish the dinner scraps just because you can't stand the thought of throwing out the food? Do you eat that last spoonful of chili in the pot just because nobody in your family wanted to finish it? To get rid of this extra food, do you choose to throw it right in your mouth?
If that sounds like you, you are not alone. This behavior is very common. Most of us have been taught not to be wasteful. When we were little, we were told to clean off our plates, so it is deeply ingrained in our minds. We feel guilty about throwing out good food, especially since we know that there are so many starving people in this world.
In addition, since we paid money for the food, we perceive leaving food on our plate as wasting money. It is especially true in restaurants – if there is not enough leftovers to take home, most of us will clean off our plate because we feel we have to get our money's worth.
Obviously, those last pieces of food that we eat just so we don't have to throw them out go right to our waist and hips. Day after day, it really adds up. All this food that we eat after we are already full turns into tens of pounds of body fat. You avoid wasting the food, but instead you waste your health, your goals and your weight loss efforts.
Next time you are about to eat because you feel guilty for the wasted food, tell yourself:
– You Are Not A Garbage Can!
Instead of throwing the unwanted food in a trash, you are throwing it into your stomach. By doing that, you are treating your body as a garbage can. You are not the medium to gather stuff that nobody wanted to eat!
To get over the guilt associated with wasted food, think of it from the perspective that this excess food is actually serving a better purpose when it's thrown out than it would have if you'd eaten it. If you'd eaten this excess food, this food would do harm (make you gain weight). If that food is thrown out, it has no benefit, but it does not do any harm either. No use versus harm – throwing the food out is the lesser of the two evils.
When you do clean off your plate, it definitely does not help any of those starving people that you feel so guilty about. Also, don't think that you are wasting your money if you don't finish all the food you paid for. The money is already spent – you are not going to gain more money by eating more!
If you break the habit of cleaning off your plate when you are not hungry, you will automatically start losing weight. Treat your body well. Don't use it in the same way you'd use a garbage can.