“There are children starving in Africa that would love to take your place, finish your food!”
I’m sure at one time or another as children we heard our parents use these phrases. (Probably many, many times for some of us.) It’s a great way to get your kids to eat their broccoli, but it’s also a great way to develop unhealthy eating habits. We have been programmed since childhood to eat all the food that was in front of us or, at the very least, stuff ourselves until we cannot possibly eat another bite lest we explode. This is a trick of the brain that we just need to learn to ignore.
I, personally, am guilty of eating my lunch at some fast food place or other and realizing about half way through, ‘O man, I shouldn’t have ordered the large combo’, but what do you do? You eat every last bit of it anyway. Because not eating would be wasteful, and no one wants that. Well now you’ve devoured more than you needed and, on top of that sluggish feeling that overeating creates; you’ve just told your stomach, “You’re not big enough to hold the food I deem necessary, could you go ahead and grow bigger so that next time we don’t have this issue?” And next time it becomes a little bit easier to eat that large combo. Eventually, hey you can eat the large combo and some chocolate cake for dessert! Look at you go!
If you want to eat healthier, sometimes focusing on just eating more nutritious foods is not the only answer. Learning to stop eating when you’re satisfied rather than when you’re full is a great way to drop your caloric intake. Don’t feel guilty about being wasteful, it’s not your fault portion sizes in America have become ridiculous. Donate your 30 cents per day to UNICEF, clear your conscious and think before you go back for seconds “am I getting seconds because I need more food or because there’s more food available?”