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Are you a human rubbish bin?

When you head round to someone else’s for dinner, you can often end up overdoing things a bit on the eating front and may end up going home feeling uncomfortably over-full – and, as my friends often describe, feel like they have a food baby onboard!!

Now, no one wants their guests to go hungry – there is nothing worse than leaving a restaurant or dinner party and feeling like you need to go home for a few sneaky slices of toast, that’s for sure… I hate that! But – as with most things – there is a balance between enjoying what you eat and over-indulging for the sake of it.

The same concept of ‘over-eating’ applies whether you are eating out, eating for one or feeding a family. In a society where throwing out food is seen as wasteful and well… wrong, there is a point at which you can become what I term, a human rubbish bin!

We live in a world where more is better; value for money when it comes to food is key and if you are able to get an extra side of something with your dinner for free, all the better. But, please be aware, eating more food than you need is not free and it is not saving you any more money than if you put it in the bin.

Many people (like me) have been brought up to eat everything on their plate. When this habit is installed into your brain and being, it can be a very difficult routine to break. But remember this: when you put food in your mouth that you do not need, it is costing you money, not saving you money, particularly if you are trying to lose weight. Also, let’s be honest, you aren’t saving any starving children by eating every last scrap on your plate.

It costs you money in the sense that over-eating impacts on your health, well-being and how you feel about yourself. Also, an additional hundred or so calories every day from picking at things at the dinner table after eating, finishing off your kids’ leftovers or forcing that last spoonful of curry down so as not to waste it, can mean an extra few hours at the gym is needed to burn it off or an extra few hours’ walking – not to mention that horrible over-full feeling!

For two weeks, I decided to eat until I was nearly full (remembering it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that you are full!) and then I put any leftover food straight away for the next day’s lunch and, on occasions, threw it in the bin. I know what you are thinking, how wasteful! But, let me tell you, after two weeks I figured out I needed to measure my rice out and cook less as I was ALWAYS cooking too much and I also learnt to only buy as much meat/fish as I needed, rather than just buying and cooking whatever was in the pack that I picked up. After a month, I had changed my ways and now, along with my meal planning (see blog The Power of a Plan), I have saved money and no longer over eat.

Yours in health and happiness…

Claire xo

Claire Turnbull, BSc (Hons) Dietetics UK, NZ-registered nutritionist. Managing director of Mission Nutrition and Healthy Food Guide nutritionist.

For your very own personalised nutrition plan, support and advice, come and see one of our qualified and experienced dietitians/nutritionists at Mission Nutrition Clinics. Phone consultations available.

First published: Jul 2012



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