Food waste is an important economic and political issue. It’s in the news increasingly as a global problem. It is also a highly emotive personal issue. In the 21st century we get confused about food waste. As recently as the 1950s food in the UK was rationed, so people had to be extremely careful to eek out the food they had. But 60 years later, we have an over-supply of food and we are throwing huge amounts away. There is an alternative.
For many of us, throwing away food that could be eaten feels wrong, so we keep eating what is in front of us in order not to waste it. As portion sizes in restaurants and in packaged foods have steadily increased over the last few decades, we have eaten more and more. As long as we’re not leaving anything on the plate, we think we’re not wasting anything.
We need to rethink what we mean by waste
Your body digests the food you eat at each meal to provide the energy you need for the next few hours. If there is any extra energy left by the time of your next meal, it converts it into fat. So all the extra food you ate at your last meal becomes fat.
Food is certainly no less wasted if it goes through your body and is converted into fat than if it goes straight into the bin. Putting it in the bin does not make you fat and does not have side-effects of cardiovascular strain and diabetes.
To avoid wasting food, we need to prepare or order only as much as we need. If we’ve been getting this wrong in the past we need to learn how much to prepare or order so that we can start to genuinely reduce how much food we waste. Weight loss ties in easily with this.
How to both eat less and waste less
With Appetite Retraining we kill two birds with one stone. Using the Appetite Pendulum you tune in to your gut to tell you when you have had enough. At first, you will probably waste some food but you will soon learn how to serve yourself or order the right amount in the first place.
At any meal, when you stop eating at the point of being just full there may still be food on your plate. First let’s look at eating food you have prepared.
Your task is to either put this food back in the fridge (or larder) or throw it in the bin. If you are confident that when it is back in the fridge or larder you can forget about it until your next mealtime, it is fine to put it back. If you suspect that you will be tempted to go and finish it off before you are next hungry, then you will lose weight more quickly if you put it in the bin.
People tend to gasp in horror at the suggestion of throwing food away. What I explain to people when working on weight loss with Appetite Retraining is this: You won’t need to throw much food in the bin before you get the hang of how much your body needs at a particular mealtime to get you to being just full. Thus, the net result of Appetite Retraining is that you will waste less food than you have in the past and that especially that you will waste less food by putting it through your body to be stored as extra fat. The added bonus is that you will spend less on food.
When you’re eating out
When eating out, portion sizes are pre-determined. As you get used to the amount your body needs to get you to the point of being just full, you will find it easier to deal with menus. To begin with you will need to experiment. Most restaurant main courses are far larger than we need to eat at a single meal. Eating out while losing weight therefore means keeping your wits about you so that you can monitor how full you are getting as you eat. As soon as you get to +3 on the Appetitie Pendulum, stop eating and leave the rest. Remember that leaving it on the plate is no more wasteful than putting it through your body.
As you get used to eating in tune with your gut, you will get a feel for what to order. You may discover that just having a starter or just a side order or two is enough to satisfy your appetite. As you can see, retraining your appetite can save you money when you are eating out.
If you are in a fast food restaurant, you will probably find that a “kids’ meal” or even just part of a kid’s meal is enough to get you to feeling just full, in which case this would be a good thing to order instead of the corresponding adult meal which you would have to leave part of.
The value for money con
The other confusion with eating out arises when you want to get value for your money. For many people this means eating as much as possible. But this search for value involves buying more than you need in the first place. Restaurants and other food outlets want you to spend as much as possible with them, so they offer you more food for relatively little more money. You spot a bargain and hey presto! You are eating far more than your body needs and piling on pounds in the process. To become slimmer, decide which food you want to buy, then eat only as much as you need to get to +3 on the Appetite Pendulum and leave the rest. When we eat what is put in front of us, we hand over control to other people to determine how much we eat. If their livelihood depends on serving us more, we will just go on getting fatter unless we tune in to our own bodies and listen to when to stop eating.
Occasional large meals are not the problem
Once you arrive at your goal weight you will find that the occasional meal out which is bigger than normal meals will not lead you to put on weight. Just as now, an occasional bigger meal than you are used to does not lead to weight gain. Single meals do not produce significant weight change; habitually large meals do.
See the Seminars & Events page on the website for details of events which combine eating a fabulous meal with learning about how to enjoy eating out in your favourite restaurants whilst losing weight.