One of the topics we discussed during our group meeting is the importance of throwing out extra food. Keeping leftovers hanging around in the refrigerator and cupboards can tempt dieters and threaten to derail their good efforts. A lot of our dieters initially expressed discomfort at the idea of wasting food. However, what we like to remind our dieters is that if you eat extra food you don’t need, your body can’t use it and just turns it into fat, i.e. the food is wasted in your body. So the food is wasted in the trashcan or wasted in your body, but either way it’s wasted (discussed on Day 7 of The Beck Diet Solution).
Brenda in particular had a lot of trouble throwing out extra food. Her daughter would often cook big meals and there would be lots of leftovers that she couldn’t bring herself to toss in the trash. Brenda said the leftovers would hang out in her fridge for a couple of days until she eventually ate them, whether she really wanted to or not. She also often had half-finished boxes of snack foods in her cupboard that her grandchildren would start and not finish, and even though they were often stale and fairly unappealing, there were times when they sorely tempted Brenda.
Brenda responded really well to the notion, “In the trashcan or in your body, either way it’s wasted,” and with this new mentality it became easier for her to throw out food. Brenda slowly got in the habit of throwing out all the unwanted leftovers from the meals her daughter cooked, because she knew she’d rather the food be wasted in her trashcan than show up on the scale. Brenda also now periodically goes through her cupboards and without difficulty throws out all the unfinished, stale snack food. Learning to throw out food may seem like a simple idea, but it will continually keep Brenda from eating extra food and help her keep the weight off permanently.