Wasting Food: Brenda

One of the topics we discussed during our group meeting is the importance of throwing outtrashcans1.jpg 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. 

4 replies
  1. Betty
    Betty says:

    I always had a problem throwing out leftovers. But since I read about your discussion on left overs and throwing away food, I am going to go home and clean out my refrig and my pantry.

    thank you so Much!

  2. Carmela
    Carmela says:

    I have a Pavlovian response to the sight of a Wendy’s or McDonalds sign: I salivate and want to turn the car into the drive-through. In my new way of thinking, when I feel the urge, I say firmly to myself, “You’re not that person anymore. You don’t do that.” Or, “That’s not an option.”
    I think of myself as a person who doesn’t eat fast food burgers and fries now, and that has worked for me for three months going on four.
    Twenty-three pounds down and counting!

  3. Deborah
    Deborah says:

    At first the term ‘leftovers’ threw me here. Throw away my leftovers? No way! ‘Leftovers’ to me are intentional. They mean I don’t have to cook again tomorrow. But leftovers in the other sense, that it’s anything you can’t finish as part of a reasonable diet, unintentional leftovers… Too large a dab from the buffet… uneaten party food… pantry miscalculations that will go bad if you eat no more than you should… Dump ‘em. It doesn’t come easy at first, because of the way we were raised, or because it isn’t frugal or because it’s a sign of excess when yes, people go hungry in the world… But it just makes no sense to harm ourselves and in the end any guilt we might feel is unreasonable. It’s better to preserve our health and hopefully learn our lesson and avoid a repeat in the future.

    In the case of large quantity leftovers from parties, reunions, civic events, etc… It’s possible to avoid the guilt yet preserve our health by donating it somewhere it’s truly needed. If you can keep and transport them properly and promptly, you might be able to take leftovers to food banks, shelters, nursing homes, etc…

    The mention of fast food reminds me of something. Awhile back I got a ‘value meal’ at a drive through and threw away the french fries. My Grandmother, a child of the depression and war bride was appalled. Until I pointed out that I’d actually saved money on the sandwich and drink this way, but neither she nor I should eat all that salt, carbs and fat. She was still appalled… But at the fast-food chain, not at me.

    Waste it or waist it.


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