We’ve all been taught as children that it is criminal to waste food , especially the one that’s on our plate. But what happens when our appetite is satiated but there is still some amount of food left? What do we do with it? Do we eat it, share it or throw it away? These are the three questions that keep circling through our minds.
A study says that most people, either overeat or throw away the left overs. 50% people share it with their friends and family, but still feel guilty and ashamed while doing so.
The most important thing to understand is the calculation of the portion size we usually take when we load our plates with food. Now you can say, well, this is related to how hungry I am feeling at the moment. True.
However, often we mistake hunger with something else. Here are 3 things that make you reach for a larger portion size
Often, when we aren’t hydrated enough, we reach out for food instead of a glass of water.
- Emotional Stress
Ever heard of the phrase, “I was bored, so I raided the fridge”? It is something to think about. When you’re hungry, you need to understand whether your body at that moment is trying to fill up a void escalated via an emotional unrest or if you’re actually hungry. Be it boredom, sadness or anger, overeating is not the solution. Resolving the emotional issue first is more important. The more you overeat in such a mental space, the slower your body will be at digesting the food you’ve eaten. Stress is a big culprit in destabilizing your gut health and that has a ripple effect on your entire day, everyday.
- Indiscipline and Myths
Indians have been brought up with the mindset that having more food makes one healthy. Our mothers lovingly dole out larger portions to us, our friends tell us “arey ek aur se kuch nahin hota” and we believe it too! We are also guilted into taking more food on the plate because we feel we’ll offend the host. So we don’t stop the extra portions on the plate. Now the funny thing is we know we can’t eat so much. But we go ahead and do it, each time promising ourselves that this is the last time. It’s quite alright, it happens to the best of us.
How do we tackle it?
Step 1 : Always opt for a smaller portion size in the beginning. For example, take one roti, or two tablespoons of curry or rice the first time you fill your plate. The food is on the table, it isn’t going anywhere. If you like it, you can have more. Just remember, two spoonfuls at a time, every time.
Step 2 : Load your plate with more salad. A colourful portion of salad is very important in helping you fill your stomach with high fibre, nutrient rich food. It also prevents you from taking more of that curry because you can visually notice that your plate is fuller.
Step 3 : Make it a habit to always have a glass of water 30 minutes before your eat anything. Infact, you should be sipping water every time you feel hungry. If after 15 minutes you’re still hungry, pick up a few nuts to munch on. You will know how hungry you are while you practise these steps diligently and will be able to effectively monitor your portions very soon.