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Eat Less Calories: Care Less About Wasting Food

If you're anything like me, and if your parents were anything like mine, then you probably have a major fear of wasting food.

In theory, eating everything on your plate sounds like good economics but it's not good if you're calorie counting. The thing is, eating the last bites of your kid's chopped up hot dog is not doing anyone any favors, except maybe the person who collects dues at your gym. Consider this: 1/4 of a hot dog is 45 calories and 1/4 of an easy mac package is 57 calories, both of which you are just meaninglessly eating. So steer clear and if it's just too tempting, then give your kids less on their plate and when they ask, give them more.

If you are noticing that you yourself constantly have leftover food on your plate when eating out, then try ordering kids meals or bringing what you can't eat home for leftovers.

Also, if you buy something and don't like it, then don't eat it just because you feel like you should. Afraid of wasting? Start composting, it's a great way to throw out food without feeling terrible about it. Still worried about the kids starving in Africa? Then instead of stuffing your face on their behalf, donate money to charitable organizations like ONE, the campaign to make poverty history.

Join The Conversation
cgmaetc cgmaetc 10 years
I used to hear it all the time from my mother, family, and friends: "Don't waste food!" "There are starving kids in Africa" "Clean your plate." If I'm full, I refuse to keep eating. I take it home and eat it later or the next day. Explains why I'm the fittest out of them all. -the ceeg
scratch5 scratch5 10 years
I love burritos, but when I eat them I often feel like it is some kind of crazy contest beteen me and the burrito where I have to eat the entire thing. When I do I am uncomfortably stuffed . So clearly the burrito has won. My husband and I have been splitting the the enormous things with a side salad. Such a better plan.
ilove2ski ilove2ski 10 years
Although I will admit giving up that last bite is hard for me. It is always the best!
ilove2ski ilove2ski 10 years
Did you guys know that if you don't eat the last bite of your food for a year it saves you from gaining 5 pounds?
italygal italygal 10 years
whenever i eat out or order in i always eat half and save the other half for lunch the next day. it's great for saving money and eating less calories.
vrico2005 vrico2005 10 years
This is great information! I have struggled to change my eating habits since my fiance is much bigger than me and therefor consumes more food.
kscincotta kscincotta 10 years
I'm terrible about finishing all the food on my plate, but I'm convinced that it's one of my better habits. I just stop eating when I'm full, which is often long before my food is gone. And if I want dessert, I'll stop eating my entree to save space. And on the topic of mac and cheese and hot dogs, that was one of our staple meals when I was a kid. My mom always joked that the preservatives kept us healthy since my brother and I were almost never sick and my cousins who had big, home cooked meals were always sick. I think it's just because we weren't "feasting" every night. It drives The Hubs crazy that I don't like big meals during the week because he always wants to cook big, extravagant meals. I try to limit our big meals to the weekends and eat lighter during the week.
munki munki 10 years
Any excess food you eat is only going to be turned into body fat and/or flushed down the toilet (after a tour through your intestines) anyway. How is that better than just throwing it out? In regards to McDonald's: I know kids like that. If their parents take them to McDonald's they get excited about the toy and the playground, but they will not eat the food. It's kind of sad that kids have good tastes/instincts towards food but they get conditioned out of them by their parents feeding them rubbish.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 10 years
My mom never put adult sized servings on my plate. Everything we ate for dinner was made from scratch and being the youngest I had the smallest plate at the table (a salad plate). She was great because she never pulled out that old "people are starving in China or Africa" business because she believed in leftovers. The only thing she ever insisted was that I eat all of were my veggies. My mom had this thing about color coded meals - every dinner had a protein, a green veggie, a bright veggie (yellow, orange, red) and a starch (carb). Now I find out my mom was dead on on her meal planning. My 1950's high schools taught incredible home ec courses. Unfortunately, I became a emotional binge-eater after she died but I recovered for that. But the damage was done, no concept of proper portions anymore or when I was full. When I was a nanny, I never gave the kids junk food except an ocassional homemade cookie or cupcake. I cooked from scratch like my mother. But the Mom often would buy McD's for the kids. And the kids would look to me to see if it was okay to eat. Usually that stuff went in the trash except for the toy and they wanted to eat lentils and rice and steamed broccoli out of their Cookie Monster bowls.
daiseechain daiseechain 10 years
How about this: Don't feed your kids hot dogs (blech) and mac-n-cheese from a box. Feed your kids healthy food, so you don't feel so guilty finishing their last bites. you wont pack on as many extra calories that way too.
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