Strategies for Weight Loss
Food waste is a hot new topic. We toss away far too much food in our culture. The question of whether to toss away the greens on top of the carrots is one part of the problem – I personally wash them and freeze them to be used in the preparation of soups and stocks. And those green tops on radishes? I add some to other greens in salads. What food waste we do produce goes into a compost bin – yes, even here in New York City we compost food waste at our farm markets and turn it into mulch. It eventually goes back into the earth to nourish new plant growth.
Another part of the problem is what is leftover in the kitchens of restaurants everywhere. For years now, many restaurants have been donating their leftovers to soup kitchens to feed the homeless and hungry. Rather than trashing it and having people dumpster-dive, give it to them instead. Hopefully, more and more restaurants will jump on that bandwagon of make leftovers available to those in need. No one should go hungry.
But at our supermarkets, food that is blemished often doesn’t make it to the shelves. And even before that, lots of food never gets shipped from farms if it doesn’t meet the beauty contest criteria. It may be perfectly edible, but not beautiful. Into the trash it goes. At farm markets, the good, the bad, and the ugly are generally offered for sale. And sometimes the ugly is less expensive. Slightly overripe might be great in soup, a stew, or grilled. You may see the imperfect tomatoes being offered in a large basket at a very reasonable price to make into tomato sauce. Use it, don’t lose it.
The question of food left on the plate, however, is a whole other subject. Many of us eat everything placed before us. And oftentimes that is way too much. If you were able to gauge your hunger, you would easily stop eating once you are satisfied. But people with weight problems often can’t tell when they are satisfied and will eat everything on the plate before them.
Until you are able to clearly discern when you are hungry, and when you are satisfied, you may need to artificially set up circumstances to practice this. Which is why I am advocating eating 3 meals per day with no snacking in between. And why I am asking you to put half of what you think you want to eat on your plate and only go back for more after you allow 20 minutes to pass from the time you start eating to the time you ask yourself the question – am I satisfied? Did I have enough to eat? As long as your leptin levels may be hampered by restricted diets, nutritionally poor diets, and slowed metabolism, it will be harder to know. So for now, trust me. You are learning a new way to eat. Practice makes perfect in all things, including eating normally. Over time, you may find you need to buy less food, and with the money saved, that could translate into buying better quality food, another key to losing weight and staying healthy.
The starving populations of the world cannot benefit from what you left on your plate, contrary to what your mother may have told you. And you do not benefit from overeating. Save those leftovers for another meal, for your dog, or for the compost heap.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are my researched opinions and are provided for educational purposes only. They are not intended to replace sound medical advice from a board certified physician.
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