Summary: If you are doing this to your body you should stop it right now.
Did you grow up being told to finish your plate? Did someone tell you that there are starving children in Africa and you should eat all your food?
We’ve all heard these sentiments at one point or another in our lives. While they may have been a well-intentioned way to get kids to eat their food, it also instilled within many of us the need to eat food even though we’re full rather than throw it away.
Do you want to know the problem with this idea?
You’re treating your body like a trash can.
Trust me, not finishing your plate does not mean another child goes starving. That food either goes into your body or into the trash. It doesn’t help anyone else either way. If you’re overeating, then you’re just treating your body like a trash can for extra food.
Yes, hunger is a problem both in America and across the world, but whether or not you clean your plate won’t fix that. Yes, it’s frustrating to waste food, but next time take less or take your leftovers home for another time. Eating that food is only hurting you. It forces you to take in more food than your body is telling you that you need, and also creates a feeling of guilt if you ever leave food on your plate.
Your body is incredibly smart and it will tell you when you’ve had enough food or when you need more food. Just because a restaurant, a family member, or your own eyes thought you could eat more doesn’t mean you have to finish your plate. It’s so important to listen to what our bodies are telling us and stop eating once we’re satisfied. Overeating is a way of abusing our bodies, sometimes numbing our emotions, and creating guilt as well, and that’s probably not what you want to be doing to yourself.
There’s no real difference between overeating past fullness and throwing your food into the trash, it’s wasted either way. Next time you have food left on your plate that you don’t want to finish, pass on the guilt trip and throw it away. It is better to put it in the trash than to treat your body poorly.
Your body is a temple, treat it as such.
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