Feb 27, 2021

Common cause of overeating

Let's say, you are in a restaurant with your family. Each of you had ordered items you would like to eat from the menu. Food arrived, you enjoyed the food you ordered. So has your spouse.

But you notice that your child hasn't finished her plate of food. She is struggling to finish. There is quite a bit of food remaining on her plate.

What would you do?
(A) I'd force her to finish what's left on her plate. Wasting food is a crime
(B) I'd take the plate from her and finish off the remaining food. Food shouldn't be wasted
(C) I'd ask my spouse to finish the remaining food. Food shouldn't be wasted but I'm already full
(D) I'd gently nudge my child to eat a little more and then ask her to stop
(E) I'd tell my child that it is okay to waste food and not stuff herself

Which of these behaviors resonate most with you? Which of these behaviors resonate most with your parents? Do you remember your experiences from childhood when you visited a restaurant?

As much as I'm concerned about food wastage, I have observed that I don't exhibit behaviors A, B, or C. My most common behavior is D. That is because of how my dad used to ALWAYS exhibit behavior E while I was growing up. He neither used to force me to wipe my plate clean nor eat the leftovers from my plate.

Yes, we should be mindful about the food we order, but there are higher chances that a child is not able to finish her plate of food. Let's say, a 10-year old orders a plain dosa but the size of the dosa is bigger than what the child's appetite can take in.

Many times, because we don't want to waste the food ordered, we end up eating the leftovers. Instead of letting the food go into the dustbin, we dump it in our stomachs. This is one of the common situations that result in overeating. The excess food that our body doesn't need causes so many issues - indigestion, heaviness, fat accumulation, etc.

So the next time when you are forcing yourself (or your family) to finish the food, pause for a moment and ask yourself - "Am I still hungry? Is this something that my body can process?" 

If the answer is NO, leave the remaining food as is. It is okay. Next time, be more mindful about your order quantity. 

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