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100 Days restart - Day 17: Stop wasting food

Jenn J

Day 17: Stop wasting food

Do you tend to always clean your plate? As a child, were you told you should never waste food? Unfortunately, old rules about eating all of your food can ruin your diet plan.

Think about where you first heard those clean-your-plate messages. When you were growing up, did people around you cringe if food was wasted? Were you praised for eating it all? Maybe you were taught that leaving food behind wasn't fair to the starving children in the world.

Of course, not wasting food makes total sense. In some cases, you can prevent having too much food in the first place by cooking smaller amounts or sharing meals at restaurants. But even with careful planning, sometimes you'll be stuck with extra food you don't need. Eventually, you have to learn to manage leftovers without eating all of them.

It's wasted anyway

The eat-it-all rule is one of the hardest ones for most people to break. But when you fill your car with gas, you don't keep pumping after the tank is full, spilling the fuel on the ground. So why would you do this with your body?

Here's a new way to look at those old rules around cleaning your plate:

Every time you eat food your body doesn't need, you are wasting it!

So now you have a choice. You can get rid of leftover food by throwing it away or by eating it. Either way, it's wasted.

Eating your child's leftovers

The same thing is true when your children tend to leave food behind. Certainly, it's important to teach kids a sense of responsibility around food. But often, they simply take more than they can finish. If you can't bear to throw away their leftovers, just remind yourself that if you eat it, the food is wasted.

Starting today, make a commitment that you will not waste food by putting it into your body. This mental shift may not come easily. But if you're serious about managing your weight, you have to let go of cleaning your plate. If you can't do this, you'll probably continue to struggle with reaching your goals.


Throw some food away. It can be a tiny amount or a large amount. Remember, by wasting it into the garbage, you're not wasting it into yourself.

Throw some food away. It can be a tiny amount or a large amount. Remember, by wasting it into the garbage, you're not wasting it into yourself.

Write down a few ways you can prevent having excess food around in the first place.

  Lyn💛 Replied:

Either way it is wasted. Something I always remind myself of.

  flower Replied:

If it is suitable for my husbands compost pile , in it goes !! If it is not suitable for composting or freezing for later use in the trash it goes ! I now say " I am no longer hungry " and stop eating , >something I could not always do in the past

  Jenn J Replied:

Such a great way to address excess food. Wish I had a compost but I'm renting and can't do much to the yard other than maintain it.

The opinions expressed on this forum may not represent the opinions of Please consult your physician to determine the weight, nutrition and exercise levels that are best for you.