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Why You Don’t Need to Eat Food You Don’t Like

Last weekend, I did something that seemed radical and made me feel a bit guilty.

I threw out (or rather, composted) a new kind of frozen yogurt I’d tried and didn’t like.

I know this is a big no-no for many of us who’ve had it ingrained to “clean your plate” and not waste food. And I certainly don’t advocate throwing out food regularly – it’s not great for your wallet or the environment.

But at the same time, if you’d made or bought something that you simply don’t like, it’s not necessarily helping if you make yourself eat it.

Possibility of overeating

If you make yourself eat something you don’t like, you could end up overeating for a couple of reasons.

First, you may finish the food just to get it out of the way, as it were, so you won’t have to deal with it again. This might happen even if you weren’t truly hungry enough to eat all of it.

I was tempted to do this with the frozen yogurt. It wasn’t absolutely terrible, but it didn’t have the best flavor, and worse, it was grainy. To me, that defeats the whole point of something like ice cream or frozen yogurt. I want it to be creamy.

Still, I had a momentary thought that I should just finish it off so I could make room in the freezer for something else that I’d like better.

But then I realized that was a silly way to think about it. I didn’t need to eat it to make space, I just needed to get rid of it. In my case, that meant going into the compost bin.

Even if you don’t force yourself to finish the food, you could still end up overeating for another reason. After eating something you don’t like, you may not be satisfied, whether or not you’re still hungry. And if you’re not satisfied, you’re likely going to be tempted to eat something you do like, so you get the taste you want.

Another kind of waste

It may help to remember that overeating has some negative consequences. You won’t see anything going into the trash, but when you consider how you feel after overeating, it results in another kind of waste. Namely, it wastes your energy.

I have yet to meet anyone who feels super energetic after eating more food than they need, and for good reason – your body is spending its energy on digestion. You’ll likely feel low energy for a while and may even want a nap.

And if you’ve overeaten by a lot, you might feel sick to your stomach. That’s also not conducive to going about your day or accomplishing what you’d hoped.

This isn’t to say that you need to be productive every second or stay constantly busy, but it’s hard to even enjoy leisure activities when you’re feeling that groggy or potentially nauseous.

Consider Options for foods you don’t like

When you try new foods or recipes, odds are you’ll eventually end up with something you don’t like. When that happens, consider your options for the food – and throwing it out or composting it is an option.

If you’re lucky, maybe someone else in the house or a nearby friend will like the food, but if not, don’t feel like you have to eat it. After all, forcing yourself to do that could have negative side effects.

So, make the best decision you can about what to do with the food, and then make a mental note of it so you can avoid that food in the future.


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