Food hoarding leads to weight gain and less healthy choices.
American’s throw out more food annually than some counties consume. We are wasting food because we male more than we need and we are often afraid to eat it because of weight gain fears. Throwing it out can lead to guilt and further perpetuates the negative emotions that caused us to gain weight at the start.
Buying too much food is a massive problem in the United States, and it might increase when you are dieting. When you diet, every trip to the supermarket is like a stroll through my field. Every unique or new product is on mine waiting to catch you when you least expect. You buy that new Oreos that are limited time product to squirrel away (hoard) for a better day. Boom, you just blew your diet preloading that weight gain cannon. Maybe not today, but the day will come when you eat the bag of cookies, chips or cakes.
Food hoarding is similar to compulsive hoarding that we have all seen on TV. I am really not talking about that, but it is similar. True hoarders should seek the help of a behavioral health provider. Special care needs to be taken to address an addicts relationship with food. I am not discussing true food addictions, but I am talking about those that tend to buy food to save for a rainy day.
I, retrospect, I have routinely over purchase foods that I just don’t need. I do it to get that new product, take advantage of a sale, or because it catches my eye in a moment of weakness. I tell myself that I am stocking up, but unfortunately, I am just prepping for next gorging. I would be better off only buying the foods I need and so would my waistline.
People tend to buy and eat cheap processed food. They argue that cooking from scratch is difficult, so they hit the easy button and buy crapy processed food. Grocery stores have these foods strategically placed to hit you in your moment of weakness. We want to be healthier and lose weight, but these cheap foods can be too good to pass up if you do not have a plan to avoid them.
Develop a plan:
- Food only goes in the pantry. Do not squirrel it away in multiple locations. You will forget about them; they will spoil, and let the guilt begin.
- Keep an inventory of your pantry. There apps for this and you can even use them to help make shipping lists.
- Plan your meals ahead. Place the ingredients on the list and do not stray from the plan that you have made. Grocery shopping should be limited to the ingredients needed.
- Avoid “that is a great price” syndrome. Two plastic flamingos for a buck is only a great price if you need two plastic flamingos. They might be on sale, but you do not need them in bulk unless you are cooking for a football team.
- Check expiration dates weekly. Weekly checks will ensure fresh ingredients and avoid guilty that may send you gorging to prevent it all from expiring.
- Enlist your family or friends. I try not to shop alone. My wife and I serve as each other’s monitor to avoid reaching for the feel-good comfort foods over the make me healthy foods.
This plan should be catered to the individual, and you should involve the whole family. My wife often prods me or nags me to stick with the plan. The team effort will help you manage willpower weaknesses. It is helpful to come up with a plan of how shopping will occur in the future.
The bottom line: Stop hoarding by sticking to a list. By planning ahead, you are less likely to fall for the need to make a decision that might be influenced by ads and food placement in the grocery store. Consider the list as a system of order to protect you from the chaos of shopping. Simply, lists are a straight-forward system gives the person control when the store is trying to prey on your want to buy more.