April 23, 2018

How Economics Can Help You Lose Weight

Economics can help you lose weight! Apply the sunk cost model to eating, especially when eating out. A sunk cost is an already incurred cost, which you can’t get back. Economists suggest not making decisions based on sunk costs (what you’ve already spent).

Here’s how you apply the sunk cost concept to eating: Don’t finish your meal just because you paid for it. Fact, the money is spent regardless if you finish the meal or not. Finishing your meal to get your monies worth isn’t going to change what you’ve already spent (or will spend once the bill comes). Besides, eating more of something doesn’t make it taste better.

Here’s the economic solution: Base your eating decisions on what you’ll spend going forward.  When it comes to overeating, you’ll continue to pay for it with declining health. Continuing to eat after you’re full doesn’t make economic sense.  Easier said than done when it comes to overeating. Especially when food can taste so darn good. That’s why getting in-tune with your body is imperative.

Remember to eat slowly, enjoy each bite, set your silverware down while you chew. Don’t make your next bite while you’re chewing your current bite. When food is especially good, I remind myself it’s not the last time I’ll ever eat it. I will eat Strawberry Shortcake again, lol, so no need to overdo it this time.

Sunk cost can be used everytime you eat. Never eat a meal that isn’t rocking your world. I’ve made dinners that simply weren’t good. My instinct was to continue eating because I’d spent the time and money preparing it. But then I’d be making a decision based on sunk cost. Instead, I threw the meal out. Learned from my mistake and chose to forget about the wasted time, money, and food. It wasn’t a total loss I’m sure I  learned something that will help me better prepare food in the future.

Let’s talk a little more about dining out. Most restaurants serve crazy large portions. Don’t use restaurant meals as your gauge for what’s a healthy amount to eat. Cause it’s not. Just look at calorie counts on restaurant meals. Many restaurant entrees have up to 1000 calories or more.  If you eat half the entrée or meal, the calorie count would be half! Consuming 500 calories is better than 1000! You’ll still get to taste and enjoy the delicious dish. That sounds like pretty darn good compromise to me! Another win/win!

Learning to eat intuitively is the key to eating less. It takes time to learn to eat intuitively and know when you’ve had enough. Not to sound obnoxious, many times I’ve had waiters ask me if everything was alright because I left so much on my plate. Because I’m in-tune with myself  I know down to the last bite if it’ll put me over the edge. It took time to get here.  I’m no stranger to eating too much. I once threw up after a meal at Red Lobster in 1998. Literally, just threw up as I was walking to the car due to too much food. Not my finest moment.

One last tidbit, I’ve read to help one curb the urge to overeat while dining out have the waiter box up half your meal before they deliver it to your table. That way you won’t be tempted to eat it all. That sounds totally obnoxious to me. Let’s not be fussy ladies. If you’re dining at a friends house would you ask them to please box up half? No way! That’d be rude! Let the waiter serve the meal the way it was intended. You can have the leftovers boxed up when you are finished.



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