The Other Cost of Over-Eating

1 Sep

I am doing my best to live on a budget these days.  Which is why I should remember that classes with labs require lab manuals and classes online may require a course guide in addition to the book.  Consequently I shelled out an additional $150 for books this week that I was not planning on spending.  It hurt.

In these hard economic times, many of us have had to learn to cut back.  Many can not afford the luxuries they once took for granted enjoyed. We are learning to spend less and more wisely.

Which led to my revelation while in the pantry the other day.

I was making a decision between something leftover in the fridge and some cereal.  I thought to myself about the cost of the two items.  I thought about the shelf-life of the two items.  I thought about the nutrients offered and what I needed.

The wheels in my head began turning about the cost of over-eating.

I am quick to consider the cost of over-eating when it pertains to weight gain, chronic disease, obesity, health care etc.  But, rarely do I consider the ACTUAL instant out of pocket expense of over-eating.

I began to think…

If I eat one more serving of fruit every day than I need, then I will eat 7 extra fruits a week.

If I eat more than the necessary portion at a restaurant, and do not have leftovers to take home, what could have been 2-3 meals, just became one expensive meal.

If I take extra bites or spoonfuls of foods, I am slowly impacting what remains.

Quality food is not cheap to buy, and I am having to buy more of it than I need when I choose to eat more than my body needs.

The long term cost of over-eating is astronomical, when you consider the toll is takes on your body and over all health, compounding over the years to lead to doctor’s visits and medications.  But, I must also consider that when I eat more than I need to fuel my body I am ingesting more than just calories, I am ingesting hard earned money as well.

Now that is food for thought.

Would you rather buy less food of a greater quality or more food of a lesser quality?

Do you consider the cost of your food by serving or portion?

(In no way am I insisting that anyone should stop eating or eat too little to save money.  I am talking about eating more than one needs to maintain a healthy weight and active lifestyle. 

6 Responses to “The Other Cost of Over-Eating”

  1. Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race September 1, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    I always consider the cost which is why it baffles me when people tell me it costs more to eat healthy. They are just looking at the cost of a piece of food but not the long-term implications on health and life insurance, etc.

    But that being said take a look at the example I give to everybody. A box of quinoa costs approximately $3. A case of 12 would cost $36. There are 7.5 servings per box which means that 12 boxes equals 90 servings. Do the math and a serving would cost $.40. Quinoa is a great product that is healthy for you and leaves you full.

    If you eat by serving size and learn to only eat when hungry and learn to eat to satiety then you SAVE money because you are not just stuffing your face all day and night.

    It is quite simple in the grand scheme of things.

    • weightsandmeasures September 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

      Healthy food does cost more up front, but I have been sick once since I changed my diet, and that just so happened to be right after I began working with children on a daily basis. I am 100% certain that eating healthier, real food helps me maintain not only long term health, but immediate health.

      Most of us could not tell someone what I serving of a particular food was if we had to. It would shock many people to know, for instance that a bagel is 4 servings of bread crushed into one doughy (yet delicious) lump.

      I eat some things that are not inexpensive… chia seeds, quality nut butter, good bread, etc. But, if I manage my servings then I win in the end.

  2. Minnooo September 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    This is such a tough equation for me. I try to buy less food of a better quality. But then rather than actually measure real servings I’ll say well this pot of quinoa needs to last me 5 meals etc. I guess a more precise approach would better stretch out my resources.

    • weightsandmeasures September 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

      I would say measuring is key. At one point in human history, when people were accustomed to eating for survival, and not surrounded by super-sized portions, there was a better chance of eating what was needed for the body to survive and thrive. Today, we overestimate what we need to eat. It effects our weight and our wallet. I am hoping to gain some control over both.


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