Food is the substance that we all require to keep our bodies alive and functioning. Eating provides the way for food to enter our bodies. Eating is basic survival.
Eating through entitlement is eating that is beyond survival concerns. It is eating for fun or for reward or for companionship or for something to do. Entitlement eating concerns itself with taste, texture, and self-satisfaction. Entitlement eating relates not to hunger, but to the right to enjoy the food beyond its nutritional purpose.
Choosing a sweetened cereal for breakfast rather than oatmeal is an example of entitlement eating. Choosing salmon/veal for dinner rather than eggs/a bean dish is entitlement eating. Choosing a cappuccino frappe with extra whipped cream rather than black tea is entitlement eating. Eating three pieces of a delicious tasting pastry that lacks nutritional worth is entitlement eating. Eating a triple patty hamburger rather than a single patty hamburger is entitlement eating.
Creating tasty meals that are attractive and nutritious is not entitlement eating. Eating more of the tasty meals after hunger is sated is entitlement eating. Eating birthday cake is entitlement eating; however, eating it at a celebration with family and friends is positively received (unless too much is eaten).
Eating through entitlement.
Entitlement is part of our normal eating experience. Modern food production has enabled it to be so. Entitlement eating is very present, from the poor to the rich, in varying amounts of wastefulness.
There are ways to eat through the entitlement, that is, to eat without expecting the food to be more than the survival substance that it is. These changes in eating habits and in attitude can lead to better health and well-being.
- Consider the healthful aspects of the foods you eat and change how you view the healthful foods.
- Eat portions that fill but don’t stuff. (I use a salad-size plate at all meals to help me eat less.)
- When you eat, look at your food and smile, and then think a thankful thought about it.
- When you eat, notice the foods—their texture, their taste, their aromas, and their ability to satisfy your appetite. Even foods that have little nutritional value—notice them.
- At events where food is served according to demand, like at buffets, fill your plate once and resist a second visit to the food.
- Think of yourself as a person who eats to survive and then enjoy your food.
You can be a foodie and release the entitlement. By appreciating the foods you eat and by eating the amount that suits your age, sex, and activity level, you can enjoy the magic of food!