If you're one of those people who's eyes light up when free food is mentioned (and we probably all have been guilty of this), then check out these 6 reasons you should stop and check yourself before you wreck yourself. There may be the odd occasion when very high quality real food is available for free, but we haven't seen it in a long time, so this article just addresses the unfortunate norm.
These occasions can be anything from an after work client function, a feebie sample at the supermarket, to the never ending biscuit packets in the work staffroom.
It's Cheap (and flavourless)
- It might sound like a bargain, being free and all, but if you really analyse what is generally given away as free, it is low-quality, mass produced and industrial fake food a lot of the time. Exactly the foods you don't want. Train yourself to spend more for quality foods, and increase your enjoyment that way. Plus when your palate is used to real fresh food it can tell the difference when it eats cheaper inferior fake food.... and it doesn't like it (also see number 4).
It's bad for you.
- Most chronic modern diseases are linked to high sugar levels, high processed fat levels, and other chemicals contained in processed foods. Though there is no 100% reliable way to avoid these issues, avoiding these foods at least puts you in more control of your ongoing health.
You're not saving money
- Because processed foods are less satisfying they'll leave you wanting another meal soon after, one which wont be free. You wont have cut any dollars from your food bill unfortunately, and when you factor in future potential health-care costs it looks a more expensive way to eat.
You'll feel gross afterwards
- Eating free often results in overeating (as it does with free alcohol). For some reason we cease to check with how hungry we're actually feeling before filling up on whatever is on offer. Take your time to check your real hunger levels first.
Insulin resistance and weight gain
- Refined processed foods can lead to insulin resistance, making the free meal and your next one more fattening because of the effect on your metabolism. Eating this way often can lead to chronic issues, weight gain, and potentially type 2 diabetes.
You're eating empty calories
- Foods typically offered as free (or very cheap upsizes) don't tend to meet our nutritional needs. They are low in the vitamins and minerals our body craves from real food. These calories tend to pile on top of whatever our normal food intake for the day is too. This surplus, if taken in regularly can lead very easily to point number 5.