Is your eating habit devouring your savings?
Ankita walks slowly into her apartment, shuts the door behind her and plops on the couch. It has been a long hectic day at work and seems like the rest of the week will be the same. She still has errands at home to run. Lying there with her eyes closed for a quiet moment, she realizes there is no dinner at home, and at this point ordering in is the easiest option. Which she does today, like many other days. Till this becomes more the norm than the occasional eating out.
This is becoming the story of our lives – we seem to always be too tired to think about what we eat. Eating out has never been this appealing and convenient – and Indians are splurging like never before. Nearly 32% of our income on an average is spent on entertainment and eating out and less than 10% on savings.
What if your eating habits affect your wealth as much as your health? And this is well beyond the restaurant bills that you are paying. Studies have shown that there is a correlation between the underlying behaviour of healthy eating habits and healthy financial habits.
Those who are more likely to save and invest are more likely to pay attention to their health and vice versa. This connect is not a surprising one. When we want to start improving ourselves, fitness and money management are usually the areas of focus. Eating out is not a problem in itself and just eliminating it will not make things better. Instead, what will help is looking at our lives more holistically and understand that unhealthy food can affect our bodies, minds and wealth.
“Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.”- Bethenny Frankel
Whether it’s eating healthy or managing money, how we do it is dictated by similar psychological factors. Some well-known actions points for healthy eating habits are;
Eat fresh home cooked food more often
Be aware of the ingredients in the food you consume
Ditch food fads for more sustainable eating
Plan your meals and set a budget for eating out
The options to eat out are not just limited to restaurants. Not only can you order food from a cook in your neighbourhood or apartment complex via her Whatsapp group, but also order from apps that manage a network of such cooks across the city. Hiring a cook or ordering from one to your home or office, are some of the ways you can eat wholesome food that is reasonably priced.
There have been many studies linking obesity and reduction in cooking. Cooking is a skill that you won’t live to regret. It is cool even! From Jamie Oliver to desi chefs – they all want to show you how to whip up quick meals with the least fuss. This will help keep the interest in food alive as well as cut out impulse eating out, or ordering the food. But what are the motivations for you to do this?
Here are the top 3 reasons to adapt to better eating habits. You:
Will be healthier: This one is an obvious one. Exercise and eating good quality food regularly will help you be healthy now. They will also lay the foundation for better long term health. This means hopefully lesser time and money spent on visits to the doctor and hospitals.
Will be stress-free and happier: Ask any home cook – deciding on what to cook is more painful than the actual cooking. Having a schedule for exercise, planning on what you can eat by either outsourcing the cooking or preparing for it yourself will save you time, money and most importantly, it will buy you peace of mind. If we are what we eat, then eating well leads to a positive frame of mind. An optimist is more likely to be productive and focus on making things better for herself.
Will be wealthier: When you are mindful of what you eat, eating out and processed food consumption come down drastically. Along with the reduced food bills now and medical bills later, eating mindfully is a discipline you build. If consistent, it can translate into prudent saving and investing habits.
Good food experience is more about being mindful about eating than about deep pockets. Just like with money, the key to eating well is discipline.