A dieter emailed me recently after she had watched a three-minute TV segment in which I suggested putting food in the trash. She was concerned, and understandably so. For this dieter and for most people, the notion of trashing food, instead of saving and reusing it, is absurd.

I explained to the dieter that while the TV segment she watched was three minutes long, I had actually been interviewed for about two hours. So, unfortunately, viewers didn’t get to see the whole story about the Beck Diet program or about throwing away food.

In The Beck Diet Solution, I provide a cognitive behavior program which teaches dieters many techniques to lose weight and keep it off permanently. One technique is learning to throw away food–initially–that is too tempting. This doesn’t mean throwing away healthy food that they or someone else could eat in the coming days. Of course, they should keep that! This does mean throwing away junk food that’s too tempting or portions of food that are too small to be part of another meal–but that will be tempting for the dieter to eat as she’s clearing the table or as an unplanned bedtime snack.

A later step in the program is learning how to have tempting food around while resisting it and not having to throw it away. I’ve just found most dieters can’t go immediately to this step, and that throwing away some foods is an essential part of building resistance to tempting foods.