I hear a lot of excuses (aka reasons) from clients when the scale doesn't move. One of my favorites is the, "I hate to waste food" argument.

This explanation is usually offered up after I've pointed out some questionable food choices and quantities (cans, plural, of pressurized whipped topping, boxes of ready-to-eat restaurant-style frozen foods, individual deep-dish pepperoni pizzas - again, plural - left over Halloween candy, etc.).

What do they say in their defense? "I hate to waste food." "I was brought up to clean my plate." "I won't buy anymore of it once my post-apocalyptic supply is eradicated."

I run into those arguments a lot. People think throwing food away is equivalent to flushing money down a toilet (never mind it's going there anyway - oh yeah, I said it).

They fight me tooth and nail when I tell them to get rid of junk food or leave half a meal behind.

I'm trying to save them a calorie. They think they are saving a nickel.

So I'm gonna take another run at this mountain. Let's see if I can change a few perspectives out there, but I'm not holding my breath - realism at work (not pessimism). Here goes.

The point in time when the money was wasted was when the food was purchased - way up early in the timeline at the grocery store, not standing at home over a trash can.

When that food item beeped across the checkout scanner was the exact moment of waste. After that, it's the fallacy of the sunken cost - money gone.


There's no reason to add pain to misery by adding the purchased, not-needed calories to your hips.

Think about it, by that logic, you spent money you shouldn't have and decided to gain some weight, too.

Here's another.

The point in time when the meal was wasted was when the restaurant put a triple portion on your plate. Just because they don't know a proper amount of food to serve doesn't mean you should gain weight because of it. And don't start in with, "I paid for it - I should get it." No, no. You paid for a hamburger, not a Franken-burger.

And don't give me the bit about starving kids in foreign nations. Let the restaurant feel that guilt as they dump wasted food in their dumpsters.

Rethink this notion of "wasted food." I assure you our Depression-era family members had no intention of contributing to morbid obesity when they said, "Clean your plate."

• NSCA certified personal trainer Shannon Sorrels has a bachelor's degree in chemistry and an MBA. Her Ahwatukee-based company, Physix LLC, works with Valley individuals and groups to improve their overall fitness. Reach her at (480) 528-5660 or visit www.azphysix.com.

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