Do You Need to Adopt a
“Pennies and Crumbs” Mantra? Part 1

A recent conversation among my fitness peers revealed that many of us at one point or another struggle with wasting food.  This isn’t the type of wasting food that comes from forgetting leftovers in the back of your fridge.  (black beans are the worst)

What we were talking about is the struggle we’ve faced to not finish the last few bites our kids leave behind. We simply dislike watching good food go to waste. But is there more to it than that? Yes, and we’ll uncover more in Part 2.

My son never eats his pizza all the way to the crust and sometimes he leaves a chunk of donut behind.  If I said I wasn’t guilty of finishing it off for him, that’d be a big fat lie. Oh, and that 2nd muffin he can’t finish…allow me to help with that…

The list of things mentioned that we’re most guilty for finishing include (but is not limited to):

Pizza Crust
Pop Tart Crust/Corners
Uneaten chips/goldfish/graham crackers
Pancakes, Sausage
Macaroni and cheese
Uneaten chicken nuggets
Fries, Tator Tots
Muffin or biscuit halves
Cake,brownie, donut “crumbs”

Well if you’re sitting there thinking  “Ya I do that, so what?”  Well maybe it’s never been a concern to you or perhaps you’re already good at creating balance in your week.  That’s awesome!  But, for the sake of the blog post, it appears many I coach and talk to are trying to adopt better eating habits, lose or maintain weight, and those pesky leftovers can be haunting. It’s simply a habit we want to have better control over. 

So here’s where the mantra “Pennies and Crumbs” comes in play:

First let’s look at what pennies refers to:

Based on conversations I’ve had, I can speculate that some people struggle wasting uneaten food (the “crumbs”) because they don’t want to see money wasted.  Yet another side of the struggle seems to be a deep-rooted  ‘clear our plate’ mentality we were brought up with… among other similar preached table manners. (And a third reason I’m saving for Part 2)

Now, I’m not suggesting you abandon your budget or change your parenting ways.  Simply that when trying to refrain from eating the “crumbs” it helps to put it in perspective that it’s just pennies.  

It cost you pennies to throw away that pizza crust.  Pennies to toss the last fries in the trash.  Pennies to scrape a few bites of macaroni and cheese down the drain.

Again, this isn’t referring to uneaten MEALS left behind at restaurants or perfectly good partially eaten food that can be put away for later.  I’m talking CRUMBS that are worth PENNIES. 

A few “crumbs” here and there are probably pretty meaningless.  I mean what’s life without a few bites of  leftover macaroni? Or sampling that cookie your kid didn’t finish?  But if it’s habitual overeating after you’ve already consumed your meal, that is the concern. Like eating 3 slices of pizza and being content, but then going on to polish off the crust on your kids plate. 

Let’s look at one more scenario often played out in my family:

Large family gatherings tend to leave a lot of leftover food.  But there’s usually a few things lingering that don’t warrant enough to dirty a tupperware container.  So we plead with everyone to make room and just finish these last few pieces of XYZ.  Why? We simply don’t want to waste it, so SOMEONE should eat it. 

Well you ultimately decide…  

If you’re struggling in this area or having trouble seeing results, then try telling yourself it’s “Pennies and Crumbs.”  

fitness quote mantra


***Part 2 will dig into the science/evidence based studies on hunger and the #1 thing you can do to help stick to your diet goals. 


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