On the Waist…or in the Waste?

Perhaps you are wondering how I can cook and/or bake high calorie foods such as the gooey cakes and stay skinny.  I’m here to share. But remember, these are ideas that work for ME.  I’m not a doctor, a dietitian, or a psychologist.  I’m just your average woman (with some nutrition background and experience) trying to fit into my clothes.  I’m hoping this will give you inspiration or an idea you can adapt to your own needs and lifestyle.


One of my  favorite sayings  is “better in the trash than on my hips.” My sister says, “Better to go to waste, than to the waist.”   Here’s the thing.  Eating junk can have lifelong consequences both visually and healthwise.  In my opinion, it is better to throw food in the trash than eat something I don’t need. Just to be clear, we’re not talking about throwing away good, healthy food.   I’m referring to “treats”  that tempt me to overindulge.

Sometimes I rationalize by planning to share with others.  But there may be nobody around at 10:00 at night when that  last piece of pie is calling my name.  So I squish it up (to prevent myself from digging it back out) and throw it in the trash. Even better is putting it down the disposal. Then it’s gone for sure!

I also use this mantra when somebody offers me “the last cookie” so they can throw the box away, or the last helping of mashed potatoes so they can wash the dish.  What?  “My body is not a trash can” I repeat to myself.

In regard to people who would use the “starving kids in China” line, I say, “where are they”?  I would gladly give it to them. In reality, that second serving will not help them at all.  It will just make me fat!

salt on cake

Here’s another tricky situation.  Someone serves me a portion  larger than I need or want.   Leave it behind.   It won’t matter an hour later whether you ate the whole thing except your pants will eventually be tighter.

What if I’m in a restaurant where I can’t get up and throw it away?  In that situation I will salt it heavily or cover the plate with  a napkin to prevent myself from mindlessly nibbling till it’s gone.

Do you have a thought or saying that helps you resist? Please share in the comment section.

p.s. The picture of the little cake on the right has another purpose besides just illustrating the sprinkling salt concept.  I have an assignment in my photography class to take a picture that stops the action.  In this case, the action is in the salt.   Can you see it?

p.s.s.  I understand if you can’t do this.  I can’t do it with cinnamon rolls and certain ice cream.  So we have strict rules about how much is allowed in the house. Like I said, we all have our weaknesses. 🙂

Email This Post Email This Post Share Follow me on Pinterest

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Elsie August 26, 2015 at 8:25 pm

This is a very helpful site. I love the salad in jar idea. I have the dealer but not the attachment. It’s coming home with me this weekend. Everyone here needs this. Thanks for sharing 🙂


Paula August 30, 2015 at 2:37 pm

Hi Elsie,
Thanks for writing. Hope you enjoy all those easy salads.


Natalie January 30, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I just discovered your blog and am bookmarking this post in particular for future reading – great tips!


Anon December 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm

“A moment’s pleasure on the lips, years of fat on the hips”


Paula December 11, 2012 at 11:50 am

Yes! I love it. Already have it memorized. Thanks for sharing.


Grace (www.falvorseeker.com) October 22, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I LOVE the salt idea. I am going to use that one! I love to experiment with new recipes with my girls. So we make them, have a piece and send the rest to work with my husband. Not only do I get it out of the house without throwing it away, but I get wonderful feedback!


Kelsey August 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm

This post, while full of good intentions, is upsetting to me. I was just reading today on TheKitchn.com how America’s food waste is at %40. I can’t bear to see things get thrown out in my house that could have been eaten. Throwing away food is wasteful, and if you’re not going to eat it, look for smaller portioned recipes! Make mini-pies, or freeze the cookie dough and only pull out a little so you only have 2 cookies instead of 24!!!! Don’t buy foods you know you will consume in large quantities, and for goodness sake,

USE SELF CONTROL. When you’re around your kids showing self control, your kids will learn it, too.



Paula August 24, 2012 at 10:08 am

Hi Kelsey,
Thank you for writing. I totally agree about smaller portioned recipes. You might find my post here interesting.

But as you know, there are some situations that don’t allow you to save food or give it to somebody else who needs it. Some that come to mind would be vacationing with no place to store leftovers, banquets where you are served large portions and take-out bags are inappropriate and/or unavailable, or most often, leftovers from parties or big dinners that nobody wants (quality or quantity may keep you from storing yourself) and you can’t seem to give it away, so too often, we end up eating them ourselves when we don’t need them either. Surely you can relate.


Mel July 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm

What a wonderful blog! I found you through a friend’s post on Pinterest. I love salads, but am often too lazy or in too much of a rush to prepare them for lunch. I just ordered a handheld sealer and wide-mouth attachment from Amazon.com. I will pick up the wide-mouth jars tomorrow. Then, I’ll be in salad heaven! Thanks also for the tip about using this technique for other foods. My child loves strawberries, but I’m allergic so we throw lots away. Not anymore. 🙂


Paula July 31, 2012 at 4:50 am

Hope you like it, Mel. You will probably have to experiment a bit with other foods. I mostly stick to lettuce. Vacuum-packing will add 2-3 days storage to your strawberries. Not as good as with lettuce but it will help.


Mel August 9, 2012 at 11:09 pm

OK Paula, I jarred my first salads tonight. I now have 5 jars of romaine in my fridge, along with a jar of strawberries and a jar of cherries (I felt like experimenting). Tomorrow, I’ll have my first jarred salad at work. Can’t wait! Thanks again for this wonderful information.


Paula August 11, 2012 at 8:31 am

Hey Mel,
Hope you enjoyed your easy and convenient salad. Would be interested to know how the cherries turn out. Did you pit them first?


Court Star @ StarSystemz July 20, 2012 at 12:16 am

What great secrets! I always teach my clients to drink water before eating anything including dessert and of course to remind themselves of their goals before indulging on a piece of chocolate cake


Paula July 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Good ideas! Glad you added them to the discussion.


Nancy May 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Just stumbled on your page a few minutes ago and love (and share many of) your ideas.
I struggle with sweet things, especially candy of the chewy variety, calling my name. Since moving to a condo 2 years ago, the garbage shoot is my best friend. Temptation can now be dealt with, by throwing things down there where I can’t get at it and retrieve it from the garbage can.
Your salad in a jar idea is a brilliant one. Your photo of the salt stop action is great and the plate the cake is on is the china pattern I chose when I got married 37 years ago.

I’ll be reading this blog for the next hour I’m sure.
Thanks for some much needed inspiration.


Paula May 30, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Hi Nancy,
Glad you stopped by. Sounds like we might be pretty close in age based on your years of marriage. I had to laugh at the garbage shoot idea. Garbage disposal is pretty hard to dig things out of too. Works great. pr


Vani January 30, 2012 at 8:57 am

I recently discovered your blog, and am enjoying my time perusing it. I thought I’d share a couple tips also for more mindful eating. One is to rate the food on a 1-10 scale. (10 being most favorite food, deemed worthy of the calories) If rated as a 10, then I will think twice about choosing to eat it. This simple act of taking a few seconds to think rationally about whether the choice is worth it, is sometimes, in itself, enough to thwart mindless eating. Another thing, which may sound completely ridiculous, (but works) is to tell myself the food is infected with salmonella…or picture it with maggots crawling through it…and sure enough, the mental picture is enough to kill any craving that once was there!


Paula January 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Hi Vanessa,
Sounds like you are a girl after my own heart. I once bit into a favorite candy bar and it was crawling with maggots. Haven’t been able to eat it since. I’m definitely going to try that little trick. The rating idea is a good one too! pr


Heather January 16, 2012 at 9:25 am

Awesome advice! Similar to the salt trick is to pour water on your meal when your finished.


Paula January 16, 2012 at 11:01 am

Oh yes. Water sounds like a good trick. I have often put things down the garbage disposal but water is good if the sink is not available. Thanks for your kind words about the blog. Pr


Liz Ellis January 12, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I squirt dish soap on the food I don’t want to find myself eating late at night. I, too, do not trust myself enough to avoid digging food from the trash!

And I have my roommate hide the peanut butter (my weakness).


Paula January 13, 2012 at 6:07 am

Hi Liz, Good idea about the roommate hiding your “weakness”. I’m afraid my husband would just eat it himself. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by.


Kim November 28, 2011 at 1:28 am

I like the saying “Eat like a princess.” If I think of myself savoring each small bite, I enjoy less food more than if I wolf a big portion down.


Jackie November 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Paula, you crack me up! And…I agree totally with you! I’m so glad I found this site – it’s my new happy place! I’ve been following for only a couple of weeks and I have already ordered and received a bread machine, made rolls, wheat bread and sweet milk bread, and…..Greek yogurt (which was a hilarious family project and we were all so happily surprised at the perfect yogurt we woke up to the next morning! Thanks so much!


Stacy November 11, 2011 at 6:33 am

Believe it or not, that was what inspired her to do so. A giant bag or oreo cookies. She tossed them, actually felt she wanted to eat them so badly, couldn’t resist them, that she started digging them back out. After eating one and being so angry that she allowed herself to be so trapped in “wanting” something so badly, she sprayed them with fantastic so she could NOT eat them…it worked for her and became her way of releasing things couldn’t resist. I like your idea of smashing things up or using the garbage disposal. This is a great article, why do we think it’s ok to eat what’s left on our children’s plates, eat the last everything so we can throw away a bag, etc to prevent “wasting food?”…It’s only extra calories that we’ll be lugging around internally on our hips 🙂


Stacy November 10, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I had a friend that would throw things in the trash AFTER spraying it down with any type of cleaner you have available. I think she owned stock in Fantastic 😉


Paula November 10, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Wow! I’ve had people tell me they would actually throw things away and then dig them back out. Maybe they should try your friend’s trick.


Raeann October 26, 2011 at 3:39 pm

OMG! Love your tips…I giggled when I read your comment about “squishing” the pie. I seriously have done this for years and have kept the weight off. I struggled losing weight after my one and only child….and then it clicked. Deprivation is a double-edged sword. It led me to eat more and become obsessive about what I couldn’t eat. I chose to eat what I wanted; however, I had a few rules. I wanted to eat healthy and not consume processed foods. I bake alot and love to cook. When I bake cookies…I have a few, my family has a few, and in the trash they go. Also, I swear by high fiber foods. If I have pizza one night (my favorite) I know the next day I have to eat high fiber foods to get rid of all those calories. I eat a high fiber cereal, a salad for lunch, and something sensible for dinner. I also incorporate physical activity. I’m a huge walker and walk everyday. My trick to that is walking on the treadmill one day and then I take outside (weather permitting) the next. I eat want I want with minimal sacrifices. Love you tips and recipes…thanks for sharing!


Sarah Sanchez March 30, 2011 at 6:36 pm

I’ve just discovered your blog and am very intrigued! I need to get my weight down and control my pcos symptoms. I was drawn here by someone who shared your yogurt recipe on Facebook 🙂 Not sure if I will try that or not, but definitely planning on stocking up on some greek yogurt soon. So, to the topic at hand: I’ve been dealing with this very issue lately. Having a one year old, I have to remind myself constantly that just because he doesn’t finish his meal or snack, doesn’t mean I have to eat the leftovers! I love the sayings you’ve mentioned here, hopefully they will come in handy for me.


Michaela February 19, 2011 at 10:59 am

Whenever I’m having a really tough time with something, I think about this post! I recently got a care package loaded with goodies. Some of them were my favorites, but a lot of it was just sale Valentine’s candy.. I remembered this and threw a lot of it away. There are too many delicious foods in the world to waste precious calories on something that’s not absolutely out of this world amazing!


Sarah Cowan May 14, 2013 at 9:01 am

I absolutely agree! I am not going to waste my calories on bad food so if I want chocolate I am going to eat really really good chocolate. I never buy baked goods or breads, always homemade and use herbs and dry spices for flavour. My son has grown up this way and won’t eat junk food. Imagine, a 16 yr old who would rather eat strawberries than a chocolate chip cookie!!! But still, even if the sweets are homemade and even if they are gluten free (gluten free does not necessarily mean better for you or less fattening!!!) I still can’t have them in my home, I will just eat them all. I just love the sayings you posted and will keep them on my fridge. thanks for the blog


Paula May 15, 2013 at 8:39 am

Always nice to hear from like-minded readers. Couldn’t agree more about the whole gluten-free thing. Still have to be careful not to overdo it.


Nancy Colford November 20, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Paula – I was just reading your “to the waste instead of the waist” blog, and it made me want to share this story. A teacher I used to work with was given an enormous chocolate bunny for Easter from a student. Not wanting to hurt his feelings, she accepted it, of course, but then took it home to dispose of it. She knew if she dumped it in the trash she would later fish it out and eat it, so she cut it up and dumped it in the toilet. To her dismay it plugged up her toilet anyway; enough so that she had to call a plumber! It was quite embarrassing for her to explain that, “Yes, that really is chocolate and not something else!” and also having to explain why she had flushed it!


Barbara October 19, 2010 at 7:28 am

Controlling cravings are so hard – But I have come up with a few tricks. A craving takes 15min – so drink water and think of a smell other than food – like a flower or a memory – It helps. Or chew gum. After 15min you will be back on track. Stay out of the kitchen.


Sarah Labdar October 5, 2010 at 11:19 pm

This post is so great! You have some great tips to avoid overeating. In my situation I grew up in a family of 6 where there wasn’t always a lot a food around so it has become my mindset to not let anything go to waste, which has led to excess pounds. However, now that I’m married my husband is someone who has always been very lean and fit. Where as I would always try to use up all the food in our fridge before it goes bad, he would rather just throw it out rather than have to worry about it. for me it is so much easier to not have chips, baked goods or sweets in the house because if I have them I will eat them all up. This works well because I don’t buy them at the store and neither does my husband, except I do crave them quite often! Don’t know how to control those cravings.


Paula October 6, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Sarah, Very interesting comment. Controlling cravings is a whole other subject. If you come up with any brilliant ideas, be sure to share.


Marjorie September 16, 2010 at 11:30 am

Here’s my strategy for eating out: First, I choose something I would really love to eat, even if it’s not the healthiest thing on the menu, like fettuccine Alfredo, for example. I find that I eat more by denying myself than if I just went ahead and got what I wanted in the first place. I immediately divide my dinner in half and eat just that much and ask for a container. When I’m home I then eat a tiny portion of whatever delicacy I’ve brought home along with a healthy salad or a big plate of steamed veggies. I usually can get two more meals out of my leftovers. Plus, I don’t have to live with the guilt of throwing away what my husband worked so hard to provide.


Kelsey August 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm


That’s exactly what I do, as well! Usually the portions are just so gigantic that I wouldn’t be able to eat all of the food if I tried, so I eat slow and mentally divide up the plate and then have the server box it up for me. It’s always nice to be able to have it again the next day/night, it feels like I’m getting more than I paid for. lol.


jane July 27, 2010 at 11:21 pm

My mantra: “better in the trash than on my a** Love the suggestion about the salt for preventing mindless nibbling when out. And your website is great!


LaNette Bendix July 12, 2010 at 12:53 pm

My big downfall where calories are concerned is scraping and eating the last little bits out of my cooking pots as I clean up the kitchen. I really do enjoy those tidbits and just CAN’T resist. Well, I have finally found a trick that works for me every time. As soon as dinner is over, I pop a piece of sugarless gum in my mouth…..simple as that! Mashed potatoes and gravy, meat, veggies or bread……none of that tastes good with sugary-mint flavor already on your tongue!


Amber Monroe June 4, 2010 at 7:14 am

Oh my gosh, I LOVE this blog! What great tips! I’m always thinking “She looks fabulous!” About 5 years ago when I got serious about my weight we stopped keeping icecream (unless fat-free) in the house as well as other things that made me have lovehandles or “sides” as I liked to call them, lol, such as oreos because of the frosting, anything more than skim milk (except whole milk for Ryder) ranch dressing, sour cream, etc. It really helped! Along with excersise I was able to lose 40lbs! I will even tell Bryan to hide sweets if he wants to have them in the house, lol! And I have tossed excess food too! It’s my body after all! I can usually get Bryan to eat it if he is around though. 😉 How much are the vaccum sealers? I LOVE baby spinach, (and lots of other fruits and veggies,) but it always goes bad before I’m done. 🙁 I would love to implement this system into my every day life. I love love love salads, and yes, almost no calories. Anyway, awesome blog! 😀


Romaine June 4, 2010 at 10:46 pm

Thanks for your kind words Amber. You can get vacuum sealers anywhere from 70 to 170$. But you must get one that accepts the wide mouth attachment pictured on my post about the salads.


LWest April 27, 2010 at 8:57 am

Just discovered your blog/website & it’s been great to read! I am teaching my family serving sizes, like cutting pie into 12 pieces or more. Unless we do a day’s worth of farm-work, typical American servings are much too big.

A friend of mine needed to cut out most foods & then add one at a time to see what she was reacting to. She said that after two weeks without processed foods & dessert, some foods she re-introduced seemed way too rich or sweet.


Debbie March 18, 2010 at 7:54 am

Thanks for your ideas! I have never heard that one but I’m going to try to remember it! I work in a high school cafeteria for the first time this year and have packed on some pounds. Now I’m NOT eating the school food anymore and the weather is turning nicer to walk outside for exercise too. I will Keep saying to myself, “better to waste it then Waist it on me!”
Oh, My best friend for years has peppered her food when she feels full – to stop herself from eating it. Have a Great Day!


Margaret February 20, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Good tips. And, yes, I can see the salt. Nice job.


Romaine September 19, 2009 at 7:21 am

Betty, Unfortunately, I think you would be disappointed with the bags. Your lettuce would be completely squashed. That is the beauty of the glass jars. Also good for fruits like strawberries and sliced peaches. They won’t be bruised or mashed. Nor will they turn brown for a few days–even without lemon juice.

One more thing about the jars: they’re reusable. No need to keep buying those expensive plastic bags.


Betty Wcislo September 19, 2009 at 3:31 am

Like the salad in the jar but do do not have foodsaver but the bags that have the little vacuum would probably work.


Ann Hastings August 31, 2009 at 11:25 am

I have no will power when it comes to sweets, junk food or really any food. We have to keep our house stocked for what we need that week or else, we’ll both down whatever snacks are available.


Lori Ann August 25, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Thanks for sharing some of your skinny-secrets! The beau and I have been sharing lunches/dinners when we eat out. A lot of restaurants serve large portions for a single serving. I don’t keep any snacks around otherwise I’d eat them all by myself!


Erin August 24, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Love the idea about salting a dessert you don’t want to eat! And I love your website! I’m subscribing.


Staci August 24, 2009 at 8:41 pm

I always quote your saying (didn’t know it was your sisters saying) “Better to go to waste than to your waist.” I love that one!! As for me…I just can’t keep sweets in the house. I don’t have the will power. We never have ice cream (although there is some in the freezer right now…left over from Brody’s b-day…but I’m doing good resisting it) in our freezer on a regular basis. We also don’t buy cookies or other sweets that are easy to eat mindlessly.


Debbie August 22, 2009 at 8:30 pm

My big downfall is chips. Just tried a new kind “corazonas” supposedly more heart healthy. They were good and after eating, I had to put them down.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: