Garbage Disposal Dad

There is a phenomenon that is happening every night during dinner that is throwing your weight-loss goal out the window

I know because it happens in my house.

Alisa makes a wonderful meal, Mexican night for instance.  There is grilled carne asada, black beans, shredded cheese, purple cabbage, guacamole and Greek yogurt (our sour cream substitute).

She plates these wonderful burritos for each of us, puts them on the table, and we sit down as a family.  The burritos are proportionate to our size, so the adults get bigger ones and the kids smaller.

I begin to eat, Alisa’s eating, and the kids begin to eat, but before long they start to complain.  They’ve had 2 or 3 bites and are done and ready for something else.  I’m frustrated because there is a healthy meal before them.

I start to tell them about the many hungry people around the world and I’m talking to myself.  They don’t get it, yet.  We want them to eat, but they don’t get off easy.  They have two choices, either fruits or vegetables and that’s it.

Here’s where the problem comes in.  I’ve eaten a dad size burrito, but there are two half-eaten ones sitting on the table.  The voice inside my head says, “don’t let those burritos go to waste.”

I try not to listen, but I end up grabbing one and eating it.  I’m full, but I’ll pull that second one over and have a bite or two from that one as well.

By this time, the food is hitting my stomach and I realize I’ve had way to0 much.  A food coma overtakes me as I plop onto the couch and turn on some football.  I lay there feeling like a beached whale.

This is not what I set out to do when I sat down to dinner.  I’m the Garbage Disposal Dad.

Is this happening to you during dinner, breakfast, or lunch?

You don’t have to be one…

Here are 3 ways you can make sure you don’t turn into a Garbage Disposal Dad (or Mom):

1.  Make less food.  It’s obvious that if you prepare less food there won’t be extra for us Garbage Disposal Dads to eat after the kids push away from the table.

2.  You know how much you need to eat.  Eat what’s in front of you and then push yourself away from the table.

3.  If you do fall down during a meal, get back up and do better next time.

With these tips, I hope that the Garbage Disposal Dad will be a distant memory as you control your food intake and achieve your fitness & weight-loss goals.  Be conscious of your behaviors at the dinner table, and walk away from dinner feeling great about your food, and portion-size, choices.

Do you struggle with the Garbage Disposal habit?  What have you done to get over it?

(photo source)


  1. Kent & Jennifer says:

    This is my problem. I do well until it is time to clean up and then my will power goes away. I am going to try to make smaller meals and live without leftovers and maybe this will help my weight loss.

    • Great plan of action there Kent. Our will power has to be strong for us to reach our weight-loss goals. You and I both know that a great fitness program is one part of getting fit.

  2. Chrissiwit says:

    Wow, you hit the nail on the head here-I stick to my diet well but can’t figure out why I am not losing…well duh, finishing off the kids lunch/dinner because I can’t stand food waste is the reason. Great article!

    • Glad I was able to shine some light on why you weren’t dropping the pounds. I will have to say that in the few weeks that I’ve realized this I’ve been feeling much better.

  3. Fortunately, I managed to stop that habit a long time ago. I have quite a few others I still need to work on though!

  4. Growing up, I was the “Garbage Disposal Kid.” When everyone was done with their meals, any leftovers were pushed to me and I gladly consumed them. Needless to say, my waist line showed my GDK status quite clearly. A few years back, I lost 75 pounds and have struggled to keep it off. I keep from being a GDD by knowing how much my kids are likely to eat and giving myself smaller portions as well. This way, if they don’t eat as much and I’m tempted to eat from their plate, I won’t be straying that far off course. Alternatively, if the food is still good enough to be eaten another day, I’ll package it up for them (or me) to eat as part of another meal. There’s no shame in leftovers!

    • Congrates on lossing 75 pounds TechyDad, that is awesome! Your forward thinking on serving yourself less knowing you might eat some of the kids is right on. I’ll have to take that into account when I’m plating my dinner. No shame in leftovers IMO.

  5. I was a “Garbage Disposal Mom” and then I read a great line that said basically, waste is waste. Don’t feel the need to waste on your waste! Throw it away…

    I remind myself of that all the time now and it has really helped!

    • That is great Talia. Thanks for sharing that line with us and it is one I’m going to have to put to memory for those times when I’m thinking of grabbing for that waste.


  1. […] 1 1/2 bean & beef burritos with shredded cheese (1/2 was leftover from my daughters plate = Garbage Disposal Dad) […]

Speak Your Mind


Got Time for a Quickie?

Enter your email below to get Free Instant Access to our popular 10-Minute Quickies blueprint!!

  • 8 awesome fat-burning workouts that you can do in ten minutes with no equipment
  • Every power-packed exercise demonstrated step-by-step on video
  • Share fun, fast & effective workouts with your spouse!

Plus, you'll join over 5,000 busy couples and on-the-go parents who enjoy our free newsletter with
exclusive fitness and family health tips.