Yesterday I stopped at the convenience store to buy some sort of junkie, sugar, HFCS, etc etc filled food just because I haven’t had anything like that in so long and I was just in the mood for it. You ever felt that way? Probably not.
As I was checking out, the clerk said to me “these are 50 cents for 1 or you can get 3 for 1 dollar”.
What a great deal! Without hesitating and thinking I almost said “yeah, I’ll do that”. Who doesn’t love the thought of getting a good deal, especially on something so tasty as a little debbie oatmeal cream pie. I could have eaten all three of those puppies easily by the time I got home and no one would’ve been any wiser.
But wait! I started thinking this thing through. Maybe this isn’t such a good deal after all.
I’m not sure if I can convey my point on “paper” but I’m gonna try.
First let me state that I’m not struggling with my weight and I’m not addicted to junk food as some would call it. I also eat a very clean diet 90% of the time consisting of fresh veggies, almond milk, deer meat (the real grass fed stuff), and so forth. I just wanted something on this particular day.
So why isn’t this such a good deal?
Let’s break it down into it’s parts that are relevant for good health and weight loss since that’s the theme of my blog. I’m spending 50 cents for the pleasure of eating 310 sugar laden, insulin inducing, fat storing calories that will be consumed in a matter of minutes.
I think we can all agree that’s a bad thing. But at least I’ve only had one and if I’m counting calories then I’ve still got some room for eating something more on the healthy side of the fence.
Now let’s assume I caved in and took the prize behind door #2 (props to Let’s Make A Deal). I’ve spent an extra 50 cents and now I have THREE oatmeal cream pies totaling 930 sugar laden, insulin inducing, fat storing calories.
How do you think this is going to play out during my 20 minute drive home? Maybe I rationalized it by saying that I’ll give these other 2 to my girls when I get home. However, chances are good that I won’t be “full” after that first one is gone. Now I’m thinking “my kids don’t need to be eating this stuff” and I start thinking about “saving” them by eating all three pies. After all, I can’t go home with just one. Who would get it?
By The Time I get Home
All three are gone. Instead of being satisfied with spending 50 cents, enjoying the taste by eating it slowly, and only consuming 310 calories (easily burned off in 1 workout). I’ve spent $1, ate the first one so fast I almost didn’t taste it, and consumed 930 empty calories in about 20 minutes. Calories that are going to create cravings in about 1 hour when my blood sugar crashes. Calories that will take multiple workouts to exterminate.
What’s The Take Away Point
Just because you’re getting “something for nothing” doesn’t mean you should always take the something. Great marketing in the food industry has created an obesity epidemic here in the United States. Fast food employees are told to always ask “do you want to supersize that for an extra 90 cents?”. One normal size candy bar will cost you 75% of what a giant candy bar cost “so why not get the biggest bang for your buck”. You feel like you’re wasting your money if you DON’T buy the extra since it’s only a little bit more. We consider only the financial aspect of the purchase. Never the health aspect (unless you’re grocery shopping).
I’m not blaming great marketing for our obesity epidemic (yes, epidemic). After all, we make our own choices.
I’m not sure how to get you, or anyone, to stop thinking and buying like this. If you have any ideas I’d love for you to share ’em with me and the rest of the readers.
I could say things like “would you buy that if the price were equal?” Of course the answer would be no. That’s the beauty of the marketing and why it’s so effective. All I can say is that you MUST put your thinking cap on when you’re making food purchases if you’re trying to lose weight and stay healthy.
I Control It Like This
I consider it as I’m saving that 50 cents or 90 or $1 to improve my health and well being. That’s money I spent on my health. that’s $1 I can put towards buying those organic omega 3 rich eggs that cost $2 more than the others.
By using that line of thinking, I eat less and I have the money I need to buy the foods that are going to enrich my wellness.
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