Why You Should Quit the Clean Plate Club

It almost feels like yesterday. You were sitting in the kitchen staring at the peas on your plate, hoping and wishing that you could get up and go play. But no, instead your mom or dad said what most parents in America (maybe even other countries) say, “There are starving children in Africa. Finish your food.”

This mentality has gotten us in trouble. Since your youth, you had to make sure you were in the “clean plate club.”

Now as adults, even though we know better, we struggle to let go of this mindset. The truth is, you don’t have to finish that plate. You just don’t.

In fact, it would probably serve you better (especially in restaurants) to leave some food on your plate.

3 ways to overcome the clean plate mentality

Ask for a box right away at the restaurant.
You won’t be sorry about this. Ask the server to bring out the box right away. This trick has saved me many times when I am eating out. You box up half of your plate right away. That way you can enjoy what is on your plate and not gain all the calories.

Buy smaller plates.
If you can’t get over the idea of not finishing your plate of food, then purchase smaller plates. The average plate is 12 inches! Try for the 8 inch plate! (And don’t go back for seconds, you cheater!)

Actually donate food to those children in Africa.
Try donating money, food, or goods to those in need. This might help give you some perspective when you sit down to eat your next meal. You can be proud that you have really helped an individual by filling their stomach rather than overfilling you own.

I personally understand how hard it is to break out of this mentality because I was there. I get the box right away most times at restaurants now and I don’t intend on going back.

What are some of your portion control secrets?


photo credit: iwantamonkey

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Amanda is a designer at heart and loves to create infographics! She also loves race cars, spending time with her friends and family, and wasting time on Pinterest. She would be happy spending the rest of her life in Ely, MN.