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Quit the Clean Plate Club

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member of the clean plate clu

I used to be a proud card-carrying member of the Clean Plate Club.

I ALWAYS finished all of the food on my plate, regardless of how I was feeling hunger-wise.

Growing up, my grandfather taught me I don’t leave the table unless I eat everything on my plate. This turned into me secretly stuffing my pockets with food, and flushing it down the toilet in order to move on with my evening! But it really ingrained in my subconscious that strong belief system.

Plus it was fueled by a mega guilt-trip from my mom, who taught me wasting food is terrible because there are starving kids out there who would really love to eat that food (thanks, mom!).

When I was older, and weight loss was the #1 thing on my mind, it was even harder to leave food on my plate if it tasted great.

I was so restrictive with myself on what I should/shouldn’t eat, that if I finally had something super tasty and on my “shouldn’t” list in front of me (or a “cheat meal”), to leave some behind would mean I would be leaving behind ALL that pleasure! I scarfed it all up like it was my Last Supper – and probably went back for 2nds – as I promised myself I’d never eat {insert not-so-nutritious food here} again.
 
It was basically a pure binge. Even though I wasn’t on a diet, diet mentality was ruling my life.
 
I’d eat until my stomach hurt…manyyy times.
 
I knew I won’t be able to eat that food again, because of my recent self-promise, so why not enjoy now, right?!
 
I was mindlessly eating WAY more food than my body wanted or needed, halting my weight loss efforts, and making me feel like an overstuffed turkey on the reg.
 
That’s why it’s something I’m so passionate about helping women put an end to this…because life is so damn good on the other side!
 
You become free!!
 
Instead of feeling the NEED to eat anything and everything on your plate, you’re easily able to leave even a couple bites when your body says “I’m good.”
 
Instead of this constant stressing about food – am I eating too much? not enough? should I have more protein? – you almost forget to eat (in a good way).
 
Instead of feeling out of control around food, like a mindless zombie over-eating and restricting week after week, you have the ability to eat exactly what you want to eat without forcing it.

To wrap up – here are 3 reasons to QUIT the Clean Plate Club:

It Forces You to Eat Extra Calories…And They Add Up

It doesn’t seem like a big deal to eat that last bite of food on your plate just because it’s there. And it’s not…if you only do it once in a while…but when you are in the mindset of feeling like you always need to clean your plate, that last bite is never a one-time occurrence, it happens every meal. If you are still hungry, then by all means, eat the last bite! But if you are purely eating that bite for the purpose of cleaning your plate, I would challenge you to rethink it. All of those extra bites add up to food your body doesn’t want or need and can show up – physically – on the body.

It Encourages You to Mindlessly Eat Whatever Is In Front of You

It’s a dangerous thing to you train yourself to eat whatever is set in front of you. Think about the restaurants that offer you bottomless chips and salsa or baskets of bread. Or at home, when you grab the whole bag of potato chips or box of crackers and zone out in front of the TV

If you’re in the habit of eating until it’s gone, you are setting yourself up for a whole lot of empty calories and extra weight gain. You are training yourself to ignore any of the signals your body may be sending you. Your body could be screaming, “I’M FULL!” but you choose to ignore it because the empty plate is more important. The more you ignore your body’s signals, the harder they become to detect. It’s really easy to let our eating get out of hand, so check in with yourself, pay attention to what you are eating, how much you are eating, and the messages your body is trying to send you.

It Steals the Joy From Eating

love food. I always have and I hope I always will. It’s not just fuel or sustenance for me. It is a wonderfully delicious and fun experience of different textures and flavors that I legitimately enjoy. I don’t want to plow through my plate just so that I can check another meal off of my list. Eating is not a chore, it’s an enjoyable experience! I’ve found that when I slow down and actually savor my food, I don’t need to eat as much to leave me satisfied. Don’t let that goal or subconscious “rule” of cleaning your plate steal the joy of eating from you. Slow down, taste your food, and appreciate all of its goodness (even if that means leaving some on your plate)!

All of those things combine into developing a habit of mindful eating, which is incredibly helpful in building a healthy lifestyle and making better food choices.

If you want to gain clarity around improving your relationship with food and your body, don’t hesitate to reach out, this is my specialty and I’d love to support you!

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