Are you still a member of The Clean Plate Club? 

by | May 6, 2023

Still a member of the Clean Plate Club?

unhappy clean plate

Here are some tell tale ways to know.

When you were younger, did your grown ups tell you that:

  • You had to clean your plate or you wouldn’t get dessert? 
  • You had to sit at the table until you finished your all your dinner?
  • You needed to eat everything you were served because there were starving children in Africa/China? 

This messaging gets so deeply ingrained!  Most all of my clients struggle with this. 

Message: “Even if you’re already full, you are obligated to eat it all.”
And oh, the guilt and shame if you don’t!

Here’s a different spin:
Your cleaning your plate isn’t going to help the starving children. They’re not going to have the benefit of that half portion of creamed spinach you can’t finish. 

What those starving children need is you.  You – comfortably fed, clearheaded, confident, and capable.  They need you to show up.

Maybe you’re not a policy maker or an USAID worker or on the board of an organization that directly works to fight world hunger.  But, if you think about the interconnectedness of us all, your actions can impact those starving children in a really positive way.

Or not.

Let’s say you’re an Uber driver.  You’ve got the night shift, so you have dinner before you head out. 

While you’re eating, you notice that you’re getting full.  But your plate’s not empty, there is still perfectly good food there, and you’re conditioned to ignore your body’s natural fullness cue in the interest of cleaning your plate, so you stuff it all in.

You pick up your passenger. That person doesn’t get the benefit of your natural friendliness or grace because you’re stuffed, uncomfortable, and short tempered.

Turns out that person works for the person who works for a company that does amazing outreach and has impacted real change in the lives of those who struggle with hunger. 

If you weren’t stuffed and sullen, you might have said or done something to really brighten that person’s day.  And they’d take that light into their work and life and it would go up and through the radiating chain that holds us all together and wonderful things would happen for those starving children.

But you had eaten past fullness and cleaned your plate. It squashed your light, and the children aren’t any better off than before. 

So, if you really want to effect change, start with you being true to yourself and not eating more than you want or need.  Honor your body’s natural fullness cues, and stop eating when you’re satisfied.

Now, if you’ve been eating past fullness for years, it’s likely you don’t even recognize those cues and might not believe that you have them. 

Trust me, you do.

Every day I help my clients slow down, change their eating habits, and learn to feel and heed those cues. You, too, can break free from the limiting rules and restrictions you have around eating.

I’m so grateful to be part of the chain that helps so many people.

“I’ve allowed myself to consider how the patterns of my childhood
have impacted my habits today.” – AH

If you’re interested in learning more about breaking free from the Clean Plate Club, I’d be happy to talk to you – I offer free consultations.  You can schedule one here.

Heads up, I’m hosting my Mindful Cookies workshop in two weeks, Thursday, May 18 at 7pm eastern.  Believe it or not, this workshop can help you quit the Clean Plate Club. Double win – you learn how to take care of yourself, which will help others, and bonus: you get a cookie.  Sign up here.


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Hi, I’m Jennifer! I’ve been in practice for over 15 years, and have helped over a hundred women heal their relationship with food.

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