In a multi-cultural country such as India, food is considered sacred and wasting away even a single morsel is adjudged irreverence. “Clean your plate before you get up” has been a practice that has been ingrained from our childhood to make sure we get adequate nourishment during our growing years and more importantly, to ensure that no food gets wasted. While our parents had our best interests on their mind, growing up, it can give way to unhealthy eating habits, disruption of body’s hunger-fullness mechanism, paving the way to weight gain and obesity-related diseases. It also does not help that a majority of us are eating out of big 10 and 12 inch plates. A tendency to finish up all the food that’s there on the plate even after the hunger has been satiated is called the “clean plate syndrome” and if you have a propensity to do the same, welcome, you are now in the “Clean Plate Club.” As we have mentioned earlier, clean plate syndrome can lead to overeating. The concept to continue eating even after you have reached satiety is not a good eating practice because it leads to weight gain and prevents you from losing weight. If you belong to the “clean plate club,” then the first step towards weight loss would be to quit the club. In this post, we have listed down 10 ways to quit the clean plate club for once and all.
What is Clean Plate Syndrome?
The clean plate syndrome is to consume all that food that’s there on the plate despite being full and stuffed. As kids, we were instructed to finish all the food that was served on the plate, but after becoming adults, the guilt of throwing away food eats into our moral conscience. We also often underestimate the calories present in the last few bites and continue overeating in order to finish all that’s there on the plate. Interestingly, the clean plate syndrome is forceful mostly with sugary and high-fat foods, not with healthy food or vegetables.
9 Ways to Quit the Clean Plate Club:
1. Stop Overserving yourself: If you are trying to lose weight, stop eyeballing food quantity, instead measure the amount that is being served, and don’t overserve food that you would later struggle to finish.
2. Eat Until 80% Full: This one simple rule can boost your weight loss and improve overall health as well –”Hara Hachi Bu” is an eating technique that originated from Okinawa region of Japan where people live a long life, are not obese, and rarely suffer from any metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, stroke or cardiovascular issues. “Hara Hachi Bu,” translates to “eat until you are 80% full.” This practice promotes putting a stop to eating once a person reaches 80% satiety. Here’s a detailed post on how to practice to eat until you are 80% full.
3. Portion Control: Without calorie deficit, weight loss cannot happen, and portion control is an essential factor that gets you into calorie deficit. Read about 10 Tips to Portion Control Food for Weight Loss.
4. Meal Prep: Meal prepping promotes healthy eating and saves a lot of time during busy days when you have no time for elaborate cooking. Preparing batches of healthy food and storing them up in the fridge, that would last for most days in the week will save a lot of money, and cut down loads of calories that make their way through ordered foods from restaurants and eateries. Learn how to meal prep on a weekly basis to lose weight on the Rati Beauty app.
5. Eat Mindfully: This practice makes you more conscious about the kind of food you choose to eat, the quantity you are serving, and helping you make the right kind of food choices. All these factors add up when you are trying to lose weight. Mindful eating also makes you more responsive of the signals from the satiety hormone “leptin” on when to stop eating the moment you are full. Read about 9 Mindful Eating Hacks to Eat Right and Lose Weight.
6. Get the Doggie Bag: Restaurants are known for serving large portions, and if you are worried about leftovers, get a doggie bag before you begin to eat, and transfer half of your plate’s content into the bag. This way, you would be able to cut the portion size and lower the chances of overeating.
7. Save the Portion as Leftover: If there’s still food on your plate, save the extra as leftover and get creative the next day, one tip would be to adding it to omelettes or mixing it up with the chappati dough and make delicious rotis.
8. Eat on Smaller Plates: The bigger the plate, the larger is the room for more food to be served. Make that important switch from 10 inch dinner plate to 8 inch small plate, and you would be able to finish everything that’s there on the plate without overeating.
9. Fill Half Plate with Vegetables: As we have mentioned above, you are likely to overeat with sugary and highly-processed food, not with vegetables. Fill half of your plate with vegetables and you would realize that you are able to clean the plate without wasting food and without dumping the extra calories into your body.