When I was a kid, my parents, like many others, implored me to finish my food.
“Come on, you’ll be a member of the Clean Plate Club!” they promised.
Personally, this sounded like the lamest club ever. There were no badges, no field trips, no cookies, and definitely no stickers.
But now that I’m a grownup (or at least that’s what they tell me), I do sometimes find myself staring back at an empty plate on the first go-around. Each time, I chuckle inside and think back to my former glory days of rejected boiled kielbasa and thawed, limp green beans.
Then, this gets me thinking. As a society, why must we be concerned with the Clean Plate Club?
In fact, lameness aside, I call BS on the Clean Plate Club. There must be no shame for those who can’t join the Clean Plate Club. On the contrary, we should celebrate and encourage it! Instead of stuffing our faces, we should limit our food intake.
I’m so much of a proponent of ditching the Clean Plate Club that I bestow upon you, dear reader, this badge. It’s more than you’ve ever gotten from the Clean Plate Club!
But why all this hatred towards a cherished childhood tradition?
Let me expound upon the many ways thee hates the Clean Plate Club…
- 0.1 Eating Past Satiety Makes You Gain Weight
- 0.2 Eating Tons Of Food Is More Expensive
- 0.3 Eating Too Much Food Makes You Less Productive
- 1 How I Limit My Food Intake Without Joining The Clean Plate Club
Eating Past Satiety Makes You Gain Weight
There are a lot of legit medical reasons why someone might be overweight. But do you know what doesn’t help? Eating way past when you’re full just so you can say you ate it all.
Eating Tons Of Food Is More Expensive
I get why you might want to finish the food on your plate. You don’t want to waste it. You don’t want the frugal police to come spouting out of your closet like some kind of financially-shaming clown car.
But now that we’re grownups and we’re at least probably hopefully making food we actually like, why not instead save some of that extra food?
Pocketing your leftovers for a later meal has saved us a ton of money since I started cutting back my portion sizes. Now, if I am not able to finish a dinner, instead of throwing out the leftovers I’ll plop them into a Tupperware container.
This saves me from buying extra groceries for lunch, and it also means I’m eating a smaller portion for lunch itself. Win-win!
Eating Too Much Food Makes You Less Productive
If there’s one thing I’ve learned since working from home as a full-time freelance writer, it’s this:
You cannot eat big meals for lunch.
You might be able to hide away in your cubicle at work if you fall into a food-coma-induced haze from eating too many chicken wings.
But at home, your bed is literally right around the corner, and it is lined with sirens singing songs of relaxation, comfort, and blankets. And unlike Odysseus, you can’t plug the ears of your workers and command them to carry on past those lovely serenades.
You’ve got to fight the sleepy urge in the first place.
By not stuffing your face hole.
How I Limit My Food Intake Without Joining The Clean Plate Club
I’m not a large person by any stretch of the imagination. Or waistline.
All dad jokes aside, I have noticed that I’ve been gaining a small amount of weight steadily over the past few years. All of my close family members are overweight or obese, and I’ve seen what effect that has on their lifestyle. That’s why I gotta nip that weight gain in the bud. Or butt. (I’ll be here all night, folks).
I’ve already spoken about how I keep up with a cheap fitness routine, and so here I’ll tell you about how I’m limiting my food intake to reasonable levels.
Related post: The Many Frugal Wonders of Leftover Pulled Pork
Cook Double Batches
I always cook double batches when I make something. I’m not a celebrity chef; I don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen.
Instead, I’ll cook up a double batch for me and my husband and split it up into multiple portions. If I think I’ll eat it within a week, I’ll put the leftovers in the fridge. If I think it’ll be longer, I’ll stash them in the freezer.
Pro tip: make the portion sizes smaller than you might otherwise dish out. It’ll limit your calorie intake, while also making it a hassle to go and heat up more later. I’m all about exploiting laziness for financial gain.
Eat Only Until You’re Full
For fuck’s sake, put down the fork once you’re full enough! Package up those leftovers for later and use it for a low-calorie lunch or a snack later.
Learn to love your leftovers.
They don’t bite, I promise.
Related: Rubbermaid Storage Container Set
Two weeks ago, I made some chili. I packaged it up into a container and later ate it for lunch. But before I could finish it, I got full again and put it up for later.
I ate out of that single leftover container for THREE meals. That’s three more meals I didn’t have to pay for, and could put back in my wallet. #TrueFacts.
Track Your Food Intake
If you record exactly what you’re eating, you’re more likely to eat less. You can see exactly how many calories you’re putting into your body with each bite of food. And, let’s be honest, it’s a PITA to record food intake.
It’s the same thing with my budget. I manually record what I’ve spent in my budget each day, and that makes me less likely to spend.
I like to use a smartphone app for this. Because I’m a millennial, dammit, and I represent. My favorite app is the free MyFitnessPal because it has the most comprehensive food library.
I’m not some muscle-bound weightlifting wrestling champ, but even I can see the benefits of intermittent fasting. Basically, all this means is that you skip breakfast.
If you cut out one of the three meals per day—guess what? Your grocery expenses will go down as well because you’re not buying wheelbarrow-full loads of bacon and eggs each week.
I don’t do this every day, like when I go to my Toastmasters meeting once in the morning each week. No one wants to hear a speech made by my gurgling stomach.
But when I’m working at home, I can drink enough maté and water to keep the stomach growls at bay while also visiting the bathroom to pee approximately 14 times per hour.
Related post: How I’m Saving Over $700/Year With A Water Challenge
Who’s with me?! Do you reject the Clean Plate Club too? Leave a comment below!