Thinking Out of the Clean Plate Club

After your brain registers that you are full, are any of these thoughts familiar as you continue to eat?

This is so good.

empty plateI love this restaurant; leftovers for lunch is such a treat.

There’s not really enough here to save. It would be a shame to waste any of this.

Next time I’ll divide it into three portions instead of two.

I just won’t eat as much for dinner. I’m sure I won’t get hungry as quickly if I finish this.

At least I’m not having soda with lunch this time.

Why am I doing this?

Now I feel too full. I’m tired and won’t get enough work done.

I think you can quickly identify what thought(s) led to the choice to join the clean plate club, despite feeling full. You can probably also quickly identify the thought(s) that lead to guilt. It is easier to identify when written in front of you, but your thoughts are in your head. You are likely not as skilled at identifying each one. The first step to solving any problem is recognizing where things go awry. To recognize these thoughts in yourself, you may need to start paying more attention to yourself. Eliminate all distractions while you eat, so that you are left with only your own thoughts. It may also be helpful to actually write down your thoughts to assist you in reviewing, analyzing, and disputing them later.

A more helpful thought pattern might go something like this:

That was so good, exactly what I wanted when I was hungry.

I love this restaurant; leftovers for lunch was a special treat.

There’s not really enough here to save.

It is better to waste the food in the trash then to waste the extra calories in my body.

Next time I’ll divide it into three portions instead of two.

I have a plan for dinner and I do not need to eat any extra right now.

I am already on the right path, drinking water instead of soda today.

I am having a great day controlling my eating and enjoying my food.

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