• Claire Sutcliffe

Use your plate to lose weight

Updated: Mar 28

The fastest way to lose weight and eat healthy, balanced meals that stabilize your blood sugar is by using your plate as a guide. Fill half your plate with vegetables or salad, fill a quarter with rice, potatoes or a bread roll and the other quarter with meat, fish or a protein-rich vegetarian food such as tofu or beans

You also need a bit of dairy each day for healthy bones, so add a bit of grated cheese to your food or have some milk in your tea and coffee or eat a yoghurt for breakfast or dessert. And don't forget to eat a bit of healthy fat - a teaspoon of olive oil, salad dressing, avocado, OR a little bit of butter to help keep your blood sugar steady and supply you with some essential fatty acids. If you prefer you might like to have one square of dark chocolate after your meal instead.

When you eat this way, you get a variety of nutrients, stabilize blood sugar levels, reduce cravings, eat enough fibre, lower the glycemic load, and increase the nutrient density of your meals, without even needing to know what all these things mean. You won't need to count calories, weigh portions or keep a food diary, which can be tedious and time-consuming. And if you do this just three times a day, you will naturally reduce your calorie intake and feel full between meals.

Here's what your meals might look like:

  • Pita, chopped cherry tomatoes, cucumber, onions, lettuce, crumbled feta cheese

  • Grilled chicken breast, salad with a wholewheat roll or baked potato

  • Steak, mushroom rice, green beans

If you want second helpings, check that you are really hungry and not just caught up in mindless eating, then eat a small well-balanced plate of food rather than picking just one food group like the potatoes or the steak, as that suggests you're eating for short term pleasure rather than hunger.

You should not feel hungry for about four hours after eating. Of you do feel hungry you might have been more active than normal or you may have eaten too much starch or sugar at the previous meal especially if you are insulin resistance. You need to consult a doctor or dietitian if you are always hungry between meals and feel like you can't control your blood sugar and cravings despite your best efforts.

You should also wake up hungry, if you are not hungry for breakfast, you probably ate too much at dinner the night before. Or you may just be in the habit of eating a late breakfast, say at 10 am, which is fine. Here are a couple of Plate Method breakfast ideas:

To make this easy, plan and prep as much as you can. You can boil eggs the night before, fry lean bacon and make salsa. As with any behaviour change, organization is better than willpower for success.

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