With the food journal, a health plate is an essential tool for any weight loss, disease control or health gain.
As a nutritionist, I do not encourage the calculation of calories, grams of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. I rather recommend the food diary and the healthy plate, whether for the purpose of eating better, losing weight, controlling diabetes, reducing cholesterol, etc.
The principle of the healthy plate is very simple and easy to apply. Essentially, your plate at the meal becomes your guide. It allows you to regain balance, well-being and even a healthier waistline. No need for scales, measuring cups, complicated calculations that end up reducing the pleasure associated with meals. In addition, the health plate is accessible at all times, at home, such as at a restaurant dinner or at friends!
Use the Health Plate
The use of the health plate is simple. First, we choose a plate 11 inches in diameter, no more! The larger the plate, the larger the portions become generous and consequently, the more you are at risk of gaining weight. It has been shown that the increase in portion sizes in the restaurant, at home, and by the food industry over the years, has contributed to the weight gain of the population.
One can imagine the separate plate in two halves. Half of the top will be reserved for vegetables. Lettuce, broccoli, eggplant, zucchini, bok choy, pepper, mushroom, Swiss chard, rapini, the choices are many. The important thing is to vary the kinds and colors of the vegetables, and not to include the potatoes in this section. We can stack the vegetables as much as we want and even serve more than once! The only vegetables I recommend to limit are carrots, beets, peas, and corn.
Then divide half of the bottom of the plate into two equal sections. One-quarter of the plate will be for foods in the Grain Products Group and the other quarter for Meat and Alternatives.
In the Grain Products section, we opt as much as possible for whole grain products and a source of dietary fiber. Potatoes or sweet potatoes are to be placed in this section of the plate.
The last quarter of the plate is for portions of meat, poultry, oily fish, legumes, eggs or soy products.
For these two sections, it is very important to be limited to the portion of the plate that corresponds to it. We do not use a second time and we avoid stacking food. In general, foods placed in this section should not exceed 1/2 (female) to 3/4 (male) inches in height. Automatically, we will have two servings of grain products and three to four servings of meat and alternatives at each meal.
If we are still a little hungry, after the meal, we add a portion of dairy products or fruit for dessert. Finally, I recommend starting the meal with a large glass of water and finishing it with a nice cup of green tea.
The Purpose Of The Health Plate
- To acquire good eating habits;
- Eat balanced and healthy at all times, no matter where you are;
- Encourage a better consumption of vegetables at meals and, consequently, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants;
- Reduce and better control the size of portions of grain products and meat and alternatives, two food groups often consumed in excess;
- More satiating, it allows to better know the signs of hunger and satiety;
- Encourage fluid intake
- Add color and variety to the menu;
- Meet daily needs;
- Restore energy in a balanced and regular way throughout the day, rather than having imbalances from one meal to another.