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The 'plate method': how to lose weight without dieting and harm to health



The "plate method" is simple and reliable, like a Kalashnikov assault rifle. And it is just as effective: it is not for nothing that nutritionists use it very often to help patients eat a balanced diet, writes "Inosmi".

Photo: Shutterstock

This is an easy-to-understand formula that doesn’t call for excluding foods from the diet, but rather teaches you how to cook varied and healthy meals that promote a balanced diet.

Sometimes less is more. In this case, we are not talking about quantity, but about simplicity. The clearer and simpler the better.

The Plate Method is one of the simplest, most visual and quickest ways to help you keep track of your diet. Very often it is taken as a basis by nutritionists in order to teach patients to adhere to a healthy and balanced diet. This method helps to understand how many foods of a certain type can be included in the diet.

In theory, everything is simple:

  • half of the plate should be vegetables and / or fruits (raw or cooked);
  • a quarter - proteins of high biological value (eggs, lean meat, fish, seafood, vegetable proteins or legumes);
  • another quarter should include complex carbohydrates that dissolve very slowly in water (pasta, rice, potatoes, or whole grain bread).

Adriana Oroz, a nutritionist at the Alimmenta Clinic in Barcelona, ​​talks about this. Alternatively, the plate can be topped off with a small amount of healthy fats in the form of premium unrefined olive oil (primarily), avocados, nuts and seeds.

It looks simple, but when it comes to practice, there are usually some doubts. More often than not, we forget the recommendation to consume complex carbohydrates, for example, we don't always use whole grain bread. According to nutritionist Elisa Escorihuela, author of the nutrition blog Aula de nutrición in ABC Bienestar, these foods contain the highest amount of nutrients and fiber, which contributes to long feelings of fullness.

We make another mistake when choosing proteins, because we do not always choose those that have the necessary nutritional properties. “Cooked sausages and cutlets contain ingredients (high in sugar, salt and saturated fat) that are not good for our health and violate the whole idea of ​​the plate method,” explains the nutritionist.

According to Adriana Oros (@adristylelife on Instagram), we also often forget about diversity. "We eat a lot of meat, but we don't use other sources of high biological value proteins at all, such as fatty and low-fat fish, seafood, eggs, and even small amounts of legumes that contain vegetable proteins."

Photo: Shutterstock

How to calculate proportions correctly

This formula is really very convenient, but for those who are just starting to use it, it is better to organize the order of preparation of the dish. For starters, Adriana Oros suggests adding raw or cooked vegetables, which help make the meal more satisfying but are low in calories. Then we add proteins, and only then carbohydrates, the portion of which will depend on our goals and daily energy costs. If we are not going to do any physical activity, then we can add some rice. At the very end, add some healthy fats, for example, in the form of unrefined olive oil.

Everything really needs to be done like this. But if we are talking about the culinary process, that is, when we are standing at the stove, then, as Elisa Escorihuela suggests, it is best to start cooking pasta, rice or legumes, because they take the longest to cook. At this time, you can do vegetables. At the very end, you can move on to meat, fish and eggs so that when we add these products to the dish, they do not have time to cool down.

As for the portions, Escorihuela invites everyone to try to determine the right amount of ingredients themselves. We can find ourselves in different situations. For example, if we feel that we are hungry, this is not entirely correct, because in the moment of emotional excitement we can eat something that is not very useful. Or we cannot eat the whole dish: then we need to reduce the portions. Also, instead of losing weight, which we initially wanted, we gain it. In this case, you also need to revise the amount of ingredients. Nutt's dietitian advises you to seek professional help to stay healthy and achieve your desired goals.

On the subject: Lose Weight Fast: 3 Popular Interval Fasting Diets in the World

Does this method help you lose weight?

According to Adriana Oros, the "plate method" can really help you to correct weight. On the one hand, because it is based on vegetables, which contribute to satiety due to the fiber and water content, and on the other hand, because the proteins included in such a dish have a high biological value. They're healthier and lower in saturated fat. In addition, carbohydrates must slowly dissolve in water or be complex. These properties allow them to be more satisfying. The same goes for healthy fats that can be added to a meal (premium unrefined olive oil, avocados, seeds, nuts)

When calculating portions, first of all, attention should be paid to foods containing carbohydrates and fats. They can vary depending on the needs and goals of each person. Also, if you have digestive problems or have food intolerances, it is important to accurately determine the serving size of vegetables.

Alimmenta says that while this method can help, each person's diet should be individualized and based on their needs. Therefore, do not forget about other methods that can help you lose weight. For example, you can exercise regularly, get enough rest time, drink plenty of water, and not give in to stress.

For her part, Elisa Escorihuela notes that it is important to monitor the health of everyone. Therefore, nutritionists keep medical records, which include not only possible pathologies, but also anthropometric data (weight, size, body weight analysis and other indicators). Diet can also be influenced by occupation, work schedule, and dietary habits.

If we are talking about the "plate method" for vegetarians, then, according to Elisa Escorihuela, there are two options. For example, 50% of a meal will be plant-based (mostly vegetables and some fruits), and another 50% will be plant-based proteins (legumes or soy products).

Alternatively, half will be vegetables and a little fruit, one quarter will be proteins (legumes, soy products, or nuts), and the other will be complex carbohydrates. That is, we are talking about whole grains (rice, cereals, bread, pasta) or root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava).

The material is published for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and does not replace medical advice. ForumDaily Woman is not responsible for any diagnosis made by the reader based on the site's materials, as well as for the consequences of self-medication, and may not share the point of view of the author or expert.

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