The Plate Method
By Cristina Sutter, SportMedBC RunWalk Dietitian
How much should we eat to maintain a healthy weight?
Following strict diets might help us lose weight in the short term, but they tend to leave us feeling hungry and deprived. This can boost our cravings and sets us up to overeat later and inevitably, regain all that weight afterwards. For long term weight management, we can use the “Plate Method” to enjoy all of our favorite foods in balanced proportions, without having to follow a restrictive diet.
The Plate Method was first introduced to help people with diabetes control their blood sugar. We now know that everyone can really benefit from the Plate Methodto maintain a healthy weight and optimal nutrition and health. The Plate Methodsuggests that we fill half of our plate with vegetables, a quarter of our plate with whole grains, and a quarter of our plate with lean proteins. Aim to have 3 fruits a day and 2-3 servings of dairy products for snacks or with meals as well.
When we serve our meals this way, the fibre from the fruits and vegetables and the protein from lean meats, fish, legumes, dairy products and alternatives keeps us full longer. We don’t have to cut out the carbs, we can choose whole grains more often and keep the portions relatively small. Having a small portion of whole grain on our plates gives us energy, without carb loading our plates with heaps of bread, pasta or rice.
Next time you serve yourself dinner or make your lunch, try to load up on vegetables and lean protein and include a small portion of whole grains. Your plate will be full with a meal that keeps you full for longer, without weighing you down.
Cristina Sutter is a Private Practice Sport Dietitian at Optimal Performance Clinic in Vancouver. For more information, visit cristinasutter.ca.