How to Create a Healthy Soul Food Plate: The healthy plate method (aka My Plate method) is a way to control one portion of the main meal, in which the plate (for women 21-22 centimeters in diameter, for men – 23-24 centimeters) is mentally divided into three parts: half of the plate for non-starchy vegetables, fruits, herbs and berries, 1/4 of the plate for protein products, and 1/4 for complex carbohydrates (cereals, bread, pasta, starchy vegetables). In this article, we will answer the most common questions that arise when using the healthy plate method in practice.
Who May Benefit From Using the My Plate Method?
Whenever it comes to losing weight or keeping the desired weight, we return to the principles of good nutrition and proper eating. The plate rule is a principle that will appeal more to those who find calorie counting a painful and long way to lose weight; who don’t like to weigh every product before putting it in their mouth; and also those who do not like to keep a food diary. Please keep in mind that taking vitamins and supplements such as Delta 9 THC edible does not affect this main principle.
Of course, this approach is not as accurate as calculating the grams of your diet, but it is better than not controlling the amount of food eaten at all. So, if you are a busy person, and you don’t have time to keep a food diary, then the plate principle will definitely save you time, and maybe nerves.
How to Use the My Plate Method in Your Daily Diet?
To understand the essence of the My Plate method, you need to take an ordinary plate with a diameter of 20-24 cm and mentally divide it in half. Then divide one part in half again. You get only 3 parts: one is the largest and two are smaller. And now we can fill our parts with necessary and useful products:
The largest part of the plate should be occupied by vegetables. Vegetables themselves are low in calories, rich in vitamins, minerals, and, most importantly, fiber. Fiber is one of the main components that should be present in the diet of people who are losing weight. It helps the gastrointestinal tract to function normally and removes all unnecessary toxins from the body, which has a positive effect on weight loss. Vegetables can be both fresh and cooked (steamed, boiled, stewed, baked in the oven, or grilled). Try to avoid frying vegetables, even in olive oil. Meanwhile, dressing vegetable salads is better with linseed oil or lemon juice.
It is important to remember that vegetables that you can eat without restrictions do not include potatoes (in any form) and beans. Potatoes are starchy vegetables that contain quite many calories. The list of recommended products for this plate part looks like this:
We can also include lettuce leaves and herbs. We also recommend eating vegetables at the beginning of your meal.
The My Plate rule says: “When you have finished with the vegetables, proceed to the side dish.” Having filled half of your stomach with healthy vegetables, you can, without fear, proceed to complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates include the following products:
- various cereals (oatmeal, buckwheat, wheat, rice, barley, etc.);
- wheat pasta;
- wholemeal bread (contributes to slow digestion and a feeling of long satiety).
Also, carbohydrate products have a positive effect on digestive function, the condition of hair and nails, and of course, provide the necessary energy for sports, especially during weight loss. So, in no case should you neglect complex carbohydrates, you just need to remember:
- potatoes are best boiled but in no case fried;
- choose durum wheat pasta and whole-grain bread;
- try not to boil the oatmeal, but steam it (or cook for about 20 minutes).
Protein is an indispensable component of a rational and balanced diet, so according to the plate rule, protein foods should occupy ¼ of your plate. Firstly, because food rich in protein is digested for a long time, the body spends more calories on digestion, which is important when losing weight and when you need to create a calorie deficit (consume less than spend).
Secondly, protein is the building material for your muscles, which is involved in the synthesis of new cells and tissues. It also restores your muscles after physical exercises and is involved in maintaining immunity and the proper functioning of many systems and organs.
The following products should make your protein-enriched part:
- lean meat: chicken, turkey, rabbit (skin must be removed and fat cut off);
- fish: fatty fish (salmon, mackerel) should be consumed only in the morning;
- low-fat varieties (hake, pollock, tuna, perch) can be consumed in the evening;
- seafood (shrimp, crab, octopus, squid, oysters and lobsters – check out these lobster tails);
- eggs (boiled, in the form of an omelet);
- cottage cheese 0-5%;
- soy products.
The optimal portion of meat and fish is 80-130 g. It is important to note that the plate rule for weight loss is not suitable for all meals, but mostly for lunches, rarely for breakfasts, and never for snacks and dinner. For people who are not trying to lose weight, the plate rule may be suitable for an evening meal, but when losing weight, the last meal should not contain complex carbohydrates at all. Therefore, remember: the ideal time for the plate rule is lunch.
Therefore, if you are very busy, there is no extra time to count the calories of each meal, you can use the plate rule as the basis of your diet and not worry about buying kitchen scales or doing round-the-clock calorie calculations – this is very convenient! Self-organization is your best assistant in achieving the body of your dreams. Only responsibility will help you lose those extra pounds and prepare for the beach season without much effort, and most importantly, expenses on a personal nutritionist. Keep your plate healthy and enjoy quick results!