The plate method is nothing new. It has been taught for many, many years and was actually first used for those with diabetes. Visually, it is easy to understand, and most of the time when working with individuals, we can tweak what they are currently eating to align with the mission of the plate method.
So why do I use it in my practice?
When I am working with individuals who have been in the “diet world” for several years, it can be hard to let go of some of that control. It can also be difficult to not have some sort of structure. The plate method allows many benefits and the one I see the most often is: It does not restrict ANY food. All. Foods. Fit.
Most “diets” will tell you a line something similar to this… You must restrict carbs to only x amount of grams. You must eat x amount of protein. You need to drink x amount of water. You must avoid this, this and this. (oof that made me anxious just typing that!) This can be a lot of remember and can feel pretty restrictive.
(Check out this post with the cycle of diets, and why they don’t work!)
I also use this method, because it is not asking you to count, measure or weigh your food. Which is a big relief, but what happens if you are not there yet?
That is okay! My purpose as a dietitian is to meet you where you are at, so I might suggest using your hand as a way to measure. But then working with you to eventually get to a point that you don’t need to use your hand.
For those that have been using the plate method for several weeks or months, I start to see them become very comfortable, to the point where they might not always use the plate method for every meal. And this is 100% okay. And actually this is what I want. This is where the intuitive eating aspect comes into play.
I know this can sound difficult, I get it. So if you are struggling, set a goal for yourself. Maybe: I will try the plate method for breakfast 3 times per week for the next month. Hopefully a realistic goal will be helpful for you to help with easing into using the plate method.
There are several other reasons why I like to use this method in my practice:
- Snacks are similar to this method: Protein (satiety) + Carb (energy)
- Cheese + crackers
- Peanut Butter + apple
- Yogurt + granola
- Can be used for those who are active (I will have a separate post soon on this!)
- Can be used for those who are vegetarian, vegan or anything speciality diet.
- You will start to feel the freedom that eating without a diet can provide you with!
If you have more questions or would like to work together please check out my different courses I offer on the plate method!