Are you aiming to lose weight? You’ve probably tried counting calories or weighing food on special scales. Perhaps these methods are working, but let’s face it, they’re either too tiring, boring, or possibly both.
Of course, you’ve the right to select your own way of shedding weight by focusing on healthy methods rather than those with speedy, blindsiding results (spoiler, they could be dangerous).
Today you’re going to discover another method for losing weight healthily, the Plate Method. You can breathe a sigh of relief, because you won’t be counting or weighing anything. Instead, you’ll be dividing your plate into imaginary sections and filling them with nutritious food: fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains.
The plate strategy of weight loss may be beneficial for those who want to eat better, without having to worry about counting calories.
It’s easy to use and you don’t need to be an expert to follow this method. Most importantly, you’ll get all your minerals and vitamins from just one meal. Is the Plate Method effective for weight loss?
Explore this article to find out the answer to this question and for great examples of one-plate dishes for your next meal.
What is the Plate Method for losing weight?
Simply put, the Plate Method for weight loss requires no calorie counting or food weighing. Instead, it’s an easy strategy where you divide your plate into imaginary sections and use each section for a specific food: fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains.
Here are a few points to highlight:
- Half your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables
- The other half of the plate should be packed with proteins and grains
The Plate Method for weight loss for beginners and advanced dietary enthusiasts can be an effective method for trimming away fat.
The Plate Method is a visual way of obtaining enough non-starchy vegetables and lean protein while limiting the amount of carb-rich foods you eat, which tend to have the highest impact on your blood sugar (1).
It should be pointed out that the size of your plate matters too. It must be around 9 inches in diameter. Here’s how you should fill each half of the plate:
- Place non-starchy Super Vegetables such as salad, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, green beans, and carrots on one half of the plate.
- Add lean proteins, such as chicken, turkey, beans, tofu, or eggs to one-quarter of the plate.
- Fill one-quarter with carbohydrate foods. High-carb foods include grains, rice, beans, starchy vegetables (such as potatoes and peas), pasta, fruit, and yogurt. A cup of milk also counts as a carb food (1).
You may be wondering what beverage to enjoy for this meal. Your best options are water or a low-calorie, low-sugar beverage, such as unsweetened iced tea.
Creating a Plate Method for a weight loss journal will help you navigate this strategy effectively and keep tabs on your results. In addition, you can jot down all the recipes in your journal and incorporate them into your daily regime.
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Does the Plate Method work?
There hasn’t been a great deal of research on the Plate Method’s potential, but some studies have shown its positive effects on weight loss.
A 2019 study evaluated the effectiveness of the Plate Method as a part of the diet for losing excess weight in post-myocardial infarction (MI) patients. The results of the study showed positive weight loss outcomes for the Plate Method and concluded that many participants experienced a significant reduction in body weight (2).
Weight loss benefits are not the only reason you should try this type of diet. Check out other advantages of this eating guide:
1. You receive essential vitamins and minerals. As mentioned already, you fill one-half of the plate with non-starchy vegetables, which are lower in calories and offer such nutrients as fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins (3). It’s not rocket science to understand that individuals who are aiming to either lose or manage their weight should consume non-starchy foods as they tend to be relatively low in calories.
Take a look at examples of non-starchy vegetables:
- Salad and other leafy greens, such as lettuce, arugula, spinach, kale, and mustard greens
- Tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant
- Cucumbers, carrots, mushrooms, and celery
- Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and bok choy
- Artichokes, green beans, onions, and asparagus (3)
2. You load up your body with lean proteins. One-quarter of your plate should be filled with lean protein foods. How about the benefits of eating protein? Many foods that contain protein have an abundance of B vitamins and magnesium, which promote a healthy metabolism. Protein-rich foods also include iron for oxygen transport in the blood and zinc for a healthy immune system (4).
Good examples of lean protein-rich foods include:
- Nuts and seeds
- Soy products (4)
3. You get to enjoy healthy carbs. The final quarter of your plate should consist of foods that are high in healthy carbs. Healthy or complex carbohydrates are less processed than many other carb-rich foods. They are packed with healthy nutrients such as fiber. Fiber promotes digestive health and the steady release of glucose, which helps prevent blood sugar spikes (5).
The Plate Method is a great way to focus on eating healthy carbs (5).
Check out the list of complex carbs:
- Whole grains, such as brown rice and quinoa
- Whole-wheat pasta or bread, such as sliced bread and pita
- Whole-grain cereal or oats
- Sweet potatoes, corn, beetroot, and peas (6)
What about dairy and fruits?
They’re on the list too. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests these types of meals:
- A reduced-fat dairy product, such as low-fat cheese or non-fat plain yogurt.
- One serving of fresh fruit, such as a small apple, 1/2 cup of grapes, or 1 cup of strawberries (7).
It’s important to consume dairy in moderation to avoid spikes in blood sugar.
The Plate Method helps you track the number of calories you consume, which ultimately reduces your chances of a Weight Loss Plateau.
To summarize, the Plate Method for weight loss recipes could be beneficial for weight loss goals as well as overall health. Consuming enough plant-based foods and lean protein may decrease your risk of certain diseases. Finally, it’s never too late to ramp up your energy levels and start feeling good about yourself.
What is an example of the Plate Method?
The Plate Method meal plan is versatile as it covers all food and dietary patterns, including vegans and vegetarians. Jazzing up your breakfast, lunches, and dinners with tasteful dishes is something anyone can do with the Plate Method.
Here are my top 3 simple Plate Method recipes for real food lovers:
Classic tomato spaghetti
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon red wine or balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 medium onion
- 1 kg ripe tomatoes, or 2 x 400g tins quality chopped tomatoes
- olive oil
- 15 g Parmesan cheese
- 480 g dried wholewheat spaghetti
How to prepare:
- Chop the basil leaves on a chopping board.
- Peel and slice the onion and garlic.
- Cut the tomatoes in half, then roughly chop them or carefully open the tins of tomatoes.
- Place a saucepan on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the onion, then cook for approximately 7-8 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and basil chopped leaves for a few minutes, then add the fresh or tinned tomatoes and the vinegar.
- Season with salt and pepper, then continue cooking for approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chopped basil leaves, then reduce the heat to low.
- Carefully fill a large pot with boiling water, add a tiny pinch of salt, and bring back to the boil.
- Add the spaghetti and cook according to the instructions on the packet.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain it in a colander over the sink, and add it back to the pot.
- Mix the spaghetti and the sauce.
- Serve with the remaining basil leaves and grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top.
Nutrition per single serving
Sheet-Pan Salmon and Broccoli with Sesame and Ginger
- 4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 grated garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1(2-inch) piece fresh peeled and grated ginger
- 1 pound trimmed and cut broccoli
- 2 trimmed and cut diagonally scallions
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 4 (6oz) skin-on salmon filets
- ½ lime, for serving
- Sesame seeds, for serving
How to prepare:
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Whisk 3 tablespoons of sesame oil with the soy sauce, honey, ginger, vinegar, and garlic in a small bowl. Set the glaze aside.
- Place the broccoli florets and 1½-inch scallion segments on a sheet pan. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil and tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and black pepper. Roast for 5 minutes.
- Place the salmon filets on a plate and pat them dry with paper towels. Brush the filets with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Mix the broccoli and scallions and move to the edges of the pan. Make some space for the salmon filets. Place the salmon filets in the center of the pan. Brush them generously with the glaze.
- Return the pan to the oven and roast the salmon until it is cooked through but still rare in the center, approximately 11-12 minutes.
- Squeeze the lime over the broccoli and add some salt if needed.
- Scatter the sesame seeds and sliced scallions over the salmon.
- Enjoy your dish.
Nutrition per four servings
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Mediterranean Chopped Salad
The Plate Method for weight loss can include top vegan-friendly recipes. Here’s one of them:
- 2 heads chopped romaine
- 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas
- 1/4 thinly sliced red onion
- 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
- 1 diced cucumber
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
- Crumbled vegan feta
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Half a sliced avocado
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 lemon juice
- 2 – 3 teaspoons dijon
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
How to make:
- Layer the romaine in a large mixing bowl and toss with chickpeas, olives, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, and vegan feta.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette dressing over the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Serve with sliced avocado and chopped parsley.
Nutrition per four servings
Does the Plate Method work for weight loss?
The Plate Method only works for weight loss if you fill it with nutritious and healthy foods. Half your plate should include non-starchy vegetables and fruits, while the other half should be divided into two-quarter sections, one of which should consist of lean proteins and the other of complex carbs. Your plate should be no larger than 9-10 inches in diameter. Following these steps makes reaching your weight loss results more likely. In addition, shedding pounds requires adequate sleep, hydration, and exercise habits.
How do I start the Plate Method?
The simple way to make the Plate Method work is to write down healthy recipes with all the required foods and implement them in your daily eating regime. Take a 9-10-inch plate, divide it into imaginary sections, and fill them with the necessary foods. Experiment with versatile recipes that include lean proteins, complex carbs, and non-starchy foods.
What are the benefits of the Plate Method?
Weight loss is the first benefit of the Plate Method. Many people feel too tired and bored from counting calories and weighing foods, but still want to lose weight. The Plate Method doesn’t require this but it does help you maintain a moderate number of calories due to the food division on the plate. Other benefits of the Plate Method include the focus on fiber and lean protein – essential ingredients in your Plate Method dieting guide. Try it out, you’ll feel satiated while obtaining all the necessary nutrients for overall well-being.
The Bottom Line
Is the Plate Method for weight loss effective? Research has shown that this method can be effective for shedding unwanted weight while also promoting overall health.
The Plate Method is a special dieting guide where you divide your 9-10-inch plate into imaginary sections and fill them with essential foods: one half of the plate consists of non-starchy vegetables, one quarter should include lean protein products, and the remaining quarter should include complex carbs.
Due to the fiber and protein-based ingredients, the Plate Method also benefits your heart health and can reduce the risk of some diseases. You’ve now seen three recipes for your Plate Method. Many more are available on the internet, just make sure they include all the necessary ingredients.
Please note that the Plate Method is not the only effective way to lose weight. Trimming away fat is unlikely without taking additional steps such as staying hydrated, sleeping well, and leading an active lifestyle.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Classic tomato spaghetti (2023, jamieoliver.com)
- Diabetes Meal Planning (2023, cdc.gov)
- Effects of “plate model” as a part of dietary intervention for rehabilitation following myocardial infarction: a randomized controlled trial (2019, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Fifteen healthful high carb foods (2023, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Follow Your Heart to Better Health with Lean Protein (2019, ucdavis.edu)
- MEDITERRANEAN SALAD (veganista.com)
- Sheet-Pan Salmon and Broccoli With Sesame and Ginger (nytimes.com)
- Starchy vs. Non-Starchy Vegetables: Differences & Benefits (2023, healtharchives.org)
- U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (2020, myplate.gov)
- What’s the Difference Between Good and Bad Carbs? (2023, webmd.com)