Food plating, is it the “be-all-and-end-all” of a healthy diet?
Did you know that plating your food correctly can be the key to living a healthy life? Food plating is not only how the food looks on your plate but also about the type and amount of food that goes onto your plate.
It’s important to include all the food groups within a healthy eating plan as your body needs different kinds of nutrients which come from a variety of foods. To help you become the ultimate food plating master here are three easy-to-follow steps and some super tips to make sure you live a healthy life, each and every day!
STEP 1: Choose a plate that sets you up for SUCCESS!
Pick a plate that is not too big, that way when you dish up your food in the right portions, your plate looks full (see image below). The brain is a very powerful machine which governs your body therefore choosing a smaller plate is a great way to trick the brain into feeling full. This is especially true for those who are struggling to lose weight. As they say, smaller plate = smaller appetite!
STEP 2: Get the balance RIGHT during mealtimes
As mentioned, you need to ensure that your body has all the nutrients it needs to support a healthy life. This means that all the food groups should be present on your plate during the course of the day. See the infographic below, to help you become a food plating master!
- Fill ½ your plate with veggies. Go wild, as this provides your body with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants!
- Fill ¼ of your plate with a wholegrain and high fiber carbohydrates such as brown/ wild/ basmati rice, wholewheat pasta etc. This provides your body with energy!
- Fill the other ¼ of your plate with a lean protein such as lean beef/ chicken/ fish/ pork or eggs or legumes (beans, split peas or lentils). This provides your body with the nutrients to build and maintain muscle strength.
- Water on the side. Up to 70% of your body is made up of water. Replenish your stores on a regular basis.
STEP 3: Get the balance RIGHT when snacking
Most people enjoy snacking between meals as it gives them a little boost. The benefits of snacking between meals include:
- Keeps your blood glucose (sugar) levels stable throughout the day, especially if you find your energy level drops between meals
- Stops you from eating too much at mealtimes.
You need to remember to snack wisely by including healthy snacks such as fresh fruit and dairy. Lean proteins and healthy fats can be included here too. Aim to plate your snacks instead of eating them out of packets.
SUPER TIPS to HELP YOU plate well:
- Plates with a darker coloured rim can help you plate meals with an emphasis on portion control as you will tend to only serve food on the lighter (inner) part of the plate
- Avoid being tempted by second and third helpings by serving the right portions on your plate and remember the balance!
- Be aware of your feelings of fullness. This message between your gut and brain takes about 20 minutes to register. Eat slowly, pay attention to your body’s cues and enjoy the meal without distractions (e.g. TV) and with family and friends.
- Establish an eating routine by sticking to regular meals and evenly-spaced snack times. Never skip meals.
Optimize your health today by following these three steps and super tips!
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This article is a feature on the following blog http://www.hotelschool.co.za/food-plating