The Plate rule
Almost everyone at least once in their life has thought about switching to proper nutrition. The Internet is replete with a wealth of information about what, when and in what quantity to eat in order to maintain their youth and health for as long as possible.
It is easy to get lost in this flood of information, especially for someone who is making the first steps on the road to a healthy lifestyle. Tedious calorie counting can be demotivating at the very beginning of your journey. In this case, the plate rule can help.

What is the plate rule?

The plate rule is a dietary principle ideal for those who want to get in shape without the long and painful counting of calories, weighing foods and keeping food diaries.
The world became aware of the plate rule about 30 years ago, thanks to Finnish scientists engaged in the normalization of the gastrointestinal tract of man.

The essence of the method is quite simple: you can take an ordinary plate with a diameter of 20-25 cm and visually divide it in half. Then one of the parts is further divided into two equal parts. As a result, we will get 3 parts: 1 large and 2 equal smaller ones. Each of the parts should now be filled according to a certain principle:

- 1 part (half a plate) - vegetable;
- 2 part (1/4) - garnish;
- 3 part (1/4) - protein.

Distributing food in this way allows a person to get the maximum amount of major macronutrients throughout the day. But let's take a closer look at how each of the constituent parts of the plate is beneficial.

First part.

The plate rule involves a large consumption of vegetables at meals. The benefits to the body are undeniable due to the large amount of minerals and vitamins.
This part of the plate is low in calories due to the minimal amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates and at the same time promotes fast satiety thanks to the fiber contained in the vegetables.

The unique ability of fiber is its ability to swell and increase in size in liquids without being digested by digestive enzymes produced in the stomach and small intestine.
Due to this property, fiber perfectly cleanses the gastrointestinal tract, thereby improving the process of food breakdown and absorption of nutrients in the body. In addition, the daily intake of daily quota of fiber reduces the risk of diabetes, atherosclerosis and cholelithiasis, and accelerates the process of losing weight.

According to the plate rule, the vegetable portion does not include legumes and potatoes. High-calorie potatoes are high in starch, and legumes have more protein than fiber.

Recommended foods can safely include tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, cabbage (white cabbage, cauliflower, sea cabbage), broccoli, pumpkin, arugula, all kinds of greens.

Vegetables can be both fresh and stewed, boiled, steamed, grilled or in the oven. Olive oil or lemon juice is recommended as a dressing.

Second part.

¼ of the plate is filled with foods containing complex carbohydrates: buckwheat, durum wheat pasta, brown and wild rice, bulgur, couscous. A portion of a side dish should equal ¾ cup in its finished form.

Carbohydrate foods supply our bodies with energy, which is especially necessary for people engaged in hard physical or mental work. Slow carbohydrates, unlike fast carbohydrates, promote long digestion and a longer feeling of fullness.
According to the plate rule, the side dish should come right after the vegetable portion.

The third part.

The last part of the plate should be represented by foods rich in proteins: meat, fish, poultry, seafood, eggs, cottage cheese, legumes. Give preference to low-fat varieties of fish, poultry and meat to reduce the calories consumed during the day and not to create a caloric surplus. The optimal portion of protein products should be 80-130 g.

Protein is the basic building material in human body, catalysts of all biochemical reactions, "deliverers" of vitamins, fatty acids and other nutrients to the cells. In addition, proteins allow our immune system and many organs to function smoothly, participate in the synthesis of new cells and tissues, restore muscles after serious physical activity.

Additional recommendations

The plate rule is ideal for anyone who is just beginning their journey to a healthy and slim body or does not want to waste time on a more detailed and detailed analysis of food intake. But despite all its simplicity, this method involves following a number of recommendations:

- Give preference to stewing, boiling, baking in the oven or steaming. Give up frying, because it will add extra calories to your lunch or dinner.
- Do not use mayonnaise, ketchup, or other fatty sauces to dress meals.
- When cooking, replace vegetable oil with olive oil.
- Try not to use potatoes, white rice, or ordinary wheat pasta as a side dish.
- Start your meals with a portion of vegetables, this will allow you to be full faster.
- Do not overeat. No need to force yourself to finish the whole plate, if you feel full. Your body will tell you when it has had enough.
- Eat slowly. You will feel full after about 15 minutes after you have eaten. If you eat fast, you risk overeating.
- The plate rule excludes additives: at one meal the plate can be filled only once.
- Whenever possible, remove the skin and fat from meat and poultry when cooking.
- Use the plate rule for lunch and evening meals.
- The plate rule also applies to complex dishes like stews and pilaf, as well as soups. To do this, add the missing food to the portion in the right amount. A portion of soup that fits in a glass is considered optimal.

Simplicity, ease, choice, and variety of diet make eating by the plate rule convenient, delicious, and, if you follow the rest of the recommendations, safe for your health.