According to Wiki, a side-plate (sometimes also called an appetiser plate, a dessert plate, a breakfast plate or a salad plate) can vary from 4 to 9 inches (10-22cm) across. Clearly if you are going to have a go at the Side-Plate Diet, size is a crucial point, although hopefully any side-plate is smaller than a normal dinner plate which you would otherwise be eating off. I have pretty much always eaten lunch and dinner on a normal dinner plate, on top of which (being a fairly greedy kind of gal) giving myself as much food as my husband (Mr Bee, who runs 6 miles a day and works full-time). The psychology of this fascinates me: I am pretty sure I felt that I ‘deserved’ as much food as he was getting. But we all know that women need fewer calories than men, on top of which there is the ever important aspect of Calories Out which I touched on in the first blog. More of that later.
The beauty of the Side-Plate Diet is this: you used to eat x amount every day off bigger plates. By eating off a small plate, you are cutting down on portion size and, so long as you are not putting a large slice of coffee and walnut cake onto that side-plate, this will definitely mean fewer Calories In. Bingo. Weight loss.
Back to plates: according to Google, in the 1960s, dinner plates were roughly 9 inches in diameter. In the 1980s, they grew to around 10 inches. By the year 2000, the average dinner plate was 11 inches in diameter, and now, it’s not unusual to find dishes that are 12 inches or larger. I imagine in the 1950’s these would have been called a platter, and yet, here we are putting our dinners on them. No wonder we are piling on the pounds. I was out with a colleague a few weeks ago who, on seeing my medium-sized coffee (not the large, the size of which resembles a soup bowl) said we are now dealing with American sizes, even for coffee. She is right. A large Coke, at the cinema for example, is enormous – way too much surely.
By changing the portion size you change the amount you consume. No counting, no faddy protein-only, fruit -only, fat-free, juice -only; no meal replacements, no weighing your food, no supplements. Many of these diets (and I have tried a few) are unsustainable; you will get an initial weight loss but where are you 4 months down the line or, more to the point, 12? They are hard to make work in the office, or eating out. With the Side-Plate Diet you eat exactly what you would have been eating, but on a small (I would suggest 7 inch) side-plate.
In my house we have blue Denby crockery (it is sturdy, practical and virtually indestructible) and it has done a very fine job for us for the last 15 years, but I like the idea of eating off pretty, maybe vintage, (maybe very modern – depending on my mood) side plates. You do need to be careful of the size though. I looked at some from John Lewis, but when I read the dimensions closely, although called a side-plate, they were much bigger than 7 inches across.
Alternatively you could use a vintage tea-cup. Just don’t use a normal sized bowl. Remember: portion control. The other fascinating benefit I have found is that by putting these plates and bowls out first thing in the morning, psychologically I know where I stand. It is those plates, no others. Nothing in between. I do not spend my time thinking about food, as I have parameters in which to stay – those plates. It works for me; let me know if you try it and how you get on and do send in your pics.
Thanks for reading. Let me know how you get on.
ANNIE BEE x