Health & Diet

Nutritionist shares clever ’25 plate rule’ for losing weight and keeping it off

A nutritionist at Weight Loss Riga who specialises in helping obese people to transform their lifestyles, Guna Bilande, shared her five rules for losing weight and keeping it off for good.

The nutritionist said: “Most people generally know how to live healthily, but life gets in the way. This is why we need to keep things simple.”

Her number one method is the “25 percent plate rule” which she said is “fundamental” for losing weight.

The method consists in making sure 25 percent of the plate “goes to a lean protein source such as chicken, salmon or eggs”.

Half of the plate should then be dedicated to vegetables, and the rest can be made up of complex carbohydrates such as potato, rice or pasta, the nutritionist explained.

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She added: “Lean protein is really important in the diet because it helps to build and repair muscle, and keeps you feeling fuller for longer, therefore promoting fat loss.”

Another hack dieters can follow on top of the “healthy plate rule” is doing some meal prepping during the week.

Guna said: “If you are making a dish of food, always prepare more than you need. That way you can box up the leftovers and put them in the fridge or freezer for another day. This works with everything from salads or soups for lunch to casseroles or at least stock for dinner. This will stop you from reaching for ‘convenience’ foods which can be packed with salt and sugar.”

The expert stressed how important it is for people to relearn how to slow down when eating and chew properly.

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“People now are used to doing everything very fast, and preferably yesterday. The same goes with eating food. It’s important to slow down and ditch all screens including TVs and phones at mealtimes.

“As well as making it more enjoyable it means you are more likely to stop when you feel full. Taking smaller bites and chewing properly can help with this.”

Finally, drinking plenty of water and exercising 30 minutes a day is key to losing weight and keeping it off, she said.

Keeping hydrated is one of the best ways for suppressing hunger. Guna advised: “When you feel hungry, first drink a glass of water. I say the same thing to women who find they reach for sweet treats when suffering from PMS.

“If you keep well hydrated and if you stick to a high level of protein in your diet, you will keep hunger away. Then if you still want to snack after you’ve had that you are much more likely to go for less food than if you went for it straight away.”

For those who don’t have time to go to the gym every day, they should really keep active for 30 minutes a day.

She recommended: “That could be walking, yoga, Pilates, swimming, or whatever works for you. Some people have arthritis or disabilities which means certain things aren’t possible. Find something that works for you and stick with it. The small things matter.

“It’s almost useless to go for a two-hour hike at the weekend, especially if you then ‘reward’ yourself with a big meal after. Instead, do a 30-minute walk every day or night. This will be more beneficial.”

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