The Diet Plate

A week ago,Sue and I were stuck in a restaurant in Alcudia Old Town for a very long afternoon while the rain absolutely bucketed down around us. What could we do, other than get drunk??

And drunk we got. Very.

Part way through this impromptu drinking session, we started discussing my happiness (which is often really quite low) and the fact that my weight has such a bearing on it.

The conversation went like this…

Sue (drunkenly): You eat too much.
FatFran: I know.
S: You do. You eat too much.
FF: Yeah, all right, I know.
S: It’s not that what you eat is all bad. Just Too Much. Too much of it. Your portions are too big.
FF: You’re being mean to me!!!
S: (mortified) Oh no! Am I?? You do though. You eat too much.
Shut up! Leave me alone!!

…and so on and so on until I requested that we change the subject.

The conversation pissed me off a bit, truth be told. We left the restaurant, picked up pizza on the way home (Sue ate more of it than me – HA! God I felt smug!) and were fast asleep before 10pm.

By morning, when sobriety returned, I was no longer pissed off about what Sue had said, but it really was food for thought, because what she said was absolutely right. I probably eat enough for at least two people, most of the time.

So the task that I really need to tackle right now is portion control.

This morning, I crawled under my bed, rooted around and dug out something that I bought several years ago but have never used.

I present The Diet Plate™:

It sections out the plate into an area for carbs, one for protein, another for sauces and vegetables/salad are unlimited.

Close ups:

This week I will use the plate and will probably find that I cry with hunger. I’m genuinely anxious. I fear going to bed hungry, feeling like I’ve not eaten “enough”.

FatFran is worried and a bit scared.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

17 thoughts on “The Diet Plate

  1. I know that I'm not necessarily the best person to offer advice on this one, but I've found (and I think your diet plate agrees) that you don't need to be hungry – just eat more Tasty Vegetables :-)Glad drunken holiday was good – I'm a bit jealous at the moment…

  2. Hey Fran, This is really what cracked it for me. It works, honest, sounds a bit wanky though!I eat every night with my boyfriend and before that ate with my family. Always used to serve up the same portions for each plate. When I went on The Diet one big thing I did was to make sure there was always half as much on my plate as there was on my boyfriend's. Now when we eat, I talk and talk and gesticulate through dinner, eating little forkfuls slowly. I usually end up finishing eating at the same time as him, feel like I've eaten the same amount, never get hungry. AND because I've had such a small portion I can have a mini chocolate or something, which finishes the meal (I have a bag of Hershey's dark kisses, just one for afters). It sounds mad wanky, and psychological yeah, but it really works. No diet plate though, just a little plate for me.But I do think your friend laboured the point in an excessive manner 😉

  3. @Jennie – the thing is, how do you make vegetables tasty? I LIKE vegetables, but in reality, there i only so much steamed green stuff that I can eat without wanting to WEEP.@Jess – it's totally right. My mum's friend did this by using a side-plate for herself for a while and lost significant amounts of weight. The simple fact is, we DON'T need to eat as much food as menfolk. And we can all probably do with cutting down portion sizes anyway. Re my friend, she was drunk and we know each other VERY well, it's totally fine. And she's right! It's all good.

  4. @Jess – re the talking, gesticulating thing, I don't have anyone to talk to! I think that this is a good point though – I eat in front of the TV and pay no attention to what I'm doing really, I quite often can't *really* remember having eaten my food.

  5. Agree about the portion control. When my other half was in training for the iron man and carb loading to the extreme, I found many meals I was eating the same amount despite having done NONE of the 24 hours of exercise a week. In general the less you have on your plate, the more you are forced to enjoy every single mouthful and I think this forces you to slow down, appreciate each mouthful etc. I also think you actually get more used to feeling peckish and not immediately eating to fill a hole. Sometimes I find if I wait 30 minutes feeling hungry, it just passes…..A battle of wills I know.Keep us posted xxx

  6. @Ali – the reason that I got fat in the first place was because I was going out with a bodybuilder and I didn't really realise that I couldn't eat the same amount as him. Consequently, I absolutely ballooned and I've been struggling with my weight ever since (15 years). I think that I just need to accept that I'm going to feel hungry and miserable and wait until I get to the other side as it takes a little while for the stomach to adjust. Horrible. x

  7. Hi Fran!It sounds really weird, but what really helps me when I'm trying to decrease portions is chewing at least 20 times. it's amazing how long your brain takes to respond when your stomach starts telling it its full. Also, the better you chew, the easier it is to digest, so not only are you making you happy, you're making your guts happy too.Also, make sure you're eating protein-rich foods that will make you feel fuller for longer – that always gets me. There's nothing worse than having dinner and then feeling hungry two hours later. Remember that if you do feel hungry, it's ok to snack but make sure you snack on fruit and veggies.It's a really difficult thing to do: I have to completely change how I eat when I take rest weeks from training and go back to grilled chicken, veggies and grilled rice from carb rich foods like enormous pastas and it usually takes a few meals with lots of chewing to get used to it.Good luck and keep posting!Stephanie

  8. @Fran, on the talking thing. I know, that is a pain in the arse. When my boyfriend's not there I make sure I still make dinner an occasion – turn off the telly, pour a glass of cold water (EXCITING), get proper cutlery out, sit at the table. Pre-diet if he wasn't there I'd scoff leftovers from a pan or make three slices of toast with things on from my fridge. Making it a proper event helps. Also what Stephanie says really does work. If you slow your eating pace you get full more quickly. My problem is that I really will eat everything in front of me though regardless of how full I am, so just make sure it never gets on the plate 😉

  9. Lots of very good advice from everyone – totally agree on the chewing thing, and also putting down your cutlery rather than having the next mouthful preloaded… I am just about to break my grandmother's wedding china out of storage again. It's fascinating to see how much smaller the plates in the service are (it's from the 1940s) and I'm going back to eating from those! Also I've found that actually looking at my plate and saying 'I really fancy that so I'm going to eat it and actually I'm not going to eat that bit' works well too – before I seemed to have some sort of demented "I must finish everything on the plate" thing going on even when I was pretty much full or it wasn't that appealing any more…

  10. @Stephanie – that's what Paul McKenna says that you should do! Chew 20 times and really NOTICE what you're eating. It definitely does make you notice the point when you're no longer actively hungry. @Jessica – you're right…but being realistic, I'm not going to be getting the table out (quite a hassle, the chairs are inside it!) every time I eat. I LOVE that you do proper mealtimes though. I would totally do this if I had a boyfriend.@MissW – but how do you make them interesting? HOW HOW HOW???@Gail – I want the wedding china! I think that this is actually a really good idea. Maybe I'll hunt out an antique plate or something that's pretty and appealing to eat from but isn't too big. No idea what size I should be eating from. I think you make a good point re only eating what you WANT rather than eating it all. I tend to eat the vegetables first so that I know that I've got them in me and then CLEARLY I'm going to finish all the good bits. Hmmm. Food for thought.

  11. Hi, I'm back from hols and wanted to catch up with you :)Some suggestions that worked for me: turn off the tv when you eat (even having music/radio is less of a distraction); eat 3/4 this fortnight of the portion you normally would then 2/3 the fortnight after – your body will adjust much more quickly than cutting half of what you eat out! That's just torture! And if it seems like hell eating masses of greens, don't eat them. A diet works best when it's a change in mindset, not a temporary thing. If you hate eating all those dull greens, it'll never become a way of life, so don't bother. If you *do* want some good things to do with greens, I have some super recipes e.g. parboil some green beans, drain. Heat a spray of oil in the same pan, add 1/4 tsp each of sesame seeds, cumin seeds and black mustard seeds, heat till they pop then add the beans back in with a pinch of salt and stir till heated through. Happy to give you more like this if it would help. Hope this is useful Fran, stick in!

  12. @Nicky – that's a really good idea actually, to go down to 3/4, then 2/3, then 1/2…not such a shock to the system! I hadn't thought of that. I was just in full "PUNISH MYSELF" mode. I actually DO like vegetables a lot, I just like the other bits more. I'd really like some recipes for interesting things to do with vegetables though as, as much as I love broccoli, having it steamed every night does get a little bit tired!

  13. Believe it or not there is a tenderstem broccoli site – and it has a "healthy" recipe section too! This is a good recipe from it (but I give the caramelised shallots a miss and cut the oil down) of my favourite courgette recipes – roll-cut courgettes, fry them in a spray of oil till they start to caramelise and get crispy brown bits. Then add in and pinch of sugar, 100ml of stock (chicken/veg) and a load of black pepper and bubble until the stock has disappeared – the courgettes should be tender and flavoursome (if you want them softer, just add a little more stock and bubble away again). Might need salt if your stock isn't already salty. You can adapt this to include combos of garlic/ginger/chilli/cumin seeds etc depending on your mood.Oh, and I have a good recipe for sweet & sour leeks that goes well with a griddled pork loin chop, just email me if you want more recipes.Incidentally, one of the best recipe books I have for simple veg side dishes is the Madhur Jaffry Curry Easy book. Worth a look when you next go into a bookshop.I'm in a phase of taking off the pounds I put on whilst on holiday at the moment and you've inspired me to play around with my veggies more, so thank you!

  14. Oh my god I've just read this blog about the rainy afternoon….so sorry Fran, realised I was bad but not that bad…It was, i hope you know, meant with love and the best intentions. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  15. Sue you dipshit! I LOVE YOU! It was (after the event) FUNNY. And so, so, so, so true. And refreshing – not many people admit that I'm a greedyguts and out of control. It was honestly a good wake up call. LOVE YOU LOTS. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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