Lose those last 5 kilos…. through using The Plate Model

Lose those last 5 kilos…. through using The Plate Model

“Eat less carbs, don’t have sugar, eat more protein, go fat free, eat more fat, try the 5/2, you have to go Paleo, don’t eat after 6pm, you need to have supplements”…

You wouldn’t be alone if the myriad of opinion and information on how to eat for body composition change, or lasting fat loss confused you to a state of paralysis. In 0.61 second Google will serve up about 25,100 000 articles on how to eat effectively for weight loss, and that’s without listening to your friends or scanning Facebook for the miracle cure…

Through years of helping clients make sustainable positive changes to their health and wellness Paula Allan, Head Coach and owner of 38X Fitness believes that a simple approach is always best.

“Finding a balanced lifestyle and eating plan which is not so rigid and allows you to enjoy your favourites sometimes is important for long term success. If you want to indulge in a dessert or have a glass of wine, not exercise or move for a day – it doesn’t need to derail your efforts. Remember the ‘sometimes’ will not break the bank. It’s what you do most of the time that ultimately delivers the results in the long term. Nutrition need not dictate our lives – it needs to be flexible so we can lead an active healthy life. So if I can educate and support my clients to make the right decisions, most of the time, then we’re definitely a lot closer to the end game”

The changes you make to your nutrition program can’t be fad weight loss program or diet. To achieve success, and still enjoy life, it’s about finding a sustainable healthy routine that will maintain your energy and allow you to move more, maintain a feeling of energy and satiety – and keep you feeling fit and full of life.

In our Get Lean program and 1:1 client coaching we aim to educate our clients on how to make the right choices, 80% of the time, whilst still leaving some space to ‘let your hair down’ and relax. One of the most effective and simple tools to achieve this is to consider The Plate Model.

Put forward by Dr Joanna MacMillan, a well know Sydney nutritionist and media personality, The Plate Model, is a new and improved version of the old food pyramid. We like it and use it because it graphically helps our clients consider the right balance of food, or in a more technical term – the balance of macro and micro-nutrients in each and every meal. It is put in a way that is easy to understand at just a glance, without thinking about how many serves of each and definitely no calorie counting or weighing of food. It’s so simple, a visual of a plate with each category defined by ratio for every meal.

So our advice is basic in it’s approach, choose as unprocessed natural food as possible and follow the Plate Model – you won’t go wrong.


1/ Plant and plant material

Defined on the Plate Model as the green portion. What’s important to note is that this should form 50% of every meal. It’s where most people fall down, instead filling their plate with other macro’s which are more dense in energy, yet offer less of the good stuff for healthy cell function. Plant material (vegetables, salads, fruits) are calorically low in density and packed full of phyto-chemicals and essential micro-nutrients. The fibre from this group of macros is good for intestinal health and elimination through the colon. We need a higher proportion of plants – veggies, green leafy sources and fruit (such as fructose, glucose and lactose – than we do of the more simple carbohydrates sometimes know as the sugars). If we can give you another simple tip here – Eat a RAINBOW of plant material everyday to really get the best.


2/ Clean Proteins

The blue portion defines our protein requirements. The average person who is looking for fat loss performs efficiently and effectively with this amount each meal. You can see how it starts to challenge the traditional Australian approach ‘meat and three veg’ , with bread on the side.

‘Clean’ proteins are harder to come by than you might think. Pesticides, heavy metals, and anti-biotics are abundant in almost all factory produced non-organic, poultry, fish, dairy and eggs. Clean proteins is essential for normal cell structure and function, for the building and repairing of body tissues such as muscle, hair, nails and organs.

Wild caught fish, (I buy from Oceana Traders from the farmers markets at Narrabeen – they also home deliver if you order on online), grass fed meat, free range or organic meat, liver and free range eggs, pea and rice protein powder (80-80% pure hypoallergenic, easily digested protein). Non animal source include quinoa, buckwheat and chia seeds (known as pseudo grain) are also complete proteins. Whilst lentils are not a complete protein in itself, when combined with grains they become complete. Hemp seeds are also 30% protein.


3/ Smart Carbs

The yellow portion or ‘Smart carbs’, is a relatively new term. It really refers to what we know as ‘starches’ such as tubers (e.g. pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin), wholegrains – ( e.g. quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, amaranth, cous cous, oats). Where possible we always recommend to buy from local farmers markets for the freshest produce. Smart Carbs offer different vitamins and minerals, they also give a feeling of satiety. Our body needs carbs without a doubt, however you should know there are better options to choose from, and Smart Carbs are the ones to choose – again think as little process or treatment as possible.


4/ Healthy Fats

The red portion defines what we refer to as Healthy Fats. They include unrefined animal fats, fat from fish, select fats from plants such as olive oil, coconut oils, avocado. Choose full fat over low or non-fat options to allow the natural and required cholesterol development in the body, a hormone h which drives all the systems in the body. Fats help absorb nutrients, can sate hunger and help with extra energy. Choosing Healthy Fats is proven to assist with; better brain function and mood, decreased risk of depression and better cholesterol ratio between the good and bad, which ultimately reduces risk of heart disease.

Losing the last 5 kilos is a combination of knowing what changes to make, and then of course the discipline to stick to it for at least 80% of your week. We find that with guided support through the Get Lean Program at 38X Fitness, that our clients make a steady transition to making better choices, and gaining the health and body composition or fat loss changes they seek.

So use the Plate Model to Be the best version of yourself through eating food that will nourish your body and brain. Indulge in the treats sometimes, life is relatively short and it’s there to be enjoyed!

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