size of your plate making you overeat Waitplate

Is the size of your plate making you overeat?

At Waitplate we talk a lot about the psychology behind food and how sensible eating comes down to retraining our brain and eating habits. One of those habits is re-educating our brain to understand portion sizes visually (as seen through our portion control plates).

In the Western World in particular, we have become conditioned into expecting a full plate of food with not much bare surface space – unless that space is drizzled with sauce. This becomes a problem when the physical size of our dinner plates is getting bigger.

Below is a timeline of the average size of dinner plates over the last 60 years:

1950’s – 9 inches

1980’s – 10 inches

2000’s – 11 inches

2013 – 13 inches

When our stomach and appetite work on visual cues from our brain, this increase in plate size across the years is not giving us much of a chance to maintain sensible eating habits and portion control. Our urge to fill up every blank space on our plates with food is leading us to overeating without even realising it.

The other concern with the size of plates is children overeating.  When children are being served the same sized plates as adults, particularly if these plates are 13 inches, this is setting the child up for possible overeating and even obesity issues.

By educating not only yourself but your children’s visual aids when it comes to portion control and how much is enough, it all starts with the plate you’re serving the meal on.

The Waitplate System offers the perfect tool that that whole family can use with our Contemporary Plate and our Waitplate Portion Control plate offering tableware that physically maps out how much you actually need on your plate – and it’s not 13 inches!




Michelle Bridges ABC Australian Story

Michelle Bridges speaks out about childhood obesity on ABC’s Australian Story

Childhood obesity is a hot topic and with good reason. There is an estimated 1.5 million people in Australia under the age of 18 that are considered overweight or obese. This transcends into approximately 20-25% of Australian children being overweight or obese.

Alarmingly, if this trends continues one third of Australian children will be obese by 2020.

In a recent interview as part of her Australian Story episode ‘Building Bridges’ which aired on the ABC earlier this week, fitness trainer, business woman and media personality Michelle Bridges has also jumped on the wagon to address and tackle the issue of childhood obesity. In her story Michelle said:

Having Axel has really made me think about how I can use what I’ve learnt about health and fitness to make a better life for kids like him. Potentially getting out there and putting some truth and hard-hitting messages around the junk food industry and the sugar industry. And the truth of the matter is: they sell crap food and make people sick. And that makes me angry.

I’d like to tackle the junk food industry the way that the tobacco industry was tackled 50-odd years ago. We’re now seeing children that potentially have a lifespan shorter than their parents. Never before have we ever seen that globally. We’re now seeing it. Why? I’d like to get out there and start fighting the fight for others who can’t fight the fight.”

Not only are children eating the wrong foods but they’re eating too much of it. The difficulty is that children will only eat what is put in front of them from their parents, which is not only establishing their eating behavior but also their future health.

Educating children at a young age about ‘sometimes’ foods, the importance of healthy food, the correct portion sizes of food and the speed they should be eating their food all contribute to their overall health and well-being both as a child and as they grow into adults.

Michelle Bridges ABC Australian Story L

Michell Bridges on ABC’s Australian Story ‘Building Bridges’.

How food affects your mood Waitplate

How your food is affecting your mood

The best example we can all relate to in regards to a particular food group affecting our mood is the famous ‘sugar rush’ we experience after eating a bar of chocolate. It’s that burst of energy we receive as our taste buds revel in the sweetness and our brains go into overdrive. Then it wears off and we’re left feeling tired, flat and sometimes even a bit grumpy.

It’s no secret that food affects our mood as our bodies react to the breakdown and processing of what we’ve just consumed. If you are feeling healthy and content, you will more than likely be in balanced and happy mood. However, if you are feeling lethargic and somewhat unsettled in your stomach, your mood is more than likely to reflect that.

So why does what we eat affect how we feel?

The scientific answer is that we have in fact two ‘brains’ – one in our stomach and one in our head that are connected to one another via our vagus nerve. This explains why we have cravings and why our diet directly affects how we feel emotionally.

The three most influential food groups we can digest to cause mood swings are:

  1. Sugar
  2. Gluten
  3. Processed foods

The body’s natural make-up does not nutritionally require excess amounts of these above groups, in fact many people have cut them out of their diet completely.  With the increasing number of people suffering from mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, a link can be somewhat made with our increased consumption of bad food. It is easy to see a very subtle trend.

If you are feeling unsatisfied, lethargic, nauseous  or just generally unwell after eating, then this is your body’s way of telling you that it is not receiving the nutrients it needs. Simply  put, the first step to getting yourself into a good mood starts with what food you’re eating.

how-food-affects-your-mood Waitplate Sytems


waitplate table setting

How setting your table can make a difference

Many of us are guilty of using our dining room table for everything but eating. A dumping ground for paperwork and laptops, folding the laundry, kids toys, the list goes on.

Try and think back to the day you went and purchased your dining room set. It was probably one of your biggest furniture purchases for your home outside of your lounge suite. And there was probably a lot of thought put into which dining room set was best for you and your home.

Instilling a set place and routine for meals is one of the first steps in retraining your eating behaviour and getting your habits right for a healthy lifestyle.

Sitting at a table while you’re eating is good for your posture, digestion, speed of eating and general enjoyment of the meal. So why not make an effort and use the one piece of furniture in your house that was actually specifically designed for eating?

So the next step is to make it appealing for you, your partner, your family to sit at the dining table and that comes down to setting. By making an effort to set the table nicely will be the difference between eating your meal and enjoying your meal.

Some Tips to Table Setting:

  • Remove all clutter from table
  • Wipe down your table before setting
  • Use place mats and coasters
  • Have a cold glass of water for each place
  • Minimise amount of sauces & dressings on table
  • Ensure cutlery is laid out nicely
  • Involve the whole family in setting the table

There is so much more involved to eating than just the food on your plate and as you begin on your way to a healthier lifestyle, it’s a good idea to cover all of the bases.


eating behaviour affecting children

Eating behaviours that are affecting our children’s behaviour

In the last few decades in particular there has been an overall spike in the amount of conditions and ‘behavourial disorders’ that are being used on children. Whilst there is a need for understanding behavioural patterns of children that may need assistance, there also needs to be more emphasis on not only the food in which they are being fed, but their general eating behaviours as well.

If a child has bad eating habits or eating behaviours, this will affect a range of elements including:

  • their digestive system
  • the bodies natural chemical balance
  • concentration levels
  • energy levels
  • emotions

So what things affect a child’s eating behaviour? Behaviour is a habit that is either genetic or influenced by environment. Eating behaviour includes:

As a parent, we have not only have control on our children’s eating behaviour but we are responsible for their eating behaviour. Encouraging and exposing your child to a healthy attitude towards food and the behaviour which surrounds it will set the foundations for later in life and give them a better chance of a balanced and healthy lifestyle and an improvement in their overall behaviour.

The Waitplate System was designed with the whole family in mind. A way in which everyone can learn and re-educate their existing eating behaviours. Click here for more information about our portion control eating templates and dinnerware.

sensible eating waitplate

Why sustaining your weight as just as important as losing it

Many diets or eating plans have a primary focus on loosing weight but then once the weight is lost, many people are left to their own devices which means they more often than not, end up back with their own eating habits.  Eating habits are actually behaviours learned and as with any behaviour – or habit – it takes the body and mind a long to completely readjust.

Signing up to a weightloss challenge or a specifically tailored eating plan for a few months is a great start, however the time when we need the most support is actually after the eating plan or challenge has finished. You need to sustain all of that hard work you did and you need tools to help you.

It is actually extremely unhealthy and even dangerous to continuously fluctuate in weight with some possible health risks including:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Gallbladder infections
  • Anxiety and depression

In order to lose and sustain your ultimate weight, it is helpful to have a good support network around you either in family or with particular weight management tools. The Waitplate System is the perfect solution for those who have done the hard work and need some assistance in sticking to a healthy and balanced diet.

The beauty of The Waitplate system is that it is designed as a stand alone system but is also versatile enough to compliment other weight management programs you may have embarked on. Several members of our Waitplate family were referred to us by their GP’s who actually recommended The Waitplate system after lap band surgery.

The Waitplate System focuses on re-educating your habits back into sensible eating by using the simple yet effective angle of portion control. There is no end of subscription, or time period where you have to give your Waitplate System back. Once you have it, it is yours and it will always be there to help you on your journey to a healthy life.

Visit our online shop to purchase your full Waitplate System today.


sensible eating waitplate


The Complete Waitplate System

Food templates and how they help portion control

Gaining weight comes down to three primary factors:

  1. What you eat
  2. How much you eat
  3. Your speed of eating

The Waitplate System can help you with both of these important factors in a simple and sensible way, after all, it all comes down to whats on your plate.

What you eat

Between superfoods, paleo diets and the infinite amount of information available on what you should be eating, we appreciate that it can be hard to figure out what you should be putting on your plate.  The answer is simple, a bit of everything in moderation IE a balanced diet. Our Contemporary Plate was designed with style and practically in mind where we have literally spelt it out for you, what you should be eating.

The Contemporary Plate is strategically divided into 4 sections:

  • Protein

    contemporary portion plate 3

    Contemporary Plate

  • Vegetable / Salad
  • Low GI Starchy Carbs
  • Dressing

In addition to predetermining the food groups for your convenience, the Contemporary Plate also displays words of inspiration on how to break up your plate with relevant examples of the four groups.  Leaving you with no excuse of “I don’t know what to have for dinner” null and void.

How much you eat

Once you’ve got your menu sorted, the next trick is HOW much food you should be eating. This is where our unique and patented food templates come in handy.  Through our extensive research of how much food we actually need (as opposed to how much we fell like) Waitplate has designed and developed food templates.  Our range of templates has been designed to guide and educate through visual aids on the correct portion sizes for every meal.

The templates will clearly outline how much food is enough and how much food is unnecessary excess. You may be surprised by how much your body actually needs.  Your portion sizes for every food group – even vegetables is determining how much extra weight you are retaining.

Our portion control food templates include:

  • Waitplate dressing and fats template

    waitplate baked goodes templates

    Portion Control Template

  • Waitplate protein template
  • Waitplate baked goods template
  • Waitplate soft proteins and carbohydrates cup

And then of course there is the portion control plate and contemporary plate to map out your portion sizes on your actual plate.

Your Speed of Eating

The speed in which you eat is your best indication on how you are digesting food and as a result the best predictor of developing obesity. Your hunger satiety response will be restored to a healthy level by purely chewing your food correctly and at the correct speed.

Waitplate has developed a unique tool to assist with this aspect – the Waitplate chewing timer. Through visual indication, the eating timer alerts you when to chew and when to pause between mouthfuls.  Slowing down your eating will give you instant health benefits such as a better digestive system.

eating habits chewing timerStart your Waitplate journey today!

Staying healthy made easy

Taking the confusion out of being healthy

Every day it seems like there is a new theory on what’s best for our health.  Eating too much of one food group causes cancer.  The next day you’ll read eating too less of another food will also result in massive health problems.  It can get very overwhelming being bombarded with all of these facts and sometimes even result in instigating health problems through anxiety and incorrect information.

To avoid all of this confusion and sometimes conflicting information, we can offer a simple formula you can use to maintain your health.

Here it is:

Health = Everything in moderation


Life is all about balance and that goes for our diet as well.  Our bodies need nutrients from different sources for different reasons:

  • Our bones need calcium for strength.
  • Our blood needs iron to create healthy blood cells.
  • Our heart needs fiber to assist with keeping it’s arteries healthy.
  • Our body tissue needs Vitamin C to help make collagen which assists in making protein for our skin, tendons and cartilage.
  • Our brain is 60% fat and needs Omega-3 fatty acids to support brain development.
  • Our eyes need lutein and zeaxanthin to help prevent degeneration.

The list goes on! However, through these few examples we can safely reach the conclusion that in order for our bodies to function at their best, there needs to be a balance.  Stick with this philosophy and you’ll never be confused again!

Waitplate Staying healthy made easy


Why emotional eating is hurting your health

We are all guilty of reaching for that chocolate bar when we’re feeling a bit down.  Bridget Jones famously devoured an entire tub of ice-cream when she was having men problems! But as we all know, we usually end up feeling a lot worse after our eating binge.

Emotional eating is a natural response for most people.  As humans, we don’t like feeling down or out of control of our emotions, so eating food which gives us that temporary high, can be a solution for many people – especially those who struggle with their weight. Unfortunately ’emotional eating’ can turn into a bad habit or behaviour and end up being destructive both physically and psychologically.

There are many reasons why people can turn to eating when they are not feeling happy with themselves:

  • Stressed   fatshadow
  • Lonely
  • Anxious
  • Upset
  • Angry
  • Guilty
  • Boredom

If we take a look at all of these negative emotions, we can see a pattern.  All of these emotions which trigger unnecessary eating are the same emotions we feel after we have eaten that whole block of chocolate.  When we are feeling these emotions our thoughts are not in a good state of mind.  By eating food which makes us feel good, it is inadvertently rewarding these bad eating behaviors.  It is creating a habit that each time you are feeling low, your brain has conditioned itself to expect a reward of a big slice of cheesecake.

Bad habits are just bad behaviours and like any bad habit, you have the power and choice to stop it.  The way to do this is to instill and stick to new habits. Such as:

Drink water: Whenever you are feeling ’emotional’ and that you need to eat something, have a big drink of cold water. Most of the time when we think we are hungry, we are actually thirsty and need hydration. Drinking water will also help your brain oxidize which will give you more clarity in your thoughts.

Create a routine and stick to it: Set yourself definitive times for your breakfast, lunch and dinner and stick to them. Even if it starts out as reminders on your phone. For your morning and afternoon tea breaks, have a hot drink (even if it’s just hot water with lemon) and a small snack such as nuts or fruit.

Stay away from the sweet stuff: We’re not saying to cut out of the naughty treats altogether, but just make your sweet sugary delights your rewards rather than your staple diet.  Lots of sugar will dehydrate you and make you feel hungry and un-satisfied.  Keep the sugar to a minimum when you’re feeling down and reward yourself occasionally when you’re feeling happy so your brain starts to associate eating with feeling good.  You will find by reducing sugar your mood will improve and those ‘down days’ will start to decrease.  If you get a sugar craving, grab an apple – they are the best natural sweeteners around!

Keep everything in proportion: Having a balanced diet and eating the correct portion sizes will retrain your brain both visually and physically. Understanding exactly how much food you actually need as opposed to want, is the best way to break the habit of over-eating and unnecessary eating. If just by looking at your meal you can understand how much you need, your brain will begin to automatically distance itself from over-eating.  Chewing your food properly and waiting for ten minutes after you’ve finished your plate will also assist your digestive system. This is helping train you towards hunger satiety – the state of feeling full rather than hungry.

Emotional eating has become a big health problem in the western culture with fast food and sugar fixes available at our finger tips.  Health issues directly related to a poor diet include:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

As the patient becomes move anxious or worried about their weight and health, they can often turn to the thing which is causing the problem – over-eating.

There is hope! As with breaking any bad habit, it takes discipline and a need to want to have a healthier life and the only person that can do that is you.



Fast Food outlets breaking the rules

How fast food outlets are breaking the rules

Fast food outlets across Australia have been hiding key information about some of their menu items according to Cancer Council Australia. Despite laws being put in place across Australia, making it mandatory for fast food outlets to display the kilojoule information of their menu items, a study of almost 200 menu boards located in fast food outlets has found that most outlets have only a select portion of their product range on display with their relevant kilojoule information available. Researchers found that only around 3% of the outlets in the study listed the energy information of their entire menu selection.
Co-Author of the study, Clare Hughes, expressed that the majority of the fast food menu boards were being used for marketing the “most popular” or “new” menu items and therefore only those items had the energy content readily available – leaving the remaining menu items still available for order without the required kilojoule information.
“So you might not know how many kilojoules were in a cheeseburger but you’d certainly be able to find out how many kilojoules in a cheeseburger meal…it wasn’t encouraging people to choose and buy less food” says Hughes.
The offending retailers claim that the labelling rules vary between states and this has made it difficult for them to properly adhere to them.
Why is it important for consumers to know about the energy content in fast food? Statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that almost 2 out of 3 Australians are overweight or obese (63%) and a prime factor in weight gain, and other health problems such cancer, is high kilojoule content in food. Fast food is a big offender when it comes to healthy eating in many areas including overly-high kilojoule content. Fast food also lowers its overall health factor by the methods in which the food is cooked (deep-frying is an excellent example), the excessive portion sizes of meal and the added sugars, salts and sauces.
Ms. Hughes stated that in a NSW study it was discovered that consumers who had access to proper food labelling, on average, ate about 500 kilojoules less than those without proper label information.
“We know if more information is available in fast food restaurants, people are more likely to make healthier food choices,” she said.
Now allowing yourself a treat every now and then at a fast food restaurant is perfectly fine in the overall scope of healthy eating; remember what they always say “everything in moderation”. That being said, you are still responsible as the individual for what you decide to eat and when you do decide to indulge in a burger from Maccas or some crispy chicken from KFC, you can still make sure you don’t order more than you need. Fast food retailers are inhibiting your ability to do so by not fully disclosing the energy content in ALL their menu items.
“We know energy information is working, we just need it to appear on all items available for purchase” – Clare Hughes | Cancer Council Australia.

How fast food outlets are breaking the rules