Q. The Waitplate System talks about being a lifestyle change rather than a diet. What exactly do you mean? – Marion, 36. QLD
We are glad you ask this question because we think it is one of the most important aspects of this program. There was an interesting article recently about how obsessed we have become about every morsel of food we put in our mouths. It reminded us that our grandmother’s didn’t have a ‘relationship’ with food. They simply cooked and ate it –often only three times a day with the occasional piece of sponge cake on a special occasion. We seem to have lost the ability to eat only when we are hungry and to know when we are satisfied (we interpret satisfied as full now). In between meals our grandparents went back to living the rest of their day unencumbered by the chatter in their heads about their next meal and how many carbs or grams of protein it contained and whether they had managed to force down their half dozen vitamin pills that morning! The Waitplate is all about going back to a simpler time with simple meals, made with fresh ingredients but in smaller portions, re-educating our hunger/satiety response (your ability to feel full and stop eating naturally), and improving our eating behaviour (how fast you chew and you’re eating posture). Anyone with digestion problems can improve uncomfortable symptoms after eating when they learn to chew slowly and more thoroughly. By using the Waitplate Food Templates and developing your portion visualisation skills you know exactly how much food you can eat. No need to feel isolated socially anymore because you dread “food” being present. You eat a little of what you like then stop. These are life skills. Over time you will become more relaxed and realistic about the foods that share your life.
Q. I love the food templates and use them constantly. I noticed you gave us racks to hang them on. Is it better to have them hanging up where you can see them? Libby 40, QLD.
Heavens yes! Have your Waitplate Food Templates in view and handy to use and you will reinforce your portion visualisation skills constantly. If you have children let them use the bread template to cut their bread for sandwiches. Let them measure their cereal using the starchy carb template (pink section for children). The pizza template is fun too as children learn visually what they should serve themselves. (1 -2 pieces plus a healthy salad) is an ideal serve for primary school age. The Waitplate Food Templates should remain constantly on display as they are a bright and constant reminder of ideal portion sizes. They will become your friends in the kitchen. Make handling food fun for everyone.
Q. You seem to place importance on eating behaviour as much as what you actually eat. Why is this important? I’ve tried everything to lose 10 kilos and just feel plain depressed about it all now. Renee 29, NSW.
Firstly, you are not alone, we can promise you that. We place eating behaviour and food attitudes above what you actually put in your mouth because they are often harder to change. Correct eating behaviour ideally should start in childhood, so it becomes habitual. Learning to eat correctly is as important as learning to read. Until we repair the fractured relationship many of us have with food it is really hard to move forward. Most of us are aware that our diet should consist of mainly fresh fruit and vegetables, lean proteins and some high quality grains. I guess what we’re saying is that it is important to eat as healthily as possible but it is equally important to understand portion sizes and the actual physical response our body has to eating these foods. In the Western world we tend to eat until we are full. In countries where obesity is uncommon people tend to stop eating when they are no longer hungry. That’s the difference. By simply learning to cease eating when you are pleasantly satiated and not fall down full, you can save hundreds of calories from being ingested throughout the week. Taking it a step further, if you slow down your rate of chewing and food assimilation, (The Waiptlate System teaches you this), you will feel sated on less food. If you don’t feel deprived all the time it is more likely that you can stick to a healthy eating program. Remember Renee, food is just food but how you respond to it can make a huge difference in how you feel about yourself. The Waitplate System is about a gentle shift in eating behaviour and eating style. There are no bullying tactics used here. We just want to encourage you to feel comfortable about your food choices and learn to be the master of your own health destiny.
Q. I travel a lot for work and eat out often. How can my Waitplate System products still be part of my lifestyle? Paul 45. Vic.
That is actually one of the real benefits of the Waitplate System. When you purchase the Waitplate Tableware and Cutlery, included for your convenience is a travel wallet that you can put your Waitplate Cutlery and Waitplate Chewing Timer in. By all means take your Waitplate Glass and Portion Plate too if you are eating at a buffet style restaurant. For other restaurants take your Waitplate Cutlery with you to help reduce the amount of food in each mouthful. Consciously pause, put your cutlery down and engage in conversation. Try to stretch out your meal long enough that you can identify when you are no longer hungry. (Skills you will have learned using the Waitplate Chewing Timer) When you feel sated (pleasantly satisfied) wipe your cutlery on your serviette and place back into the travel wallet. If you are going camping or a family holiday with self-contained accommodation, then take your full Waitplate System with the food templates as well. The children will love playing with them at picnics and the whole family will remain portion savvy.
Q. I think the Waitplate portion glass is a great idea. I don’t drink all these things in a day. What is the best way to use the glass? Georgia 19, QLD.
The Waitplate Portion Glass is just a guide to what is an appropriate portion for different types of fluids. Water is the best option and current thought suggests we need to consume around 8 glasses a day. The other measures such as wine, beer and soft drink are occasional drinks only, may be once or twice a week. We often underestimate how much soft drink, wine and beer we consume in one serving. They are of no particular nutritional value and should be limited. If you drink commercial fruit juice then use it sparingly (fill only 1/3 of the glass and top up with water) Fresh squeezed fruit and vegetable juices can go up to the juice measure on the glass. The Waitplate Portion glass servings may be smaller than you are probably used to, but they are appropriate for a healthy lifestyle.
Q. I just received my Waitplate System Food Templates and I love them however I was surprised that the protein templates seem small. I thought we needed quite a lot of protein for muscle and energy. I work out three times a week and have about 15 kilos to lose. Maria 30, NSW.
Protein deficiencies are rare in the western world. There is a lot of hype about how much protein we need. Most of the longest living peoples in the world eat a plant based diet with small amounts of protein added for flavour. Use the Waitplate protein templates as a guide only to help you visualise what 120 grams looks like for men and 90 grams for women. (Remember the analogy that your protein should be the size of a deck of cards!) Simply place the protein template over your steak, chicken breast, fish, tofu or protein of choice and cut around the outside of the template. Your protein should be about the thickness of the template. This is an appropriate sized piece of protein but if you feel too protein deprived just reduce your portion size gradually. That way you can get used to eating smaller portions. Keep your protein choices lean and watch your method of cooking. Keep things grilled without too much fat. Remember if your protein of choice has the consistency of beef bolognaise sauce, a chicken curry or meat stir-fry then use the Waitplate Starchy Carb and Protein Template. You can then use the same template to measure a portion of rice, mashed potato or pasta. There are two measures for females (pink section) and two for males (beginning of the blue section and the top of the template). Finally try to fill up on as much fresh salad and vegetables as you can. (Indicated on your Waitplate Portion Plate). Just transition slowly to smaller portions each week while learning to chew slowly and this will result in you consuming fewer calories. Don’t feel you are wasting meat by discarding some. Your intestinal tract will thank you. You will save money buying smaller better quality portions of your favourite protein. The Waitplate System is about phasing in good habits and phasing out old habits that aren’t serving you well.
Q. I am thinking of buying The Waitplate System but how do I get my family to change over to healthier foods as well as smaller portions? Michelle 34, QLD.
To be perfectly honest don’t stress over it. We firmly believe in transitioning slowly into a healthy lifestyle. Don’t try to cut out all their favourite foods, just transition in more and more healthy foods. Adding grated carrot and zucchini into spaghetti sauce or cutting up cucumbers and adding them to a fruit platter is sneaky but healthy. Just keep adding more and more healthy choices into the family’s diet. Ease out the poorer foods slowly by decreasing their portion sizes. Openly discuss nutrition with your family. For example when a fast food advertisement comes on TV open up some dialogue about how addictive these foods are and the negative consequences of over consuming them can have on their body. Ask their opinions about the consequences of both healthy and poor food choices and of course lead by example. Smaller children are easier because you make the food decisions but older children are smart and inquisitive so give them interesting information about how food affects your health for life. There are some fantastic videos available about nutrition. Let the whole family use the Waitplate Food Templates so they can see for themselves what are appropriate portion sizes. I can’t stress enough, in order to change behaviour long term you have to create new habits that are pleasing to the individual so they will be motivated to continue. You really can learn to love and crave healthy fruits and vegetables when your body responds so well to them. We teach the whole family how to engage with their hunger/satiety response (ability feel full naturally) and this alone will improve everything from digestion to weight issues to food attitudes for life.
Q. I am fascinated about your idea of reducing the speed of eating in order to lose weight. This sounds so simple. It is not a concept I had heard of. I have suffered for years from gastric reflux after eating. Can it help this too? Geoff 60, NSW.
A recent large study conducted in Japan using thousands of subjects concluded that the speed of eating in childhood was a strong predictor of obesity in adulthood. This was a very important finding. Naturally lean people tend to have eaten slowly all their lives. In countries where obesity is not an issue, food is often revered, eaten slowly, savoured and respected. In terms of the nature of food, overweight individuals eating a typical western diet tend to eat very high caloric density foods that make them fat but don’t satisfy them. This can result in obesity and nutritional deficiencies. Eating fast is not only a poor habit picked up from childhood, many psychological factors are involved also. Like eating too fast to relieve feelings of guilt, stress, emotional issues, being time poor and general lack of respect for the food you are eating. By eating too fast you override your natural ability to feel sated, swallowing only partially masticated food that can lead to more laboured digestion, gulping in too much air and the list goes on. However by following the principles of the Waitplate System you will learn to slow your eating, aid digestion, restore your hunger/satiety response and finally gain a new found appreciation for food. Slowly reducing the amount of calories you consume and making healthy food choice will lead to sustainable and healthy weight reduction.
Q. Do you need to get both the food templates and the portion control tableware or can you just start with one or other? Petra 52, VIC.
We recommend you purchase the whole Waitplate System. The tableware and the food templates used together give you all the tools you need to genuinely alter your eating behaviour for good. The food templates are visual guide for specific foods such as baked goods, sauces, salad dressings, proteins and starchy carbohydrates. However the tableware system has the added benefit of not only portion guidelines (The Waitplate plate) but also the unique portion glassware, portion control cutlery and most importantly the Waitplate chewing timer to reduce your speed of eating. The Waitplate Food Templates and the Waitplate Tableware are synergistic and works best in unison.
Q. You talk about reducing calories. Do you have to count calories while using the system? Mike 24, NSW.
Many people hate counting calories as it is such an inexact science and very time consuming. However having some caloric knowledge of the foods you eat most often can be a helpful guide. But use it as a guide only. Keeping your food portions small, chewing slowly, making healthy food choices and learning when to cease eating are by far the greater skills to have mastered.