Use the healthy plate method for a simple way to plan balanced meals

  • 2 Minutes Read
Sue Heikkinen
Sue Heikkinen, MS, RDN, CDCES, BC-ADM, ACE-PT - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

If you are looking for a no-fuss, flexible way to plan meals, nothing is as simple as the healthy plate method. This approach helps you create balanced meals with no measuring needed.

Healthy plate method

The healthy plate method makes planning balanced meals a snap

You know it's best to eat the right portions for health and weight loss, yet you may find measuring and counting too overwhelming. The healthy plate method checks all the right boxes easily! This plan works whether you want to limit calories and carbs or just plan balanced and appealing meals.

How to use the plate method

Your plate: size matters

The plate method uses a 9-inch diameter plate closer to the size of your salad plate than your dinner plate. Eating from a smaller plate is a clever, natural way to limit portions without feeling deprived.

Non-starchy veggies: Half your plate

Tip: Non-starchy veggies include all vegetables except potatoes, corn, peas, and winter squash, which are considered starchy veggies (see below).

Whole grains or starchy veggies: A quarter of your plate

Protein: A quarter of your plate

Healthy fat

Milk, milk substitute, or yogurt: On the side

Fruit: On the side or for dessert

More tips for using the healthy plate method

If you want to shed some pounds or trim a few inches, the plate method offers a healthy way to eat balanced meals and lose weight practically without thinking about it!

Additional resources

American Diabetes Association: Diabetes Plate Method
In a cooking rut? How to meal plan for weight loss
Too Busy to Cook? Here are 7 Easy-Prep Healthy Dinner Ideas

Contributions from Katherine Isacks MS, RDN, CDCES

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Diabetes->Carbs & Carb Counting Meal Planning & Diets->Dinner Meal Planning & Diets->Plate Method
Dec 29, 2021
Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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