I often wonder why it is that some people like my wife remain as slim as a reed despite eating as much as they want whereas others, like me, seem to put on weight as soon as they even look at food, and that in spite of taking exercise.
An analysis of my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) helped to explain this. It showed that if I were to stay lying down without doing anything for 24 hours I would burn 1800 calories, whereas most people in my category would burn 2300.
Realising this felt like a first victory as I began to feel less guilty about my weight.
I tried every sort of food combination diet possible (Paleo diet, low carb diets, low fat, Atkins, Dunkan, …) without success, so I turned to low-calorie diets. The problem with these is that you are always hungry, especially as a man, as most of them are aimed at women. The results are often spectacular but short-lived. Sooner or later you give in and tiptoe down in the middle of the night to gobble up everything in the fridge, which your body takes as an excuse to build up more reserves of fat for the next time it is starved. This well-known yoyo effect inevitably ends up with you finding yourself heavier in the end than you were before you began the diet.
In all my attempts at losing weight I have noticed four main things :
- The luckiest people are those who are overweight simply because they eat too many unhealthy snacks. It is enough for them to give up their daily doughnut or bar of chocolate to start seeing the weight drop off. The Nifty Plate web site is full of helpful advice about eating a healthy, balanced diet.
- Less lucky are the many people like myself who eat a balanced diet but nonetheless have to watch their daily calorie intake in order to maintain an acceptable BMI.
- Those who try to lose weight by going hungry will always end up disappointed.
- The right daily calorie intake is different for each person and depends on sex, age, height and amount of exercise taken.
Once I had realised all this, I started looking for a formula which would help me calculate the number of calories I could eat to slim down without feeling hungry.
Then, as I had had enough of painstaking, time-consuming weighing and totting up of calories, I came up with the graded plate as a quick and easy way of calculating these calories for the two main daily meals.
Three doctors have been kind enough to look over my findings and accept me putting their favourable comments on the website blog. They are GP Dr Amzile, nutritionist Dr Rekassa and the president of the French Society for Sports Medecine, Dr Barrault. The latter awarded me in 2019 a gold medal for the Nifty Plate at the Concours Lépine Méditerranée des Inventeurs.
The plate has made my life so much simpler. I use it every day (and refer to the website section for the things which don’t go on the plate). To date I have lost 20 kilos.