That is what health experts are calling Suzy Wengel’s Scandi Sense Diet, a plan that helped her lose six stone and is now about to go global.
The Danish mum of five, 39, created it after years of failed diets left her miserable and her weight yo-yoing.
The “handful method” at the heart of her plan means measuring your food in the palm of your hand and eating three meals a day, plus a few healthy snacks, to reach your goal weight.
Each meal is made of up to four handfuls — one or two of veg, one of protein and one handful of starch and/or fruit.
It also includes 1–3 tbsp of fat, plus you can drink limited amounts of dairy products and freely enjoy zero-calorie drinks.
The diet can also help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol.
With the Danes swearing by it already, the Scandi Sense Diet book is set to be published in eight languages as more scramble to get in on Suzy’s secret.
She says: “I wanted my method to rely on common sense and simplicity — to help people escape the monotony of calorie counting and weighing food, and get away from a restrictive eating model where things are either healthy or unhealthy.
“That’s why I constructed the idea of the handful principle.
Plan is off the scales
So when I heard I’d be trying the “simplest diet in the world” my ears pricked up. Not only was I promised not to be force-fed quinoa but also assured I’d have perfect portions.
That’s exactly what I got.
My two veg choices were salad and broccoli, and I opted for chicken for the protein, a breast being the perfect size.
I would usually boil too much rice then eat it all to avoid waste. This time I just filled my palm. Simple.
For the fats I chose almonds for a bit of crunch. It was the easiest meal I’d prepared in ages and I was full after.
This isn’t the most exciting dish but for a first attempt it was much less stressful than a veggie curry.
I’ll chuck away the kitchen scales and use my palms from now on.
“I eat everything with great enjoyment and without any guilt.”
Scandi Sense portions are measured in handfuls because the size of our hands is often related to our build and height.
If you gather your fingers and thumb together and curve your palm, you will find the correct size. Is is said the amounts will enable you to lose, on average, 0.9lb–1.8lb (400g–800g) per week.
You should imagine that you have three “mealboxes” a day, each filled with your four handfuls of food plus 1–3 tbsp of fat.
STIR-FRIED DUCK BREAST
Prep time: About 25mins
You need: 140g duck breast, thinly sliced; 1/2 tbsp olive oil; 100g oyster mushrooms; 100g broccoli; 2 spring onions; 1/2 garlic clove; 1/4 chilli; 1cm fresh root ginger; 50g bean sprouts; tbsp teriyaki sauce; 1 tsp chicken stock powder; 200ml water; 10g cashew nuts; 30g glass noodles; sorrel flowers and wild garlic (to garnish)
What will be on your plate:
HANDFULS 1 & 2: Oyster mushrroms, broccoli, spring onions, bean sprouts
HANDFUL 3: Duck breast
HANDFUL 4: Glass noodles
Method: Brown the duck well in the oil in a hot wok.
Remove from the pan and set aside. Cut the mushrooms, broccoli and spring onions into small pieces and brown them quickly on all sides.
Thinly slice the garlic, chilli, ginger and bean sprouts, then add them to the wok with the teriyaki, stock and water.
Return the duck to the wok and heat thoroughly.
Toast the cashew nuts and sprinkle them over the dish.
Boil the glass noodles in lightly salted water. Serve and garnish.
Then think of your appetite as something that can be measured on a hunger barometer, from zero to ten — zero is “not hungry at all” and ten is “totally famished”.
The idea is to have a meal when you land on around 7 or 8 on the hunger barometer.
It also means it is OK to eat a late breakfast if you are not hungry the moment you get up. Or have a late dinner.
Suzy says: “For long periods of my life I was unable to recognise when I was full. That is why I ate constantly.
“Now my system works as it should, but it took three years for my body to learn to tune into the natural signals of feeling full.”
- The Scandi Sense Diet, by Suzy Wengel, £16.99, published by Mitchell Beazley.
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