The Scandi Sense Diet is a hands-on eating plan — literally. While many weight-loss diets claim to be “balanced” with complicated serving sizes, this new approach promises that you just need your hands to properly portion your food. And the diet’s creator is living proof that this plan can work to help you shed unwanted pounds — if you do it correctly.
Danish nutritionist Suzy Wengel lost 88 pounds by following the Scandi Sense Diet, which she created by experimenting with different handfuls of food until she found the ideal portions in the correct combinations. Her book, The Scandi Sense Diet ($13.38, Amazon), has already been a pretty big hit in her home country of Denmark. Now, its popularity is starting to pick up in the United States as well. Considering Wengel’s personal connection to the diet, there’s little wonder why.
“I used food to deal with my emotions,” Wengel admitted in an interview with TODAY. “I had a difficult time identifying when I was hungry, and I never felt [full]. I ate normally in the presence of others, but consumed huge amounts of food when on my own. I felt embarrassment and shame, guilt and disgust with myself and had a very negative body image.”
But from 2011 to 2012, she was able to finally keep the weight off for good by creating her own structured eating plan of three meals per day. Each meal would ultimately include a very specific amount of veggies, protein, carbs, and fat — and every single dish would be portioned out by her own two hands.
How to Do the Scandi Sense Diet
According to Wengel, the Scandi Sense Diet involves eating three meals per day, without snacking in between them. And for each meal you eat, you have to measure the food by handfuls before you put it down on your plate.
Each meal can have up to four handfuls of food, including one or two handfuls of vegetables, one handful of protein, and one handful of carbs. Throughout the day, you can also have up to 10 ounces of milk products, and up to three tablespoons of fat, such as olive oil or butter.
If you feel like you need inspiration for meals that fit that description, look no further than Wengel’s Instagram page, where she regularly shares delicious-looking photos of Scandi Sense Diet foods with her thousands of followers.
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🇬🇧 Chili sin carne with grilled cabbage, egg and sour cream Handful 1+2: Tomatoes, cabbage, onion, parsnip, carrot, spring onions Handful 3: Eggs, Beans, peas (mature, dry) Handful 4: Quinoa Fat: Sour cream, olive oil, hazelnuts, pesto Flavourings; Lemon, Chili’s Carne Spices, Salt, Pepper 🇩🇰 Chili sin carne med grillet spidskål, æg og creme fraiche Håndfuld 1+2: Tomater, spidskål, løg, pastinak, gulerod, forårsløg Håndfuld 3: Æg, bønner, flækærter Håndfuld 4: Quinoa Fedt: Creme fraiche, olivenolie, hasselnødder, pesto Smagsgivere: Citron, chili sin carne-krydderier, salt, peber #scandisense #suzywengel #sensekost #weightloss #abnehmen #vægttab #deslanketøser #sensekassen #aarstiderne @aarstiderne @sensekassen #schlankmitdemhandvollprinzip #chilisincarne #easydiet
A post shared by Suzy Wengel (@senseslankmedfornuft) on
So, is there any room for indulgence on this meal plan? There is — if you pay attention to what else you eat in a given day. For instance, if you decide to indulge in chocolate cake or a cocktail, Wengel says you’ll have to adjust for the calories somewhere else in your daily meals — perhaps by cutting out a handful of carbs at some point.
Now, we know what you might be wondering: How much wiggle room is there with those handful sizes?
“If you lose weight, your handful sizes are OK,” she told TODAY. “If you gain weight — and you want to lose weight — you will have to reduce your handfuls.”
Next, learn about the tastiest superfoods that can help you live longer in the video below: