Thursday 28th of October 2021
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Kay's Story PDF Print E-mail

Kay pre-weight gainA short autobiography of Kay Illingworth (inventor of The Diet Plate®), charting her journey through weight gain and weight loss.


People put on weight for many reasons - some eat for pleasure, some for comfort. I fell into the comfort eater category.

Having been sporty most of my life, a size 12-14 and about 67 kilos, weight was never really an issue. However, when my marriage of 19 years collapsed, I took shares in a popular chocolate company and practically kept them in business. I used to buy family packs of various bars every day, with king-size ones to fill in the gaps when I was out of the house and amongst strangers.

Always a natural 64 kilos, size 12, with no real worries about weight or life in general.

Inside three years I hardly recognised myself. By this time I had gotten over my separation and was thinking more clearly about my goals in life, what I wanted and how I was going to get it. However by the time my head was back on the right way round and I was more than ready to embrace life to the full again, I weighed nearly 114 kilos and was no longer a size 12 but a size 26! Looking in the mirror that day was a real shock, I can tell you!


Kay after Chocolate Investment!This weight (over 44 kilos) was put on during 3 years of desperate unhappiness. Comfort eating non-stop and with no control over her appetite, Kay munched her way through chocolate and cakes to hide her unhappiness behind the weight. At nearly 114 kilos and a size 26, Kay reached breaking point - she had to resolve the cause of her unhappiness and do something about it.

So there I was, invisible to the world, but raring to go and join in life again. The weight had served its purpose of being a shell to hide myself away in, but now I wanted to be seen and heard, as I had plenty to say! In any case my knees were giving out to the strain of the weight and I missed horse riding dreadfully.

To lose the weight, I needed to cut out all the unhealthy choices I was making. I was told by my dietician to weigh out my protein and starchy carbohydrates, eat lots of salad and free vegetables, whether frozen, fresh or tinned. I was also informed as to the secret of weight loss - eat fewer calories than your body needs and exercise more if you can. If you eat 2100 kilojoules a day less than the average 8400 then you should, in theory, lose 0.5 kilo per week, which is just right for your body. At a steady rate your body will be more likely to adjust itself and keep the weight off.

BUT being told to weigh hot food is something only the dedicated will actually do and then, with all good intentions, probably only for a week at the maximum. I, being naturally creative, thought I could do better.

So I ignored weighing out my portions and settled on guesswork instead. After three weeks on my new programme of healthy eating this did result in a weight loss...of 0.5 kilo! Having received a ticking off from the dietician for not following her advice, I decided I had better check that what I was about to serve for dinner was correct.

My visual perception of my pasta dinner was definitely a cheat. I thought I had about 170-198g) in front of me (not the 85-113 g which I was allowed). So I tipped the plate of food onto the scales and "OH MY GOODNESS!" - it weighed 454g,  nearly half a kilo!

Buckled legs and crying all over the kitchen, I shouted, "What does 85g look like then?" At that moment, the proverbial cartoon light bulb came on and I had a stroke of genius. I thought about calibrating a plate, using different measurements for each food group and for every combination of different recipes I could think of.

It was 1995 and The Diet Plate® was born.


A New Start for Kay with The Diet Plate

Kay visited a dietician who gave her a healthy eating plan and asked her to weigh out all the food each time she cooked. She thought this an unreasonable request and, in a flash of inspiration one night, came up with The Diet Plate® and proceeded to lose nearly six stones using it. Here she is pictured with some of the first run of 500 plates for The Diet Plate® Ltd. A happy day - the very start of her new company.

Five years later, having patented and registered it, I had saved enough money to get it manufactured and start The Diet Plate Ltd. Then, in January 2000, I sold 75 of them!

When most sensible businessmen would have probably thrown in the towel at the huge financial loss, I threw in every penny I had and every ounce of energy in my body. I had something here. The first woman ever to own The Diet Plate® in the country had lost over 32 kilos and I too had lost an amazing amount of weight - reducing my dress size from a size 26 to a size 16.

I wrote to over 1000 dieticians here and in the USA telling them all about my portion control plate and within weeks many had requested samples. Several unscrupulous people in the USA then copied the plate model even though I had patents and trademarks, but then I did get on CNN Headline News - right in the middle of the Super Bowl!

I pressed on and the news was soon full of the buzz phrase "Portion Control", which was already so familiar to owners of The Diet Plate®. RIGHTLY SO! The dieticians realised how valid a method of weight loss this was and, with The Diet Plate®, a person automatically adopts a healthy balanced diet purely because of the way the plate is designed.

From that slow start we are gradually building up a brand that is starting to sweep the country. A brand which centres around products that provide an innovative, easy and honest method of weight management.Fabulous the Weight has stayed off using The Diet Plate


So as you read this, welcome to a tried and tested, innovative and easy to use method of weight management. The Diet Plate® is a durable product, a one-off purchase and the only weight loss product you will ever need to buy to succeed in reaching your target weight and maintaining that weight.

People are recognising how the plate works, appreciating the simplicity of it and understanding that it fits in with their lifestyle. They realise that The Diet Plate® can help protect their family's health and thanks to that it is gracing dining tables all over the world.

It's durable. It's the only weight loss resource you will ever need. And it works. You have nothing to lose but weight!

P.S. I don't like having to put my before picture up but, if I expect others to, then I guess it's only fair that I should do the same...

Fiery Phoenix