On a diet
„Tell me what you eat and I will change a seat”
Duration: around 10 min.
Group size: Any
Materials: chairs (number should be equal to the number of participants minus 1 chair)
The Facilitator asks the group to make a circle with their chairs and sit down. One participant has no place to seat, therefore he/she stands in the middle and follows the Facilitator’s instructions. The Facilitator explains that the purpose of this game is for the participant in the middle to state „ food, diet, drink preferences” and whoever agrees with the statement needs to change a seat. This is the moment for the participant in the middle to sit on the chair freed. The game needs speed and the statements expressed by the participants should be honest and truthful, based on their real „eating habits”.
Example of statements:
„I don’t eat meat”; „I think breakfast is the most important meal”, „Eating sugary products is very unhealthy”, „I don’t eat after 20.00.h”, „I eat only fresh products” etc.
After few rounds of sharing, running and changing places, the Facilitator should sense the right time to stop the game (more or less after 10 min.) before it gets boring for the group. The Facilitator can debrief the energizer by asking some of the following questions:
- Did you notice that many/few of you have similar „eating habits”?
- Do you think it is good to have eating rules?
- Have you ever tried any diet? What was it? How was it?
After having this short discussion, the Facilitator can introduce participants to the subject of this module, which is „Diets”.
1. „Meaning of a diet”
Duration: around 30 min.
Group size: around 25 people
Materials: list of diets cut in pieces, 2 envelopes with diet names in one, and diet meanings in the other one, glue sticks, paper
The Facilitator divides participants into smaller groups of 5 people and gives every team 2 envelopes – in 1 there are names of 10 diets and in the other one explanation of them. The task for each team is to find the correct meaning and stick a name with its definition on a paper. Afterwards, the Facilitator can ask some of the following questions:
- Have you heard of all the diets which appeared in this task?
- Why do you think there are so many different types of diets?
- What was the most bizarre diet for you?
- Do you think following a certain diet is a good thing? For whom and why?
List of diets and their meaning:
- Ovo vegetarianism: A vegetarian diet that includes eggs, but excludes dairy.
- Kangatarian: A diet originating from Australia. In addition to foods permissible in a vegetarian diet, kangaroo meat is also consumed.
- Pescetarian diet: A diet which includes fish but no other meats.
- Vegan diet: A diet in which there is no use of any product produced by animals, such as eggs, dairy products, or honey.
- Dukan Diet: A multi-step diet based on high protein and limited carbohydrate consumption. It starts with two steps intended to facilitate short term weight loss, followed by two steps intended to consolidate these losses and return to a more balanced long-term diet.
- Western dietary pattern: A diet consisting of food which is most commonly consumed in developed countries. Examples include meat, white bread, milk and puddings.
- Israeli Army diet: An eight-day diet. Only apples are consumed in the first two days, cheese in the following two days, chicken on days five and six, and salad for the final two days. Despite what the name suggests, the diet is not followed by the soldiers.
- The Graham Diet: A vegetarian diet which promotes whole-wheat flour and discourages the consumption of stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine. Developed in the 19th century.
- Mediterranean diet: A diet based on habits of some southern European countries. One of the more distinct features is that olive oil is used as the primary source of fat.
- Raw foodism: A diet which centres on the consumption of uncooked and unprocessed food. Often associated with a vegetarian diet, although some raw food dieters do consume raw meat.
2. „My Food Pyramid”
Duration: around 60 – 80 min.
Group size: Any
Materials: magazines with food pictures, shop advertising newspaper (Lidl, Auchan, TESCO), flip charts, crayons, colorful markers, scissors, glue sticks, Appendix 1 (Infographic)
The Facilitator explains to the group that in order to keep a healthy lifestyle a person needs a diet which will include all necessary products, vitamins and minerals. One of the way to ensure this if we supply our bodies with the right dose of nutrition known as „The Food Pyramid”. The Facilitator draws a pyramid which consists of 6 layers and asks participants to brainstorm what products may appear on which layer in their own „food pyramid” – including the real habits of eating. So, the bottom layer characterizes the products participants choose most frequently during the day (5 times) and the top one those which appear only few times per week. The participants must do a self-assessment of their diet routine. The Facilitator asks the group to take flip charts or smaller pieces of paper, markers, shop magazines, crayons etc. and provides them approximately 60 minutes to create their own map. After the pyramids are complete, presented and shortly commented, the Facilitator presents „the correct” one (infographic „The Food Pyramid”) and then asks participants whether and how it differs from their work. The purpose of this task is to make people aware that their „daily eating habits” are far from the „desired ones”, as presented by the Facilitator at the end. This activity can also be a „kick-off” moment for them to make some changes towards healthier diet.
Hints for The Facilitator:
- The participants can draw or describe their Pyramids – they do not have to use only shop magazines
- The Facilitator can help participants with giving name on the food categories which appear on the pyramid before they start working. BUT! You must remember not to put them in the „right order” of how important they are on the daily eating habits.
3. „Study case diet”
Duration: around 60 min.
Group size: Around 25 people
Materials: bowls with people’s characteristic, computers with Internet access, basic knowledge of Power Point/Prezi/Canva
The Facilitator divides participants into 5 teams. Each team will draw out from the bowl a piece of paper with 1 shortly characterized person. The task of each team is to prepare a presentation (including max. 10 slides) which will involve:
- Brief description of needs and characteristic of a drawn person;
- 1 day diet for them (Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Dinner)
- Recommendations regarding their lifestyle in general.
People of the game:
- Anna, 30 years old, 6 months pregnant, woman living in London and working in a corporation.
- Robert, 65 years old retired police officer, having cardiovascular disease, living in a Cypriot village.
- Ed, 15 years old high school student, struggling with 10 kg of overweight, passionate of computer games, living in suburbs of Warsaw.
- Mary, 24 years old ballet dancer, allergic to lactose and gluten, struggling with periodical contusions of her knee, living in Tokyo.
- Tom, 37 years old „National Geography” journalist, travelling around the world, with suspicion of diabetes type 1.
After all presentations are prepared, the groups are asked to present them and then upload them on the web site promoting our project and the Facebook fan page of „Start now”.
Hints for The Facilitator:
- Encourage participants to imagine a daily life close to their character – their problems, passions, how they look, what are their daily routines.
- Make sure participants will search in reliable sources of the Internet and include facts about dietary needs of certain disease.
- The groups can include sources of information they used when creating the presentation.
- At the end you can ask what have they learnt through this activity? what they liked and disliked? how was cooperation in the group? do they think the „actors” of the game could live next to them?
After all the activities, the Facilitator puts on the floor DIXIT cards (or other images cards) and asks participants to choose one which would fit to the following sentence: „This image represents for me a healthy habit, because…”. During the round, everybody should share even a brief thought and once everybody had their chance, The Facilitator finishes the workshops.
Printable Dixit cards are attached to this module as Appendix 2.
„Light and dark side of diets”
Duration: around 90 min.
Group size: max. 20 people
Materials: computers with Internet access
This activity can be done with the same workshop group, bowl with cut out diets (the list is below)
The Facilitator divides participants into small groups of 2 or 3 people. Then explains, that none of the existing diet has only positives or negatives impact, so the task of the groups is to find out advantages and disadvantages of one of the worldwide most popular diets and prepare a post for the Facebook fan page of „Start now” about it. Groups will draw out 1 diet and will work on the post for around 1,5 h. They should find interesting pictures, graphics and reliable sources of the information they use. They can prepare an infographic or a poster themselves. The „ready post” with attachments should be sent to The Facilitator at the end of the workshop.
The list of the most popular diets:
- Vegetarian diet
- Vegan diet
- Mediterranean diet
- Western diet
- Atkins diet
- Ketogenic diet
- Raw food diet
- MIND diet
- Paleolithic diet
- Weight Watchers diet
Hints for The Facilitator:
- You should make sure to upload ready post on the Facebook fan page of „Start now”, providing right timing and promotion.
- Encourage participants to search their diets widely and look for the most curious information – remember knowledge is the power!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.