Losing weight is such a hot topic right now. I am very opposed to rapid weight loss plans and short-term solutions. Being at a healthy weight long-term is about eating healthily, eating moderate amounts, eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full. Having a treat now and again is advisable, not only to avoid feeling deprived but the odd indulgence is also thought to give your metabolism a boost, so it’s win win!
If you do want to lose a few pounds sensibly, simply eliminate all sugars and starches after 3pm. This means no grains, even whole grains, so no bread, rice and pasta and no potatoes as they are very high in starch. This also includes no sweetcorn, parsnips, peas and sweet potatoes and no tropical fruits. Follow this for a few weeks and you should notice a gradual weight loss.
Of course whole grains, vegetables like peas and sweet potatoes and fruit are healthy and should be a regular part of your diet. By limiting these foods to breakfast and lunch you should burn off the sugars contained in these foods throughout the rest of the day. Have them at night when you’re more sedentary and these sugars will quickly get converted to body fat.
So, what do you eat instead? Your evening meal should comprise some good quality protein (meat, fish, eggs, pulses) and lots of low-sugar veggies like broccoli, leeks, peppers, mushrooms, cabbage, cauliflower, watercress, spinach, tomatoes…and so on.
For snacks, opt for unroasted nuts and seeds and/or a little piece of cheese, preferably sheep or goat’s as the protein in these milks are easier to digest than cow’s milk. You can also have half an apple or pear or some mixed berries with natural yogurt.
For breakfast and lunch, opt for whole grains rather than refined grains. This too will help with the weight and increase the nutrient value of your meals. Go for brown rice, whole oats (not pre-cooked), pot barely, whole grain breads, especially rye bread and look out for spelt products – an ancient grain higher in protein and easier to digest than wheat. Quinoa, a high protein south American grain is also a great alternative to rice or couscous. It cooks in 10 minutes, tastes great and is now found in most supermarkets.
Add a healthy whole grain with a pulse like beans or lentils and you have a complete protein i.e. the same quality protein as meat. So start experimenting with soups, stews and salads that contains beans and whole grains for healthy lunch options.