An introduction to a balanced and healthy diet.
Food! We all need it to survive and yet it’s one of the things that can cause the most problems for us. The chances are, (that up until now,) you thought that anything you enjoyed was bad for you. Well I am here to show you that there is another way. You can cook delicious, tasty and filling meals and still lose weight!
I’m not here to advocate any ‘quick fix’ methods as they are unlikely to help you lose weight and keep it off in the long-term. Yes, they can give you an initial boost and cause a few pounds to shift quickly, but they are ultimately unhealthy and non-sustainable. So if you see any pills or potions which are ‘guaranteed’ to shift that excess fat, remember that the only long-term losses will be from your purse!
I’m a great believer that when we go on a diet, we ultimately ‘come off’ the diet and that’s where your problems can begin. Unless you make a change for life by not getting onto the diet ‘yo-yo’ you will probably find that any weight you lose will come back relatively quickly, (and a few extra pounds into the bargain!)
So how can you cook tasty meals which will keep you fuller for longer and not feel as though you are ‘on a diet’? Well firstly, you need to understand a little about the nutritional value of certain foods and how you can incorporate foodstuffs which are tasty and filling, but have relatively few calories in comparison to their volume. There is also a lot of evidence that calories obtained from sugar and white, refined carbohydrates can cause not only diabetes, but also peaks and troughs in your insulin levels, which in turn makes you crave more and more of the ‘bad stuff.’
And so the healthiest carbs you can have are those which are unrefined and preferably whole grains which swell in your stomach, (when you drink plenty of water,) and are ‘slow-release’ meaning they give their energy out slowly, therefore making you feel fuller for longer. Look for cereals with the ‘whole-grain’ banner and wholemeal bread and pasta. However, when trying to lose weight and eat healthily it also helps to try and limit your total carb intake, because although these are ‘good’ carbs, they are also quite calorific.
One of the best things for keeping you feeling fuller for longer is lean protein. Think chicken, turkey, white fish, (although a portion of oily fish once or twice a week is recommended for essential fatty acids,) and lean red meats. I have discovered that chicken is one of the best things for filling me up, and when served with griddled Mediterranean vegetables and a small portion of plain egg noodles with soy sauce, is not only tasty, but also feels almost like a take-away meal!
Healthy eating does not have to be boring either. With the addition of a few herbs and spices, you can create the tastiest of meals in minutes and lose weight without ever getting bored of ‘rabbit food.’ Look out for my next post which will give you some super recipes which you can feed the whole family, and none of them will even realize that they will be losing weight with you!