|Image source: Microsoft Clipart|
Many people think that 'dieting' requires nothing but salad for our meals, which is incredibly boring and very misleading. Providing you keep your calories in check you can still eat your favourites! The 5 tips below will make it easier to portion control your food and reduce the calories and saturated fat in your favourites.
1. Drink water
When I first started drinking water on a regular basis I dropped 7lb in two weeks simply because the water weight caused by retention had shifted. As many people confuse thirst for hunger, downing a glass of this stuff can help to stop you snacking. If that wasn't enough, many studies have shown that drinking plenty of water leaves you with glowing skin, a boost in concentration and well oiled muscles for them tough workouts!
2. Swap to brown pasta and bread
Brown pasta and bread are examples of fibre-rich complex carbohydrates, skipping the science part, this basically means they'll make you fuller and for longer. This means you're likely to find it easier to stick to a portioned controlled amount of brown pasta/bread than if you try to portion control the white versions, as well as feeling less compelled to snack on sugary items during the day!
3. Smaller platesWhen using smaller plates, you're less likely to feel 'cheated' by your portion controlled meals and psychologically trick yourself into thinking you've ate your normal portion as your eyes will just register a full plate of food.
4. Cut back on condiments
By not picking up the salt shaker you'll reduce the risk of high blood pressure and water retention. Combining this with drinking more water may also result in weight loss on the scale referred to as 'Water weight'. Ditching the sauces (especially mayonnaise) could drastically reduce the calories, fat, sugar and salt in your meal. Overtime your taste buds will get used to not having the condiments and if you cook your own food and season it with herbs and spices you won't have the need for them anyway.
5. Swap to Lean Mince
If you frequently cook with mince (whether beef or pork) for recipes such as Shepherd's pie, bolognese, lasagne etc. Then swap to a version that says 'lean' on the packet. This will instantly reduce the calories and saturated fat levels in the recipe. The lean version of mince beef could have 193 calories and 4g sat fat per 100g whereas the regular version could have around 257 calories and 11g sat fat! Of course, you could even go one step further and use a 'meat free alternative' like Quorn.