SLIM FITNESS TOP TIP
Your new secret weapon—keep full with protein.
Protein is more satisfying than carbohydrates or fats but has the same calories per gram as carbohydrates.
It could be your new secret weapon for weight loss.
A word of caution though—make sure you do eat a balanced diet and include all the main food groups. Personally I find reducing my carbs too much leaves me feeling rather lacking in energy. However, carbs like brown rice, pulses and other wholegrain carbs work really well when mixed with low fat protein for a very filling and satisfying meal.
"Diets higher in protein [and] moderate in carbs, along with a lifestyle of regular exercise, have an excellent potential to help weight loss," says University of Illinois protein researcher Donald Layman, PhD.
Getting enough protein helps preserve muscle mass and encourages fat burning while keeping you feeling full. So be sure to include healthy protein sources, like natural yogurt, low fat cheese, pulses, lean meat, fish, eggs, Quorn etc. with every meal.
Long gone are the days when a salad was cold, hard tomatoes, limp lettuce and thin slithers of cucumber!
Tubs of coleslaw and potato salad from Tesco are also not a slimmer's best friend.
Make sure you check your labels if you have to buy these!
I would like us all to put some imagination into our salads!! Think colour, texture, flavour. Let's ditch the heavy mayo salads and use lots of fresh ingredients and flavours.
Include a balance of the food groups—raw or cooked vegetables, protein like lean meat, fish, eggs, beans, lentils or low fat dairy and some starchy carbohydrates - boiled new potatoes or chunks of sweet potato, cooked wholegrain rice or pasta.
TIPS FOR HEALTHY SALADS
DRESS TO IMPRESS
Dressings add flavour to our salad and for me it takes a dressing to give a salad its flavour. Don't be over generous when adding dressings and make sure it's a healthy one. There are lots of lower fat salad dressings or make your own—a little olive or rapeseed oil and add mustard, garlic chilli etc. I How about trying Sainsbury's balsamic glaze?
SEED THE CHANGES
A good salad has a mixture of texture and flavours—add a few pumpkin seeds, sunflower or sesame seeds or a seed mix. Or a few nuts - toasted flaked almonds or walnuts for crunch. Be careful of portions with nuts and seeds!
GIVE IT COLOUR
Don't just think about the balance of ingredients—what about the colour—add as much as you can.
GET PULSES RACING
Add beans and lentils to give you protein. A simple three bean salad—half a can of mixed beans and serve with rocket, tomatoes, cucumber, peppers and add lemon juice.
MAKE IT A MAIN MEAL
It's not all about salad on the side—make it a main meal. Add grilled or baked meat or fish to your leaves—chicken, lean beef, tuna and salmon, hard boiled eggs, lentils, nuts and seeds can make it more filling too.
LEAF IT OUT
Why stop at lettuce. There are lots of types of leaves now or use other vegs as the base—use spinach or grated carrot or beetroot.
A simple tomato salad is a bed of sliced beef tomatoes on a large flat plate with red onion, fresh herbs and some dressing.
Hoe about a carrot salad—grated carrot, sultanas, nuts—toasted almond or pinenuts, chopped parley ,mix with a little balsamic vinegar or low fat French dressing. Sprinkle a few seeds on top and black pepper.
GO FOR FRUIT
Add fruit to your salads—orange segments and strawberries are good with spinach leaves.
Fruit salads are great as a snack or a healthy pudding and can help you toward your 5 a day.
Group fruits according to their colour—strawberries, raspberries and cherries work well together or what about a contrast of sliced pear with blackberries over the top.
Has anyone tried strawberries and balsamic vinegar or with a grind of black pepper?
Use tropical fruits—pineapple, mango and banana are good together.
Bake or barbecue fruits—peaches, pineapples, plums, grapefruit and bananas baked in their skin. Serve with low fat greek yogurt or ice cream. Use riper fruit.
RAW FOODS ARE FAB!
Following a diet incorporating lots of raw foods is an excellent way to lose weight and improve your health. Have you eaten anything raw today? There are huge benefits to eating raw food—have a look below for some ideas.
What's raw? Raw fruit and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, sprouted pulses (e.g mung beans or lentils), raw honey, raw grains like oats, garlic and ginger—marvelous!
Eat almost as much as you can and still maintain a healthy weight
Low in saturated fat
High in fibre—low GI and satisfying
Takes a long time to chew, eat and digest—great news girls!
Nutrients are not destroyed by processing
Little or no preparation time—what could be better fast food than a banana?
Energising not like high GI foods that sap your strength
Great for overall health and skin
CHALLENGE FOR THE WEEK
Start your day off with water and raw food—an apple would be great.
Eat something raw with every meal and snack (easy as grapes or a carrot sticks!).
Increase the ratio of raw to cooked food in your diet unless you are already eating tons of raw food (increase gradually).
SLIM FIT TOP TIP
Are you really hungry?
Whenever you feel like eating, ask yourself that question.
Hunger is your body's way of telling you that you need fuel, so when a craving doesn't come from hunger, eating will never satisfy it.
When you're done eating, you should feel better—not stuffed, bloated, or tired.
Your stomach is only the size of your fist, so it takes just a handful of food to fill it comfortably.
Keeping your portions reasonable will help you get more in touch with your feelings of hunger and fullness.
If you are not sure if you are hungry:
Have a drink of water . . .
Call a friend . . .
Do some ironing . . .
Or any other distraction . . .
Are you still hungry? OK eat something!
IT'S MEDICALLY PROVEN THAT PEOPLE WHO DO REGULAR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY HAVE:
• UP TO A 35% LOWER RISK OF CORONARY HEART DISEASE AND STROKE
• UP TO A 50% LOWER RISK OF TYPE 2 DIABETES
• UP TO A 50% LOWER RISK OF COLON CANCER
• UP TO A 20% LOWER RISK OF BREAST CANCER
• A 30% LOWER RISK OF EARLY DEATH
• UP TO AN 83% LOWER RISK OF OSTEOARTHRITIS
"IF EXERCISE WERE A PILL, IT WOULD BE ONE OF THE MOST COST-EFFECTIVE DRUGS EVER INVENTED"
DR NICK CAVILL
Slimfitness.co.uk website is managed by Joensuu Media. Slim Fitness is run by Julie Panthin, a fitness and nutrition coach.