What people didn’t realize was that although health foods are good for health, they can be fattening. With a little knowledge you can knock off a few hundred calories every meal yet keep to healthy foods.
Here’s how to eat well and also stay slim.
Yogurt is tops for nutrition. As a food it contains high quality protein and calcium too. Yogurt is an ideal substitute for a snack in between meals when we would normally eat a cake or biscuit.
Connoisseurs prefer it plain but you can mix it with fresh fruit for a fabulous breakfast or dessert. Full cream yogurt has 215 calories, skim milk plain yogurt has 140 calories, and plain yogurt with fruit has 950 240 calories per carton.
Wheat Germ is an excellent source of vitamin B1. Eat it on cereals or if you have a blender make a nutritious drink with ½ liter (1 pint) of fruit juice, some fresh fruit and ½ cup of wheat germ. Half a cup of wheat germ has 222 calories.
Lemons are nature’s slimming aid. Start the day with the juice of one squeezed into a cup of warm water. There are 25 calories in a lemon.
Dried skimmed milk gives you high quality protein that is low in fat content. There are 75 calories in a 225 gram (8oz) glass.
Avocado pears combine the protein of meat, the fat of butter (unsaturated), the vitamins and minerals of fruit and vegetables. Although about a quarter of the avocado is fat or oil, it is easily burned up by the body. There are 160 calories in half an avocado.
Enjoy health foods at every meal. Breakfast is important. Choose a breakfast that includes one or two foods from these: yogurt, skimmed milk, ½ grapefruit, muesli, freshly squeezed orange juice, grilled tomato, wholewheat toast, diced apple, vegetable juice, poached egg. Or down this healthy drink: Blend:
- ½ carton of natural yogurt
- 1 tablespoon of wheat germ
- 1 cup of skimmed milk
- 1 banana
- pinch of nutmeg.
Total 350 calories.
For lunch choose from low calorie soups, cottage cheese, green salads, unsweetened tomato juice, red salmon, melon, strawberries, fresh pineapple. Eat slowly. Enjoy it. Take five minutes in the morning to pack lunch. For example:
- 1 cup of low calorie soup
- 1 small chicken breast (grilled)
- 2 sticks of celery with 30g (1oz) of cheese
- 1 apple
- 1 can unsweetened tomato juice.
Total 400 calories.
Dinner at home is easy: Cook lean meats, fish, steam all vegetables for more nutrients, eat lots of salads, fewer desserts. If dessert is irresistible buy low calorie jelly, it has about 6 calories in an average serve.
Here is an example:
- Diced cantaloupe (125 grams or 4oz) garnished with mint
- Grilled whiting (150 grams or 5oz)
- Tomato and parsley salad dressed in plain yoghurt
- Coffee (black or with skim milk),
Total 300 calories.
No alcohol. Instead, sip a wine glass of soda water — splashed with bitters.
If you do have a weight problem, you’re certainly not alone. A recent National Heart Foundation study showed that 48 percent of men over 35 years and 42 percent of women over 40 are overweight.
If you are hoping to lose some of those excess pounds, and are searching for a diet plan to help you do it, just beware that you don’t get taken in by the allure of a “fad” weight-control diet.
New fad diets appear with amazing regularity. They are appealing because they promise miracles. They often promise very rapid weight loss or imply that calories don’t count.
Many insist that you can still lose weight permanently while eating large quantities of your favorite sweet and fatty foods. Many severely limit the variety of foods permitted, or claim that certain foods (like grapefruit) will dissolve fat.
If you’ve been convinced by such claims then you’ve been “had by a fad”. Many fad diets do work over a short period but 90 percent of those who try them fail to keep weight off. The fact that “new” diets keep appearing testifies to the fact that old ones don’t work in the long term.
Fad diets don’t succeed in the long term because they don’t change eating habits, but instead demand unusual eating patterns that most people can’t tolerate for more than a few weeks.
Some fad diets can actually be dangerous. Many are nutritionally unbalanced and can eventually lead to vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Vitamin supplements are not necessarily a solution to the potential nutritional risks of some more extreme diets.
Potential medical risks of some fad diets include hair loss, hormonal imbalances, low blood pressure, anemia, constipation, lethargy, irritability and dizziness. Some extreme fad diets have even led to death.
Fad diets are especially dangerous during pregnancy or any growth phase such as childhood or adolescence. Others at risk are those with such medical conditions as kidney disease, heart disease (cardiac diet guidelines), or gout.
How can you decide if a diet plan is reliable or just another fad? The following checklist may assist you. You should be able to answer “yes” to each question:
- Does the diet provide for a gradual weight loss of half to one pound per week? You are being “had” if you expect to lose much more than this and keep it off.
- Is the diet nutritionally balanced? That is, does it allow for some bread or cereals, fruit and vegetables, milk or milk products, meat or substitute (such as fish, poultry, eggs or legumes) and a small amount of butter or margarine?
- Are you given information on what size portions to eat?
- Is the diet flexible enough to allow for individual likes and dislikes?
- Are hunger and fatigue minimised?
- Would it be possible to follow the diet whether at home or out for meals?
- Could the diet form the basis of lifetime eating once the weight is lost? If not, any weight lost may be eventually regained.
- Is some physical activity recommended?
If you are overweight, a successful program of diet and exercise could definitely help you to improve your health. Lose those pounds, but do it wisely and gradually by changing the eating habits that led to the weight problem in the first place.
Don’t get caught up in the continuous cycle of fad diets that promise miraculous weight losses. Miracles rarely occur!!