I share with you below the 7 changes what I first made in my diet. Of course I need to change more, but these are the most important ones. Really simple rules, easy to remember, easy to follow.
- Regular meals, 5 times a day. I try to distribute calories evenly among my 5 meals. Between breakfast and lunch I have a 100-120 calories snack (like fruit, yoghurt or a smoothie), so I am not so hungry by lunchtime. After lunch around 3 pm I have another snack (e.g. cheese & vegetable sticks, fruit, oatcakes). Dinner is strictly at 6 pm - it was set up because of the kids, - and after that I can have only a cup of herbal or fruit tea.
- I watch my fluid intake, it needs to be at least 1.8 litre a day. We very often mistake thirst with hunger, so this helps to avoid overeating.
- I buy whole meal products instead of white - like whole meal bread, brown rice, whole meal pasta. I even found whole meal couscous. These products - besides other benefits -help me feel fuller for longer. So weight loss plan does not equal rumbling stomach.
- A few kind of foods has been limited in my diet, like butter, sugar, cream, fatty cheese and animal fat or fatty meat. I would not say that I do not eat these, but just a very small amount. For instance I have about one tea spoon butter on a week. Instead of butter I use mustard or horseradish in sandwiches, olive or vegetable oil at cooking. The substitute for cream is usually light cream cheese. Cutting down sugar is easy for me as I do not have a sweet teeth. When I need sweet taste I use Stevia. Sweets, cakes and chocolate are also on the limited food's list. When I really need some treat I eat a small piece of good quality dark chocolate.
- I cut down on carbohydrates. Not too much but I am really careful on serving sizes.
- No fizzy drinks or sugary squash. I am really serious about this. These are sneaky things and can add so many calories to my daily intake unnoticed. So easier to forget them all together. What do I drink then? Mainly plain water but if I want taste I add a slice of lemon and ginger or fresh mint to my water or make an apple tea. Easy to make: dice 1 apple with skin on, add a small piece of ginger sliced, about 2 l water and some cinnamon and boil it for a couple of minutes. Sieve it into a jug. It is so good hot or cold. Like liquid apple pie. By the way both drinks helps the detox process of your body.
- Fruits and vegetables: 5 (or more)-a-day is really important, but too much starchy veg and or sugary fruit do not support my weight loss plans. So these have been divided into two groups:
- I can have limited amount of fruits and vegetables like these: potato, sweetcorn, beans, banana, mango, dried fruits like dates, raisins etc. So I don not exclude them from my diet, but I careful how much I eat from these.
- I do not need to limit the intake on fruits and veg like green beans, aubergine, courgettes, marrow, pepper, tomato, carrot, apple, pear, grapes, melons, citrus fruits, berries etc.
And one more example how this looks like in practice. Wednesday dinner: Filo parcels filled with cauliflower and cheese with fresh green salad: