Summer is not far off and with it may come the desire to bare some flesh and soak up the sun's precious rays. But what about that annoying spare tyre nestling under your tee shirt or baggy sweater? You would love to lose a few pounds but you have neither the time nor the inclination. How about reframing the way you view your daily staples? It could kick start your weight loss without having to join a slimming group or go on a faddy diet.
Take breakfast; you believe the marketing claims that tell you granola is good for you and you are more than happy to eat it every day. Who wouldn't be? It is deliciously crunchy and sweet. But you may just as well eat biscuits with milk and save money. Digestive biscuits contain around 21g of fat and 17g of sugar per 100g of product and cost only 21p. This compares with similar amounts of sugar and fat or even more in many brands of granola which can set you back as much as £1 per portion.
You wouldn't eat biscuits for breakfast so when you next go shopping for granola think biscuits and milk and maybe it will put you off. You can still have your oats but choose plain rolled oats, add some dried fruit and nuts and save yourself some precious calories.
Maybe you enjoy a 250ml glass of orange juice. It must be doing you good - all that vitamin C and one of your seven a day. But would you be so keen to put five teaspoons of sugar in your tea? Probably not. The next time you find yourself in the juice section of your supermarket think sugar water and walk away. You'll save yourself at least 110 kcals a glass.
Work is over and all you want to do is sit in front of the TV with a take away or ready meal. In reality, convenience foods are little more than glorified leftovers. Do you throw away what remains of your home cooked meal because you don't like reheated food? Then why buy meals that have been cooked in advance in a factory. See those ready meals in a different light and ask yourself do you really want to eat someone else's leftovers for dinner.
Train yourself to see leftovers whenever you shop and soon you will find that you are less inclined to reach for that instant microwaveable meal. You are better off eating your own leftovers where you can control how much added fat and sugar you are consuming. Fat and sugar increase energy density which is the number of calories in a specific amount of food.
A small piece of fresh meat or fish or a couple of eggs take a few minutes to cook. Add some rice or potatoes and salad and you've got a healthy, low energy meal. For more simple weight loss meal ideas see my diet book Can I Have Chips? Fill Up, Lose Weight, Feel Great.
As for alcohol, it may be a great way to relax and unwind but it is your body's primary source of fuel. Drink alcohol with a meal and it gets used for energy first, leaving any fat you have eaten in excess of your energy requirements to be effortlessly deposited around your waist.
Preparing food from scratch is not only a good way to save calories it also helps you become aware of what you are eating. Fancy a shop bought cake or dessert? Try buying the ingredients and making it yourself. You will be amazed at how much fat and sugar goes into in the most modest looking recipe. You will be hard pressed to find many sweet dishes that do not contain enough energy to sustain you for most of the day.
Buy into the mind set of processed foods and you have a sure way to gain weight with little hope of ever losing it. Whether it's sweet biscuits washed down with liquid sugar (juice) for breakfast or shop bought leftovers for lunch and dinner, reframing the way you see your food goes a long way to achieving the slim body you desire.
5.0 out of 5 stars Had reservations but amazingly it works, 29 April 2014
This Amazon review is from: Can I Have Chips?: Fill Up, Lose Weight, Feel Great (Paperback)
'Not a diet book just good common sense and it works, but like anything else you HAVE to follow the logic of it. I have lost 10lbs without any effort or dieting even have ice cream and chocolate and even biscuits. It is based on good healthy fresh meat and veg and no junk.'