I know that I said that I would leave you to decide what you ate based on your shopping list that I gave you at the beginning of this series. But, I also know that boredom can set in and you can find yourself sticking to a few tried and tested meals in case you get too adventurous and put weight back on.
I am cheating with this as this post is Chapter Fifteen of my book Size Matters… but it will give you a few alternative ideas for your main meals and snacks.
This chapter outlines the building blocks of your personal programme. You must adjust the amount of food you eat according to your weight and I have included some guidelines for you to follow. Do not miss your snacks as these will help maintain your blood sugar levels throughout the day and minimise your cravings for sweet or starchy foods. There is a great deal of information now on the web that was not available twenty years ago and you will find differing opinions on the subject of snacking between meals. It depends what you snack on firstly. If it is a biscuit, bar of chocolate or a cupcake then you are not going to get far. But, when you are first beginning a healthy eating programme the first words that usually pop into your mind is ‘deprivation’ and ‘starvation’.
That is the last thing that your body needs and neither does your newly adopted willpower. There will come a time when you won’t need to snack between meals and for those of you who need to lose in excess of three stone or more, I suggest that you enjoy your mid-morning, mid-afternoon and supper snack for several weeks or even months. I lost 150lbs in 18 months eating between meals and combined with some regular exercise it is a strategy that works for most of us.
The options that I suggest for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are just that, options. Variety not only prevents you getting bored with a particular diet but also ensures that you are getting the widest possible range of nutrients. Keep checking your food groups and make sure you are including all of them as regularly as possible.
I know that there is a new train of thought that precludes all carbohydrates from the diet but I am not in favour. Wholegrains have been a part of our human diet for thousands of years and there is evidence that we were eating wild grains as far back as early man. They provide important nutrients and fibre and should be included in moderate amounts. If you do not have a very active lifestyle then reduce to a handful with breakfast and lunch and leave off your evening meal.
First though, you need to adapt the following programme for your own individual requirements. If you suffer from Candida then you need to be careful of the amount of sugar and yeast that you are consuming. I recommend that you find a source for yeast and sugar-free bread from either a local baker or a health food shop. Fruit is too full of nutrients to give up completely and I suggest that you eat apples and pears, as they have the lowest amount of sugars, and only drink fruit juices sparingly. Apart from that you should be able to follow the basic programme adjusting it in the same way as someone without Candida.
- Eat the programme exactly if you need to lose up to 3 stone or are a woman.
- If you are a man, and need to lose up to 3 stone, you need to add 2 snacks per day to the programme.
- If you need to lose 3–5 stone add one extra snack per day.
- If you need to lose 5–7 stone add two extra snacks per day.
- Always eat breakfast and begin with a fresh vegetable juice. I recommend carrot juice – a small glass.
- Cereals should be natural and sugar-free. Use chopped fruit to sweeten, or a teaspoon of honey, in preference to refined sugars or artificial sweeteners.
- If you need to lose more than 42 lbs. (3 st or 19 kg) then you can add a piece of whole-grain toast with tomato and a drizzle of olive oil or mashed banana.
Seven Basic Breakfasts – small glass of juice not half a litre….
- Vegetable juice, porridge oats, tsp. honey, skimmed milk, a pear and a cup of tea.
- Carrot and apple juice, poached egg on slice of whole grain toast, drizzle of olive oil, seasoning and a cup of tea.
- Bowl of fresh fruit salad, low fat yoghurt, and slice of toast with modicum of butter. Cup of tea.
- Carrot juice, 2 Weetabix, semi-skimmed milk, fresh raspberries and a cup of tea.
- Banana smoothie made with one banana, 400 ml semi-skimmed milk and 1 oz. of porridge oats. Cup of tea.
- Apple juice, Shredded Wheat with semi-skimmed milk and fresh strawberries and 10 gms of chopped almonds. Cup of tea.
- Carrot juice, two scrambled egg, one rasher of salt-free bacon and one slice of whole grain toast with a drizzle of olive oil.
Note: you can eat anything you want for breakfast.. do not think that you have to start with eggs or cereal.. you can also have chicken breast and mushrooms, spinach and tomato if you fancy it!
Seven Lunch Suggestions – I always include a small amount of wholegrains in my lunch though I usually skip with my main meal at night.
- Large jacket potato with herbs and seasoning. Fresh raw vegetable salad made from tomato, cucumber, broccoli, carrot, rocket and raw onion. Drizzle potato and salad with 20 ml of seasoned olive oil – (useful if you are eating out).
- Brown rice pilaff with onions, mushrooms served with a baby leaf spinach and tomato salad. Can be reheated at work.
- One corn tortilla filled with steamed red peppers, onions, and 100 gms of chicken breast. Home-made salsa with onions, tomatoes, celery, garlic and a little olive oil.
- 200 gms of cooked whole grain pasta with home-made tomato, basil, onion, mushroom and celery sauce. Can be served cold and taken to work.
- Mashed potato and vegetable pie. Mash potato with semi-skimmed milk and herbs. Vegetable filling made from steamed carrots, onions, mushrooms, leeks in a tomato puree sauce baked in the oven with 2 oz. of grated Edam cheese. Can be reheated at work.
- Sandwiches – if you cannot have a prepared lunch of your choice then try to make sandwiches to take to work. You can have one round of whole grain sandwiches with lean fillings such as salad, chicken breast, tinned salmon or tuna, tomato and banana. Have two pieces of fruit or a fruit juice. (Sunday evening supper)
- Stir-fried vegetables served on brown rice. Use 20 ml of olive oil and seasoning, finely chopped celery, onion, broccoli, spinach, bean sprouts and mushrooms.
Seven Dinner Selections
Begin each dinner option with a bowl of fresh salad – e.g. mixed leaves, tomato, cucumber, pepper, celery – and 10 ml of olive oil and seasoning.
Three or four times a week include half a chopped avocado. This will not only be very nutritious but also knock the edge off your hunger.
- Roast Mediterranean vegetables with carrots, aubergine, courgettes, squash, onions and mushrooms drizzled with olive oil and roasted. Serve with a large lamb chop.
- Grilled turkey or chicken breast with carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and green bean mix.
- Roast salmon with stuffed peppers (chopped mushroom, onion, courgette sprinkled with 1 oz. of Edam cheese). Serve with broccoli or spinach.
- Lean steak with roast Mediterranean vegetables.
- White fish, lightly grilled with olive oil and seasoning. Mashed carrots and green beans.
- Weekend dinner. Half an avocado and prawns with olive oil and herb dressing. Calves liver and onions, mashed parsnips, mixed green vegetables. Two glasses of white or red wine.
- Sunday lunch. Roast beef with carrots, broccoli and green beans. Dry roast potatoes and home-made gravy made from the meat juices and a little corn flour.
Snack Options which means keeping it down to a small plate.. not a dinner plate!
Three a day unless you require more for your individual weight.
- Banana and green tea
- Apple and orange.
- Carrot juice and an orange
- 2 rye crisp bread with sliced tomato and drizzle of olive oil.
- Fresh fruit salad and ½ pot of yoghurt.
- 10 walnut halves
- Slice of whole grain toast and mashed banana
- Half a melon filled with strawberries and a live yoghurt drink.
- Strawberry smoothie with 400 ml semi-skimmed milk – 10 strawberries and some crushed ice.
- Pot of sugar free yoghurt mixed with 1 oz. of porridge oats.
You can find all the other posts in the series on Weight Reduction in this directory.
Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section and if you would like a private word then please email me firstname.lastname@example.org.