I still maintain that diets are not the way to go but if you find that your weight is creeping up, whether it’s a few pounds piled on during a cold winter or during a holiday, take action!
Even the healthiest regimes can get disrupted leading to weight gain but the best way to shed the excess pounds is not by going on a drastic diet which you will be unlikely to stick to and even if you did will lower your metabolism, making it harder to lose weight.
The more effective option is to swap some of your meals with alternatives that are filling, nutritious and also lower in calories. I found myself in that situation recently and after a few changes to my diet, have managed to shed 7 3/4lbs in two weeks.
Sticking to my usual bowl of porridge for breakfast, I switched to a bowl of Nestle Fitness wholegrain cereal for lunch and for dinner switched to a salad in place of the usual jacket potato and vegetables, served with the usual salmon, roasted chicken or lean steak.
There are plenty of alternatives to the Nestle cereal such as Special K, or supermarket own brands but I found this one the tastiest. Avoid sweetened cereals and although muesli is healthy it is not as low in calories as a simple wholegrain or bran cereal.
Although some people see salad as “rabbit food” and believe that it is not filling, the opposite is true. My mixed salad comprises not just lettuce but cabbage, carrots, onions, sweet pepper, plum tomatoes and olives with a light mayonnaise and dash of mustard.
Because it is so low in calories you can fill a large plate and still consume less than half the calories of a jacket potato. That is not to say that the jacket potato is not healthy because of course it is. But if you need to lose some extra pounds, swapping it for a plate of salad will reduce your calorie intake without leaving you feeling hungry.
I also swapped my usual mini tub of ice cream – my usual dessert, for an apple and pear. You still get to munch on something sweet and fruit is very filling so you feel satisfied and should not feel hungry again in the evening. I would have an apple one hour after dinner and then the pear an hour or so after that.
So this is not really a diet at all, just clever swapping of meals and snacks to reduce weight gain. When you have lost the excess weight you can mix and match, maybe having salads two to three times a week. I am pretty hooked on the cereal lunch as I am not that keen on sandwiches or sometimes I will have a smaller salad for lunch.
It takes very little effort and it works – try it and see for yourself!