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I want to lose weight – but I love food – I may possibly starve to death!!

What a dilemma – to starve or not to starve – is that actually the question?

There are so many diets floating around out there and it can be ridiculously confusing.  No, you don’t have to starve.  And I personally don’t like the term diet – let’s refer to it instead as thoughtful eating choices, shall we?  No, this does not mean think about food and think about which flavour of crisps or chocolates you prefer.  You missed the point!

Where to start?  Firstly, have a look at how much you are eating – could you feed an extra person with the amount of food on your plate?  Possibly reconsider the size of your plate as you don’t get bonus points for cramming it full.

Now look down at your plate.  If you are currently staring at something that came out of a paper wrapper or out of a box, that could potentially be a clue too.

So what is the deal here?  Start with using a smaller plate that you can’t fill as much and limit processed food and takeaway as much as possible.

And just slow down!  Chewing thoroughly and eating more slowly not only helps you digest food better and extract critical nutrients, but it also gives the body time to actually release hormone (leptin) that signal you are full.  You may also be having major difficulty losing weight due to inappropriate control of blood sugar and insulin release.  Make an appointment if you think this may be you.

Now to quote teenagers…. “But there is NOTHING to eat in this house!!”

Really???  I might not be able to convince all teens of the merits of fresh food and that it IS in fact food, but you are reading this, so I am assuming you have got beyond that point.

Snacks to grab (that don’t come in a wrapper)

Fruit and veg:  apples or pears (skin on – great for fibre and filling full), grapes (nutrient dense, especially the red ones), bananas (source of potassium, resistant starch, fibre which can offset their higher sugar content), celery/carrot/cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts (didn’t see that coming did you!  Great for prebiotics), olives, avocado (very healthy fats and loaded with vitamins), berries.

Nuts and seeds (just a handful, not chocolate coated!) – try a tablespoon of nuts and seeds in ½ a cup of full-fat yoghurt, or sprinkle them over salads.

Dried coconut (no added sugar) – great if you like to snack on something crunchy.  Also plain air-popped popcorn.

Also think about this – are you actually hungry, or are you snacking out of habit or because you are actually thirsty?  Try drinking a couple of glasses of water and see if you are still hungry.

Incorporate these foods – all have high nutrient density for their weight, are satiating (you feel fuller) – and are just plain good for you!

Eggs (protein, nutrients – including vitamin D if you use free-range)

broccoli/cauliflower/cabbage (help your liver to shift fat via metabolic processes)

Quinoa (high fibre, protein, B-vitamins, magnesium and many other nutrients – just make sure you give it a really good rinse before cooking).  It has also been suggested that it has an influence on hormones involved with appetite levels.

Lots and lots and LOTS of good plant foods – leafy greens, lots of bright colours and LOTS of variety.  Pour a dash of extra virgin olive oil and/or a little vinegar and pepper over salad as a dressing.

Meat, poultry, fish – limiting processed ones (such as sausages and fish fingers and chicken nuggets).

Legumes – chickpeas, lentils, bean mix – lots of protein, helps blood sugar control, high fibre).

Good spices to use – cumin, cayenne pepper, cinnamon (especially if you have issues with blood sugar levels), ginger, turmeric.

Alcohol – cut it down or out.  It is often high in calories and messes with your metabolism.  While your liver is busy detoxing the alcohol from your body (the body considers it toxic and the liver considers getting rid of it as a priority), it is not metabolising foods properly.  It can also negatively impact your gut bacteria, which is becoming more and more accepted as having a big impact on desired weight loss.

Weight loss is definitely achievable.  Certain medical conditions can make this more challenging and you may need my support with those, but remember – you can do it without starving

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