A slimming diet must provide all of the nutrients that the body needs. As these nutrients have to come from a lower calorie intake, it is important to cut right down on confectionery, cakes, biscuits, and sugary and alcoholic drinks, which are relatively high in calories but low in nutrients. The diet should be based on lower-calorie, nutritious foods such as vegetables, fruit, lean meat, poultry, fish. low-fat dairy products, bread and cereals.
Of all the major components of food, fat is the most concentrated source of energy. At nine Calories per gram, fat provides more than twice as many calories as protein and carbohydrate at four Calories per gram, Reducing the amount of fat in the diet is therefore the most effective way to reduce calorie intake. In order to help reduce your fat intake, chose lean cuts of meat and trim all visible fat before cooking. Avoid high-fat meats such as sausages, bacon and minced beef. Poultry should be eaten without the skin, and fish should be steamed, grilled, baked or microwaved rather than fried. Sweet and savoury pies and pastries, biscuits, cakes, crisps and nuts are all high in fat and are best avoided on a slimming diet. Replace full-fat dairy products with low-fat alternatives. Pure alcohol has seven Calories per gram, so cutting down on alcohol is also an effective way to help weight loss. It is best to aim for a steady weight loss of 450-900g(1-21b) a week, which will result in a reduction of body fat. Increasing your calorie expenditure through regular exercise-three times a week for a minimum of 20 minutes – will help to burn fat, and tone up the muscles for a leaner shape.
There is a misconception that starchy staple foods such as bread, rice potatoes and pasta are fattening. In fact, these are not eaten with a lot of fat, these staples can be eaten in fairly large amounts on a slimming diet. Starchy foods help to satisfy the appetite because they are filling rather than fattening. Wholegrain foods such as wholemeal bread and brown rice are preferable to refined foods, as they provide significantly more vitamins, minerals and fibre.
A healthy slimming diet should also include plenty of salads, vegetables and pulses (beans, peas and lentils). Fresh fruit makes a good choice for a low-calories dessert.
Tips for Slimmer
- Replacing high fat foods with low fat foods such as fruits and vegetables can reduce the energy content of the diet
- Eating more starchy foods, e.g. bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and cereals, especially types high in fibre, can help the person to feel fuller and less hungry. But these foods shouldn’t have too much fat added to them such as butter, spreads and creamy sauces.
- Looking at the nutritional information on food labels can help to identify the foods that are lower in fat and energy
- Missing meals should be avoided as this can lead to tiredness and headaches and the person may end up eating even more food, later on, to compensate.
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