Forget dieting, says Catherine Saxelby, cut just 400 kilojoules from your day, and you’ll lose half a kilo of body fat in one month. That’s 6kg a year!
Swap your chocolate for boiled sweets. Five squares of chocolate, about 25g (546kJ) for two small boiled sweets (126kJ). You still get that sweet hit but you will save 420kJ.
Cut your pre-dinner kilojoules. Make your gin and tonic with sugar-free diet tonic water, or switch your rum and cola for a rum and diet cola.
Flavour with herbs instead of fat. Replace 1 tablespoon butter with fresh or dried thyme or rosemary plus cracked pepper on your chicken or potato and you’ll save on fat and kilojoules.
Drink water before you eat. It’s simple and inexpensive. A 2008 US study reported that overweight people ate 13 per cent less after drinking 500ml of chilled, bottled water before a test breakfast. The researchers think the water slows the rate of the stomach emptying, and promotes fullness.
Remove the oil off your food by blotting it with paper towels. For every tablespoon that goes to your napkin instead of your mouth, you’ve saved 400kJ.
Don’t eat the crust! The bottom of baked goods is extra kilojoule-dense, because it absorbs the butter or oil used to grease the pan.
Swap from full-cream milk to non-fat. An easy one to do and, with the good-tasting non-fat milks around these days, you won’t feel deprived. If you consume 2 cups of non-fat milk over the day (say with your cereal, in a cappuccino and in cooking), you’ll drop an easy 485kJ (116 cals).
Have your ice-cream in a cup, not a cone. And when you’re at home, serve it in a bowl. Just make sure it’s a small one. Study participants who were randomly given a large bowl to serve themselves ice-cream ate over 30 per cent more than those who were given a smaller bowl. And despite that, they didn’t think they dished out any more than the others!
Walk for 30 minutes a day. Or do 30 minutes of gardening, aquarobics or light cycling. You’ll burn off 400kJ. If you walk briskly, you only have to do so for 16 minutes.
Order your eggs poached. Eating two poached eggs instead of two fried ones will save about 250kJ. Eat it with two slices of 97 per cent fat-free bacon instead of regular bacon and you’ll save another 220kJ.
Make your pre-dinner nibble a light one: go for light hommous with rice crackers instead of regular hommous with corn chips. You’ll save 15g of fat and more than 500kJ.
Snack right. When the craving hits, eat a 25g snack pack of crisps instead of the usual 50g size and drop 520kJ. You’ll still enjoy your favourite crunchy snack but won’t go overboard.
Use 97 per cent fat-free or light mayonnaise. You’ll save 400kJ with 1 tablespoon. But compare brands, as there’s much variation.
Grill your cheese sandwich using cooking oil spray instead of table spread.
Swap your custard-filled doughnut for a cinnamon one. Still a delicious treat, but one with a saving of 400kJ and 8g of fat.
Leave three to four bites on your plate. If you wait a few minutes, it’s very likely that you’ll realise you’re actually feeling full.
Skim the fat off soups, stews and sauces before serving. It’s a simple habit that will help you in the long run.
Order pizza with grilled chicken instead of pepperoni to lower the fat.