These are the pointers that work for me, they may not be right for you. Most of these are based on the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. If you need more specific advice, see an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
Foods to eat more of:
- Fish – 2-3 a week fish will decrease your risk of heart disease and decrease calories. Tinned fish (salmon or tuna, sardines or herrings) are also great for lunches.
- Vegetables – with the exception of potatoes you can eat almost all vegetables and know they are high fibre, low calorie and low GI – fill up on these!
- Fruit – some fruit are better than others, but most are fine and full of nutrients
- Eggs, nuts and avocado – like fish, these contain good fats and in small servings are very good for you, eggs are fine 3-4 times a week, a handful of nuts for a snack or some avocado in a salad are excellent ideas
- Dairy: yoghurt, milk, cottage cheese are all good sources of protein and calcium and low GI
- Wholegrains: I can't eat gluten, but I add sorghum and buckwheat flakes to my breakfast, quinoa to my salads etc
- Legumes- that’s beans, lentils, baked beans, chick peas, kidney beans - add them everywhere!
- Bread – if you love bread then the more visible grains the better (look for the GI symbol on the pack), or real sourdough is another good option, but treat the cakey white stuff as a treat
- Rice – Basmati or Doongarra rice is lower GI than white rice, but watch your portion sizes, most of us eat too much. Brown rice is more nutririous but the GI is not much better.
- Pasta – by itself, pasta is relatively low GI but most of us eat much too much in a serving.
- Potatoes – white potatoes can be an issue if you're diabetic like me.
- Fried food, take away food, cakes or biscuits
- Hard cheeses regularly (they are high in fat and are a great treat but watch portion sizes)
- Sweets, chocolates etc
- Refined sugar – I avoid sugar altogether or use honey, pure maple syrup or a little Stevia - I don't use artificial sweeteners but many people do ... I'm not convinced that they are unsafe as such, but I personally don't see the point.
- “Diet foods” – most foods that are sold as “diet” foods have significant amounts of sugar or fat or processing and will actually make you fatter – don’t be fooled !
- Alcohol – I’m a fan of red wine and there is good evidence that a small amount is good for your cardiovascular health (YAY!) so I have a small glass of merlot with dinner 4 or 5 nights a week. But watch the size of your servings and how often you drink…. Remember that it is easy to slip into hazardous drinking habits which can lead to all sorts of problems.
Now the thing some people find challenging is that they want something to call it? Who's diet book is it? Which diet guru or celebrity is it from? Show me a meal plan? It doesn't work that way. I am a firm believer that there is no "one diet" that suits every person at every stage of their life, and the key to leaving our weight troubles behind us for good is learning the fundamental principles to eat HEALTHILY and HAPPILY to suit us and our current circumstances in life (I have a post you can read about my "one-size-doesn't-fit-all" philosophy here). So if you've joined my blog to get a 12 week bootcamp plan to tell you exactly what to eat to get skinny fast and fit into a bikini for summer and then ignore it until next smmer, then you may be in the wrong place. If, however, you want to learn to get healthy for life by making sustainable adaptable lifestyle changes that you can live with forever, then stick around, I might be able to help :)