If you’re dieting kick your day off with some homemade muesli. To make, add half a cup of sliced strawberries and a quarter of a cup of almonds to 35g (1.23oz) of porridge oats or oatmeal. Then add four tablespoons of natural yoghurt and a teaspoon of honey to flavour.
Why muesli is great for dieters: This muesli recipe contains around 340 calories and is packed with protein and fibre. Fibre and protein are great for dieters because both help you to feel full for longer and so this breakfast will hopefully stop you reaching for those high-fat snacks mid-morning. The oats from your muesli also contain resistant starch, which according to a study published in Nutrition and Metabolism can help to boost fax oxidation (the process where fatty acids are broken down, which in turn releases energy) and decrease fat accumulation.
There are lots of ways you can eat apples. Obviously you can just snack on the fruit as it is, or smear a dollop of peanut butter onto slices. Alternatively, you could knock up a healthy butternut squash and apple soup for lunch, or add apple slices to salads, desserts or smoothies.
Why apples are great for dieters: Apples contain a type of fibre called soluble fibre. Soluble fibre is great for dieters because it helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady and therefore you avoid the spikes that cause you to reach for sugary snacks. Soluble fibre is also useful when you are trying to lose weight because it helps you to keep feeling fuller for longer because it delays the process whereby your stomach is emptied.
Black bean and feta salad
For a light lunch option that satisfies your appetite this salad is perfect. To make, you will need to add black beans to diced cucumbers, chopped tomatoes and a handful of sweet corn. For a bulkier version of this salad add chickpeas and green beans. To finish, crumble feta cheese over the dish and add a dash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Why black bean and feta salad is great for dieters: As well as being a low calorie meal, this delicious salad contains lots of ingredients that will help you slim. The black beans are packed with protein (half a cup contains 15 grams (0.52oz) of protein; it is recommended by WebMD that women eat 46 grams of protein per day and men should eat 56 grams - or 1.97 oz - per day) and fibre (half a cup contains nearly 15 grams (0.52 oz) of fibre; it is recommended by the Institute of Medicine that women eat 25 grams (0.88 oz) of fibre per day and men should eat 38 grams per day), which both help to keep you feeling satiated. Although the black beans are great, the feta also contains a fatty acid called conjugated lionoleic acid, which is thought to help reduce body fat deposits.
Aim to have the following spices on hand to season your meals: cayenne pepper, bay leaves, ground cloves, tarragon, cumin, ginger, nutmeg, thyme and rosemary. If you go to your local international store you should be able to pick up bulk packets of spices cheaply. Wasabi, garlic cloves and honey are also low-calorie options that can also help turn a bland meal into a mouth-wateringly punchy and flavoursome dish.
Why spices are great for dieters: Eating healthily when you are on a diet does not have to be a punishment and it does not have to mean you have to stop enjoying your food. To make your healthy ingredients taste amazing, use spices to infuse your food with flavour.
Ideally don’t reach for a huge slab of cheesecake when you get hit by a sugar craving, instead try to opt for a snack that is calorie controlled. At the moment you can buy ‘diet cakes’ that are snacks designed for dieters that come in at under 100 calories per treat.
Why cakes are great for dieters: If you’re surprised to see that cakes are on our list, bear with us. Treating yourself to a not-so-healthy snack once in a while can actually help some people stick to their healthy eating plan long-term. If you’re one of these people treat yourself now and again to something you crave. Ideally opt for those snacks that are calorie controlled though. These snacks are obviously not as nutritious as say, a handful of carrot sticks and peanut butter, but if they help you to maintain your healthy lifestyle then they may be worth considering now and again.