Losing weight doesn't have to be painful and doesn't necessarily mean depriving yourself constantly. Losing weight successfully, boring as it sounds, means losing it slowly and changing your bad habits, and the reason you've heard that so often is because it's true.
Now I may be repeating myself here (actually, there's no 'may' about it, I am repeating myself!) to lose one pound of body fat you have to eliminate 3,500 calories. If you've read my last blog (and if not, why not?!) you will know how to do this without changing your eating habits one iota. You're walking off those calories right? But if you can painlessly cut 3,500 calories from your weekly food consumption, then you lose twice as much weight - not rocket science, and actually not that difficult.
Try some of these simple food swaps and see the pounds finally start to surrender.
Swap your cereal. Just six tablespoons of muesli can provide as much as 330 calories. Try the same quantity of bran flakes instead (155 calories) with a tablespoon of raisins (55 calories). Save 120 calories
Replace a bagel (220 calories) with 2 slices of light whole-wheat toast (56 calories). Save 164 calories
Skip your Starbucks. A Grande Cup Coffee Caffe Mocha, with Whip and Whole Milk is 364 calories. Instead opt for a Grande Cup Frappuccino Mocha Light (144 calories). Save 220 calories.
Switch your soup. Replace a serving of New Covent Garden Chicken Soup (half a carton - 216cals) with the same serving of Root Vegetable Medley (84 calories). Save 132 calories.
Sensible salads. A simple switch from a salad topped with tuna in oil (280 calories) to the same salad with tuna in water (150 calories) saves an instant 130 calories. Replace your mayonnaise (105 calories) with fat free dressing (10 calories). Total save 225 calories.
Stop the pop. Replace just one can of the fizzy stuff a day (140 cals) with a glass of sparkling water (0 calories) spritzed up with ice and a slice. Yes you can get zero calorie versions of most carbonated drinks, but replacing chemically induced sickly sweetness with pure fresh spring water is a no brainer really. Save 140 calories.
Keep it sweet. A portion of Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream (250 calories average) will satisfy any sweet cravings. But substitute that with a generous 100g portion of strawberries (30 calories) topped with 12.5g of squirty cream (50 calories) and you still have a truly decadent sweet treat and save yourself 170 calories.
Don't be a donut. Swap the average supermarket jam doughnut (240 calories) for a crumpet with jam (100 calories) and your afternoon tea is complete. Save 140 calories.
Tame your tipple. If you really need a long cold beer, swap your regular pint (180 calories) for a light version, Becks Light has a mere 64 calories a bottle so two bottles means you still save 60 calories. Spritz your glass of wine (120 calories) by having equal parts wine and soda water and cut the calorie count in half. Save 60 calories.
If you incorporated just half of these swaps on a daily basis you could be saving close to 5,000 calories a week – taking you well over the 3,500 needed to lose that pound. Remember, when introducing a food swap, give yourself time to get used to it, the higher in salt, fat and sugar a food is, the more addictive it is, so your taste buds need time to adjust.
Oh, and I said you could have your cake and eat it... try these at just 105 calories each (but please try and stop at one!)
Little Lemon Buns
For the bun:
75 g self raising white flour
50 g margarine
50 g caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
For the topping:
1 tablespoon lemon curd
1 tablespoon boiling water
1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/190°C/fan oven 170°C. Line a 9 hole bun tin with paper cases.
2. Sift the flour into a bowl. In a separate mixing bowl beat the margarine and caster sugar together until you have a pale and fluffy mixture. Add the beaten egg, lemon zest and lemon juice with 1 tablespoon of the flour and mix well.
3. Add the remaining flour to the lemon mixture and fold it in thoroughly. Divide the mixture between the paper cases and bake for 15 minutes, until the sponges are springy to the touch.
4. While the cakes are still warm, mix the lemon curd with the boiling water and brush this over the surface of the cakes. Allow them to cool before serving.