DO YOU KNOW HOW TO EAT CONVENIENT FOODS AND STILL LOSE FAT?
Does the following sound like you?….
*Always struggling to find time in the working day to eat?
*Never feel like you have enough time for those so called 'healthy' foods, leading you to reach for quick fix snacks and meals which could be doing more harm than good?
*Find yourself hungry around 4pm?
*When you do eat, you eat at your desk/ on the go?
*I don’t eat much (quantity/volume wise) but I struggle to lose fat?
*Feeling tired and lethargic?
*Desperate to lose fat, feel fitter, healthier, and more confident in your own skin?
If this sounds like you, don’t panic that’s what we are here for.
It is easy to fall into the trap of reaching for convenient foods (such as cakes, biscuits, chocolate, ready meals, fast food etc) when you are busy at work/ on the go with the children etc and it’s common to feel guilty for doing so… BUT this doesn’t have to be the case. We are going to teach you how you can still enjoy ‘convenient’ foods and reach your fat loss goals.
You are probably wondering HOW the scooby doo is this possible?! Well the short answer is pretty boring and unsexy, our FITNUTS hear us say it all the time… it’s all about MODERATION and finding a balance.
Before we get down to the nitty gritty it’s important to try and not think of individual foods as being GOOD and BAD for you!!! I know this can be a tough one as many of us have been brought up to call foods such as chocolate and crips BAD foods and foods such as fruit and vegetables GOOD foods. BUT… Remember “one nutritious (typically called good) meal doesn’t make you healthy” just the same as “one low nutrient dense (typically called call bad) meal doesn’t make you unhealthy”.
As mentioned above typical convenience foods normally come in the form of processed foods such as crisps, chocolates, fruit juices, fast food and ready meals. However, we are going to give you some tips and tricks for convenience foods that don’t fall into the ‘processed’ category and still taste YUMMY!
Processed foods have got themselves a bad reputation especially in the media due to the lack of vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals that the body needs to function properly and due to the high content of fats and sugars (carbohydrates). The added preservatives combined with high fat and sugar (carbs) ingredients are what gives these processed foods their great taste… and their HIGH calories.
The high sugar (carbohydrate) content of foods such as sweets, cakes and biscuits can be great for when we need a quick burst of energy … hence the bag of dolly mixture I devoured just before my half marathon at the weekend. Whilst these high fat/ high carb foods can be great for an energy spike they can also be pretty detrimental for the waistline IF they are over consumed due to them being high in calories. What you will also find is that convenient snacks are often pretty small in quantity (volume) compared to the amount of calories (energy) they contain.
Let’s take a 30g (1 serving) packet of Mcoys Salt & Vinegar crisps, this small snack which always leaves you wanting more contains 158 calories. Hmmmm… so what would a good alternative be? How about a yummy 20g pack of ProperCorn which contains 88 calories?
Another example being a 51g mars bar (the size you would buy from a petrol station), this bar contains a whopping 228 calories WOOW…that’s almost a meals worth of calories. Hmmmm… so what could you have instead? Here are a couple of options; how about a 18g fun size multi pack sized mars bar which contains 80 calories? Or what about a Del Monte mango in real fruit juice which contains 70 calories along with a pot of sugar free jelly which contains 9 calories?
Hopefully from the examples above you can see that you don’t have to choose foods that don’t excite your taste buds in order to stay on track with your diet. The examples above also show that you can eat larger quantities/volumes of food if you choose slightly less calorific options.
“BUT sometimes I really just WANT that mars bar or pack of crisps” ….
Ok Ok I hear you, let me tell you about FLEXIBLE DIETING and how it can allow you to enjoy your cake and eat it so to speak.
Flexible dieting… it sounds a little strange doesn’t it?! It’s not surprising that most people can’t imagine a diet being FLEXIBLE what with all the crazy strict fad diets out there which set you up for failure. We believe that flexible dieting is by far the most effective way of dieting, due to its’ sustainability compared to your typical 'crash' diet. Most fad diets make you go cold turkey on all the foods that you love to eat including those convenient afternoon pick me up snacks… recipe for disaster!
The idea behind flexible dieting is ultimately to follow a healthy balanced lifestyle. Balance is achieved by following an 80:20 rules, 80% of the time you need to eat nutrient dense, single ingredient foods such as meat, veggies, potatoes etc and then 20% of the time you can eat less nutrient foods such as cakes, biscuits, fast food etc.
BE PREPARED OR PREPARE TO FAIL… pre-planning your meals for the day/week making sure you include some of the foods you love to eat is extremely important.
Including the foods you love to eat… sounds like it kind of defeats the purpose of it being a diet doesn’t it?! < THIS is exactly what makes Flexible Dieting so much more effective than your average 'crash' diet. As already mentioned with crash/fad diets you end up depriving yourself of what you love to eat, which results in you craving to have those ‘off limits’ foods and ultimately leads you to breaking the diet entirely and bingeing…which is NOT healthy at all!! Flexible dieting allows you to satisfy your craving with a mix of tasty hearty meals and healthy options with a sprinkling of the foods you love whilst still maintaining a diet which is healthy and constructive to your fitness journey and your well-being.
Preparing food for work can be tricky especially when time is of the essence and there is only limited time to actually eat it which can lead to making 'bad' choices. By bad choices we mean quick, spare of the moment choices that haven’t been thought through with your end goal in mind. Making quick last minute decisions of what to eat often ends in you eating convenience foods during breaks leading you to exceed your recommended intake of calories.
BUT TELL ME How can I eat healthy when there is no time to prepare or eat this food I hear you ask?
Not all convenience foods are as calorific and lacking in nutrients as you might think. Food stores are CLEVER they understand that as a nation we are all so much busier with work, families and general life. Whilst the typical convince foods are still on offer if you look a little harder you will now start to find more and more nutrient dense, lower calorie CONVIENENT snacks and meals popping up in all of your favourite go to shops.
Boil in the bag rice, microwavable rice pouches.
Pre- cooked packs of meat or rotisserie chicken is also a great convenience food due to it being high in protein and fat, although you may want to remove the skin before consuming the product as this is where a high quantity of the calories are contained.
Prepared and washed bags of greens such as lettuce and spinach are available in all supermarkets, and can easily be added straight away to a variety of meals with meats or rice and the base for any salad.
Frozen fruits & veggies that can be microwaves a number of minutes.
Fresh 100% whole-wheat pasta which can be cooked on the hob prior to work and reheated in a microwave.
Pre-cut (fresh or frozen) produce such as onions, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, mushrooms and cucumbers are bite size and ready to eat perfect for any salad or to add to bolognaises, chillies, soups, stews etc .
Snack pots of nuts such as almonds or cashews are a great source of protein and fat and are portable enough to carry around all day to snack on (preferably plain and unsalted to avoid high sodium contents). REMEMBER to workout the serving size and don’t be caught out on calories in these little babies.
Popcorn: LOADS of companies such as metacalf, proper corn, boots own make and many more are now selling bags of yummy popcorn in a huge variety of flavours for around 100 calories.
Fresh fruit pots
Fruit in juice
Vegetable sticks and hummus
Protein Pots: several big stores such as Pret, M&S, Boots just to name a few are now selling awesome protein pots such as boiled eggs, chicken in different herbs and spices, prawns and dip and many more. PERFECT snack that won’t use up all your calories but will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
FLEXIBLE DIETING FOR THE WIN…
Healthy food options don't always have to be hard and gruelling to prepare especially as there are many healthy convenience foods and ingredients that can be picked up thrown in a pot and served in less than 30 mins. BUT in order to keep your diet flexible and sustainable don't be afraid to occasionally add a little 'less nutrient dense' foods into your diet. REMEMBER the moderation rule of 80:20!!!
If you have any questions about Flexible Dieting or have any snack ideas that help you to kick cravings and make it through busy periods at work/home please do not hesitate to contact us. MOB: 07798823498 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlotte & Brad
STAY FLEXIBLE… eat what you enjoy and STILL lose fat!!! AWESOME!!!