Weight Loss - A 14-day plan
Is it possible to lose weight healthily in just two weeks? Absolutely. And while 'dieting' seems to require a tremendous amount of self-discipline, losing weight safely is simply a learning process of healthy eating.
Many of today's popular diets focus on high protein and low carbohydrate meals that can lead to energy restriction, irritability, as well as increased risk for many health problems. For successful weight loss, it is advisable to seek help from a qualified nutritionist or dietician.
For safe and effective weight loss (around 0.5-1kg per week), you need to take in fewer calories per day as well as increase your energy expenditure. This means eating 500 fewer calories per day.
• Improve the quality of the food you eat rather than the quantity (more important than cutting down on bulk)
• Eat little and often - aim to eat 5-6 small meals or snacks per day at regular intervals. This will maintain energy levels, prevent hunger and avoid fat storage.
• Always start your day with a healthy breakfast; this is the most important meal of the day as it kick-starts your metabolism. Fill yourself up on wholegrain foods, low-fat dairy and lots of fresh fruits.
• Choose high-fibre, low-glycaemic index carbohydrate foods to fill you up, satisfy your appetite and keep hunger at bay. Base your meals and snacks on the following nutritious bulk foods: Wholegrain breakfast cereals, porridge, wholemeal bread, pasta, brown rice, beans and lentils, vegetables, fresh fruits
• Reduce your fat intake - aim to consume 15-20% of your calories from fat. Swap high-fat foods for low-fat nutritious alternatives such as fresh fruit and vegetables.
• Raw and natural foods will fill you up longer than refined and sugary carbohydrate foods such as cakes, pastries, white bread snacks or chocolate
• Choose low-fat dairy options where possible (e.g. milk, yoghurt & cheese)
• When eating out try to order foods that are either steamed, grilled, barbequed or baked. Choose foods with a tomato rather than cream base, and order salads with dressings on the side.
Variety is key - include food from all the following groups
• Fruits and vegetables - 2 servings of fruit and three of vegetables
A serving is half a cup of stewed fruit, a small apple or half-cup fresh fruit salad. For vegetables, a serving is half a cup of cooked veggies or half a cup of salad.
• Breads, cereals, nuts & seeds (wholegrains) - at least 6 servings per day. For bread it is a slice of bread or a small roll. For rice or pasta it is a cup of cooked rice or pasta. For muesli it is half a cup or one cup of lightweight cereal.
• Milk and dairy products - 2 low-fat servings per day.
This is equal to a 250-ml glass of milk, 150g pottle of yoghurt or 2 slices/40g cheese. Dairy foods provide us with a good source of calcium but make sure you always go for low-fat options!
• Lean meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or vegetarian alternatives - At least one serving per day. For meat, it is two drumsticks (110g), ¾ cup cooked beans, one 100g fish fillet or 120g piece of steak. These foods provide us with a good source of daily protein.
• Fluids - You need to consume at least 8 glasses of water per day plus another 2 glasses during exercise. Water is important for hydration as well as flushing out the toxins in your system. Avoid juices, soft drinks, energy drinks, coffee and alcohol as these will contain extra unwanted calories.
• Fat, oil, salts & sweets - Avoid saturated fats, sugary and salty foods in your diet. This includes cakes, pastries, fried foods, white bread, chocolate, ice-cream, sugary drinks, sweets & chips.
Snack on these instead!
• Fresh fruit & yoghurt
• Wholemeal breads with spaghetti or baked beans
• Crackers (rice or water) with hummus, cottage cheese, relish or tomato
• Wholegrain fruit bread
• Dried fruit such as apricots & raisins and raw nuts
• Fresh fruit smoothies with low-fat milk (homemade)
• Vegetable sticks with cottage cheese or hummus
• Pita pockets with fresh salad & trim meats
• Corn on the cob
Sample meal plan
|Breakfast ||1 cup of low-fat cereal with 1/2 cup skimmed milk|
1 slice of wholegrain toast with a spread (e.g. jam or honey)
|1 glass of water|
1 cup herbal tea (caffeine free)
|Mid-morning||1 low-fat yoghurt (150g)||2 glasses water|
|Lunch||Wholegrain bread roll or sandwich with salad and lean meat|
1 piece of fruit
|2 glasses water|
|Mid-afternoon||1 glass low-fat smoothie or protein shake (post-exercise) ||1-2 glasses of water |
|Dinner||1/2 cup of rice|
2 chicken kebabs
Steamed carrots and broccoli
|2 glasses of water|
|Supper||Fresh fruit salad|
1-2 pieces of fruit
|1 cup herbal tea|
by Chrissy Denton