Diet Without Dieting!
Dietitian and chef Charlotte Miller shares her top 10 tips to help you achieve your long-term health and wellness goals without the need for dieting.
Most diets and detoxes make promises of short-term weight loss – “Lose 5kg in 10 Days,” or “Get Lean and Clean with our Summer Detox” but research has shown that most dieters regain more weight than they lost once they stop dieting and return to their normal eating behaviours. We also know restricted eating – dieting or detoxing – is not a sustainable or affordable long-term solution. So, what’s the answer?
If you struggle with your weight, are a serial dieter or regularly looking for at the latest quick detox fix, Charlotte recommends a completely different approach. It combines small but significant changes to your relationship with food, adopting some lifestyle habits and changing your expectations of what you think your body should look like. Charlotte also encourage you to empower yourself with nutrition knowledge and try food swaps that will feed both your short-term appetite and long-term health.
Enjoy Charlotte’s top ten tips which will help you shed some extra kgs if that’s your goal but more importantly support your long-term health and wellness. Charlotte also takes a look at how We Feed You meals can help you achieve these goals and give you an understanding of why we include certain ingredients in our meals.
Protein, whole grains, heaps of veggies & healthy fats are all important!
At We Feed You we are all about how to include foods in your diet rather than eliminate or restrict them. By having a good understanding of why different foods are important and the role they play in maintaining your health, you are less likely to fall into the trap of eliminating them from your diet. Elimination diets often door more harm than good. Let’s take a closer look:
Protein is an essential nutrient that is required for many vital roles in the body and helps us to feel satisfied, thereby keeping our hunger in check. Did you know, the body is limited to how much protein it can use at any one time, so spreading your protein intake across the day works better than trying to consume it all in one meal.
Some good sources of protein include lean red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy foods. Plant based foods containing protein include legumes, grains, soy products, nuts, seeds.
Choosing a wide range of We Feed You meals will help you to get your protein from a range of sources as we use both meat and plant-based protein sources in most meals. For example, nuts, seeds, chickpeas, lentils, beans, brown rice, quinoa, yoghurt, tofu and cheese as well as your meat sources including fish, chicken, lamb, beef and pork.
‘Whole grains’ include the whole grain – the endosperm, germ and bran components of the grain or cereal. This means extra fibre and additional key nutrients such as B group vitamins, antioxidants and good fats. Whole grains also take longer for our body to digest, which helps us to feel fuller for longer. They can also help keep our blood sugars more stable and are a really important part of a balanced diet. Many diets promote eliminating them but they as a nutrition powerhouse, there is nothing not to love about wholegrains.
At We Feed You we use gluten free wholegrains such as brown rice, quinoa and corn. All of which have their own unique nutrition properties. Let’s take a closer look at quinoa as an example. It’s low in fat and a good source of minerals (iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, potassium, zinc) and vitamins (vitamin E and B-complex vitamins), has double the amount of protein compared to other grains, and is a great source of fibre. So next time you explore the menu choose some meals with quinoa or other wholegrains and enjoy all the nutritional benefits.
Up your intake of the good fats. For example, oily fish can actually help to protect against heart disease, stroke, and a number of other conditions. The good news is that both the fresh, frozen and tinned varieties are equally nutritious. If you struggle to get fish into your diet, add one of our Aromatic Fish Curries to your order or add a small tin of salmon or tuna to a serve of our Asian Vegetables. Now there’s a great way to get two serves or fish in your diet each week!
Another way to enjoy healthy fats is by loving nuts and seeds. Not only are they a good source of protein and antioxidants they also provide a range of vitamins and minerals.
One serve is a small handful (30g), and can be enjoyed as a snack, sprinkled over your meals, added to cereals or yoghurt, and with salads. At We Feed You we use a range wide variety including almonds, cashews, pine nuts and pumpkin seeds in our meals for nutrition, flavour and crunch.
We also use extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) for cooking which is rich in unsaturated fats and contains antioxidants such as vitamin E. It is a high-quality oil suitable for cooking and use in salads. Whilst, it may cost a bit more, We Feed You are not ones to scrimp on costs when it comes to high quality ingredients and yes, we only use locally sourced Australian EVOO.
Fibre is an important nutrient that helps to induce the feeling of fullness. It also has a wide range of health benefits and can support people to achieve a healthy bodyweight. Fibre helps to keep your gut ecosystem thriving, and different fibres help in different ways. The best approach is to eat a wider range of fibre from different sources such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, breads and cereals, nuts and seeds. You’ll definitely tick many of these off when enjoying our meals.
The Heart Foundation recommends that adults should aim for approx. 25–30 g daily. Our Lamb and Grain Salad has 13g so that’s nearly half your intake in just one meal.
Why is it, that diet companies want to want to feed you like a bird? Sure, if you follow a “diet” and don’t eat much you’ll lose weight but as soon as you stop dieting, research shows you’re more likely to put the weight back on plus more and a main reason diets simply don’t work!
So, you need to understand what a satisfying portion size is and tune into your hunger and satiety cues is to avoid overeating.
At We Feed You, we salute healthy appetites, and we think meal portions should be satisfying. You’ll find most of our meals are 350-400g. Just the right amount to leave you feeling satisfied, without that heavy, food coma feeling or that raging with hunger feeling that has you finishing a pack of chips or biscuits when you really only intended to have one or two.
You’ll find our meals are packed with all the good stuff such as fibre, protein, healthy fats and veggies which helps with satiety whilst also packing in the nutrition.
Snacking between meals is a really easy way to up your daily kJ intake – without even realising it. So, plan ahead and have healthy snacks to hand. Keep nutritious snacks in your handbag, the car or at work to avoid the chocolate stop when filling up for fuel or the cookie jar when really, you’re just bored!
Some great snacks which induce a satiating factor (helps keep us full) include nuts and seeds, a boiled egg, wholegrain crackers and cheese, natural or Greek yoghurt with fruit, avocado (50g) with wholegrain toast or cracker, veggie sticks with hummus or tzatziki.
Did you know:
Eggs are a good source of protein and contain 11 different vitamins and minerals including – vitamins A, E, B12, D, zinc and iron. Although they contain cholesterol it does not affect your cholesterol level and it’s important to eat the whole egg as the nutrients are in the yolk.
Did you know:
Avocados contain healthy fats, but are also nutrient rich with folate, vitamin E & C, fibre, carotenoids and antioxidants. Like nuts and some seeds, avocados are kilojoule-dense, so approx. one third of a small avocado or a quarter of a large avocado is usually enough. You can also make a lovely guacamole with some diced red onion and tomato, garlic, lime juice and coriander. A perfect healthy snack with wholegrain bread or biscuits.
Planning can really make a big difference to maintaining or achieving a healthy weight. Create time in the week or at the weekend to plan what your meals will be for the week ahead. Use what you’ve learnt above and ensure you include variety in your meal planning with different protein sources, wholegrains and colour fruit and veg. Stock up on healthy snacks and if there are times in the week when you know getting a healthy meal on the table will be too hard, keep a backup of our healthy meals in the freezer. This will stop you from grabbing a fat, salt and sugar laden takeaway or opting for toast for dinner.
Learn to know your own hunger and fullness cues around food and be 100% focused on eating when eating! That means put the devices away, don’t eat in front of the tv and enjoy every mouthful. You are more likely to overeat when distracted so I encourage you to slow down, enjoy your food and start to recognise your satiety cues.
We always encourage our customers to serve our meals in their favourite bowl and with their best cutlery. Not out of the tray! It makes all the difference and will encourage you to enjoy the full flavours, textures and ingredients in the meal rather than scoffing it down on the run. Also read the ingredients list and be proud of all the different colour veg, protein sources, healthy fats or nuts and seeds that are in your meal.
It isn’t rocket science that the key to good health is combining a mostly healthy diet with exercise and sufficient sleep. Put simply – find ways to move your body, eat well and get enough sleep! If you can make exercise fun, you’re more likely to get the job done so find exercise that you enjoy. If you need to, make it social – like a walk or run with a friend or group fitness class. If you’re a solo exerciser, look for new ways such as bike riding or swimming.
I like to get up early before work. It’s a great way to start the day and I can relax knowing I’ve done my exercise.
We recommend limiting your deserts and sweet treats but we do not recommend eliminating them. Eliminating foods can result food anxiety and disordered eating habits. If you’re still hungry after a meal then keep a supply of healthy treats which also contain important nutrients. Natural yoghurt, a serve of fruit, a small piece of dark chocolate with nuts or a handful of fresh berries.
A helpful tip is to eat your treat slowly and mindfully. Savour the flavours and textures and if you are tempted to have more, boil the kettle and enjoy a fruit based herbal tea which has a natural sweetness. This will help distract you from eating and will take time to enjoy.
A lack of sleep can affect us in different ways – for some it makes us feel sluggish which then means we don’t do our exercise. For other it can lead to overeating. Try to establish a bedtime routine so when you turn the light out your body is ready for sleeping. This may include a cup of camomile tea, reading for 20 mins or listening to some relaxing music. Try to avoid devices just before bedtime.
At We Feed You, we truly believe that all bodies are good bodies. We think bodies should be celebrated for the amazing jobs they do every day, rather than being judged for the way they look. And we look forward to a future where size diversity will be celebrated, doctors stop prescribing diets, and the toxic diet and detox industry and its’ ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ bullsh*t will go out of business!
A healthy size is different for everyone and finding your healthy size may be different to what you’re actually striving for.
Food should be a pleasure not something to cause anxiety. Having healthy relationship with food can be a genuine battle but it’s well worth the effort to find that balance and live your life free from food anxieties and fears. It’s also a great skill to role model to children and those around you.
Think about your relationship with your own body; do you compare your body size to others or are you trying to get back to your 16-year-old self size which was 10, 20 or 30+ years ago? Be realistic and kind to yourself. A lifetime of dieting and yo-yo weight loss/weight gain can be very harmful to both your physical and mental health.
If you can change your diet to include many of the tips above, find exercise you love and a nurturing sleep routine – you are well on your way to good health. Food is a big part of our lives and should bring joy and happiness not anxiety and fear. Everything can be enjoyed in moderation, especially once you understand how food can help you live your best life!