... and lose up to 7lb this month! You're clued up on nutrition and aren't a complete stranger to the gym, so why do you still gain a few extra pounds with each passing year? It's not what you eat, says Food Doctor Ian Marber, it's how
Extracted from Ian Marber's 'How Not to Get Fat: Your Daily Diet' (Quadrille, £14.99).
1. YOU EAT ONLY ONE FOOD GROUP
'Eating one food group at a time, at best two - think pasta and tomato sauce for lunch or toast for breakfast - will leave you tired and hungry,' says Ian. Add some protein and fat to keep energy dips at bay: put cheese on that pasta, spread peanut butter on the toast, and you won't end up reaching for the biscuit tin an hour later.
2. YOU CUT BACK ON CALORIES
'A repeated cycle of dieting is one of the primary reasons we are getting fatter,' says Ian. Cutting back radically on calories makes your body think it's experiencing famine, so it slows down your metabolic rate. When you return to eating normally, your body stores away any additional calories in readiness for the next 'famine'. With every diet it becomes harder to lose weight. So it's vital you don't cut calories way below your body's normal requirements.
3. YOU SNACK ON DRIED FRUIT
That packet of dried apricots on your desk isn't the healthy midmorning snack you think. Dried fruit is a simple carb and does the same thing to your blood sugar as cake, leaving you ravenous again really quickly. Combine protein and carbs by spreading hummus on two oatcakes and it will keep you going until lunch.
■ Drink tea and coffee with food (never in place of it) as caffeine raises blood sugar levels. Green, white and herbal teas contain less caffeine, so drink freely.
■ Eat green veg rather than starches with your evening meal. You're likely to be less active then, so you won't need quick-release energy, but rather the slower-release energy you'll get from these complex carbs. It will help curb any late-night munchies, too.
■ Treat juice as a carbohydrate. So have a glass in place of fresh fruit with your yogurt or eggs at breakfast.
■ Don't eat fruit at the end of your meal. It can promote the fermentation of food in your stomach, which can leave you bloated.
■ Avoid sugary foods. Sugar is the simplest of simple carbs and is turned into glucose very easily, giving you an immediate energy spike that will leave you hungry again soon after. If you get a strong sweet craving, allow yourself a few squares of 80% cocoa dark chocolate.
Use your new eating plan [link] for a week, to get you used to combining protein, fat and carbs in each meal or snack. Note that you'll be eating starchy carbs at breakfast and lunch to fuel activity, but at your evening meal the carbs are provided by vegetables instead
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