The start of a shiny new year is the perfect time to take control of your diet. Forget extreme weight loss programs that promise the world when it comes to weight loss, the easiest, cheapest and most sustainable way to drop a few kg quickly is to implement your own diet overhaul, complete with whole, natural foods. To give you some inspiration, here is a sample day that will give you a perfect balance of carbs, proteins and good fats, along with calorie control.
The earlier you have your breakfast, the better it will be for your metabolism so try and eat by 8am at the latest. Start with plenty of fluid – some green tea; hot water with lemon or a mixed vegetable juice to help rehydrate you. Next you want a protein rich option that will keep you full for at least 3-4 hours. An egg scramble with vegetables; cottage cheese with wholegrain toast or some plain Greek yoghurt with banana are all protein rich options that will help to control your insulin levels through the morning, controlling appetite and promoting fat metabolism.
The need for a mid-morning snack will depend on what time you ate your breakfast as well as how large your first meal was. If you are getting up early and exercising you may find that you are quite hungry a couple of hours after breakfast and a nutritious snack that contains both carbs and protein will help you to feel satisfied until lunchtime. A piece of fruit with Greek yoghurt, cheese and crackers or a Bounce energy ball are all good options. If you are trying to incorporate more plant based foods into your diet, try the new Bounce Plant Protein range which contain more than 8g of protein per serve.
The earlier you have your lunch the better and salad is the way to go. Mix as many vegetables as you like with some tinned fish, lean chicken breast or cottage cheese. Enjoy with an olive oil dressing which helps the salad nutrients be absorbed and feel free to enjoy some tasty additions such as pumpkin seeds; goat’s or feta cheese or a little pesto. Remember, the better the salad tastes, the more of it you will eat. My favourite mix is spinach, pumpkin, red salmon, goat’s cheese and red capsicum.
Most of us will need a snack 3-4 hours after lunch to fuel us for late afternoon workouts and to prevent us overeating late in the afternoon. A protein rich option is the key here to help keep us full until dinner time. Aim for snack options that contain at least 5-10g of protein such as a handful of nuts, a couple of Bounce Bites or some nut spread on crackers are all good options.
The earlier you have you dinner the better, try to allow 10-12 hours overnight without food. Think a white protein such as chicken breast or fish with 3-4 different coloured vegetables. Again, cooking the vegetables with a little fat will help the nutrients in the vegetables be absorbed so a drizzle of pesto or olive oil is not a bad thing. Simply including a light dinner is all you need to awake the next day feeling lighter and better in your body even after a single day of light, nutrient rich eating.