Updated 10 February 2014

How to lose weight without dieting

Want to lose weight without struggling with a strict diet? Fortunately you can – by slightly tweaking your eating habits and lifestyle.

Want to lose weight without struggling with a strict diet? Fortunately you can – by slightly tweaking your eating habits and lifestyle.

Read: Dieting but not losing weight?

The best way to stay slim is to adopt eating habits you can sustain throughout your life – and, of course, to go for regular brisk walks.

If you consume more kilojoules than you use or burn, you’ll gain weight and, of course, vice versa. But you should never restrict your kilojoule intake to the point where you lose more than a kilogram a week. This gives your body the message that it’s starving – a defence mechanism kicks in and makes your body cling to every last fat cell.

We share six easy tips to transform your kilojoule intake:

1. If you have a sweet tooth, try limiting sweet treats to one day a week. Remember, a 250ml helping of baked pudding contains about 3 603kJ, two scoops of ice cream about 2 121kJ and 100g of chocolate about 2 310kJ.

2. Stay away from meat pies (a typical café-size pie packs 2,520 – 2,940kJ) and other foods fried in fat or oil, including crisps (2,394kJ per 100g), hot chips (2,587kJ per 200g) and deep-fried calamari, chicken or fish (about 2,268kJ per 200g). Rather grill your chicken and fish.

3. Do you eat a handful of nuts or thick slices of yellow cheese every day?

Limit the nuts to once a week and eat as little yellow cheese as possible. A block of yellow cheese contains as much fat as a similar size block of chocolate.

4. Have breakfast – but instead of two fried eggs bacon and toast go for a bowl of porridge or breakfast cereal with fat-free or low-fat milk, low-fat yoghurt and two helpings of fruit.

5. Swop full cream milk or yoghurt for the low fat or fat free options and substitute all cheese with low fat cottage cheese.

You need about three portions of dairy products a day (one portion is a glass of milk, a small yoghurt or two tablespoons of cottage cheese) to provide you with enough calcium for healthy bones.

6. Remove the fat from braai chops and the skin from chicken.

You'll save 4 000kJ a week if you apply this rule every day to every serving of meat.

Fat-seeking missiles!

Some foods are simply loaded with kilojoules. Here are some rather surprising examples:

-              1 handful of peanuts = 1,680kJ = 150g fillet steak with salad and a low-fat dressing

-              3 pieces of cheddar cheese (each the size of a matchbox) = 1,600kJ = 180g tipsy tart = 1½ plates of grilled calamari and rice

-              200g hot chips made from 2 potatoes = 2,600kJ = 7 – 8 medium size cooked potatoes

-              1 large packet of crisps = 2,234kJ = 200g roast chicken, rice vegetables and salad

-              4 beers = 2,216kJ = 27cm nougat = 4 sandwiches, each with ham, cottage cheese and tomato

Compiled with the assistance of Dr Ingrid van Heerden, a registered dietitian.





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