The governments new 400-600-600 calorie plan, launched at the beginning of March, has been designed to improve Britain’s health and reduce our waistlines.
It’s an easy to follow idea, using information readily available on most food packaging. All you need is a set of scales, and the ability to perform a quick bit of mental arithmetic.
I think it’s a great starting point, but I believe we need to add some extra information. Purely counting calories doesn’t necessarily equate to healthier food choices; 100 calories of Cornflakes will have a completely different effect to 100 calories of spinach.
Calories also don’t guarantee satisfaction – and, as we all know, this is the deciding factor as to whether you’ll be able to stick with something long term!
While it can take a little time to get used to, planning each meal around a decent portion of protein, then topping up with as many nutrients as you can squeeze in will get you through to your next meal without feeling hungry.
Let’s take lunch for example. You could buy a chicken and bacon Caesar wrap from M&S, or you could make a Caesar salad with plenty of leaves, a small avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, black olives, anchovies, chicken breast, a little bacon and a couple of tablespoons of Caesar dressing. Both add up to just under 600 calories, but since the salad is going to be a lot higher
in protein and nutrients, not to mention the extra volume, the salad is going to leave you more satisfied.
Starting to see hunger as your bodies request for nutrients and aiming to top up at every meal, we will naturally become less hungry, we won’t feel ‘hangry’, and our bodies will begin to use their stored fuel (fat) rather than constantly asking us to refuel.
Heather Smith is a leading fat loss specialist Personal Trainer. Get in touch for a free five-day meal plan via www.fitbiztraining.co.uk