The idea that you can eat more and lose weight does not seem possible. But what if it is? Most of us have a good idea about the general principles of healthy eating, but these days there’s also a whole new set of eating hang-ups.
Thanks to the clean-eating movement we’re bombarded with messages about what we supposedly must eat and what we must avoid. In some ways, the movement’s been a step in the right direction, with good nutrition taking centre stage and easier access to ingredients. But — and this is a big but — it has also created anxiety, fear and confusion around food.
Food is not something to be feared. Amelia Freer’s eating plan is about the concept of ‘positive nutrition’ with a simple but effective pyramid tool. She wants to focus on what you can eat, not what you can’t, and in doing so help you maintain healthy eating habits for life.
How to Eat More and Lose Weight
The ‘positive nutrition’ pyramid (see table above), is a simple collection of images, each of which represents a single portion of food. The whole pyramid represents one day, and the aim is to tick off every type of food pictured.
Some foods fall into more than one category — for example, a handful of almonds can be either ‘nuts and seeds’ or ‘protein’ or ‘healthy fats’. Half a tin of chickpeas could be both ‘starchy carbohydrates’ or ‘protein’.
It’s up to you to choose whichever food type you most need, and work out the rest of your day accordingly.
Importantly, the pyramid doesn’t specify or restrict what you choose to eat on top of the portions recommended. The foods pictured represent a suggested minimum.
In fact, some people struggle to include all the vegetables pictured and work up to this level slowly, starting with just one extra portion a day.
That doesn’t mean she is encouraging a completely free rein — the pyramid will work only when it’s your first priority. It’s then up to you if you wish to add in foods or drinks that may be nice, but not necessary.
If you don’t manage every food pictured, don’t worry. I don’t want you to be stuffing yourself with all the remaining portions or glugging five glasses of water just before bedtime. Neither should you try to ‘catch up’ the next day; each morning, simply start afresh.
Water should make up the majority of your fluid intake. If you don’t like plain water, try adding slices of cucumber or lemon. Also try herbal teas and organic milk. Drink tea and coffee in moderation: no more than one to two cups of coffee or three to four cups of tea a day.
More Tips on How to Eat More and Lose Weight
- Remember: Don’t get too hung up on exact portion sizes — ‘guesstimates’ are fine. You could make up one portion with half an onion and half a carrot, for example.
- Remember: Don’t rely on dried fruit. They’re higher in sugar and not as filling as whole fruits. The same goes for smoothies. It’s fine to whizz up one portion of fruit (ideally alongside some veg and a source of protein) into a smoothie occasionally, but it’s better to eat your fruit whole.
- Include more than meat or fish in your protein three a day
- Remember: Avoid processed or smoked meats, such as ham, cured meats, bacon and sausages. Instead, eat fish two to three times a week. Ideally, one of those portions should be an oily fish, for its beneficial omega-3 fats. I also get at least one of my daily portions of protein from plants, such as almonds at breakfast or hummus at lunch.
- Remember: Opt for the lowest sugar, highest fibre and least processed carbohydrates you can find. The more it looks like it did when it was growing, the better.
- Remember: There’s a difference between fats in terms of their potential health benefits, so I use a ‘traffic light’ system:Remember: Buy nuts and seeds raw, whole and unprocessed.
Amelia Freer — the woman behind both James Corden and Kirstie Allsopp’s dramatic weight loss — reveals the startlingly simple basis of her fat-busting plan and how it can work equally well for men and women read more at dailymail.co.uk