- All fats are not created equal. If you must use oils when cooking, aim to use extra light olive oil, rice bran oil, sesame oil or - even better - use spray oils.
- Other natural occuring and good-for-you fats in small doses can be found in avocados, pesto, hummus, nuts and seeds.
FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
- Try to eat more fruit and vegetables - aim for at least five servings a day (a serving is what fits into the palm of your hand).
- Include plenty of salads in your diet. Instead of mayonnaise and oil dressings, try lemon juice and fresh herbs, balsamic vinegar, cider vinegar mixed with mint sauce or a 'light' dressing over salads.
- Or why not try this recipe for a low fat yoghurt dressing to accompany salads or even potatoes and vegetables: Mix 150 mls low fat natural yoghurt with 3tsp vinegar or lemon juice, Add salt and pepper to taste.
MEAT, CHICKEN AND FISH
- Before cooking, trim excess fat off red meats and remove skin from chicken.
- Aim for palm size servings of lean red meat and skinless chicken.
- Include one to two fish meals per week.
- Try to grill, bake, microwave, boil or BBQ all foods without oil or fat. For crispness, use a non-stick pan, baking paper or spray oils.
MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS
- Use reduced fat or low fat milks and yoghurt regularly (less than 1.5g fat per 100mls).
- Spread low fat cheeses such as cottage cheese and ricotta cheese onto sandwiches and toast, or use as toppings.
- Use edam or mozzarella as the family/household cheese, but use sparingly.
- Where it calls for it, use light versions of sour cream, cream cheese and coconut cream/milk in recipes.
- Choose low fat yoghurt, sorbet, gelato or ice desserts instead of ice cream.
- Drink a glass of water before and between each meal to achieve six to eight glasses per day. Serve water chilled and add slices of orange, lemon, mint leaves or cucumber slices for a refreshing drink.
- A sensible approach to alcohol consumption is recommended! If you choose to drink, then try to have no more than one to two drinks per week for females, and two to three drinks per week for males.
- Enjoy diet soft drinks, mineral water, and lime and soda as an alternative to alcoholic beverages and high sugar soft drinks.
- Sushi, kebabs, lean meat and LOADS of vegetables are excellent choices.
- Crumbed fish and pre-prepared low fat meals from the supermarket are also good choices.
- Choose fresh fruit, canned fruit in natural juice, low fat cereal with low fat milk, toast, a fruit bun or fruit bread, sandwiches, rolls, muffins, water crackers, low fat milkshakes/smoothies, low fat hot chocolate, low fat fruit yoghurt, ice blocks.
- Popcorn, pretzels, pita chips, rice crackers and vegetable sticks are lower fat snack foods. Try these with a salsa or low fat yoghurt based dip.
OTHER HOT TIPS
- Try not to skip breakfast - it's the most important meal of the day.
- Eating three regular meals throughout the day prevents hunger and helps to control weight.
- Try to have a healthy snack at morning tea and afternoon tea to keep your metabolism cranking.
- Read food labels - as a general rule, select prepared foods with less than 10g fat per 100g food.
- Serve smaller portions of food on your plate.
- Avoid eating on the run - sit down when you eat.
- Chew each mouthful properly.
- Try to avoid second helpings, but if you are still hungry, have more salad and/or vegetables (without dressing or sauces).
- Limit fats, oils, sweets, salt and alcohol.
- Enjoy your food!