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Eat more, weigh less

Male eating cereal standing on scales
(Image credit: Unknown)

At breakfast

‘Eating protein in the morning, especially eggs, will considerably cut your calorie consumption for the rest of the day,’ says nutritionist Angela Dowden (nutracheckmen.co.uk (opens in new tab)). Research shows that people who eat two eggs for breakfast consume 400 fewer calories during the day than those who opt for a different brekkie. Eating eggs makes you feel fuller, which slows down stomach emptying.

Mid-morning snack

‘Go for water-dense foods such as fruit,’ says Becky Stevenson, a sports nutritionist at Proactivate (pro-activate.co.uk (opens in new tab)). ‘Fruit is brimming with water, which adds weight but no calories. Grapefruit is especially good. It has unique chemical properties that can help reduce insulin levels, which in turn prevents fat storage and promotes weight loss.’ Just don’t smother it in sugar.

At lunch

‘Most prepared sandwiches have a relatively high calorie density and won’t fill you up,’ says Stevenson. ‘Make your own with granary bread. The fibre will fill you up, while its low glycaemic index value means it will keep your blood glucose under control so you don’t get hungry.’ A Pennsylvania State University study also found that people shed more belly fat when filling up on wholegrains.

At dinner

‘Eat a water-based starter such as soup,’ says Dowden. ‘The volume from the water and fibre will take the edge off your appetite, so you eat less high-calorie food. Psychologically, eating a starter also makes you feel like you are eating more, while giving your brain time to recognise that you are filling up.’

To drink

‘Don’t drink your calories,’ says Stevenson. Drinking just one can of Coke a day gives you around 1,000 calories a week – roughly the equivalent of three steaks, but with none of the nutritional benefits such as iron and protein. A study at Purdue University in the US also found that people don’t compensate for liquid calories, which means it’s easy to reduce your calorie intake without feeling deprived.

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