Today on Cook Yourself Thin (Channel 4) Gizzi Erskine, a food writer and weight loss expert, helped a Jamaican lady to change her cooking habits to aid weight loss. Just by making a few changes to her diet she helped one person to cut weekly calories by 5000 kcal and which should result in a 1.5 stone weight loss over 2 months when combined with just 16 minutes of exercise.
How is the weight loss calculated? Generally a person will lose around 2 pounds a week with a 1000 calorie reduction per day – that is 1000 calories less than their daily needs. Exercise increases the daily requirement and so means you do not have to reduce food so much.
Changing Snacking Habits
In the example shown on the television the daily calories just from snacks was around 540 calories per day. This is almost half of the daily calories you need to lose 2 pounds per week.
Bad snacks included biscuits, chocolate bars and crisps. The alternative suggested was strawberry and marshmallow kebabs with dark chocolate sauce. These resulted in a massive calorie saving, with just 150 calories for 3 kebabs. They still contain some sugar, but much less than the junk food snacks. Dark choc good no milk fat so much less calories, and is also a richer taste, so you need less of it.
Jamaican Chicken Alternative
Next up was an alternative to fried chicken. A fried chicken drumstick skin has about 150 calories and often 2 or 3 would be eaten for lunch with beans and rice, which would add up to almost 1000 calories in a meal.
The alternative was a Taiwanese style pork stirfry with lemon grass, garlic, lime, fish sauce 2 tbs, groundnut oil 1 tsp, pork is very lean meat. The pork is marinaded and then cooked on griddle, no oil needed, fat on meat is enough. A hot pan works the same way too. Serve with green salad. This meal has half the calories at around 450 calories per serving.
Jamaican Mutton Curry with Dumplings Alternative
Jamaican mutton curry is a very popular dish but it is also very high in calories. It contains around 60 grams of fat, which is more than you should eat in a day. Plus the dumplings are very high in sugar / refined carbohydrate and add to total calories.
The alternative suggested was a goat stew. Goat has less fat than chicken and is a very healthy and lean meat. It is cooked with the 1 can coconut milk that is put in the curry, instead a sauce is made from onions, spices and the juices of the cooking. This saves another 70g of fat.
Rather than serving all meals with rice and beans it helps a lot to service some with a salad. This is healthier and helps reduce calories.
Losing Weight Needs Exercise
It is important to exercise to help lose weight, but you do not need to spend hours in the gym. Just 15 minutes of skipping burns 250 calories which is enough to help you get fit and lose weight.
Health Cooking Tips
Use teaspoons to measure out oil. Really you should never need more than 1 tablespoon of oil to fry meat, and if you use a griddle then 1 teaspoon is enough, sometimes no oil is required.
Just eating healthy and doing 15 minutes exericse is 5000 calories less per week. 1.5 stone in 2 months.
Making small changes to your diet and lifestyle is the difference between slowly gaining weight and becoming obese and losing weight and getting healthy again.