Eat protein with complex carbohydrates
Understanding the speed at which different foods are broken down into glucose for the body to use as fuel is crucial to this plan. By combining complex carbohydrates, such as broccoli and spinach, with proteins, such as fish and eggs, in the correct proportions you will remain full of energy and still be able to lose weight.
Aim to drink six generously sized glasses or more of water a day. Limit your intake of alcohol, which affects glucose levels, is dehydrating, and reduces your resolve. Stop adding salt to your cooking and food.
Eat a wide variety of food
Most of us tend to buy the same small percentage, as little as 10 per cent, of foods available to us. It is vital that we eat a wide variety of food in order to benefit from the wonderful array of nutrients that food offers. I suggest that you be brave and try a new food every week.
Fuel up frequently
Eating little and often is a crucial element of my plan. By eating the right foods and snacks at regular intervals you should be able to keep your energy levels consistent and not have food cravings. Ideally you should eat every two to three hours throughout the day.
Skipping any meal is one step to failure, and by far the worst meal to skip is breakfast. A healthy breakfast such as muesli or natural yoghurt with fruit and seeds has the right combination of food groups.
Limiting your sugar intake will reduce the amount and frequency of insulin secretion. Sugar is broken down by the digestive system extremely quickly. As the blood-glucose levels suddenly rise in response they trigger the production of insulin, which in turn forces the glucose levels down again by converting the glucose into fat through a series of biochemical changes. We need to minimise insulin production if we want to lose weight.
Exercise is essential
A weight-loss programme will not be very successful if you don’t exercise. Exercise increases your metabolic rate, that is the speed at which your body uses up food, and any stores of fat, as energy. This eating plan supplies premium-grade fuel in the form of whole foods to the body at a rate steady enough to keep energy levels consistent and avoid lows (which we interpret as hunger).
Follow the 80:20 rule
There will be times when nothing will work for you apart from your chosen treat, be it chocolate cake, sweets or ice-cream. The good news is that this is entirely possible, within reason. Follow the plan for 80% of the time and you will still achieve success, albeit more slowly. Use the 80:20 rule to treat yourself two to three times a week.
Make time to eat
Eating is an essential yet pleasurable social ritual that has become devalued in our society. Taking time to eat will reduce your stress levels, and chewing slowly will enable you to digest your food properly, and maintain good digestive health.
Eat fat to lose fat
If you come from a background of calorie-counting you will probably see fat as the enemy, yet the essential fats present in a variety of foods such as salmon, tuna, avocados, seeds, nuts and olives, are crucial for the body to function properly. Fat also adds to the satisfaction of eating, known as ‘mouth-feel’, a vital part of the eating process.
Extracted from 'The Food Doctor Ultimate Diet' by Ian Marber (published by DK)