Helping Mums Embrace Gentle Living & Easy Journaling

Weight Loss Tips No8: What to Eat

Weight Loss Tips For Mums

So last week I went through quantities of food; smaller plates and food diaries.  This week it’s about what you eat.  There are no complicated recipes here, it’s all very basic as most of us Mums just don’t have the time to faff around.  But feel free to faff as much as you like if you are a great cook, just follow the guidelines.

Now I would love to recommend a weight loss group, but I don’t agree with any of the ones I tried because they either suggest ridiculous fad diets, or calorie counting or sweeteners; remember, I’m specifically focussed on the weight loss being about fitness, health, slimness and a big dash of sexiness.  Plus they don’t do much of the mindset stuff that I talked about at the beginning.   (I have not rigorously tried every single weight loss group, and some of my opinions are based on watching other people’s experiences).

My biggest bug bear is that half our problem with weight is that we aren’t taught about simple, basic nutrition at school and many of the diets/weight loss groups don’t teach it either.  It’s not rocket science; but it’s not well known information; that’s the biggest problem (hell, I’m quite bright, but I didn’t know this stuff until I started to investigate several years back).

So here are some tips from me, which are basically about eating healthily without becoming a freak who is no fun what so ever …

  • Eat 5 pieces of fruit and vegetables a day (a portion of fruit is probably a handful, otherwise it’s obvious with apples/ bananas/oranges)
  • Eat different colours of fruit and vegetables a day
  • Limit the bread intake to 1-2 pieces per day maximum and make sure it’s a good wholemeal brown bread
  • Assume any ready meal or ready sauce will have extra sugar and fat, so don’t buy them
  • Cook from scratch as often as possible (it doesn’t have to be cordon bleu, I’m a rubbish cook and I manage it)
  • Don’t buy low fat, it’s probably high in sugar
  • Don’t buy low sugar, it’s probably high in fat
  • Don’t buy low fat, low sugar, it’s high in bad stuff for you

*** UPDATE Jan 2012 *** Make sure you check out my new series of blog posts on ‘Healthy Eating For Rubbish Cooks’


Is not just a cup of coffee!  If you aren’t a breakfast person, then go for one later, or at least grab a banana and a glass of orange juice.  I know you are in a rush, but something is a good idea.  However, you might not need 2 pieces of toast, or a full bowl full of sugary cereal, so cut that down or out.  Everyone recommends porridge, but frankly it takes too long to make in the chaos of school runs and makes me bloat for some reason; I think it’s too heavy on my stomach in the morning.  So I go for fruit, or a one piece of toast.  But at the weekend (maybe just one of the days), it’s great to have poached/boiled/scrambled eggs, with grilled tomatoes, and maybe grilled bacon or sausages; a lovely way for the family to start the weekend and breakfast together (note: not fried).


Remember I mentioned snacks in how much to eat?  I’ll have one mid-morning and mid-afternoon, ideally with water or maybe a cuppa.  I probably go for fruit in the morning, and then a biscuit in the afternoon or I really like corn thins with peanut butter (they taste nicer than rice cakes and are lower in the Glyceamic Index).


I have a small lunch and bigger dinner, but it’s up to you which way round you do it.  I just recommend that only one meal a day is a ‘main meal’ and the other is a bit smaller.  My lunch is a bit haphazard, I try to only have a sandwich if I didn’t have bread for breakfast.  Sometimes it’s something like ryvita/corn thins with ham/cheese followed by fruit, or maybe share an avocado with the baby and some toast or have a tomatoe and mozzarella salad with green pesto.  But I still follow the rules of the main meal of 1/4 being protein, 1/4 being carb and 1/2 being fruit/vegetables/salad.

Main meal

You can make your main meal out of anything, just follow the rules and remember the quantity limits

  • One portion of protein the size of your *palm; Fish, chicken and turkey are best for weight loss, red meat is harder to digest (pork, ham, beef).
  • One portion of carbohydrates the size of your *palm; pasta, rice, new potatoes, half a jacket potato, couscous
  • Half a plate of salad or vegetables

How you cook will make a difference, but again it’s pretty easy, basically the rule is ‘Don’t fry in lots of fat’ ..

  • Do a stir fry instead.  I cheat to get extra taste and use olive oil with lemon, basil or garlic added to it.  Often I add extra lemon juice or Soy sauce or dried herbs.
  • Grill instead.  It can taste just as juicy, especially if you wrap it in foil with something tasty as in the stir fry’s.
  • Make your own sauces; As I said, I’m a pretty rubbish cook, so I heavily rely on pesto, creme fraiche, phillidelphia, and tinned tomatoes to make sauces (Don’t tell me it’s easy to make gravy/sauce, I just don’t get it!!).

*A Palm is not your HAND! It’s the middle bit where there are no fingers!

If you want to follow an Eating Plan, go for the GI

Most diets or eating plans are FADs; did I shout that loud enough!!  So any ‘no carb’ (they will claim you are getting carbs, but just not starchy carbs), food combining, blood typing, or calorie counting diets will either not work, or only work for a while because they are too blinking difficult to put into place unless you are extremely lucky.

But I do understand that you might not know much about food/nutrition, and therefore want a more detailed guide than the one I’m giving you.  In which case the one eating plan that I can recommend highly is the Glyceamic Index one, and my favourite author is Rick Gallop (because some other writers have broken the rules I mentioned above).  The reason I love it is because it’s healthy, and it will help with the mindset part of the weight loss because sugar/insulin affect our emotions so badly, plus you will learn loads about food.

It’s really easy, based on traffic lights.  If you want to lose weight, you always eat a ‘Green’ with any ‘Oranges’.  You would avoid ‘Red’ if possible, but know to stuff yourself with ‘Green’ to balance it out if you do eat a Red.  After a while, what is Green, Orange and Red becomes second nature and you can feel the effects in your body.  It is REALLY surprising what is red!  I suspect that many meals you thought were healthy weren’t.

Make your own weight loss group

If you do fancy a weight loss group, hows about making your own up, because the others will be connected to a fad diet, and also many don’t do much about the mindset part of the game.

  • Meet up each week, go through your food diaries, and how you’ve done.
  • Give yourselves a clap if you did well, or a hug and kick up the butt if you didn’t!
  • Talk through the mindset, hydration, food and exercise choices with each other and see if there is something that needs rejigging
  • Then when you lose confidence or motivation, all of you can go back through my video for getting your heads in the game and help each other to envision a fitter, healthier, slimmer group.

Complications due to health or religious factors

Now some people might have allergies that complicate what they can or can’t eat; although normally that will probably make them eat healthily anyway, so they wont need my weight loss tips!  But if you still have weight problems and a particular eating restriction, I recommend talking to people on forums with the same problem, as many will have managed to overcome it and then focus on my other posts.

There is a group of people for whom this is much trickier, and that is when the time of eating is regulated by religion, and the choice of food is heavily affected by cultural influences.  This obviously I don’t have much experience in; all I had to get over was having a Mum who focussed on meat and two veg as a staple diet, and gave me sugar cubes when I was tired.  But I have tried to come up with some ideas for you:

  • Don’t concentrate on dieting during fasts or special days of the week
  • Really focus on quantity of food if the food that you desperately want is cooked with lots of fat or very high in calories
  • Make sure that you read the G.I. diet book and balance with a LOT of salad or green vegetables.
  • Look around and talk to women who are clearly managing to keep their weight under control and find out if they have some tips on cooking the same food, but with less fat (unless they are using a freaky diet).
  • Limit which parts of the meal you treat yourself with: for instance you might have the gorgeous curry, but boiled rice and no naan bread.

Do you need a diet?

Nope, you just need to eat healthily and your weight will come down (I’ll be talking about exercise next week!).


*** UPDATE Jan 2012 *** Make sure you check out my new series of blog posts on ‘Healthy Eating For Rubbish Cooks’

Remember, you are always welcome to get in touch and ask me a question via my ‘problem corner‘ blogs.

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