Dieting in December equals BORING. And yet, we all want to be black-dress ready so our BODYLOGIST blogger Helen Foster has the latest easy shortcuts to keeping the weight off for party season
1. New skinny noodles
Say hello to Noo-shi – it’s sushi made from noodles. Specifically, Clearspring’s new Skinny Soba Somen noodles. Normally used in soup, stir fries, or served the traditional Japanese way as a stand-alone cold dish with a little soy dip they’re yummy enough as it is, but used instead of rice in maki rolls, they create a lower GI sushi filling. And it’s good….check out what happened when I made it, here.
2. The secret to not going mad at the buffet
US overeating researcher Professor Brian Wansink is a man obsessed with buffets – and finding ways to stop you overeating when faced with one! His latest trial has discovered that the first thing you put on your plate in a buffet sets the ‘theme’ for the rest of it. Hit the mini sausages and the vol au vents will follow – choose something healthy though and you’re less likely to binge on the bad stuff. The reason is food correlation – eat a sausage on a stick and your mind goes into Xmas party mode, choose a food that doesn’t have party associations (like celery sticks) and you avoid going into autopilot and can make healthier choices.
3. Calorie counted menus
Recent US research may have found that putting the calories on menus didn’t alter what people ordered BUT I wasn’t in that trial nor was anyone I know. Knowing the calories in the choices will always sway me to lower calorie choices which is why I love that Vietnamese soup and noodle bar Pho are in the final stages of adding nutritional info to their website. And it proves what Healthista reviewer Charlotte suspected it’s super healthy. A bowl of Pho tom (tiger prawn pho soup in veggie stock), for example, contains just 307 calories and 0.1g saturated fat. Find the rest of the nutritional information on their site by Jan 1st.
4. The tone-at-home kit for under £40
It’s cold, it’s dark and getting to the gym alongside everything else you have to do at this time of year is a total faff – which is why I love new Fitbag. Costing £37.99 it contains six products – a skipping rope, 2 dumbells, an ab roller, a resistance band, a resistance tube – and for some reason unbeknown to me, a thigh master (but we forgive them as the rest of it is okay). Plus a workout plan (and now live classes in some areas) that gives you ideas on how to use them meaning you can get a full body tone up at home. See more on their website.
5. The tape measure secret
It’s long been said that BMI (calculated by dividing your weight by your height in metres) is not a reliable judge of how healthy someone is – but the University of Glasgow just banged another nail in its coffin. They found that as we get older even in adults with a healthy BMI 30 percent of men and 55 percent of women had a waist measurement that put their health at risk. Remember no matter what the scales say if your waist size is more than 80cm (31.5”) for a woman, 94cm (37”) for a man you’re starting to carry excess weight round your middle that could increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
6. The low-carber’s essential kitchen gadget
If you’re attempting to cut back on carbs, you need The GEFU Spiralfix Cutter. Put in your veggies and out they come in perfect noodle shaped deliciousness that you can use as a base for pretty much any meal. My top discoveries so far are courgette or aubergine for under Spag Bol/Chilli (just toss them in a pan for a bit first); and spirialised cabbage tossed with chopped tomato and a little lime, fish sauce and chilli is THE most amazing thing under a piece of grilled fish EVER. Find it at ukjuicers.com, £39.95.
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