Over the festive period of the Christmas and New Year holidays, we all gather with family, friends or at other social gatherings which are always associated with food, alcohol and lots of desserts.
Studies have shown that after the holidays, we usually gain an average of 1 – 3 kilos (2.2 – 6.6 lbs) because of overeating during the holdidays.
To assist you in losing these kilos, I have summed up some simple but useful tips you can follow:
1. Be patient when trying to lose weight. A weight loss of one kilogram (2.20 lbs) a week is the typical recommendation. Although that may seem like a slow pace for weight loss, it’s more likely to help you maintain your weight loss in the long term. Remember that 0.45 kilogram (one pound) of fat contains 3,500 calories. So to lose one pound a week, you need to reduce your daily caloric intake by 500 calories, either by eating 500 less calories, or burning that many (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories). Add some exercise to your life and you will have a successful outcome, as this will also help your metabolism.
2. Learn how to cook healthier . You can prepare a meal with 200-300 fewer calories than normal by making some simple changes . Here are a few helpful tips:
- Instead of cream use milk and a little flour to make white sauces.
- In salads avoid mayonnaise and prefer Greek yogurt 2% and mustard .
- Eat more fish and poultry rather than red meat .
- Do not fry the onion and garlic but use a non-stick sauteing pan and saute it in 1 tbsp olive oil.
- In risottos increase the amount of vegetables and decrease the amount of rice .
- Prefer tomato sauces with vegetables for pasta dishes instead of white sauces and minced meat with cheese .
- Measure olive oil used when preparing your meals. It should not exceed one tablespoon per serving .
- If you crave for something sweet, prefer eating fruit, yogurt with fruit and honey or a small fruit preserve (glyko tou koutaliou).
3. Limit your bread intake to a slice a day.
4. Do not nibble between meals . Instead of eating sweets and salty snacks prefer 1-2 fruits mainly between meals or a protein snack.
5. Make it a habbit to eat breakfast . People who skip breakfast, gain 30% more calories, especially if they eat more during the evening. Here are a few ideas for breakfast :
- A toasted sandwich with turkey and low fat cheese and a glass of juice .
- Cereals without sugar and milk.
- A boiled or poached egg with a rusk and a salad or fruit .
- Greek yoghurt 2% with honey and cereal.
- A glass of milk 2%, a cereal bar and a fruit .
6. Always accompany your meal with a salad with 1 tbsp olive oil. Eating salads is a great way to curb your appetite and add nutrients to your diet. You will feel full and eat less of the main meal .
7. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. Drinking water helps in many ways. It regulates body temperature and appetite and helps shed toxins.
8. The evening meal should be lighter and about half the energy value of lunch. Here are a few examples of healthy choices for the evening meal:
- A salad with tuna and a rusk.
- Milk 2% with cereal and a banana .
- An omelette with low-fat cheese and a salad .
- Ntakos (barley rusk) with anthotyros or ricotta cheese and tomato .
- Chicken souvlaki and a salad .
- Rice pilaf with yogurt and salad .
9. Limit your consumption of carbonated drinks, salt and sugar.
10. Avoid drinking more than 2 glasses of alcohol in the week. A unit of alcohol is equivalent to 125 ml of wine or a bottle of beer or a single dose of liqueur or spirit type of whiskey or vodka.
More Than A Greek Salad, is not just an ordinary Greek cookbook. In this cookbook you will find all you need to know about the Mediterranean Diet, lots of healthy recipes to follow and menu suggestions to help you lose weight and stay healthy!
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,