It’s ‘new year, new you’ time and thousands of Britons will be undertaking a healthy eating weight loss regime – but what should you be filling your shopping basket with?
Rob Hobson, a registered nutritionist and author of the The Detox Kitchen Bible, has revealed the products you should be stocking up on.
Co-author of new ‘Cheats and Eats Lifestyle Programme’ book, Rob explains what key essentials to buy and why they could help you to achieve your weight loss goals.
These nutrition nuggets are loaded with protein and will keep you feeling full between meals and contain a wide range of essential micronutrients including B vits and magnesium that are required to convert food into energy.
Eggs are versatile and economical and can be used to make many dishes such as omelets or breakfast options
The ultimate protein quick-fix and can be used to make many dishes. Canned tuna is very versatile and can be added to ready bought sauces, salads or teamed with canned pulses for a quick nutritious meal. Protein helps to keep you feeling full between meals.
Herbs and spices
Flavour is important when preparing healthy meals and establishing a collection of spices is the perfect way to make meal times more interesting.
Spices can be used to make dressings, rubs, pastes or simply added to canned chopped tomatoes or stock to create a base for any dish. If you’re not sure how to use individual spices then go for blends such as curry powder, chilli powder or mixed dry herbs. Sweet spices are good to and can be added to hot drinks, smoothies, yoghurt, porridge or fresh fruit.
Fresh herbs are also brilliant to lift the flavour of any dish. Keep a collection in the fridge and use liberally. The easiest to play with are coriander, chives, parsley, mint and dill.
Lemons and limes
Another flavour essential. You can squeeze these citrus juices into many dishes or on lean proteins and fish to add flavour. They are also a great alternative to salad dressings by combining with olive oil, low fat Greek yoghurt, herbs or spices.
Canned pulses and ready-made grains
Canned pulses are a great way to add fibre and protein to your diet to retain fullness between meals. You can add pulses to nearly all savoury dishes from salads to one-pot cooking and they also make great homemade dips.
Ready-made grains are also a great essential as quick and easy to prepare by either heating up or using straight from the pack. These come in a range of whole grains such as barley, buckwheat and freekeh as well as psuedograins such as quinoa.
You can either use these as accompaniments or chuck into salads, stir-fry’s, roasted vegetables or soups.
Low fat Greek yoghurt
Low fat foods are not really the way to go if you want to lose weight as they generally offer little in the way of satiety and fullness but low fat Greek yoghurt is the exception.
You can add a creamy element to meals by adding a dollop of yoghurt as an accompaniment to dishes like chilli or as a replacement for cream or coconut milk in dishes such as curries or stroganoff.
Sauces, stocks and pastes
Stocking up on sauces is a great way to have something to hand to make a quick supper. Healthy tomato-based pasta sauces only require you to add protein and veggies.
Using a little pesto sauce is another great option to add flavour. Stock cubes also help to create a healthy base for dishes and having a range of pastes such as curry, sun-dried tomato or olive can help you to make a quick and easy supper along with protein and veggies combined with stock or yoghurt.
Dark rye bread
Bread is generally off the menu for most people trying to lose weight but dark rye is a great alternative. This type of bread is high in fibre and protein and takes a while to eat which is good for weight loss. There are no end of toppings to create breakfast or light lunch dishes.
Once opened this brad also lasts quite a long time in the fridge, which means reducing waste.
Getting into vegetables is key to helping you to lose weight. These foods fill you up on few calories because of their high water and fibre content.
Vegetables also provide one of the richest sources of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that help to support all of your body’s processes and ward off disease.
Choose what you like but keep a good stash of onions and garlic as these are the mainstay of many recipes and are great raw added to salads and dressings for a punchy flavour.
For many people, cheese is their Achilles heel. Moorish and highly flavoured, it is difficult to stop once you start nibbling.
Feta cheese is one of the healthiest cheeses as it is low in fat and as such calories compared to other cheeses. The strong tangy flavour and the fact that it crumbles easily means a little goes a long way.
There are many ways to lose weight but the foods that help to make healthy meals are similar no matter what route you choose. Having food to hand is key and these foods above should make up your weekly shopping list to ensure you don’t get caught short and have what you need to whip up a quick and easy healthy meal.
If you’re concerned about your micronutrient intake or following a very low calorie diet then you may want to consider a multivitamin and mineral supplement such as Healthspan MultiVitality Gold (£9.95 for 180 tablets).
Cheats & Eats Lifestyle Programme written by Jackie Wicks and Rob Hobson is available at www.healthspan.co.uk RRP £9.99 published 5th December.