1. IN THE PANTRY
- Change up your grains: If you’re a fan of rice, try swapping it for quinoa. This nutty-tasting super grain has twice the fibre of brown rice, as well as a higher protein content – both of which will help you feel full for longer.
- Cut back on the salt: While there’s nothing wrong with a little salt, too much can take its toll on your heart, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Add flavour to your meals without reaching for the white stuff by stocking your pantry with other waist-friendly winners such as lemon zest, garlic, smoked paprika, fresh chilli and ground spices such as cumin, coriander and turmeric. Delish!
2. IN THE FRIDGE
- Hide those treats: According to studies, we’re three times more likely to eat the first thing we see, rather than the second, fourth or ninth. Help yourself make better slimming choices by moving the healthiest foods to the front of your fridge and the more kilojoule-rich fare to the back.
3. IN THE CUPBOARDS
- Pick a smaller plate: Research by Cornell University has found that the average adult eats about 92 per cent of what’s on their plate, regardless of whether they’re hungry or not. To better manage your portions and prevent a kilojoule blowout, dietitian Thea Werkhoven suggests using a side plate, rather than a dinner plate, for your meals. It’s a good idea to use smaller utensils, too. Think a dessert spoon instead of a soup spoon, and a salad fork rather than a dinner fork.
- Size down your glass: A study out of Cambridge University concluded that the larger your wine glass, the more you’ll end up drinking. So save kilojoules by switching to a small tumbler or tasting glass rather than a balloon-style glass.
4. ON THE STOVE
- Go for al dente: Do like the Italians do and keep your pasta al dente. Why? The firmer your pasta, the lower its GI (glycaemic index). The lower the GI, the slower the release of glucose into your blood, and the longer you’ll feel satisfied, which means you’re less likely to overindulge. Just remember to keep your portion sizes in check and stick to 150g (one cup) of cooked pasta per serve. Bravo!
5. ON THE BENCH TOP
- Store your leftovers: The old saying goes that out of sight means out of mind. Put this into practice with your leftovers by refrigerating or freezing excess food as soon as you’ve finished serving, so you’re not tempted to go back for seconds.
6. AT THE TABLE
- Drink your veg: Love to start the day with a glass of juice? Make the switch from fruit to vegie juices, advises dietitian Susie Burrell. Not only are they significantly lower in sugar than fruit-based juices, they are chock-full of nutrients. Plus, drinking your veg will help you reach your goal of five servings a day. Ramp up the zing factor by adding fresh ginger, mint or lemon juice.
- Go green: Do you drink tea and/or coffee throughout the day? Try switching some or all your servings to green tea, recommends Burrell. It has zero kilojoules, is packed with antioxidants and may even help with fat burning.