Monday, 31 January 2011

V8 Juices

If you're looking for a really healthy juice, V8 contains everything you could want. Just one small glass will provide you with the equivalent of one portion of fruit or veg. There's the original V8 100% tomato based vegetable juice with no less than eight different blended vegetables.
But if you're after something a little sweeter you have the option of the Fruit & Carrot juices which come in a Tropical Flavour or Pomegranate & Cranberry flavour.

None of them have any added sugar, artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. And best of all, they're much lower in calories than most regular fruit juices. They can be found in the long life section of fruit drinks, so can be kept in your cupboard. Once opened, it has to be refrigerated. Found in most large supermarkets.

Nutritional Information Tropical variety: Per 100ml: 35 calories, 8.1g carbohydrates, 0.1g fat, 1.1g fibre, .05g salt.
Nutritional Information Original Tomato: Per 100ml: 19 calories, 3.2g carbohydrates, 0.3g fat, 0.5g fibre, .6g salt.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Does Heating our Homes Make us Fat?

It's a common scenario where every winter we pile on the pounds. It's usually blamed on eating more stodgy foods or getting less exercise. But, according to research, it seems that our central heating is being added to the list of contributing factors for obesity.

Scientists from University College, London, believe that over-heated homes are helping to raise levels of obesity. The research says there is a direct link between 'reduced exposure to seasonal cold and increases in obesity in the UK and US.'

When we feel cold, our body converts 'brown fat' or adipose tissue into energy which warms us up. But because we're spending more time in warm homes complete with double glazing and central heating, our body's ability to burn ‘brown fat’ is reduced so we're burning less energy and storing the fat instead.

For an alternative analysis of the research, this article from the NHS makes interesting reading. It also discusses the role of 'brown fat' in the body as well as human body responses to the cold.

Research findings such as this probably won't persuade many of us to turn the central heating off in order to lose weight though. Who likes being cold? Looks like it's back to the dieting.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Outline of the Mayo Clinic Diet

There appear to be two Mayo Clinic diets, one of which is not associated with the actual Mayo clinic and promotes a somewhat unhealthy and extreme diet. The real Mayo Clinic Diet however, has the full endorsement of the Mayo Clinic in America and it’s an exceptionally healthy and well-balanced diet which is designed to be followed for life.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Weight Watchers from Heinz Salad Cream Style Dressing

This very low calorie salad cream is made by Weight Watchers from Heinz. It's possibly the lowest calorie salad cream around so if you're really trying to make every last calorie count, then this could be one to try.

It's available in a squeezy 410g bottle in large supermarkets. (Two tablespoons provide half a Weight Watchers point). Each tablespoon has roughly 18 calories. Compare that with regular salad cream which has around 50 calories per tablespoon and you're making a substantial calorie saving.

Nutritional Information: Per 100g: 115 calories, 1.5g protein, 16.2g carbohydrates, 0.4g fat, 0.6g sodium.

Puffed Wheat Cereal, Low Sugar and Fat, High Fibre

Although breakfast cereals are supposed to be a healthy way to start the day, they can lead to a dieting downfall if you choose the wrong ones.

Many breakfast cereals are packed with sugar which admittedly, does help to make them tastier. But portion sizes have to be tiny and many people go overboard when pouring out cereal from a large packet.

Skinny Dippers Minis - Skinny Cow

Ice creams and ice lollies are usually way too high in calories for a dieter to contemplate eating. Fortunately, those people from Skinny Cow have come up with these delicious Skinny Dippers at only 65 calories each. And what a treat they are.

These iced desserts on a stick have a layer of caramel flavour dessert surrounded by another layer of chocolate flavour dessert then dipped in a chocolate flavour coating. It's suitable for vegetarians and contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. They can be found in in the freezer section of larger supermarkets.

Nutritional Information: Per stick: 65 calories, 1.4g protein, 9.7g carbohydrate, 2g fat, 1.3g fibre, 0.1g salt.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Coronation Tuna Sandwich Filler - Sainsbury's

If you're ever stuck for making something tasty, low calorie, healthy and different for lunch, this Coronation Tuna Sandwich Filler from Sainsbury's Be Good To Yourself range makes an interesting change from Coronation chicken.

Because it's canned, it's good to store in your cupboard for ages and makes a handy standby when you've run out of fresh sandwich fillings. They come as a 3 pack, packed in a cardboard sleeve with each can holding 80g.

Nutritional Information: Per can: 90 calories, 13.2g protein, 4.6g carbohydrates, 2g fat, 0.8g salt.

Salad Cream - Sainsbury's Be Good To Yourself

Salad creams are wonderfully versatile but ultimately they're great for adding that extra touch of flavour to an otherwise boring salad. Having scoured the shelves for calorie counts of various brands of salad creams, this one from Sainsbury's has not only one of the lowest calorie counts of all, it's exceptionally creamy and flavoursome. Available in branches of Sainsbury's in a 445g 'top down' squeezable bottle or as a 285g glass bottle.

Nutritional Information: Per 15g tablespoon: 21 calories or 139 calories per 100g, 0.2g protein, 1.8g carbohydrate, 1.5g fat, 0.1g salt.

Why Losing Weight Might Be Bad For You

This is probably the research hard pressed dieters want to hear - losing weight might be bad for us. In a study published in the Nutrition Journal, an analysis of 350,000 people in the United States seemed to show that people who are overweight actually live longer. Apparently those who are obese and make it through to old age, tend to live longer than skinnies reaching their golden years.

Although we are continually informed that obesity is likely to lead to an early death, these researchers claim it's not being fat that puts people at risk of heart disease, it's all down to poor diet and lack of exercise. One of the researchers, Linda Bacon, of California University says 'our analysis indicates that researchers have long interpreted research data through a biased lens'.

While this is certainly very interesting information, many dieters are not only dieting for the health benefits. They want to look slim too. So even if you have a healthy diet, but are simply eating so much that you're overweight (yes this is possible), you'll still have to cut back on your calories to lose weight, even if you are healthy.

Full English Breakfast is a Dying Breed

British BreakfastAccording to a the Good Food channel's Big Adventure Breakfast Report, only 1 person in 100 now enjoys eating a traditional full English fry up for breakfast. Back in 1950 more than 50% regularly enjoyed a cooked breakfast each day. The main reasons for the decline of a cooked breakfast every morning come down to lack of time, growing awareness of health matters or preference for instant breakfasts.

Although we may not have the time or inclination for a cooked breakfast each morning, there's no reason why we can't look forward to a full English as an evening meal or at the weekend. And it's perfectly possible to turn it into a healthy meal - for instance why not have a full 'grill up' instead.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Hellmann's Lighter than Light Mayonnaise

Hellmanns are well renowned for producing deliciously creamy mayonnaise. While the French like to dip their 'frites' or chips into mayonnaise, in Britain, mayonnaise is more usually spread onto sandwiches or mixed with dips.

But mayonnaise is exceptionally high in fat and calories and a definite no no when it comes to dieting. Regular Hellman's mayonnaise has a whopping 100 calories per tablespoon and 11g of fat. Compare that with the Lighter than Light version which has only 12 calories and 0.5g of fat. Note that Hellmann's 'Lighter than Light' was previously called 'Extra Light'.

Tastewise, it's lovely. Obviously not as rich as the regular variety but it still retains that lovely creaminess. There's absolutely no need to deprive yourself of mayonnaise if you're a fan of mayonnaise.

Hellman's Lighter than Light mayonnaise is available in larger branches of major supermarkets in a squeezy 430ml plastic bottle, and a 400g or 600g glass jar.

Nutritional Information: Per 15ml tablespoon: 10 calories, 0.7g sugar, <0.5g fat, <0.5g sat. fat, <0.3g salt.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Fill Up On Less Calories

As yet, no one has invented the diet allowing us to eat to our heart’s content yet not gain weight. One of the main drawbacks of following a diet regime is a constant feeling of hunger which can easily lead to overeating. Of course, if you’re following a healthy weight loss regime you shouldn’t be feeling hungry all the time. But it’s bound to happen from time to time. So what’s the answer?

Fortunately, it’s actually very easy to fill yourself up while eating fewer calories. They key here is what you are eating. But don’t worry, it doesn’t require eating six lettuces! Try some of the following solutions to see how well you can fill yourself up while eating fewer calories.

Turn Vegetables into Soup

soupVegetables can be somewhat boring or bland on their own. Making them more palatable often involves covering them in fattening sauces or adding butter for example. Another way of making your vegetables more tasty and far more filling, is to turn them into soup. Soups are a lot more satisfying than plain vegetables plus you’ll be consuming extra liquid in the form of  stock, leaving you far too full to eat much more. And as long as you don’t add any extras such as cream or croutons, you’ll find it much easier sticking to your diet.

Eat the Right Carbohydrates

There’s no need to cut right back on your carbohydrates when you’re on a diet. Carbohydrates are essential for providing enough energy and should make up the largest part of your diet. However, by eating the right type of carbohydrates you will feel full on fewer calories. This means eating carbs with a low GL (Glycemic Load). Foods such as porridge, oat cakes, quinoa, wholemeal rye bread and brown rice all take longer to break down during the digestive process.

So, rather than the quick release of energy obtained from eating highly refined foods like white bread, sweets and pastries, foods with a low Glycaemic Load release their energy more slowly, making you feel full for longer. And as a bonus, foods with a low GL have the effect of stabilising your blood sugar levels so you’ll feel less inclined to snack on a high calorie junk later.

Go Raw

If you like vegetables, try eating them raw instead of cooking them. There are numerous benefits in doing this. Of course vegetables are filling in themselves. But the act of eating them raw rather than cooking them, means the body has to use more energy in processing those vegetables into a more digestible form. When food is cooked, vegetable fibres are broken down, making it easier for us to digest them.

Not cooking food makes the digestive system work harder and for a longer period, which in turn will burn off more calories. And because this food is slower to pass through your stomach, you’ll feel full up for longer.

Filling yourself up doesn’t have to mean eating too many calories and putting on weight. By choosing your food wisely, you can easily fill yourself up on healthy food and stay full for far longer than stuffing yourself with highly processed or refined foods. You’ll find it easier sticking to your diet and hopefully losing weight at the same time. This is also a good resolution to keep when simply trying to maintain your weight.

© Diets and Calories 2011

Drink Up Before Eating

One tried and tested method of temporarily filling yourself is to drink a large glass of water about 20 minutes before  a meal. The idea behind this little trick is that you will be too full to overeat during your meal, or at the very least you'll be less tempted to eat a large portion or even opt for seconds. To further increase the benefits of this method, pour yourself another drink (calorie-free of course) and take a few sips after every few mouthfuls of food.

Limit Your Eating Time

If you find it hard to stop eating once you've started, there is a trick you can try which makes it quite difficult to overeat. All you need to do is eat as close as possible to a time when you need to go out. For instance, if you have an appointment or when you need to collect children from school.

Squared Circle - clockDecide how long you need to eat your lunch, say 20 minutes. Then allow however much time required for preparation and add the two times together. For example, supposing your lunch takes 20 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to eat, start preparing 40 minutes before you need to leave home.

This way you can't continue eating if you have to leave. Just don't grab anything to take with you!! Hopefully, by the time you've returned home, temptation to overeat will have dwindled.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Danone Activia Fat Free Yogurts

Yogurts can be extremely healthy or worryingly fattening. Because plain yogurt is usually quite sour and unpalatable, manufacturers often add loads of sugar and flavourings to improve their taste. So, when it comes to dieting, it's best to choose those that are labelled at 'Fat-free' or 'low calorie'. Be careful though when choosing fat-free because they can still contain a lot of sugar therefore retaining a fair few calories.

Activia have a huge variety of yogurts, but some of them should never be touched by those watching their weight. Fortunately, their range of fat-free yogurts are extremely tasty and can easily be incorporated into a weight-loss diet plan.

Activia fat-free yogurts can be purchased as a pack of 4 x 125g, 8 x 125g or individual pots containing 165g. Currently, although there aren't quite as many flavours available in the fat-free range, there are still plenty to choose from.

Most supermarkets stock a few from the range: 4 and 8 x 125g packs: Fat Free Forest Fruits, Fat Free Vanilla, Fat Free Mandarin, Fat Free Raspberry, Fat Free Mixed Yellow Fruits, Fat Free Peach and Fat Free Cherry. 165g pots: Fat Free Strawberry, Fat Free Raspberry, Fat Free Peach, Fat Free Vanilla, Fat Free Cherry and Fat Free Mango.

Calories vary with the larger 165g pots obviously packing a few more calories than the 125g pots due to their larger size. Below is an example of the nutritional content for one pot of 125g Fat Free Raspberry yogurt. Sugar content may seem a lot but it falls within the 'medium' rather than 'high' guidelines for sugar content.

Nutritional Information: Per 125g pot: 59 calories, 8g sugar, trace fat, 0.3g salt.

HumZingers from Sunsweet

Manufacturers are bringing out many more healthy and 'kid friendly' snacks nowadays. A piece of fruit can sometimes seem a little uninspiring, so popping a HumZinger into a lunch box can be an exciting alternative and a treat which children will love.

They're made with 100% pure fruit with no added sugar and within every box of 10 you have a choice of 5 different flavours: Blackcurrant, Cherry, Pineapple, Raspberry and Strawberry. Furthermore, each HumZinger stick is equivalent to one portion of fruit, has no artificial sweeteners, is gluten free and suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

But there's no reason why adults can't enjoy these as well, especially those who are watching their weight since each stick is low in calories. It's easy to pop one into your bag if you're going out somewhere and have a craving for a sweet snack. And because they're individually packed you shouldn't end up aimlessly snacking.

I've found these in branches of Sainsbury's but you may find them in other large stores as well.

Nutritional Information: Per 13g stick: 39 calories, 0.2g protein, 8.7g carbohydrate, 6.5g sugars (naturally occuring), 1.3g fibre, 0.1g sodium.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Ryvita Thins Multi-Seed Flatbreads

New Look box December 2011
Ryvita seem to have been around forever and they're still one of the most popular crispbreads on the market.

They've long been used by dieters and those trying to keep in shape because they are low in calories and quite substantial.

Ryvita Thins are one of the newest additions to the range, only rather than crackers with the familiar dimples on one side, Ryvita Thins are flatbreads.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Total 0% Fat Free Greek Yoghurt

If you like Greek yoghurt you're probably aware just how calorific it is. But it's so delicious it seems unfair to deny yourself this indulgent treat while you're on a diet.
Fortunately, Total Greek Yoghurt have a 0% fat free variety of their popular Greek yoghurt and honestly, this stuff is fantastic. It's so thick you can scoop it onto a spoon and hold it upside down and it won't fall off! You can buy it in 500g or 170g pots in most major supermarkets.

As a comparison, regular Total Greek Yoghurt has 130 calories and 10g of fat per 100g.

Nutritional Information: Per 100g: 52 calories, 9g protein, 4g carbohydrates, 0g fat.

Hartley's Sugar Free Jelly

You don't have to be a child in order to eat jelly, especially if it means you can eat lots of it without any fear of the calories. Hartley's Sugar Free Jelly has a good range of flavours available and they can be purchased in powder form or ready made individual 115g pots.

Flavours available in packet form include: Orange, Strawberry, Raspberry, Blackcurrant and Lemon & Lime. Each packet when made up with water provides 32 calories or a single pot around 4 calories. Whether you choose to eat them on their own or mixed with some fruit or a bit of yogurt, they make a great stand by when you need a sweet treat.

Nutritional Information: Per 100g made up:  3 calories, protein 0g, carbohydrates 0g, sugars 0g, sodium 0.1g.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Outline of the South Beach Diet

Dieters who advocate the principles of the Atkins diet but find it hard to stick to, may find the South Beach diet an easier alternative.  Created by Dr. Arthur Agatston, it rose to fame after several celebrities claimed to have lost weight while following it.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Peperami Lunchbox Minis

Cold meat snacks such as salami and pepperoni are horrendously high in fat. So if you're on a diet and like this sort of food, then normally you'd have to steer well clear. However, those makers of Pepperami Spiced sausage have kindly manufactured mini Pepperamis, all individually wrapped and containing 30 percent less fat than regular Pepperami.

They're still a high fat product with 30g of fat per 100g compared with 44g for the regular version. However, because they are packed individually you can keep track of the amount of fat you're consuming. In this case, each mini Pepperami stick has 3g of fat. You can easily include one of these in your diet and not have to worry about exceeding your calorie allowance.

Nutritional Information: Per 10g sausage: 38 calories, protein 0.2g, fat 3.0g, salt 0.4g.

Peach, Pear & Pineapple in Fruit Juice (Tesco)

Tesco's individual pots of fruit in fruit juice are great in so many ways. Not only are they very low in calories (60 or less per pot), they have a long shelf life so can be stored in the cupboard for when you've run out of fresh fruit. This is especially useful during winter when buying fresh fruit can be extremely expensive, more so if you want out of season produce like peaches.

They also count for one of your 'five a day' and of course save you the time of chopping and preparing your own fruit. Because they are packed individually, it's already portion controlled so you don't eat too much (unless you open another one)! And by topping the fruit with a tablespoon of yogurt, you have a healthy dessert ready in an instant.

Available in Tesco stores as part of a multi-pack of four individual pots.

Tip: Save even more calories by draining the juice away.

Nutritional Information: Per 120g pot: 60 calories, protein 0.6g, carbohydrates 13.9g, fat trace, fibre 1.2g, salt trace.

Books - South Beach Diet

The South Beach diet is highly recommended as a healthy and fairly easy one to follow as long as you can survive the first two weeks.

It became popular after several well known celebrities including Jessica Simpson and Kim Cattrall were touted as following this plan. You can read an overview of the diet here.

This book, The South Beach Diet Super Charged, is the same diet but with the added bonus of fat burning exercises to help speed up weight loss.

Buy: South Beach Diet Supercharged, from Amazon

Don't Eat a Big Breakfast to Lose Weight

Despite numerous research studies telling us that we should eat our largest meal of the day at breakfast, it now seems that if we do, we're setting ourselves up for dieting disaster.

Scientists at the Technical University of Munich monitored the calorie intake of 400 men and women over ten days and found that those who consumed large amounts at breakfast, went on to eat similar sized meals for the rest of the day.

But, according to Sian Porter of the British Dietetic Association and many other studies, breakfast eaters are less likely to have a weight problem and also tend to lose weight more successfully than those skipping breakfast.

So the moral of this contradictory information: Eat a decent breakfast but cut right back for the rest of the day.

Rosemary Conley Portion Pots for Portion Control

Portion Pots® from Rosemary Conley
It's so easy overestimating your portion sizes, especially if you rely on your own judgement as a guide. However, with these Portion Pots® from Rosemary Conley, there is no margin for error when measuring out items such as breakfast cereal, rice, pasta or anything that needs an exact amount.

Downsizing Bread

Those of us who love bread simply can't get through a day without a few slices, be it a slice of toast at breakfast or a sandwich at lunch. But bread can be very high in calories, especially those which are crammed with seeds (delicious though they are). Of course there are a few brands of bread which are low in calories and these are generally those which are very light and airy and there doesn't seem to be too much to them.

However, you can still enjoy your bread while deceptively 'losing' a fair few calories each time you eat a slice of bread. All you have to do is buy the small loaf instead. Many of the larger brands of bread makers such as Hovis, Kingsmill and Warburtons make 400g loaves. Each slice can save you up to half the amount of calories per slice from the regular sized 800g loaf.

Example calorie saving:
1 slice from a 400g Hovis Wholemeal loaf = 57 calories. 
1 slice from an 800g Hovis Wholemeal loaf (medium) = 92 calories or (thick) 115 calories.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Fish in Sauce

Young's 4 Cod Steaks
Fish in sauce or 'boil in the bags' as they're often referred to, make a great fast food alternative, proving that convenience food doesn't have to mean junk food. Fish in sauce is found in the freezer section of the supermarket and many larger supermarkets market their own brands. 

Typical varieties are 'Cod in Butter' sauce or 'Cod in Parsley' sauce with boxes usually containing four individual servings.

Tesco 4 Cod Steaks
Brands to look out for include Young's 4 Cod Steaks in Butter sauce with 107 calories each, Tesco's 4 Cod Steaks in Butter sauce have 150 calories each or try the Parsley sauce for 115 calories. Sainsbury's 'Cod in Butter' sauce has 149 cals and 'Cod in Parsley' sauce has 121 calories.

To cook, you simply take the plastic pouches out of the box and pop them into a saucepan of boiling water and let them simmer for 20 minutes or so. Alternatively, you can pierce a small hole in the bag and microwave for even faster food. Accompany with loads of vegetables and a small jacket potato and you have a speedy, filling and nutritious meal.

Nutritional Information:Tesco Cod in Butter Sauce each: Calories 150, protein 8.8g, carbohydrate 4.8g, fat 8.8g, salt 1.1g

Nutritional Information: Young's Cod in Butter Sauce each: Calories 107, 13.5g protein, 5.8g carbohydrate, 3.5g sugars, 3.2g fat, 2.2g saturates, salt 1.0g

Philadelphia Extra Light Cream Cheese

First there was Philadelphia cream cheese which, though delicious, wasn't going to be any dieters friend with its 255 calories and 24g of fat per 100g. Then along came Philadelphia Light with 155 calories and 11.5g of fat per 100g which was a great bonus for those watching their weight.

But Philadelphia outdid themselves when they brought out Extra Light. For a virtuous 111 calories and a slimline 4.7g of fat per 100g, cream cheese is no longer out of bounds for any dieter. And it's so tasty and creamy you can hardly tell the difference from the full fat version.

Philadelphia Extra Light is available in the original flavour only but you can buy a 200g tub or four individual 35g mini tubs. Each mini tub has only 38 calories.

Nutritional Information: Per 100g: 111 calories, 12g protein, 5g carbohydrates, 4.7g fat, 1g salt.

Options Drinking Chocolate Range

Thank heavens for Options. Those of us dieters who love drinking chocolate, know only too well that a mug of milky hot chocolate is out of bounds most of the time.

Fortunately, Options fantastically delicious range of low calorie hot chocolate drinks mean you don't need to forgo your choccy indulgence as each individual sachet contains less than 45 calories.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Robinsons No Added Sugar

Robinsons are one of the most well known brands of dilutable fruit squash drinks. For those who can't abide drinking plain old water, Robinsons have a fruit flavour designed to quench everyone's thirst. However, since many dilutable drinks are packed with sugar, they're neither kind to your teeth or your waist. Fortunately, there are loads of different flavours to choose from in the 'No Added Sugar' range of fruit squash drinks.
Some of the Fruit & Barley range

Here are some of the flavours available now: Apple & Blackcurrant, Orange, Summer Fruits, Orange & Pineapple, Lemon or Orange & Mango. If you like Robinsons Barley flavour drinks, you could also try out the Robinsons Fruit & Barley No Added Sugar range with flavours such as Apple & Pear, Pink Grapefruit, Peach, Summer Fruits, Tropical, Strawberry & Kiwi or Orange.

Without the addition of sugar, you can drink as much as you like without having to worry about the calories. Of course, not having sugar means they do have the addition of sweeteners, in this case Aspartame and Saccharin.

Robinsons No Added Sugar fruit squash or fruit & barley drinks are readily available in most supermarkets and many convenience stores.

Nutritional Information: Per 100ml undiluted Summer Fruits: Calories 9, protein 0.1g, carbohydrate 1.1g, sugars 1.1g, fat trace, sodium 0.1g.

A selection of the No Added Sugar range

Planet Lunch Squeezable Fruit

Planet Lunch are mainly aimed at the children's market, but there's no reason why adults watching their weight can't enjoy these delicious and healthy snacks. Planet Lunch Squeezable Fruit is available in two flavours: Strawberry & Banana or Tropical.

They're sold individually in 85g squeezy pouches and are found in larger branches of Sainsburys. They both contain nothing but natural fruit purees, natural flavouring and lemon juice. Each pouch has between 51 to 54 calories and they don't require refrigeration, making it a convenient snack to keep in your bag or pack in a lunch box. Note that the sugar content is from those naturally occuring in the fruit.

Nutritional Information: Per 85g pouch - Tropical flavour: Calories 51, fat 0.2g, sugars 9.1g, salt 0.1g.

Compal Essential Fruit Shots

Compal is a popular Portuguese brand who have kindly exported these cute little bottles of 100% pure fruit. Each 110ml bottle contains roughly 50-60 calories and also provides one of your 'five a day' portions of fruit.
Apple, Pear and Mango

With six tempting flavours to choose from: Pear, Apple, Strawberry, Mango, Pineapple and Peach, there's sure to be something to suit everyone. And if you have children who don't like eating certain kinds of fruit, these are a fabulous solution and most kids simply love them.

The only problem is they can be tough for little hands to open so if there's one in their lunch box, they might need the help of an adult at lunch time.

If you're wondering what consistency they are, they're a bit thinner than a fruit puree but thicker than fruit juice. They have to be stored in the fridge but have a reasonably long shelf life.

So far they've only been spotted in branches of  Waitrose, but they can also be ordered online from Ocado. You can find out more about these little bottles of goodness at the Compal site where you'll see there are actually a couple more flavours mentioned - Plum and Kiwi which don't seem to be available here yet.

Nutritional Information: Per 100ml Mango: 56 calories, 0.4g protein, 13.3g carbohydrates, 11g sugar, 0.1g fat, 2g fibreg, trace sodium .

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Unsweetened Soya Milk (Fresh) - Low Calorie

Choosing soya milk as an alternative to regular cows milk can be a great way to save on extra calories, especially if you drink lots of milk during the day. True, it can take a little getting used to, but if you're trying to make the switch, it's often easier substituting soya milk in tea and coffee first to get used to the taste.

The taste and calorie count in soya milks can vary enormously and most people eventually find a brand they prefer then stick to it. Alpro are probably the largest name in Soya milk production and they do produce soya milks with a lovely taste.

Mini Babybel Light

Dieting often means drastically cutting down on your cheese intake, which isn't much fun if you love cheese!

But you can still enjoy the taste of Edam with Mini Babybel Light cheese.

They're all individually wrapped in a little red skin, just like the large balls of Edam and have half the fat of Mini Babybel Original.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Tesco Light Choices Dutch Crispbakes

Tesco's Light Choices have a fantastically wide range of delicious slimming products. These Dutch Crispbakes are very light and crunchy with a lovely taste.

They are larger than most crackers and nice and thick so they don't break apart too easily. Because they are so low in fat they may seem quite dry but because they're such a decent size you can pile on a fair amount of your favourite toppings to make a really substantial snack or light meal. Available from Tesco Stores.

Nutritional Information: Per Crispbake: Calories 29, Protein 1.1g; Carbs 5.8g,  Fat 0.2g, Sodium trace.

Clearspring Japanese Rice Cakes

These Japanese rice cakes make an unusual change from regular rice cakes. They're quite sticky to hold but fairly substantial to eat. They're very low in fat and calories and can make an interesting change from plain rice cakes which can be a little bland. Clearspring Japanese Rice Cakes are wheat free and Vegan friendly. Available in five flavours: Teriyaki, Black Sesame, Tamari Garlic, Miso and Sea Vegetable. You can mainly find them in health food stores or Oriental food shops.

Nutritional Information: Per Teriyaki rice cake: Calories 28, Carbs 6.2, Fat 0.2g

Monday, 10 January 2011

Alpen Light Chocolate & Fudge Bars

You wouldn't think for a minute that something containing both chocolate AND fudge would be allowed anywhere near a dieter's mouth. But these cereal bars from Alpen are low enough in calories that you can enjoy one of these without worrying about gaining weight.

Although cereal bars are often touted as healthy, the fact is, most of them are loaded with sugar and fat with many bars coming in at 200 calories or more. This 21g Alpen Light bar can be enjoyed for a mere 63 calories. Also in the range is 'Chocolate and Orange', 'Sultana and Apple' and 'Summer Fruits' all with 70 calories or less.

Nutritional Information: Per 21g bar: calories 63,  carbs 11.4g, fat 1.3g, fibre 4.6g, sodium 0.02g,

Lotus - The Original Caramelised Biscuit

Have you ever gone out for a cup of coffee to be given a delicious crispy biscuit on the side? Many times it's these little Lotus biscuits which are such a treat. Crunchy and caramelly, they taste like heaven. But, since they're only small, each one accounts for a meagre 37 calories. You can find them in larger supermarkets and Poundland.

Lotus biscuits Biscoff

Nutritional Information: Per biscuit (7.75g): calories 37, carbs 5.7g, sugar 3.0g, fat 1.5g, saturates 0.6g, fibre 0.1g, protein 0.4g salt 0.07g.

IngredientsWheat Flour, Sugar, Vegetable Oils (Palm Oil from sustainable and certified plantations, Rapeseed Oil), Candy Sugar Syrup, Raising Agent (Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate), Soya Flour, Salt, Cinnamon.

Lotus biscuits Biscoff

Suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Rich Tea Finger Biscuits

These Rich Tea finger biscuits are exceptionally low in calories, with nearly half the amount of Tesco's Reduced Fat Rich Tea biscuits. You'd be hard pushed to tell them apart from regular rich tea biscuits, so if you are partial to rich tea biccies, these make a good choice. Each finger has only 22 calories, low enough to stretch to two without feeling guilty.

Nutritional Information: Per biscuit: calories 22, sugar 1g, fat 0.7g, Salt trace.High sugar, Medium fat, High saturates, medium salt.

Tips For Controlling Your Portion Sizes

It's so easy to go overboard when you're dishing up a bowl of cereal in the morning. Breakfast bowls are often far too big to hold an appropriate amount of cereal. How many of us bother to measure out exact quantities of cereal each morning? Instead, we assume that the breakfast bowls are designed to hold the right amount. But unfortunately that's often very misleading.

Why not take a look on the side of your cereal packet to see what they say constitutes a 'portion'. It's usually a far smaller amount than you would imagine. And when you place it in your regular cereal bowl, it looks lost. You feel you are depriving yourself. So, what to do?

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Eat up your carrots to attract the opposite sex

Forget the fake tan or hours spent baking in the harsh sun. There's a far healthier way of achieving a healthy glow for our skin and one which also makes us more attractive to the opposite sex. Just eating plenty of carrots, tomatoes, apricots and plums, all which contain yellow pigments called cartenoids, can cause the skin to take on a yellow glow, which apparently makes us look more attractive and healthy.

A study by St Andrews and Bristol Universities asked 40 volunteeers to rate the appearance of 51 Scottish Caucasian faces and those who had this healthier 'yellow' glow were judged to be more attractive.  According to Ian Stephen, a scientist involved in the study, it takes as little as two months to achieve visible results. So start snacking on those carrot sticks.

Friday, 7 January 2011

The Perfect Age To Diet

Most women would admit they find it a struggle to lose weight. However, it seems there is a cut-off date after which time it could be more difficult to diet. According to a survey by Lambrini Light, the ideal age to start slimming is 28. Apparently, at this age women have more time, dedication and willpower to devote to their diets, including going to the gym and exercising.

Once women hit their thirties and middle age, they're either too preoccupied with the combined demands of raising children, running a household and work, to worry about their diets. And once they're into their middle age they simply lose interest in trying to make their body perfect.

From a study of 3,000 women aged over 30, some 64 percent of them replied they felt that there was a stage in their lives when they were best at dieting. And it seems that getting older relieves women of the pressures of their younger years to look perfect, with 38 percent aged in their forties and fifties stating that dieting or having a perfect figure wasn't a priority any more and they were more accepting of their body shape.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Nice Biscuits

Yes, of course biscuits are nice. But these are Nice biscuits. Most of us are familiar with Nice biscuits with their tasty sprinkling of sugar on top and crunchy coconut taste. Luckily, they're surprisingly low in calories for a biscuit.

You can find many brands of Nice and several supermarkets make their own brands. Choose those without a cream filling and you'll find they're all quite similar in calorie count.

Nutritional Information: Per biscuit: (Crawford's) 39 calories, 0.5g protein, 5g carbohydrate, 2g sugar, 1.9g fat, 1.1g saturated fat, 0.3g fibre, trace salt.


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