Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Outline of the Rosemary Conley Diet

Rosemary Conley became famous back in 1988 with the success of her enormously popular book ‘The Hip & Thigh Diet’. Rosemary Conley CBE, is the founder of the Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs which, along with Weight Watchers and Slimming World, are counted as one of the big three diet clubs in the UK.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Del Monte Mango Iced Smoothies

These aren’t actually smoothies as such, but instead are a smoothie ice lolly on a stick. If you like juice type ice lollies then these are particularly refreshing with a lovely, strong mango taste and they're more substantial than regular juice lollies.

Each lolly has 30% mango puree but they’re quite high in sugar with just under 20 grams of sugar per stick. They’re widely available in supermarkets in packs of three and are suitable for vegetarians.

Nutritional Information: Per 90ml smoothie: 98 calories, 0.3g protein, 2.6g carbohydrates, 19.9g sugar, trace fat, 0.9g fibre, trace sodium.

Weight Watchers Roast Chicken Crinkle Crisps

Here is another handy snack from Weight Watchers. These Roast Chicken flavour crisps have a somewhat recognizable ‘chicken’ flavour and have a lovely satisfying crunch, just as a good crisp should do.

Each packet has only 76 calories but the pack is quite small, holding just 16g. They are reduced fat and every pack is worth 2 ProPoints.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Alpro Soya Low Fat Desserts

Alpro Smooth Chocolate
Alpro Soya’s delicious low fat soya desserts are a tasty alternative to yogurts which are suitable for people who can't eat dairy. Even those who don't eat soya might be tempted to try these creamy desserts and kids also like them. Flavours include vanilla, chocolate, dark chocolate or caramel.

They’re Ultra Heat Treated (UHT) products, so are shelf stable for a good few months and they can usually be found in the same area as the long life milks and juices. They're available in packs of 4 x 125g pots.

Alpro Creamy Vanilla
Alpro Soya's desserts are low in saturated fat, made with non GM soya beans and are dairy, lactose, gluten and wheat free. They’re even produced in a nut free environment. Suitable for vegetarians, vegans and those with a lactose intolerance. You can find Alpro Soya desserts in a wide variety of shops though you may not find all flavours in all stores.

Nutritional Information: Per 125g pot: 100 calories, 3.75g protein, 15.9g carbohydrates, 12.4g sugar, 2.25g fat, 0.38g saturates, 0.63g fibre, 0.18g sodium.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Want To Lose Weight? Don’t Bother Visiting Your GP

Doctors, it seems, may not be the best place to go for advice when it comes to helping their patients lose weight. According to researchers, you’d be far better off joining your local Slimming World, Weight Watchers or Rosemary Conley slimming group.

 An NHS funded study which tracked 140 obese men and women over a period of three months, found that people who joined a slimming club lost twice as much weight as those who relied on their GPs advice.

All dieters were randomly allocated a different dieting strategy which included joining one of three commercial slimming clubs, having one-to-one sessions with their GP, nurse or pharmacist, attending an NHS slimming group or using their own method.

After the trial, it was found that dieters following any of the NHS services did no better than those who devised their own methods. But overall, dieters attending the well recognized slimming groups lost an average of nine pounds over the three months, which was about twice as much weight as the others.

Professor Paul Aveyard, of the Birmingham University, says groups such as Slimming World, Weight Watchers and Rosemary Conley offered the best hope for those trying to fight obesity. He believes that the support and approval from club members can be of greater benefit to dieters and that GPs should send obese patients to commercial sessions, paid for by the NHS, rather than trying to treat them themselves. Also in favour of slimming clubs, GP Dr Ian Campbell, from charity Weight Concern, says “Having support from other people in your situation can really motivate you to lose weight.”

These groups can not only help you lose weight, they help teach dieters how to make healthy choices when choosing their food. This is particularly helpful for the long term since many dieters who follow fad diets for quick weight loss often regain everything they lost because they haven’t changed their habits.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Weight Watchers Spicy Tomato and Basil Flavour Puff Balls

While packets of crisps make a handy standby when a snack attack hits, many of them are high in fat and calories. Although the diet varieties are lower in fat, there aren’t too many of them in a bag. But inside each of these packs of Spicy Tomato and Basil Flavour Puff Balls you’ll find loads of crunchy little balls which take a lot longer to get through.

Weight Watchers Spicy Tomato and Basil Flavour Puff Balls are baked rather than fried so have at least 30% less fat than standard maize puff balls. There are no artificial colourings, flavourings, preservatives or MSG and they’re suitable for vegetarians.

They were found Poundland who usually have a good stock of Weight Watchers products.

Nutritional Information: Per 18g packet: 75 calories, 1.5g protein, 13.9g carbohydrates, 0.5g sugar, 1.3g fat, 0.2g saturates, 0.7g fibre, 0.2g sodium. Each pack is worth 2 Weight Watchers New ProPoints.

Muller Inspired By Cheesecake Flavour Yogurts

Cheesecakes are usually best left off the menu when you’re on a diet. But if you’re longing for that cheesecake taste, then you might like to try these tasty, fat free yogurts from Muller. You have a choice of two: Strawberry Cheesecake flavour and New York Style Cheesecake flavour. The strawberry yogurt has pieces of strawberries and both have tiny pieces of cake. They’re lovely and creamy and really taste like cheesecake!

Each pot holds 165g and they can be purchased in packs of three or as singles can be found in larger supermarkets.

Nutritional Information: Per 100g: 60 calories (99 per pot), 4.2g protein, 10g carbohydrates, 8.7g sugar, 0.1g fat, 0.1g saturates, 0.2g fibre, 0.1g sodium.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Is Alcohol Ruining Your Diet?

If you like a glass of wine after dinner or have regular nights out which include downing a few too many, then you may find it hard to lose weight. In fact, people who regularly indulge in alcohol, often gain weight.

According to the alcohol awareness charity, Drinkaware, two out of three Britons have no idea how many calories they’re drinking. Many people who embark on a diet, often neglect to include their drinks when they’re counting calories. And unfortunately, many alcoholic drinks are loaded with calories. Did you know that each unit or gram of alcohol has 7 calories? This is almost the same as pure fat which has 9 calories per gram.

From a survey of 2,000 UK adults, one in three were intending to monitor their calorie intake over the coming month, but only one in ten of those planned to count the calories in their alcohol as well. Unless they’re compensating for the calories in alcohol by drinking instead of eating, then many of these drinkers are likely to find it hard getting rid of their excess weight.

When we go on a diet, many of us swap from sugary drinks to the ‘no added sugar’ or ‘diet’ varieties. This is because sugar contains lots of empty calories, meaning they don’t contribute anything nutritionally, just calories. But alcohol is also high in sugar.

For example, one glass of wine has around 135 calories, the same as a regular packet of crisps. Or one pint of beer or lager clocks in at just under 200 calories. You could eat a sugar coated donut for a similar number of calories.

So if you’re on a diet and you like the odd tipple now and again, don’t forget to include the calories in your daily totals. And when you’re drinking, try getting into the habit of alternating alcoholic beverages with water or diet drinks. Don’t let alcohol ruin your diet!

© Diets and Calories 2011

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Cadbury Light Mousse

Cadbury Light Mousse contains less than half the fat of Cadbury full fat chocolate mousse with just over half the calories per pot. They’re sold as a 4 pack and each pot holds a mere 55g. However, it’s a chocolate lovers dream and is fantastic for dieters as there are only 60 calories in a pot. OK, so the pots are tiny. But the trick is to eat it slowly and use a teaspoon to savour every mouthful.

Found in larger supermarkets. Not suitable for vegetarians.

Nutritional Information: Per pot: 60 calories, 2.5g protein, 7.8g carbohydrates, 1.9g fat.

Walkers Baked Crisps - Sour Cream & Chive

Crisps are so moreish, that it’s no wonder manufacturers are making them in larger and larger packets. But, while this may please some people, it does nothing to help those trying to control their portion sizes or watch their waistlines. Unless you’re able to shake some out and return another day for the rest, you’d probably be best opting for a smaller bag with fewer calories.
Walkers have loads of varieties of crisps including the ‘baked’ range which have 70% less fat than the regular Walkers crisps. The flavours include Cheese & Onion, Sour Cream & Chives and Salt & Vinegar and each packet has less than 100 calories. They're available in supermarkets as multipacks of 6 or individually in many stores.

Nutritional Information: Per 25g bag: 99 calories, 1.5g protein, 18.4g carbohydrates, 2g sugar, 2.2g fat, 0.4g saturates, 1.2g fibre, 0.33g salt.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Outline of the Slimming World Diet

What Sort of Diet is it?

The Slimming World diet has been around since 1969 when it was founded by Margaret Miles-Bramwell. Like Weight Watchers, dieters can join a group, of which there are currently around 5,500 throughout the UK. Prospective members pay a one-off fee then each time they attend weekly classes, they contribute another smaller fee. Currently this costs £4.15 a week when buying a 12 week Countdown course.

All classes are led by trained Slimming World Consultants. These are all successful dieters who have first hand experience of how the Slimming World plan works and how best to help their members succeed. Alternatively, dieters can join online. This is a highly flexible diet which can easily be incorporated into everyday life.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Warburtons Weight Watchers Malted Bread

Many diets these days seem to be anti carbohydrates, which is difficult if you love eating bread. However, bread, especially the wholegrain variety, is an important source of nutrients, fibre and energy. But it is true that bread can be high in calories. Those to be careful of include thick sliced large loaves and some of the newer seeded varieties which can have anything up to 130 calories a slice.

Fortunately, there are quite a few lower calorie breads such as Warburtons Weight Watchers Malted Bread. This is a 400g loaf of Danish style bread with malted grains and wheat bran. It's a bit like a lightweight version of a granary loaf. Each slice has only 51 calories or 1 new ProPoint®. It’s low in fat and suitable for vegetarians and widely available in stores.

Nutritional Information: Per slice (20.4g): 51 calories, 2.4g protein, 9.2g carbohydrates, 0.5g sugar, 0.3g fat, 0.1g saturates, 0.9g fibre, 0.2g salt.

ASDA Fruit Squeezy Pouches

If you don’t have any fresh fruit to hand or you’re tired of finding your apples or bananas bruised and battered by the time you arrive at work, you might like to try eating your fruit in an alternative form. ASDA’s Fruit Squeezy pouches are pure fruit purees available in Apple or Apple & Pear.

Each pouch is equal to one of your ‘five a day’ and has only 64 or 65 calories. Unfortunately they also have added sugar but contain no artificial colours or flavours. They have a screw top lid and are great for kids lunch boxes (and adults). They're delicious when mixed into natural yogurt.

UPDATE: June 2012.

ASDA have updated their packaging and here's another new flavour - Strawberry & Apple.This variety has 62 calories per pouch and like the others, counts as 1 of your 5 a day.

Old style packs
Oh, one more thing. These squeezy fruit pouches are part of the ASDA 'Chosen by You' range so you know they've been approved by thousands of consumers.

Nutritional Information: Per Apple Pouch (90g): 64 calories, 0.3g protein, 13.9g carbohydrates, 13.0g sugar, 0.5g fat, 0.2g saturates, 1.2g fibre, trace salt.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

The Chew Chew Diet

What Sort of Diet is it?

The Chew Chew diet was invented in Edwardian times by an American named Horace Fletcher. Horrace, who was somewhat overweight at 15 and a half stone, believed that all bodily weakness resulted from the improper treatment of food while in the mouth. This diet is extreme and most people would find it pretty hard to stick to. On the other hand, if you like the idea of having no restrictions on what you eat, you might be tempted.

How Does it Work?

The idea Fletcher came up with was that every mouthful of food should be thoroughly chewed until it is liquefied. He believed food should be chewed this way to enable the body to easily digest and absorb it into the body. As a general guide, all food must be chewed exactly 32 times. Anything which isn’t reduced to liquid pulp after this amount of chewing, has to be spat out. This meant that diners had to have a separate bowl at the table specifically for this purpose.

What Can You Eat?

You can eat virtually anything you like on this diet. However, as dieters will soon find out, food such as meat and fibrous vegetables take inordinate amounts of chewing effort and usually result in remains which must be spat out. As such, portion sizes are likely to become smaller as it takes so long to get through a meal. Fletcher particularly liked sweet foods and cereals with full cream milk and sugar. However, he did warn against the danger of consuming too much protein from animals. Also, he didn’t recommend eating breakfast and suggested toast or fruit or just going without. Wine was allowed but must be swilled around the mouth

Is It Healthy?

This diet could be healthy if you eat lots of fruit and vegetables. If you’re cutting down on meat because of the difficulty in chewing, you’d need to make sure you replaced the lack of nutrients such as protein with alternative sources. Food such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice are easier to chew.

Does it Work?

The diet worked extremely well for Fletcher who shed more than 40lbs after four months. It also caught on across the Atlantic in England where diners held ‘munching parties’. However, most people these days would have a hard time sticking to the diet under their own willpower since it would be too easy to cheat by swallowing food too soon.

As featured on Channel 4 as one of the ‘Diets That Time Forgot’, the participants following this diet found it revolting and often had to abandon their meal halfway through because of the monotony of the chewing, not to mention an aching jaw and meals gone cold.

But, if you’re looking for a cheap way to diet where you can eat what you like, it may be worth a try!

© Diets and Calories 2011

Friday, 20 May 2011

Skinny Cow Caramel Shortcake Ice Lollies

You can always rely on Skinny Cow to come up with delicious treats for those of us on a diet.

If you like caramel and shortcake then you have the best of both worlds with these delicious ice lollies.

As described on the packet: ‘Scrumptious caramel flavoured iced dessert swirled with smooth caramel flavour sauce and shortcake biscuit pieces’.

Tesco - Steam Veg Bags

If you’re preparing a quick ready meal, sometimes it can seem like too much effort to start chopping and preparing fresh vegetables to go with it. However, you should always make an effort to include some sort of vegetables with your meals, even if you’re not dieting. At times like this it’s useful to have some already prepared. For instance, Tesco Steam Veg bags.
Inside each bag are four individual sachets containing carrots batons, broccoli florets and sweetcorn. They are found in the freezer section of the supermarket and couldn’t be easier to prepare. Just pop them into the microwave for a total of 4 minutes and they’re done. Each bag serves around one or two people and has only 70 calories each.

 Nutritional Information: Per sachet: 70 calories, 3.4g protein, 10.1g carbohydrates, 3.6g sugar, 1.5g fat, 0.3g saturates, 4.1g fibre, 0g salt.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

10 Tips for Eating Out While on a Diet

The prospect of going out to eat can strike fear into those who are dieting. After all, it can be hard saying no to delicious desserts when everyone else is tucking in. 

However, it is possible to enjoy your food without worrying about ruining your diet or gaining weight. By following these simple tips, you'll know exactly what you have to do to stay on track and not feel guilty at the end of meal.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Mini Cereal Boxes

Kelloggs frostiesMini cereal boxes don’t always contain the healthiest of breakfast choices and all that extra packaging isn’t great for the environment.

But one advantage they do have over large boxes of cereal, is the fact that they provide you with a single portion. And this is something that's easy to lose sight of when pouring cereal from a large box.

More often than not, most of us pour out way too much cereal into our bowls, meaning we’re likely to be underestimating how many calories we’re actually eating.

No Added Sugar Flavoured Spring Water

If you can't abide drinking plain water, fortunately you don't have to. These days there are numerous flavoured bottled waters on sale. However, you need to watch out since many of them also contain a fair amount of sugar, making them quite calorific.

Among ASDA's Great Stuff range are these no added sugar, low calorie bottles of flavoured water. Each bottle has a screw top lid and contains 330ml.

They’re available in packs of six and contain no artificial flavouring or colours. Flavours available include Strawberry, Tropical and Blackcurrant.

Nutritional Information: Per 100ml: 2 calories (7 calories per bottle), trace protein, 0.3g carbohydrates, 0.3g sugars, trace fat, trace salt.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Stay Fit Lunch to Go

Buying your lunch from a takeaway, sandwich bar or coffee shop can be extremely frustrating for dieters as many foods can be deceptively high in calories. Plus it’s expensive. As such, taking your lunch to work is a great way to save money, as well as giving you complete control over how how many calories it contains.

Finding the right container to carry your lunch isn’t always easy, especially if you have cold or easy squashed items. However, using something like this EZ Freeze Stay Fit container called ‘Lunch 2 Go’ can solve all those problems. It includes separate storage areas for salads and snacks or even some yogurt or dressing. On top there’s a utensil storage compartment and to keep your lunch cool and fresh there’s also a freezer-gel section.

It’s great for your waistline, your purse and the environment.

Stay Fit Lunch to Go

Monday, 16 May 2011

Weight Watchers Vanilla Creamed Rice

Creamy rice puddings usually come laden with calories. All that sugar and full fat milk means they’re out of bounds when trying to lose weight. But Weight Watchers have managed to produce a deliciously low calorie alternative with their low fat Vanilla Creamed Rice pots.

They come as a two pack with each pot holding 130g and they have a ProPoints allocation of 3 per pot. They can be eaten hot or cold and are suitable for vegetarians.

Nutritional Information: Per 130g Pot: 112 calories, 4.2g protein, 22g carbohydrates, 14g sugars, 0.7g fat, 0.4g sat fat, 0.5g fibre, 0.2g salt, 3 ProPoints

Cars Ice Lollies

These cute little car shaped ice lollies were discovered in the supermarket quite recently. They appear to be manufactured in France and are obviously aimed at children but there’s no reason why grown-ups shouldn’t eat them, especially since each lolly has only 53 calories.
They’re a decent size and consist of three different flavours of ice cream – strawberry, chocolate and vanilla. They’re very creamy and the flavours are quite intense, especially the strawberry which is made with strawberry puree. Each box holds four Cars Ice lollies and they’ve been found in Sainsbury’s so far.

Nutritional Information: Per lolly: 53 calories, 1.1g protein, 7.4g carbohydrates, 5.28g sugars, 2.1g fat, 1.8g sat fat, 0.2g fibre, 0.01g salt. There is no mention of whether they’re suitable for vegetarians, but looking at the ingredients it would appear they are OK, though not vegans as they contain milk proteins.

Don't quite live up to their photo on the box, but taste good anyway.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

What Would You Look Like At A Different Weight?

Do ever wonder what your body might look like if you were a different weight? If so, then you may be interested in taking a peek at this website. It’s like one huge BMI chart with weights along the top and heights down the side. But instead of BMI numbers in the middle, people have posted photographs of themselves to fit into the relevant height and weight squares.

For example, if you want to see what someone of 5' 5” looks like at 7 stone or 18 stone, just look along the 5' 5" row. Naturally, men appear more prominently at the taller end, while the women feature more down the shorter end. They’re a brave bunch. But if you fancy joining them and putting your own snapshot up for public viewing, there are a few places left open.

Here's a small snapshot of the page

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Nestle Fab Ice Lollies - Apple & Blackcurrant

Nestle have just brought out a new 'limited edition' Fab ice lolly in a refreshing Apple & Blackcurrant flavour. They've been found in ASDA so far but may make an appearance in other stores. Fab Apple & Blackcurrant ice lollies have slightly less calories than the Strawberry flavour, with 82 calories per lolly.

Nutritional Information: Per lolly: 82 calories, 14.1g sugar, 2g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0.1g salt.

Fox’s Party Rings Biscuits

Fox’s party rings have been enjoyed by children for years. These bright and colourful, crunchy iced ring biscuits are also low in calories. Well, that may be partly because there’s a hole in the middle. Still, they make a great treat, kids love them and there’s no harm in dieters sharing the odd party ring either.

Each 125g packs contains four colours to choose from: purple, pink, yellow and orange and they’re available in most supermarkets.

Nutritional Information: Per biscuit: 29 calories, 0.4g protein, 4.8g carbohydrates, 2.5g sugars, 0.9g fat, 0.4g sat fat, 0.04g salt. Not suitable for vegetarians

Meatfree Hot Dog Sausages

Vegetarians don’t need to miss out on eating hot dogs, neither do dieters. There are few different brands of hot dog sausages which aren’t loaded with calories and some are suitable for vegetarians as well.

Sainsbury’s Meatfree Hot Dog Sausages are made from rehydrated wheat and soya protein and with their succulent and smoky taste, you’d never know they weren’t real frankfurters. You can find these in the freezer section in larger branches of Sainsbury’s. Each box holds 10 hot dog sausages.

Nutritional Information: Per hot dog sausage: 67 calories, 5.4g protein, 1.1g carb, 0.3g sugars, 4.5g fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0.3g fibre, 0.3g salt.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Ribena Really Light – No Added Sugar

The name Ribena is synonymous with blackcurrants and this purple drink is arguably the tastiest blackcurrant fruit drink around.

Ribena can be purchased in many forms and indeed flavours these days, including ready-made cartons in different sizes, multi packs or bottles, and of course the original concentrate which has to be made up with water. There’s even a sparkling choice now.
If you’re on a diet and love drinking Ribena, you’d be wise to swap to the Really Light version since it has only 4 calories per 100ml compared with 43 calories for the original Ribena. So keep a look out for the Really Light packs with ‘No Added Sugar’ available in multi pack cartons, ready made bottles and large bottles of concentrate.

 Nutritional Information: Per 100ml: 4 calories when made up, trace protein, 0.5g carbohydrates, 0.5g sugars, 0g fat, trace sodium, 40% recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C.

Body Fat Monitors - A Must Have Tool For Dieters

Body fat monitors or body composition analysers as they’re often called, can be a dieter’s greatest ally. Forget about ordinary weighing scales. They simply can’t give you the kind of helpful information that a body fat monitor can.

For example, ordinary scales can provide your weight in pounds or kilos and that’s all. This is useful to a point. However, a body composition monitor can reveal many more measurements which can help in your weight loss programme.

One important piece of information an ordinary scale won't tell you, is how much fat you have. A body fat monitor can measure your fat to provide you with your body fat ratio and let you know whether it's in a healthy range or not. It will also measure your viseral fat. This is the unseen, potentially dangerous fat which builds up around your internal organs and heart.

Body composition monitors reveal more information including your muscle mass, which is particularly useful if you’re following an exercise programme and want to keep a check on your muscle development. And importantly for dieters, you can find out your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This is basically how many calories you use up while you’re resting and can be used to work out how many calories you’re burning off each day.

There are a good many types of body fat monitors available for home use. However, some of the most reliable brands are those made by Tanita and Omron, a few of which are shown here.The prices can be quite high for some, but those shown here are around £40-£50 and provide all the information necessary for the majority of people.

Tanita BC575 Black Glass Body Composition Monitor Scale

Tanita BC532 Body Composition Glass Bathroom Scales

Tanita BC570 Glass Body Composition Monitor Scale

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Lucozade Sport Lite Orange

Orange Lite is a new flavour for Lucozade Sport. The other is Lemon & Lime. Lucozade Sport Lite, like regular Lucozade, contains electrolytes and B vitamins which are designed to give you an energy boost while keeping you hydrated during exercise.

It’s therefore a great choice for those who are trying to lose weight since it has only 10 calories per 100ml. This is a calorie saving of nearly two thirds of the original Lucozade Sport.

Chilled Soups - Marks & Spencer

Marks and Spencer have a growing range of chilled soups, some of which are exceptionally low in calories and very filling. Those which have the lowest calories are shown here. These include: Tomato & Basil, Spiced & Roasted Butternut Squash, Super Green, Country Vegetable, and Chicken & Spring Vegetable. These are all suitable for vegetarians apart from the Chicken & Spring Vegetable.

See the wide range of M&S chilled soups for 2013 - Read Post.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Outline of the Weight Watchers ProPoints Diet

What Sort of Diet is it?

The Weight Watchers diet is based on a unique points system which completely does away with calorie counting. The original Points system was developed in 1997 and has been incredibly successful. However, a new Points system called ProPoints was launched in November 2007.

The diet provides a comprehensive weight management programme which helps dieters choose food that will help them lose weight in a healthy and sustainable manner.

There is plenty of external support in the form of Weight Watchers group support meetings, counselling, a helpful online presence and a Weight Watchers monthly magazine.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Soft Wholemeal Finger Rolls - Marks & Spencer

Hot dogs are a favourite fast food for many people. However, they're not usually considered a healthy meal, particularly because the white hot dog rolls are nutritionally devoid of anything useful.

However, Marks and Spencer make delicious and healthy wholemeal finger rolls which are perfect for home made hot dogs. And because they’re made from wholemeal flour, you’re getting the added benefits of wholegrains. They’re also high in fibre, low in fat and suitable for vegetarians.

These wholemeal rolls are sold in packs of four and are available from branches of Marks and Spencer.

Nutritional Information: Per roll: 145 calories, 8.2g protein, 24.7g carbohydrates, 1.6g sugars, 1.3g fat, 0.4g sat fat, 3.8g fibre, 0.5g salt.

Sainsbury's Low Fat Rice Cakes

Low Fat jumbo rice cakes from the Sainsbury’s Be Good To Yourself range are an exceptionally healthy choice for snacking. Because plain rice cakes are quite bland, they may not be to everyone’s taste.

However, these jumbo sized rice cakes are substantial enough to hold a fair amount of toppings and not fall apart when you bite into them. Try adding low calorie options such as low fat ham or chicken, low fat cream cheese and slices of tomato and cucumber.

Everything in these rice cakes gets the green light nutritionally. They're made with wholegrain brown rice and contain trace amounts of salt, sugar and saturated fats and there are only 29 calories for each rice cake. Available in Sainsbury’s stores.

Nutritional Information: Per rice cake: 29 calories, 0.6g protein, 6.1g carbohydrates, trace sugars, 0.2g fat, 0.2g trace sat fat, 0.4g fibre, trace salt.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Weight Loss Surgery – Duodenal Switch

Weight loss surgery has been around for over 30 years now. In many cases, it serves as a last resort for those whose weight is posing a significant threat to their health. Where continued attempts at dieting have failed, it may be possible to undergo weight loss surgery. One of the newest types of weight loss surgery or bariatric surgery is called a duodenal switch.

Who Can Have This Surgery?

Different criteria will have to be taken into account for each individual wanting such surgery. However, in order to have any kind of bariatric surgery you need to have a body mass index (BMI) that puts you in the ‘obese’ category. This is 30 or above. However, if BMI is too high, say 40+ which puts someone in the category of ‘morbid obesity’, it’s possible that other health problems may make surgery too risky.

What Happens In The Procedure?

Duodenal switch surgery involves shortening the first part of the small intestine, which is where the majority of digestion takes place. Furthermore, a portion of the stomach is removed, though the size of the stomach pouch which remains is significantly larger than alternative methods of bariatric surgery allow.

How Does It Work?

Although the stomach is smaller, this doesn’t have too much effect on the size of meals eaten. Instead, the absence of this portion of stomach seems to cut down on the production of the appetite-stimulating hormone, ghrelin. This causes a reduction in hunger so can help with weight loss. The other main effect is the shortening of the small intestine which results in a reduction of calorie absorption.

What Can You Eat?

Those who have had duodenal switch surgery can only have liquidised meals for the first three weeks after the operation. After this, normal food can be eaten but it must be high protein and low fat to prevent unwanted side effects. Ideal foods include white meat, eggs, low fat dairy products and nuts.

Are There Any Side Effects?

The knock-on effect of absorbing fewer calories from food, means that the patient is missing out on vital nutrients and can therefore start suffering from nutritional deficiencies. As such, those who have had duodenal switch surgery will have to ensure they eat a high protein diet along with taking vitamin and mineral supplement to reduce the risk of malnourishment. Plus, eating too many fatty foods can result in loose and foul-smelling stools. As with all surgery, there is a risk of blood clots.

Around a year after surgery, the stomach should have stretched enough to enable normal sized meals to be eaten. However, because many nutrients are not absorbed, it is very difficult to regain any weight. The operation is done using keyhole surgery and is non-reversible. As with all obesity surgery, while they help you lose weight, it does involve a significant change to dietary habits.

Duodenal Switch Surgery - diagrammatic

Duodenal Switch Surgery in action (Not for the faint hearted!)

© Diets and Calories 2011

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Muller Light Low Fat Yogurts

Muller Light are one of the most popular low fat and low calorie yogurt brands. They have a wide range of flavours and are available in the majority of stores. They’re mainly sold as individual 190g pots, except for the Chocolate and Vanilla which contains 165g. Some flavours are sold as a multi-pack of six. All flavours have a simialr number of calories.

Regular flavours in the range include: Strawberry, Smooth Toffee, Rhubarb, Vanilla, Raspberry & Cranberry, Mandarin, Smooth Banana & Custard and Vanilla & Chocolate. They also have various limited edition flavours on offer from time to time.

Raspberry & Cranberry, Mandarin, Strawberry, Smooth Banana & Custard

Vanilla & Chocolate, Rhubarb, Smooth Toffee

Nutritional Information: Per pot Strawberry: 97 calories, 7.8g protein, 15g carbohydrates, 13.7g sugars, 0.2g fat, 0.2g sat fat, 0.4g fibre, 0.1g sodium.

Velvet Crunch Cassava Snacks

A new appearance on the shelves recently are Velvet Crunch, which are made from the cassava plant rather than potatoes. Currently they have been found in two flavours: Cheddar Cheese & Spring Onion and Thai Sweet Chilli Flavour.

These crunchy, round snacks have a delicate, melt in your mouth texture which is a little like prawn crackers, but crunchier, and they taste great. As well as this, each 20g packet has only 83 calories or 81 for the Thai flavour. These have been found in branches of Tesco and Costcutter but are likely to be widely available.

UPDATE: February 2012. New flavour available - Velvet Crunch Sea Salt & Malt Vinegar - See this Post.

Nutritional Information: Per 20g Cheddar Cheese bag: 83 calories, 0.4g protein, 15.8g carbohydrates, 2.2g sugars, 2.0g fat, 0.2g saturated fats, 0.7g fibre, 0.4g salt.


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