The Flexible Approach: How To Eat Your Favourite Treats and Still Get Results.

Do you think you need to eat nothing but salads and grilled chicken breasts in order to lose weight?

What if I told you that you could eat all the foods you enjoy and still get the results you want?

Is that something that interests you?? If so, read on!

 

HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT?

In order to lose weight WE MUST BE IN A CALORIE DEFICIT. I repeat WE MUST BE IN A CALORIE DEFICIT!!!

It doesn’t matter what foods we eat, if you are eating too many calories you will not lose weight.

EXAMPLE

John needs 2,500 calories per day to maintain his weight.

John eats 2,000 calories per day

This means he is in a 500 calorie deficit per day.

If he does this consistently for an extended period of time, he will lose weight.

 

For most of us dieting fails as we find it hard to stay on track eating the same boring and plain meals day in and day out.

So why not include some foods you like and enjoy while still staying in this calorie deficit?

Flexible dieting is an approach which allows us to include our favourite foods into our diets.

Flexible dieting is about the way we think about food. Studies have shown that people who have a flexible mental approach to dieting have more success than those who have a more rigid mental approach.

With flexible dieting, I like to use an 80/20 or 90/10 rule. So 80 to 90% of your day’s food should come from nutritious, whole food sources. The other 10-20% can come from the not so ‘healthy’ food choices.

So if you are in a calorie deficit on 2,000 calories;

10% = 200 calories 

20% = 400 calories.

As long as you get 80 to 90% of your calories from nutrient dense foods such as proteins (lean cuts of meat, eggs, fish), complex carbohydrate sources (rice, pasta, oats etc.), healthy fats and micronutrients (fruits and vegetables), then you can fill the remainder of your calories with some of your favourite treats. This wont stall or hinder fat loss provided you are in that calorie deficit as mentioned above.  

 

Benefits of eating this way:

– It’s sustainable. It’s a long term approach that you can integrate into your lifestyle so your life doesn’t have to revolve around your diet.

– It doesn’t look at food as good and bad. It promotes a more positive relationship with food and allows you to understand more about nutrition and how weight loss occurs.

– It can prevent binging. By using moderation and fitting these foods in to your everyday diet, it decreases the likelihood of going on a binge and overconsuming 1000’s of calories.

– It improves adherence. Because of it’s increased flexibility and less restrictive approach, it can actually improve adherence. We all want what we can’t have. When we tell ourselves that we are not allowed certain foods on a diet, it makes us want them more.

 

Below I have listed some of my favourite low calorie go-to treats which I include into my diet on a regular basis. This list includes chocolate, ice-cream, sweets and crisps, and the best thing about it is that they are all about 100 calories!! What’s not to love?

 

 1. Fibre One Brownies
 
Nutritional information per 24g brownie:

87 calories

3g of fat

12g of carbohydrates

1g of protein

Fibre One Brownies are available in 3 flavours (Chocolate Fudge, Salted Caramel and Lemon Drizzle) and are a really good low calorie alternative for cake lovers.

Where can you find this?

This product is available in most supermarkets. They retail at about €4 for a box of five which is quite pricey but they are usually half price in either Dunnes or Tescos so stock up when you see them on offer 🙂

Serving suggestions; 

– Have it with a cup of tea/coffee.

– Crumbled up over yogurt and fruit

– Heat in the microwave for 20 seconds if you like a gooey texture.

 2. Milky Bar Mousse
 
Nutritional information per 55g pot:

85 calories

4g of fat

10g of carbohydrates

3g of protein

Found in the yogurt aisle, this treat comes in a variety of flavour options such as Milky Bar, Rolo, Aero and Aero Mint so there is something for every chocolate lover. All of them have in and around the same calories but just check before you buy because there are some higher calorie similar products.

Where can you find this?

Most large supermarkets such as Tescos and Dunnes and it costs about €1.50 for a pack of four.

Serving suggestions;

– On its own

– Pop it in the freezer for an hour and there you have a low calorie ice-cream 😉

 

 3. Walkers Sunbites Wholegrain Popcorn
 
Nutritional information per 15g bag:

59 calories

1g of fat

9g of carbohydrates

1g of protein

 

These are available in 3 flavours – Sweet & Salty, Sweet Caramel and Lightly Sea Salted so there is a flavour for every popcorn preference.

Where can you find them?

Most supermarkets now have these in multipacks of six and they cost around €2.

Serving suggestions;

– As a quick easy go to snack

– Sprinkle over yogurt and fruit to add a crunchy texture.

 

 

 4. Kelkin 100 Cal Snack Pack Popcorn
 
Nutritional information per 32g bag:

100 calories

3g of fat

14g of carbohydrates

3g of protein

Love microwave popcorn but hate the high calories?? This is a perfect solution to enable you to control your calorie intake, popping only a single serving so you don’t indulge in a large bag all by yourself!

Where can you find this?

This product is available in most supermarkets in packs of four and costs about €2.70.

Serving suggestion: 

– Instead of Cinema popcorn which can pack up to 900 calories!!!

 

 

 5. HB Twister
 
Nutritional information per 72g ice pop:

70 calories

1g of fat

16g of carbohydrates

1g of protein

Choose between the original flavour of pear and strawberry ice with a vanilla ice-cream centre or try the newer  strawberry and blackcurrant edition.

Where can you find them?

Every petrol station in Ireland should have them and they cost about €1. You can also buy mini version multipacks in large chain supermarkets if you want to save even more calories.

Serving suggestions;

– To cool down on a hot Summer’s day

 6. Velvet Crunch Gourmet Bites
 
Nutritional information per 20g bag:

85 calories

2g of fat

16g of carbohydrates

0g of protein

These crisp alternatives contain 60% less saturated fat than standard crisps. Made from tapioca and cassava, they taste like mini flavoured rice cakes and are air popped rather than fried. They come in a variety of flavours such as Salt & Balsamic Vinegar, Thai Chilli & Aromatic Sweet Basil and Mature Cheddar & Onion.

Where can you find these?

These are available in most large supermarkets and cost about €2.70 for a packet of six.

Serving suggestions; 

– On it’s own.

– With fruit.

– Topping on pancakes

 

 7. Müller Light Greek Style Yogurt
 
Nutritional information per 120g pot:

76 calories

1g of fat

8g of carbohydrates

6g of protein

These little pots from the Müller Light range come in a variety of flavours such as Coconut & Vanilla, Lemon, Strawberry, Mango and Rasperry. Very low in carbs compared to other yogurts in this range.

Where can you find this?

Most large supermarkets in packs of four for about €2.50.

Serving suggestions;

– On its own as a snack

– Pop it in freezer for an hour or two to make ice-cream

– Over pancakes as a low calorie alternative to cream

8.  McVitie’s Digestive Thins
 
Nutritional information per thin:

31 calories

1.5g of fat

4g of carbohydrates

.5g of protein

With just 31 calories per biscuit, you can afford to have three of these to stay under the 100 calorie mark. They come in three flavours – Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate and Milk Chocolate Cappuccino. Perfect for  someone who loves a biscuit with their cup of tea.

Serving suggestions; 

– with a cup of tea or coffee

– crumbled up over pancakes or yogurt

 9. Curly Wurly
 
Nutritional information per 26g bar:

115 calories

5g of fat

18g of carbohydrates

1g of protein

Just a little over the 100 calorie mark but it is quite a big bar for such few calories.

Where can you find this?

Most supermarkets and petrol stations for less than a €1.

Serving suggestions; 

– Instead of most other chocolate bars which contain a LOT more calories.

 

 10. HB Vanilla Ice-Cream Block
 
Nutritional information per 2 scoop serving (48g):

83 calories

3 grams of fat

11g of carbohydrates

2g of protein

Its no Ben & Jerry’s but this is definitely a great option for someone who loves ice-cream and wants to be able to fit it in to their diet on a regular basis.

Where can you find this? 

Available from nearly any supermarket for about €1.50.

Serving suggestions; 

– with some calorie free syrup and fresh fruit to make a low calorie sundae.

– In between two Digestive Thins to make an ice-cream sandwich

 

Give these products a try and let me know how you find them! If you think anyone could benefit from reading this, feel free to share it with them.

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