- Diet & Weight Loss
Easy Low Fat Foods
Low Fat Diets - My Experience
I have to tell you that I am not a serial dieter. I don't really and haven't ever had a significant weight problem it's just that sometimes, over a period of a few years, I realise that I haven't been watching what I have been eating, or doing enough exercise and I suddenly realise that I am a size 14 (UK) when I should really be a size 12 or 10. So when I get to this point I know that it is time for me to get back on the low fat diet and make sure I am just eating low fat foods.
The last time I did this was a couple of years ago now and I lost 11 Kg in around 4 months. So I didn't try and do this really quickly but instead took my time and allowed myself a few leniences in between but whatever I ate, it was in my low fat foods list.
Low fat diets may not work for everyone - I know a lot of people like to lose weight by calorie counting, weight watchers points etc etc but I liked this one because it meant that I could eat some things that I would normally consider naughty but were OK on this low fat diet.
Low Fat Foods
The essence of what I did though was this (and I recall this being told to me by someone about 10 years ago who could have got it from a book that I don't know the name of so I am not claiming this method as my own, just that it works for me!):
1. You can eat as much as you like of low fat food i.e. food that contains less than 5% fat.
2. You can occasionally treat yourself to limited amounts of food that contain less than 10% fat.
3. You are really not allowed anything that contains more than 10% fat but if you are going out, eating at a friends etc then you have to let yourself get away with this.
That is really the long and short of it so all you have to do is to start reading the fat content of everything you buy and checking that you are buying low fat foods!
In addition to this low fat diet, when I lost the 11kg, I also did twice weekly classes in Pilates - not a greatly energetic sport in terms of cardio fitness but this does really push you and use some muscles that you didn't know you had! In fact it really helps stomach and back muscles so is a good form of exercise for pretty much anyone.
Low Fat Foods
Examples Of Low Fat Foods
So, most often I would cook myself for dinner or lunch something like the following:
- Grilled or oven baked chicken or fish. You can just sprinkle some herbs on to add flavour plus seasoning and lemon juice. See my recipe for Oven Baked Salmon for more details.
- With the above I would either have boiled or steamed vegetables or salad - there are plenty of options for low fat dressings out there some of which even taste OK!
- Other meats can also be low fat if they are very lean cuts - check the packaging but generally go for chicken and fish and you should be safe with good cuts.
Generally the main things that are low fat foods are fruits and vegetables so have as many of those as you like. Potatoes are also low fat and you can boil these or even make a low fat mash to go with your food. I often also had couscous as part of my meals - but don't add any extra butter for flavouring!
There are some things that would probably not be allowed in other diets that I found great to be able to have with a low fat one - marshmallows were my favourite treat and contain virtually no fat at all. Also pretzel chips (depending on the brand) usually contain less than 5% of fat so that was a good way to get my chip/crisp fix!
There are plenty of sweets that are low fat foods too - like wine gums, fruit pastilles etc, but obviously it is good not to go overboard with these! Plus there is jam, marmite, honey, marmalade etc so it is just a question fo finding something to put these on to eat them with.
There are also plenty of low fat breakfast cereals available - again check the boxes but two of my favourites were Special K and Weetabix. Make sure you have skimmed milk and you are laughing. Then you can get low fat yoghurts and desserts and it almost seems like you are not on a diet at all!
Eating low fat foods really helped me and I will keep going back to this method if ever I need to shift a few extra pounds.
My Low Fat Shopping List
So these are a bunch of foods that would more often than not be on my low fat weekly shopping list:
- chicken breasts
- any fresh fish
- and fruits and vegetables
- plenty of salad
- skimmed or low fat milk
- low fat yoghurts
- low fat ice cream
- dried fruit
- mashed potato
- lean cuts of meat e.g steak
- milkshake powders
- lean bacon
- cous cous
- pretzels (the salted, crunchy kind!)