Dietician Brigitte Leclercq answers a few common questions about this diet:
Do I count kilojoules on this diet?
Yes, you need to watch your kilojoule intake and increase your exercise if you want to lose weight. Most of the free vegetables (lettuce, spinach, cucumber, tomato, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, Brussels sprouts, bean sprouts, cabbage, mangetout, green beans, mushrooms, gem squash, patty pans, baby marrows, peppers, leeks, radishes and spring onions) will fill you up and make it easier to limit the kilojoule intake of other foods. Keep nutrition in mind when making food choices – a big, filling bowl of vegetable soup has about the same kilojoule count as a bite of a cheeseburger!
Will I have enough energy on this diet?
Yes, if you stick to eating regular meals. The Eat More, Weigh Less diet contains abundant vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients because of the large portions of fruit, salads and vegetables. Vitamin B (found in most fruit, vegetables and wholegrains) helps give us energy.
Is this diet good for my health?
This is a balanced diet that’s filling for the whole family. The recipe for a healthy lifestyle includes a healthy balanced diet that has adequate amounts of all the food groups. Make sure you always have breakfast to avoid midafternoon slumps and weight gain, adequate exercise (mild to moderate activities such as walking, running, cycling, hiking for at least 30 to 60 minutes per day), a good night’s rest – seven to eight hours uninterrupted sleep and manage your stress.
Why are no food groups eliminated?
No one type of food can provide all the nutrients that the body needs. That’s why it’s recommended you include a variety of food in your diet from all the different food groups.
Cutting out carbohydrates, especially complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, can put you at risk of vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Carbs are also a great source of fibre, known to help prevent a number of diseases and helps you to feel fuller for longer – which is important if you are trying to lose weight. If your carbohydrate intake is too low it can make you feel tired and affect your performance.
A low fat intake can put you at risk of deficiency of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A,D, E and K; which could lead to symptoms such as night blindness, bone abnormalities and problems with blood clotting.
Is this diet sustainable?
Yes, because no food group is eliminated. It’s actually a lifestyle. The diet is based on tasty food that keeps you satisfied. You don’t have to forgo your favourite foods, simply find healthier versions. The eating plan is also flexible and you can, for example, replace the cottage cheese with tofu or have macadamia nut butter instead of salt- and sugar-free peanut butter.
What can you drink and can you have alcohol?
Aim for eight glasses of water a day. Herbal teas can also be enjoyed freely as they don’t contain caffeine and add to your fluid intake for the day. Drink herbal teas hot or make an iced tea.
Alcohol is allowed in moderation but remember it’s high in kilojoules (especially cocktails) and doesn’t satisfy hunger. Always choose low-alcohol options or add ice to your glass to dilute your drink. Try not to have more than one drink a day (for women) or more than two drinks a day (for men) – that’s 125 ml wine, one tot spirits or half a regular beer.
Be sure to eat regular meals. Skipping meals could slow down your
metabolism and affect your