Cook your­self thin

The sec­ond se­ries of Cook Your­self Thin be­gins on Chan­nel 4, June 7

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Food & Drink -

IT is no se­cret that many women would like to lose half a stone in or­der to un­leash their in­ner model. But now it seems ladies not only want to tam­per with their own sil­hou­ette, but that of their part­ner’s. Nearly a third of women ad­mit­ted in a re­cent new sur­vey com­mis­sioned by The Atkins Diet that they have in­sisted their part­ner loses weight. And around one in eight have also sneak­ily put their hus­band or boyfriend on a diet with­out telling them. But just how easy would it be to change a per­son’s eat­ing habits with­out their knowl­edge, or spoil­ing their din­ner?

Very easy, if the ap­proach of pre­sen­ter and chef, Gizzi Ersk­ine, is to be be­lieved.

As the sec­ond se­ries of Cook Your­self Thin hits our screens on June 7, she ex­plains that any house­hold can lower its calo­rie in­take and still en­joy their food. “When we did the last se­ries, we fo­cused on do­ing lower fat ver­sions of dishes, like a low-fat lasagne,” the 30-year-old pre­sen­ter ex­plains. “But at the end of the day, the low-fat ver­sion doesn’t al­ways taste as good, so now we’re think­ing: What could peo­ple eat in­stead along the same theme?”

Through­out the 15-episode se­ries, for­mer body piercer Gizzi takes on the most ar­dent fat fans, and en­cour­ages them to move their taste buds on.

“One guy only ate deep fried food, or things cooked in an inch of oil. He was from north- ern Cyprus, and that was just how he cooked. He wasn’t eat­ing veg­eta­bles, and loved fish and chips.”

Gizzi, whose Six­ties-style hair and dark brown eyes won over view­ers last time round, said that the only way to al­ter the man’s diet, was to in­tro­duce some new dishes.

In­stead of at­tempt­ing to make a low-calo­rie ver­sion of fish ‘n’ chips, which she ad­mits “wouldn’t be a patch on the real thing”, she took in­spi­ra­tion from Asian cook­ing.

“In Ja­pan, you’ve got tem­pura. These are usu­ally bat­tered veg­gies and fish. They are nat­u­rally lower in fat be­cause they use thin­ner bat­ter, and are also served with rice, rather than deep-fried chips.”

While a por­tion of fish ‘n’ chips with mushy peas and tar­tar sauce, can come in at 1200 calo­ries, a big por­tion of tem­pura, with rice, and dip­ping sauce, adds up to a com­par­a­tively small 450 calo­ries per serv­ing.

Gizzi says that there’s usu­ally a de­li­cious al­ter­na­tive to your favourite foods.

“If you’re a mas­sive fan of Chi­nese, then you could try Dim Sum, or Viet­namese food. For me, this se­ries is about open­ing peo­ple’s eyes, show­ing them what you can eat, not what you can’t eat.”

And if you still can’t shift the weight, or get your part­ner to change their diet, Gizzi also knows a few tricks.

You can sub­sti­tute high-fat in­gre­di­ents for low-fat ones, she ex­plains.

“I make a choco­late truf­fle cake, where the only fat comes from eggs and al­monds.

“I use fruc­tose sugar and to bind the mix­ture, add boiled orange. This cre­ates a sticky mar­mal­ady sub­stance and makes the most moist fudge cake you’ll ever get your hands on. “I swear no one can tell the dif­fer­ence!” Claim­ing that she also makes brown­ies with sweet pota­toes, it’s clear Gizzi is se­ri­ously imag­i­na­tive when it comes to food.

“Us­ing sweet pota­toes means you don’t have to add the sugar. And as long as you use proper choco­late, which dis­guises the taste of the sweet potato, it cre­ates a fan­tas­tic tex­ture.”

Here is one of her calo­rie-bust­ing recipes...

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