Simply Woman & Home

WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT?

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The Midlife Method is a four-week plan, designed to help reprogramm­e how we think about food and make the lifestyle adjustment­s necessary to manage our weight in the future. It comprises three main tools for healthy, sustainabl­e weight loss.

LIGHT DAYS Focus on using more calories than you consume by sticking to an 800-calorie limit. A minimum of three Light Days a week is required to see progress, however the four-week meal plan in the book starts with six Light Days in the first week while motivation is high, so as to achieve some rapid initial weight loss. The number of Light Days is then reduced gradually to three Light Days a week by week four.

REGULAR DAYS Focus on eating balanced and nutrient-dense food to ensure adequate nutrition and a healthy gut. Stick to a rough calorie allowance of 1,600 for women (2,000 for men), so as not to undo all the good work done on Light Days.

Eat well on Regular Days with these five practical techniques:

1 Eat with awareness Eat mindfully, not mindlessly.

2 Eat mainly ‘nutrifoods’ Choose delicious foods that provide maximum nutrition. Think wholefoods or foods that are minimally processed, including plenty of wholegrain­s, nuts, seeds, fruit, veg and good-quality lean protein.

3 Be calorie-aware Manage calorie intake without calorie-counting.

4 Mind the macros Achieve the optimum balance of fat, protein and carbs to support healthy weight loss.

5 Practise volume control Overeating is habitual – we can retrain our bodies to be satisfied with less food.

HEALTHY HABITS Exercise, decent sleep, stress management, alcohol moderation – all are critical pieces of the midlife health jigsaw puzzle to support your metabolism and physical wellbeing.

Serves 2 • Takes 40 minutes 1tsp olive oil

1 small red onion, finely sliced

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 large red pepper, chopped 400g can chopped tomatoes

½tsp dried chilli flakes, to taste ½tsp ground cumin

½tsp paprika

½tsp brown sugar a squeeze of lemon juice

100g baby spinach leaves 4 eggs

1 Place a medium-sized frying pan over a low heat and add the oil. Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and continue to sauté, then add the red pepper and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the tomatoes, chilli flakes, cumin, paprika, sugar and lemon juice, and simmer for a further 5-7 minutes until it starts to reduce. Stir in the spinach and allow to wilt down for a couple of minutes.

2 Make 4 evenly spaced wells in the tomato mixture and crack 1 egg into each. Season well with salt and pepper and cover the frying pan with a lid. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the egg whites are firm but the yolks still runny, and serve straight away.

Cals per serve: 242

TIP On a Regular Day, serve with a wholemeal pitta bread (1 pitta = 145 cals) to soak up the delicious sauce.

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