Friday, 28 January 2011

Deceptive meals

Let me show you some pictures of some of my main meals while on my self-invented (but strictly calorie-controlled) diet. Some of them are more calorie-rich than others, but none exceed 737 kcal, and the lowest pumps only 376 kcal into me.

Here's the 737 kcal meal:

That's four rashers of best back bacon, some fusili pasta with basil pesto, spinach, and a blob of tomato ketchup. The pesto was the spoiler, contributing 150 kcal all by itself. A very quick, tasty meal though.

The next highest in calories was this slow-cooked casserole featuring stewing steak, sweet potato, onions, mushrooms and green beans. This bloated me out till I went pop, very satisfying, and yet it was only 637 kcal:

Next up is this lunchtime salad (yes, a salad) at 607 kcal, based around a 180g tin of red salmon. The spoilers here were the blob of mayonnaise, which added 144 kcal, and (surprisingly) the apple, which added 136 kcal:

Now it begins to get a little saner. This meal, with two sea bass fillets, potato, green beans with french dressing, and a blob of tomato ketchup, was only 581 kcals:

Dropping rapidly down into the guilt-free zone, this next meal of chicken breast, potato, baked mushroom, asparagus with french dressing, plus the usual blob of tomato ketchup was only 504 kcal:

At 493 kcal here's amother chicken meal with potato, carrots and sugar snap peas, this time in gravy:

And finally, slimmer's Nirvana with one fillet of hake, potato and broccoli, and (guess what) that good old blob of tomato ketchup. Only 376 kcal:

The secret there was to have only one fillet of fish, not two. Pity I mangled the hake when getting it onto the plate!

I suppose what I'm trying to demonstrate is that your main daily meal can be attractive and hearty and nutritious, and yet still not blow the diet. I think you're wasting your money if you buy shop-bought slimmer's meals, exercise machines, and weightwatching club membership. Just eat main meals like this, substantially cooked using fresh ingredients.

Plan your daily calorie intake around your main meal. Make sure you eat something for breakfast and lunch, late afternoon if you really need to, and late at night if you really need to, bearing in mind that once asleep you're inactive and not burning up any calories to speak of. Regular food intake, however token, staves off hunger and avoids bingeing. Drink tea or black coffee or water at regular intervals. Keep away from sugary snacks and drinks, and also chocolate - a tremendously difficult thing to do if you're hooked on these things, I know.

Anyway, I thought you'd like to see what my diet-meals are really like, and why I think I can keep my diet up for as long as I want!


  1. I'm shocked, I didn't take Lucy to be a ketchup girl!

    You must still be loaded if you can afford to sea bass on one plate. I thought it was only the Spanish who liked hake. Chicken really is our friend when they're trying to control our calorie intake.

    Wise words here, congratulations on willpower.

    Caroline xxx

  2. I love ketchup, but here I see it on plates I never would have expected to see it. :)

    You're doing the same sort of thing that Jenny Craig meals do, except you're making them yourself -- and they're probably tastier. They look great!

    Have you learned to eat more slowly? Or were you always good with that? Apparently, if we eat too quickly, our shut-off signal comes too late, after we've gone past that point. Eating more slowly let's the natural shut-off work. Would that I were better at this!

  3. They look appetising and colourful! Congratulations on doing so well and your inventivness. We eat a lot of chicken.

    I love the tray!

  4. @ Caroline and Ariel:
    Now what's this with tomato ketchup? I'd never dream of plopping it onto my plate in a posh restaurant, nor mixing it with gravy, but at home it adds colour and flavour to meat and fish dishes, and a medium-sized blob is only 6 calories. That seems OK to me!

    I am in fact eating more slowly nowadays - it goes with the 'sophisticated woman' image I like to project in public ('like to project' doesn't necessarily translate into 'succeed in projecting' but never mind!), and it's become a habit, even at home in front of the telly, with a tray on my lap! But thanks for explaining the science behind it!

    Yes, I can afford nice foods, and I'm happy to spend money on them if it livens up the diet. I give good, attractive, nutritious food, healthily prepared, a very high priority, far more than anything else. Food is a very interesting subject, and one of life's pleasures. And although running my car is also both a priority and a pleasure, I don't throw my pennies away on Sky TV subscriptions, computer gaming, boozing, smoking and Lotto - so why not the odd sea bass or fillet steak?

    @ Anji:
    Chicken and (in moderation) fish do seem to be the key elements in a successful slimming regime. But of course it helps if you love vegetables. Let me see: in these photos alone, and ignoring the salad stuff, I count nine different kinds of vegetable - two kinds of potato, carrot, onion, mushroom, green beans, peas, spinach and asparagus. I also like parsnips, courgettes, artichokes, aubergines, broad beans, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and leeks. Not all of these would be especially low-calorie options, mainly due to the way they might be cooked. However if really pushed I could live on vegetables alone and still have plenty of variety. With the occasional avocado as a treat!

    The tray has a lovely blue-china design, hasn't it? Also a squashy base filled with polystyrene balls so that it rests securely on your lap. I originally bought it for the caravan, but found it too good not to use at home.


  5. I love the pictures and descriptions, Lucy. I lost 60 pounds about 4 years ago using a similar method and have managed to keep all of that 60 pounds in the distant past.

    It does take will power to just limit how much you eat and you clearly have it!

    Oh, and I love ketchup!

    Calie xxx


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