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Anyone want to join me in good old, sensible healthy eating?

(65 Posts)
DrRanj Sat 29-Dec-12 09:43:25

In the new year I plan to eat healthily and lose weight using a very conventional and balanced diet plan based on this advice given by the British dietetic association, and a booklet that can be downloaded here from the British heart foundation.

Basically, you eat a set number of portions of different types of food to ensure you get a balanced diet with a small calorie deficit for slow and steady weight loss.

All fairly no nonsense and fad free!

I don't want this thread to turn into one where people try and sell low carbing or fasting, I have tried all these things and now I want to try it this way, for various reasons. I am a vegetarian for one, and this way of eating tends to suit me better!

I am hoping to increase my exercise too, I tend to go running. smile

DrRanj Sat 19-Jan-13 20:21:45

New thread!

Let's see if we can keep that one alive and maybe get some more people to join us! smile

DrRanj Sat 19-Jan-13 19:30:37

And I may just neaten it up a bit, copied from a word doc!

DrRanj Sat 19-Jan-13 19:27:30

I've put together all the serving sizes from resource together. I may post this at the beginning of a shiny new thread:

Daily calorie ranges and servings from each group

Starchy: 6-7
Fruit: 3
Vegetables: 3-4
Milk/Dairy: 2-3
Meat/alternatives: 2
Fat: 3

Starchy - bread, other cereals and potatoes

A serving is:
• 1 slice of bread or toast
• ½ bread roll/bagel (plain or cinnamon & raisin)
• 2 crispbreads
• 3 small crackers
• ½ pitta or 1 mini pitta
• 1 small chapatti
• 3 tablespoons (tbsp.) breakfast cereal
• 2 tblsp museli
• 3 tbsp. dry porridge oats
• 1 shredded wheat or weetabix
• 2 egg-sized potatoes or 1 medium potato, half jacket potato, or 6 oven chips, 100g uncooked
• 2 egg sized pieces of yam, boiled, or 1.5 inch thick slice/100g
• 2 heaped tbsp./third of a cup cooked rice or barley (25g uncooked)
• 3 heaped tbsp./half a cup of boiled pasta (25g uncooked)
• 3 heaped tblsp boiled noodles, 25g uncooked
• 1 small plain naan bread
• 1 small chapatti
• 1 medium plantain
• 2 small oat cakes
• 1 plain/digestive biscuit
• 1 crumpet/pikelet
• ½ English muffin
• ½ fruit or plain scone
• 1 scotch pancake
• 1 small slice malt loaf
• 3 cups plain popcorn
• 1 small corn on the cob
• 1 small tortilla
• Half a medium pita or tortilla wrap
• 3-4 rye crisp breads or rice cakes
• 3 heaped tablespoons beans, lentils or sweetcorn

• Aim for at least 2 servings at each meal
• Choose wholemeal/high fibre varieties whenever possible
Fruit and Vegetables

A serving is basically 80g or:
A serving of fruit is:
• Half a large grapefruit
• 2-3 small pieces of fruit e.g. plums, apricots, satsumas
• 1 handful of grapes
• 1 medium banana
• 7 strawberries
• 3 heaped tbsp. fruit (stewed or tinned in juice)
• 1 small glass unsweetened fruit juice (150ml)- maximum 1 portion a day
• 1 heaped tbsp. dried fruit e.g. raisins, or 3 dried apricots (maximum 1 portion per day)
• 1 medium piece of fruit such as apple, orange, pear, peach
• 1 cupful/handful of berries/grapes/lychees
• 2 small fruit such as Satsumas, plums
• 1 large slice of a large fruit such as melon or pineapple
A serving of vegetables is:
• 3 heaped tbsp. any cooked vegetables e.g. carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, mushrooms, tomatoes, leeks, swede, courgettes, broccoli, french beans, peppers, peas or sweetcorn - fresh, frozen or canned
• 1 mixed side salad (the size of a cereal bowl)
• 1-2 tomatoes, 7 cherry tomatoes (about a handful)
• Three heaped tablespoons of baked beans, haricot beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, butter beans or chickpeas. However much you eat, beans and pulses count as a maximum of one portion of vegetables a day
• 1 portion of low fat tomato sauce for pasta or on toast

• Frozen or canned vegetables and fruit are good options too
• Vegetables are low calorie foods - aim to fill at least ½ your plate with them at main meals
• Fruit makes a good snack at any time
• For more about serving sizes of fruit and vegetables for good health, go to the 5 A Day section on the Department of Health's website at:
Meat, Fish and Alternatives

A serving is:
• 60-100g (2-4oz)/3 slices cooked lean beef, pork, lamb, mince, chicken, turkey or oily fish (salmon, mackerel and sardines) (size of pack of cards)
• 75-140g (2 ½ - 4 ½ oz) raw meat, poultry or oily fish
• 3 fish fingers
• 2 thin slices of lean cold meat
• 150g (5oz) of cooked white fish (size of a cheque book), seafood or canned tuna (in brine or spring water)
• 2 eggs
• 5 tbsp./1/2 large tin/1 small tin baked beans (choose low sugar/salt if possible)
• 4-5 tbsp. cooked peas, beans/pulses/lentils or dahl
• 120 -150g (4-5 oz) of soya, tofu or quorn
• 150g (6oz) of Bolognese sauce or chilli
• 35g (1.4)oz/2 level tblsp of nuts, seeds or nut butter
• 75g (3)oz reduced fat houmous

Note: Uncooked weights for meat, poultry and fish will be 25-30 per cent bigger.
• Try to have 1 serving of oily fish each week for good health
• Lower the fat content of main meals by replacing some meat with beans and pulses e.g. in casseroles, soups, pasta dishes and curries
• Note that the serving sizes for peas/beans etc. are different to the fruit and vegetables section, as they are included for their protein content here.
Milk and dairy foods

serving is:
• 300ml (1/2 pint) skimmed or 200ml (1/3 pint) semi skimmed milk or fortified Soya milk
• 1 small pot/150g of low fat /diet yogurt / fromage frais/soya dessert
• 1 small matchbox size (30g / 1oz) cheddar or other hard cheese (brie, camembert, edam, smoked Austrian) (size of a small matchbox)
• 45g (1 ½ oz) of half-fat cheese
• 90g (3oz)/2 heaped tblsp/1 small pot of cottage cheese
• 200g/1 large pot low fat cottage cheese
• 60-80g (3oz) of low fat soft cheese
• 50-80g (3oz) half fat soft cheese

• Use smaller amounts of stronger-flavoured cheese in cooking
• Skimmed and semi-skimmed milk contain just as much calcium as full-fat milk
• Check labels for fat and calorie content. Remember that less than 3g fat per 100g is low fat.
Fat and oils

A serving is:
• 1 tsp. nut butters
• 1 tsp. double cream
• 1 tsp. tahini
• 2 tsp. reduced fat spread / reduced calorie dressing
• 1 tsp mayonnaise
• 1 tsp blue cheese dressing
• 2 tsp. reduced-fat mayonnaise or low-fat dressing
• 1 tblsp salad cream/ 2 tblsp reduced fat salad cream
• 2 tsp double cream/5 tsp single cream
• 2-3 tsp. soured cream or half-fat crème fraiche
• 1 teaspoon of oil, spread, margarine, butter or mayonnaise (size of small postage stamp)
• 2 tablespoons of fat-free dressings
• 1 tblsp gravy or white sauce made with fat and flour base (roux)
• 4 tblsp gravy or white sauce (made with cornflour, no fat added)
• Choose a reduced fat/low fat spread
• Always measure out your oil (1 teaspoon per person per recipe) and choose a polyunsaturated or monounsaturated variety ( e.g. olive, rapeseed, corn, soya )
• Replace cream/crème fraiche in cooking with low-fat yogurt or fromage frais

Choose mainly fruit, vegetables or starchy-based snacks for good health.

Snacks around 50 calories
• 1 plain biscuit
• 1 medium piece of fruit
• 2 crackers/crispbreads
• Small pot of 'diet' yogurt or fromage frais
• 1 serving of 'slim' soup
• 1 serving of low calorie hot chocolate drink
• Raw vegetable crudités with 30g (1oz) low fat cream cheese or 2 tablespoons salsa
• 1 meringue nest
• 1 packet sugar free polo mints
• 1 pub measure spirits
Snacks around 100 calories
• 2 pieces of fruit
• 2 rice cakes with reduced fat spread and honey
• 1 cereal bar
• 1 fun-sized chocolate bar
• 2 plain biscuits
• 1 plain or chocolate digestive style biscuit
• 30g (1oz) boiled sweets or wine gums
• 1 small packet of lower fat crisps
• 1 small tube/bag of sweets
• 1 crumpet with reduced sugar jam/honey
• ½ bread muffin with reduced fat spread
• 1 slice of toast with reduced fat spread and yeast extract (or other extra starch serving)
• 1 large pub measure of spirit with diet mixer
• 150 ml glass of wine
• ½ pint ordinary strength lager/beer
• Small pot of yoghurt or one other dairy serving
• 2 crisp bread with 50g/20z tuna or thinly spread peanut butter or half fat soft cheese
• 1 crisp bread with 1 level tablespoon hummus
• 25g/1oz nuts and raisins
• 1 mini fruit bun, small cereal bar, mini chocolate bar or chocolate biscuit
• Small bag of savoury snacks (around 100 calories)
• 25ml liqueur
• 1 small scoop of ice cream

• Snacks around 150 calories
• 2 small slices toast with low-fat spread
• 1 fruit bun or scone
• 1 English bread muffin with scraping of jam
• 1 bread roll
• 1 small slice of cake (50g)
• 1 potato scone
• 150g pot of low-fat yogurt, custard or rice pudding
• 1 small packet of crisps (25g)
• 1 small chocolate bar (30g/1oz)
• 1 chocolate biscuit
Snacks around 200 calories
• 2 slices bread or toast (with spread from allowance)
• or any 2 other starchy food or dairy food servings
• 2 crackers with 30g (1oz) cheese
• 3 tbsp. breakfast cereal with 1/3 pint semi skimmed milk
• 1 plain or fruit scone
• 2 fun-sized chocolate bars
• Mini pork pie
• 1 small slice fruit cake or sponge cake
• 1 pint ordinary strength beer/lager
If you choose ready prepared items:
Ready made sandwiches or snack meals - choose one with around 300 calories
Ready meals - to have in place of a main meal. Choose meals with around 400 calories and serve with plenty of extra vegetables or salad.
Have at least 6 to 8 drinks over the day. Choose from: water, mineral water, sugar free squashes and soft drinks, herbal tea, tea or coffee with milk from exchange lists.

Enhance the natural flavours of your cooking with herbs, spices, garlic, chilli, lemon or lime juice, flavoured vinegars, tomato puree, a well flavoured stock, a splash of wine, soya sauce, hot pepper sauce, teriyaki sauce, capers, a few olives and mustards.
While the eating plan is well balanced, a one a day multivitamin and mineral supplement (which provides amounts close to the Recommended Daily Allowance) can be a good 'insurance policy' for eating plans with less than 1900 calories.

DrRanj Tue 15-Jan-13 18:30:16

My weight fluctuates a lot too velo! I weighed in on Monday and have lost 4lbs, but it had been up to 6 at other points in the week. I am going to just weigh myself once a week from now on!

I tend to just keep track of portions in my head, or write them down as a note on my iPhone.

Velo Tue 15-Jan-13 15:09:38

OK - I'm still around and getting myself organised. Exercise at the moment is a bit of a challenge but I'll be back at work after maternity leave in a couple of weeks so the cycling will kick in again. How are you tracking your portions? After a bit of thinking I've decided just to keep a tally in a notebook with a mark per portion (rather than writing down what I eat). Hopefully this will keep things simple. Weigh-in is on a Sunday but I'm still breastfeeding and weight fluctuates alot (does anyone else have this?)

Poppyboom Sun 13-Jan-13 18:21:36

Sounds great! smile

DrRanj Sun 13-Jan-13 07:04:56

Welcome poppy!

I am currently working on a unified plan that I am going to cut and paste onto the thread, may not be finished today because I have an assignment deadline tomorrow!

But when it is finished shall I start a new thread so that the "rules" are the first post?

Poppyboom Sun 13-Jan-13 03:46:53

Hello, you fabulous, sensible people. I hope you don't mind if I join you! My problem is that I have always been something of a greedyus gutsus officinalis but have managed to get away with it, size/ weight-wise as I have exercised to compensate; but now that I have DS (2 y), I am struggling to work exercise into my day, I still eat like there's no tomorrow, and am a whale somewhat larger than before. So pleased to find your thread smile thanks

anothertiredmum Sat 12-Jan-13 22:43:13

Thanks I will do the 5K guardian running prog plus swim once a week. I will try to regulate my food too so hopefully I should be fitter by the summer and feeling more energy.

DrRanj Fri 11-Jan-13 20:23:12

That's brilliant! Do a couch to 5k programm or something similar and you will be running in no time...

anothertiredmum Fri 11-Jan-13 16:10:10

ooops, I just registered for a 10K in July to fundraise for Great Ormond Street Hospital.... I cannot run for toffee (but I will for money!)

DrRanj Wed 09-Jan-13 19:26:27

Hey velo, welcome! grin

Velo Wed 09-Jan-13 14:51:59

OH - and my current BMI is 26...

Velo Wed 09-Jan-13 14:50:10

I'd like to join in as well. TTC and baby weight to loose - tried WW but it wasn't working for me. Added incentive is that money is a bit tight at the moment so no option but to slim back into pre-baby wardrobe. Day 1 will be tomorrow...

DrRanj Tue 08-Jan-13 20:14:06

There are some good snack ideas on that website flipflopper...

DrRanj Tue 08-Jan-13 20:13:08

Hi everyone! Another good day for me today, I was naughty this morning and weighed myself and apparently I've already lost over 5 lbs, but I realise that's probably a bit inaccurate!

Found another useful website with more portion sizes on there. I may cut and paste them all together so we cover lots of foods, and perhaps post them on the thread...

DrRanj Mon 07-Jan-13 18:20:16

Thanks mcpie for providing that info on carbs, far easier than measuring out tablespoons of cooked pasta! I also tend to use 80g as a fruit/veg serving. Have you seen how much 80g of lettuce is?!

Congrats on your loss btw!

So started today. Weighed in at 11st 12.5blush. Was dd's bday party yesterday and I was up all night finishing an assignment and finishing the leftovers!

Have stuck to it today so far. Which is a miracle considering how knackered I've been! Going to have my tea and then off to me for me, so I won't be tempted to cheat!! smile

flipflopper Mon 07-Jan-13 14:45:32

Hi all, i'm in too! Had dd3 in sept, and am now my heaviest i've ever been- nearly in a size 16 at 12st9lb.
Started last week just eating healthy and cutting out the crap. I really love my food, so it's hard, but i have noticed that when i am wanting to snack, i'm not actually hungry, my mouth just wants to chew something! So i've managed to stop myself.
I've got an awful photo of myself looking really chubby, so i'm going to stick it on the fridge door!

Can anyone give ideas for healthy snacks? I've been having loads of fruit, prob too much (yesterday had 3 bananas) and ive got go ahead bars in the cupoard, but i know fruit has a lot of sugar, and not sure what's in the diet biscuits!

Also, i am ebf baby dd, so i dont want to starve myself too much! x

anothertiredmum Sun 06-Jan-13 23:15:16

Thanks MCPie, I will look into it as I am seeing my GP on Thurs.

McPie Sun 06-Jan-13 11:05:26

I started out at 15 stone 7lb (BMI was 37.5) and I mentioned it again and again to the Drs that I was unhappy and struggling and eventually one nice Dr suggested a vist to the nurse for diet advice.
Once there she went through my diet and couldnt find much wrong with it and wanted to send me to a dietician as I have problems with wheat and dairy but I didnt fall under their remit.
I was referred to the nurse in the practice that does the Counterweight plan and started it at the end of july.
The only difference to the 1st link in the OP is that its not a one amount for all, its tailored to what you weigh so I got 9 starch, 3 meat, 3 dairy, 2 fat, 4 fruit and 4 veg along with 140cal snack allowance.
They give you booklets each visit to help with any issues you may have relating to food and excersice and I also got referred to a plan the council do in september where you get to go the classes or the gym for £1 a time for the 1st 12 weeks, I used it so much that it was better to set me up on the DD plan and get the next 6 months at £10.40 each month smile rather than continue the £1 a class.
I think all you can do is ask if they run such programme at your own surgery and if not then I would reccomend the 1st plan but I have noticed that their fat servings are half of what Im allowed so they say 1 tsp marg/oil and mine says 2 tsp, light mayo/salad cream gets me 4 tsp. A serving of rice/pasta is 25g uncooked, potatoes is 100g uncooked, cereal is 30-45g, 1/2 a pitta, roll/bagel, naan, english muffin, scone counts as 1 serving and I go with a 80g as a serving of fruit and veg. NHS Choices has good information on portion sizes for fruit and veg.

anothertiredmum Sat 05-Jan-13 19:25:58

Hi McPie That sounds great and very doable. How come you got the support of a nurse (I hope I am not indiscreet)? Did you get the plan from the nurse? I lost weight ages ago when I lived in France, and I went to see the GP every month, I found that it really helped but I did not know that kind of support was available here. I may talk to my GP.

McPie Sat 05-Jan-13 13:04:42

I have been following that exact plan, but under a different name, with the support of a nurse since the end of july last year and have lost 15.7kg (2 stone 7).
I find it very easy to do and dont tend to cheat, still have my wine and crisps on a saturday night or life would be beyond boring. Its really just going back to basics and dumping processed foods and making things from scratch.
Sample days food could be Breakfast 2 eggs with 2 slices wheat free toast and 4 tsp light mayo and a banana, lunch 50g pasta with prawns, mayo, lactosfree cheese and salad with fruit and fat free greek yogurt and dinner curry made with lean mince or chicken chopped tomato, onion, mushrooms and spices served with 75g rice.
I visit the nurse on wednesday for the first time in 3 months (after seeing her every 2 weeks for the 1st 12) and I am 9.2kg less than the last time I visited her, still have time to lose that last 0.8kg.
I would say if like me you struggled to lose weight on low calorie diets then give this one a try as I never once thought I could lose weight eating 2000 calories a day. I have dropped 2 starches and a fruit as I was struggling to eat it every day.

DrRanj Sat 05-Jan-13 10:44:05

Hi all! Sorry I've been off the radar these past few days. I ended up being really ill! Think it must have been Noro or something, basically spent 2 days vomiting. Felt better yesterday, and it was dd's birthday so went out for lunch etc so ate a lot of not so good stuff because I was so grateful to be feeling better! Still feeling a bit weak and wobbly, and it is dd's party tomorrow, so think I'm going to start back properly on Monday. Bit of a cop out I know, but I just feel mentally I'll be in a better place to get on it on Monday so to speak! I just hope I don't put too much on today and tomorrow!grin

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Sat 05-Jan-13 09:47:19

I'm going to try and eat less processed foods. I think my main craving is cheese and crackers. Need to buy yoghurt and nice fruit for treats!

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Sat 05-Jan-13 09:44:40

I finally started yesterday. I'm going to record on mfp just to make me more aware of what I'm eating. I can't believe how heavy I am. I gave birth a year ago and I'm back at that weight :-( it's going to take forever to lose.

Last night I fancied a digestive and managed to have half instead. It's a start . . .

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