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Skinny foods and smaller dishes

Sun, 14 March, 2021

What To Cook: dinner ideas and recipes, quick and easy cakes, meat and vegetarian dishes.

Spring is coming, the way out of lockdown is almost visible so it’s time to shape up a bit. All those comfort dishes, the extra glasses of wine on school nights, the cakes I encouraged you to bake and the loaves of sourdough have left a very visible trace on out bodies. Especially around the waist.

And no amount of jogging and yoga is going to shift it – which I suspected all along. Exercise is absolutely essential for good health but it does zip squaddly to weight loss. Our perverse bodies regulate metabolism and fat storage, panicking if too much is burnt and doubling the efforts to store more. It’s all in the new book by a leading evolutionary biologist, Herman Pontzer, Burn: New Research Blows the Lid Off How We Really Burn Calories, Lose Weight, and Stay Healthy.

The book also repudiates any benefits of special diets including keto, paleo and even vegan. It’s what I have been saying all along: you’ve got to EAT LESS to lose weight, end of.

So let’s try skinny foods and smaller dishes this week; without hanging up your running boots but clearly aware of where their benefits do not lie. I’ll start with spicy prawns tonight with only a little plain rice on the side. You might prefer mussels in creamy sauce but go steady on fries with that.

I’ll have porridge for breakfast but skip the raisins and crème fraiche. I’ll make the savoury version as well, with radish and seeds.

Lunch is usually my no-recipe rabbit bowl: chopped radish, cucumber and tomatoes with an occasional half avocado, sprinkled with seed topping. If you need some more substance, consider avocado and red bean salad or smoked fish salad bowl.

I’ll prep my chicken and mozzarella no-pastry parcels for a couple of dinners and cook a vat of chucky chicken ratatouille for another couple of meals. For a veggie option try chickpea salad with peppers or courgette gratin. The beauty of vegetables – so much food, so few calories!

I could make some ham crisps for a snack as there’s going to be no cake. And if I’m really squirming for a sweet, carrot cake energy balls could provide relief.

Hope you join me in the efforts – after all it’s not long until the chocolate egg and hot cross bun season starts. Got to make some space within the waistline for those!