Undiet tips for the rest of your life

Have a look at these.  They seem to me to be common sense and they work.  Not overnight, but they work and they won’t make you feel deprived.  Small changes can have a huge impact on your life.  You don’t need to deprive yourself.  I first saw them in a programme on the BBC where medical journalist Michael Mosley tested them.  I’ve adapted them slightly.


  1. Don’t skip meals.  Research has shown that if you skip meals your body (that famine thing again – see Diets don’t work) thinks there is a food shortage and will start to crave fatty and sugary foods.  It needs high energy.  Test it out.  If you are really hungry a chicken salad doesn’t look as tempting as that doughnut, does it?
  2. Use smaller plate.  Simple but effective.  Portion control is a huge part of losing weight effectively.  Research has shown that if you give people a larger portion they will eat it, regardless of whether they feel full or not.  I can still hear my mother’s voice telling me I wasn’t leaving the table until I had cleaned my plate.   We all hate waste.  Just cook less and put less on the plate.
  3. Eat more slowly.  This can be difficult if you let yourself get starving hungry, so don’t skip meals.  Try it for yourself.  It is reckoned that it takes 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that you are full.  If you think you are still hungry wait 20 minutes before having seconds.
  4. Regulate your portions.  Similar to the second tip.  It’s no use using smaller plates if you pile on the same amount of food.  Have a look at the portion size page for details.
  5. Don’t blame your metabolism.  Very few people have a metabolic disorder that means you can’t lose weight.  Most people who ‘hardly eat a thing yet can’t lose weight’ are usually underestimating what they eat.
  6. Keep a food diary.  It may seem a bit obsessive but for a short time keeping a food diary can really help.  You need to record everything – yes everything – even that little square of chocolate that you quickly pop in your mouth.  The point is not to ‘catch you out’, you are the only person who will see it, it’s just that people forget, or are in denial, about what they eat.  Give it a go.  Remember to include drinks, including alcohol.
  7. Protein helps stave off hunger.  Protein, fats and carbs are broken down differently and it has been shown that eating protein at each meal can keep you feeling fuller for longer.  You don’t need to eat loads of protein, don’t go all Atkins, but having a poached egg on toast rather than cereal for breakfast will stop mid-morning hunger pangs.
  8. Eat Soup.  Soup leaves the stomach more slowly than solid food helping you feel full for longer.
  9. Exercise.  Exercise continues to burn fat for up to 24 hours.  You need to work up a bit of a sweat but when you stop your metabolism is still raised and you keep burning fat.
  10. Keep moving.  Did your mum ever tell you to ‘stop fidgetting’?  You shouldn’t have listened.  Fidgetting is good for you. Very small changes in activity can help.  Walk around when on the phone, park farthest from the supermarket door.
  11. Carbs are not the enemy (this one is mine).  If you don’t get enough carbohydrate in your diet you will feel tired and irritable and, eventually, will start to crave them.  That’s your body telling you it needs them.  Carbs give you energy.  Eat unrefined complex carbs such as wholemeal bread, brown rice, wholemeal pasta.  Try not to eat unrefined carbs and processed food which are full of fat and sugar as well.


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