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The Frugal Diet | Meals and Snacks

Stir fry 2

The stir fry I cooked for dinner has around 250 to 300 calories and so quite good. Counting calories can be confusing because the calorie is a unit of energy. The kilocalorie or kcal is a thousand calories and this has been adopted for diets and expressed as the Calorie with a big C! This is confusing and many foods are now marked with kcal to tell you how many calories they contain. I checked how many calories were in my morning biscuits, 250 kcal; that’s nearly as much as a meal! In fact if I do a salad with a can of sardines, it works out to around 250 kcal and that includes the oven chips!

It seems that it isn’t meals that are always the problem when it comes to reducing the calories, but snacks. A bag of crisps (potato chips) comes in at 130 kcal and many other snacks are much higher in calories. I often eat fruit between meals and most are low calorie. One of the highest is probably the banana, which weighs in at 100 kcal. That is still a lot lower than a bag of crisps and a lot healthier. You also have to be careful of things like yogurt and milk shakes, in fact all dairy products. Try low fat skimmed milk. I don’t have any dairy products and so that isn’t something I think about.

We have to think about not only reducing calories, but making a healthy diet part of our life style. Reducing alcohol and having alcohol free periods will reduce calorie intake and make for a much healthier life style. It will reduce the risk of a lot of potential health problems, including diabetes.

You can make your meals lower calorie too. Just cutting the excess fat off meat and removing the skin from a portion of chicken removes fat and cuts calorie intake. Adding fibre to meals also helps fill you up and cuts the calorie intake. You can also reduce the amount of meat that you eat by cutting portion sizes and adding vegetable protein to meals in the form of beans, peas and mushrooms.

You should also try to enjoy your food, eat slowly and savour each mouthful. If you spend a little more on a favourite food and enjoy a little, rather than a lot; then it can be more of a pleasure. I enjoy my prawn salads and they are healthy, low calorie and delicious. You might enjoy a little Belgian chocolate, not quite so healthy, but if you can savour just a little, it could be good for your mental health!

You also want to save money and so make full use of fruit and vegetables that are in season. Eggs are good value, I’m paying 1.25 for 15 now and they make a high protein breakfast that will keep you going through morning. Egg, chips and peas isn’t so low calorie, but if you don’t overdo the oven chips, it works out to about 400 calories. That can be your frugal main meal of the day!

Enjoy your food, eat slowly, savour every morsel and become a gourmet who can enjoy a little of what is delicious and good for you. There are more amazing blogs on the home page. Why not read last weeks frugal diet blog too? Comments welcome!

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