Munch at will

Dig in. Gorge on all those sinful snacks you have been dying to try out, without fear of losing your abs to flabs.

Dhiman Chattopadhyay | Print Edition: June 1, 2008

A working lunch, a quick bite before heading off to what you know will be a late dinner at a friend’s or just a mid-morning snack— we are all suckers for junk food. But when you wake up the next morning and don’t quite look like George Clooney in the mirror or have Brad Pitt’s abs—it hurts. Well, we can’t make you look like the world’s sexiest man, but with a little effort, we can advise you on how to gorge and still keep your abs in shape. Just a few simple tweaks and substitutions and all classic mealtime standbys can be converted into greattasting grub—food you can enjoy without sacrificing your abs. Here’s how:

The ‘Put-it-all-in’ Sandwich
Make it better: Switch from white bread to whole-wheat for a boost of as much as two grams of fibre per slice. And instead of peanut butter, try one of its cousins. Cashew and almond butter tastes just as good and have significantly more fibre and Vitamin E. Finally, in place of jelly, add a layer of fresh fruit. It will taste just as good.

Make it better: A good burger depends on one major item: the meat. But fat is not always the tastiest part. Go ahead and buy lean meat and then spice it up with onion and a few spoons of fat-free cheddar cheese. Mix well, and grill the patties as you would a typical hamburger.

Make it better: Most whole-wheat, high-fibre pasta tastes terrible. But whole-wheat blends are different. They are less dense and chewy and have the same great pasta taste. Avoid sauces that have sweeteners as a major ingredient.

 Have fun losing weight

A few simple chores and fun things that will make you lose a couple of kg in a month.

Sin Easy
Say no to that big cup of ice cream and dig into low-fat sorbet instead. You save nearly 2,500 calories each week for a month if you eat a pint of chocolate sorbet instead of ice cream.

Jog to the Store
As you ponder whether to enlist in a gym or not, try jogging to the local store in the morning instead of driving down. Do this thrice a week to lose 7,500 calories a month.

The Spring Cleaner
Save money on paying the maid. Cleaning out the cupboard, putting your suits away safely and maybe even dusting a few expensive souvenirs in your drawing room, burns more than 350 calories per hour or 3,000 calories a month.

Go Light in the Pub
Of course, you want to hit the social circuit on weekends. But instead of pepperoni pizza, opt for cheese; instead of regular beer, grab a light beer. You can save at least 1,000 calories a month.

Walk Up Slopes And Stairs
Going to a friend’s place at Pali Hill in Mumbai or to the Civil Lines in Delhi? Park the car and walk up the slope. Try it. Calories burnt if you climb the equivalent of a 100 stairs twice a week can be more than 4,500 a month.

* Total savings for one month: Approximately 18,500 calories (or a little over 2 kg of fat)

Make it better: Chuck the yolks into the bin. One egg yolk contains 55 calories and 5 gm of fat, while egg white has just 17 calories and negligible fat. Next, instead of melting butter in the nonstick, coat it with cooking spray and save yourself 100 calories. To make your omelette even leaner, fill it with low-fat cheese and veggies.

Ice Cream Sundae
Make it better: A cup of high-quality ice cream can have as much as 30 gm of fat. To make your sundae healthier, switch your full-fat premium ice cream to a lower-fat, lower-sugar variety.

India has a good choice of such ice creams now (try a low-fat gelato, for instance). Instead of layering fattening sauces and sprinkles on your sundae, toss on a dash of ground nuts. Add a few slices of banana for a good serving of vitamins and fibre. Top it all with some sugar-free chocolate syrup. You can keep the cherry on top.

In consultation with: Fahmina Anwar, M.Sc (Food & Nutrition), PGDPPHC, Nutritionist. Team-Leader, Nutrition & Dietetics Services, Artemis Health Sciences, Gurgaon

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