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Good Health - Dieting - Diets - Slimming

Dieting and slimming - These are just 2 words, but these 2 words can cause so much anguish.

How to find the best slimming diet for you.

Once you've done the groundwork, it's time to devise a diet plan that will work for you. While 'miracle' slimming diets that claim they'll help you lose weight fast might sound tempting, many will...

* Severely restrict your food intake
* Have you scouring the supermarket shelves for weird and wonderful ingredients
* Require you to make time-consuming meals
* Ban certain groups of foods such as carbs or dairy products as well as all your favourites.

The result: meals will be boring and leave you feeling miserable or take too long to prepare so that you quickly give up. These diets may also leave you short on many nutrients if groups of foods are off limits, putting you at risk of a whole host of health problems ranging from anaemia and osteoporosis to constipation and lowered immunity.

Instead, it's best to avoid faddy diets and devise your own reduced-calorie slimming diet based on what you currently eat, including some of your favourite foods.

The good thing about this is, that it allows you to adapt your diet to your lifestyle - rather than trying to change your lifestyle to fit around mealtimes. This means you can still create incredible meals if you love cooking or can simply heat up a ready meal if you don't like, or have time, to spend hours in the kitchen.

Better still, cutting your calorie intake for slimming purposes isn't usually as hard as it sounds. Often it is as simple as reducing your portion sizes slightly and/or making simple calorie swaps every day. For example, swapping a daily Danish pastry for a wholemeal scone will save a staggering 275 calories, while having a small 150ml glass of wine instead of a large 230ml glass will save almost 70 calories. Slimming really is that easy.

Simple calorie swaps to lose weight

Saving calories is easier than you think! Just follow some of the little changes on our slimming menu plan below and discover how they can make big differences to your waistline.

Simple calorie swaps to lose weight - Breakfasts
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2 slices of toast and butter (325 calories) 2 slices of toast with low-fat spread (220 calories) 105 calories
6tbsp muesli (330 calories) 6tbsp branflakes (155 calories) 175 calories
1 blueberry muffin (550 calories) 1 bagel with honey (215 calories) 335 calories
1 croissant (215 calories) 1 wholemeal fruit scone (155 calories) 60 calories
Full-fat milk on cereal (65 calories) Skimmed milk on cereal (35 calories) 30 calories
1tbsp peanut butter (85 calories) Scrape off Marmite (0 calories) 85 calories

Simple calorie swaps to lose weight - Lunches
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1 small can tuna in oil with salad (285 calories) 1 small can tuna in water with salad (150 calories) 135 calories
1 small can of tomato soup (160 calories) 1 small can of carrot soup (65 calories) 95 calories
1 jacket potato with cheese (445 calories) 1 jacket potato with cottage cheese (335 calories) 110 calories
1 regular sandwich (600 calories) 1 low-fat sandwich (350 calories) 250 calories
1tbsp mayonnaise on salad (105 calories) 1tbsp fat-free dressing (10 calories) 95 calories
4 inch piece of French bread (220 calories) 1 small wholemeal roll (115 calories) 105 calories

Simple calorie swaps to lose weight - Dinners
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Battered sweet and sour chicken and egg fried rice (1,105 calories) Chicken with cashew nuts and boiled rice (750 calories) 355 calories
Tagliatelle with a creamy carbonara sauce (1,020 calories) Tagliatelle with a tomato sauce (400 calories) 620 calories
Steak and kidney pie (570 calories) Cottage pie (350 calories) 220 calories
Large pepperoni pizza (1,120 calories) Large veggie pizza (835 calories) 285 calories
Beef lasagne (665 calories) Vegetable lasagne (470 calories) 195 calories
1tbsp oil in cooking (100 calories) 10 sprays of a spray oil (10 calories) 90 calories
Cheese and onion quiche and salad (595 calories) Cheese and onion omelette and salad (345 calories) 250 calories
2 grilled sausages (270 calories) 1 grilled large skinless chicken breast (175 calories) 95 calories

Simple calorie swaps to lose weight - Snacks
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1 small pot of low-fat fruit yoghurt (135 calories) 1 small pot fat-free fruit yoghurt (60 calories) 75 calories
40g packet of crisps (220 calories) apple (50 calories) 170 calories
1 bar of chocolate (265 calories) 1 small banana (75 calories) 190 calories
1 Danish pastry (430 calories) 2 chocolate digestive biscuits (180 calories) 250 calories
Garlic dip and tortilla chips (230 calories) Salsa dip and crudites (40 calories) 190 calories
1 jam doughnut (250 calories) 1 crumpet with jam (95 calories) 155 calories

Simple calorie swaps to lose weight - Drinks
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1 large glass of dry white wine (135 calories) 1 single gin and slimline tonic (50 calories) 85 calories
1 can of cola (135 calories) 1 can of diet cola (0 calories) 135 calories
2tsp sugar in coffee (30 calories) Artificial sweetener in coffee (0 calories) 30 calories
1 regular latte (200 calories) 1 skinny cappuccino (80 calories) 120 calories

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