Going on a diet is usually associated with boring, bland and basic food; and also usually considered to be difficult with little to no enjoyment. If this sounds familiar to the diets you’ve been on before, then read on to find out the secret hacks I use to make dieting a piece of cake!
First of all, I want to start off by saying I am no way an advocate of ‘dieting’ unnecessarily. Cutting away calories should not be sustained over a long time period as it can lead to unwanted health complications; such as nutrient deficiencies, negative psychological impacts, slowed metabolism and serious medical concerns.
If you are confused as to how many calories your body needs to maintain its current weight (or how many calories you need to lose/gain weight) then you need to find out your Total Daily Energy Expenditure. To find out more about this and your personal caloric requirements go to this link.
However, if you do decide you want to go on a diet and lose fat, then these hacks are SO worth knowing; they literally make dieting 100x easier!! And… for those of you who aren’t bothered about losing fat, these hacks can still be incorporated into your diets, as they can often replace less nutritionally dense food and make food a bit more exciting and enjoyable.
1. SUGAR FREE JELLY
If you don’t know about hartley’s sugar free jelly then you better get to know because I still can’t believe how good this is for 10 CALORIES PER PORTION!!! (I will literally have 4 portions in one go though because I’m greedy lol). If you use one whole sachet it makes a HUGE serving at only 40 calories which is all from protein. Sometimes I will put frozen berries in it before it sets and then it makes the nicest low calorie sweet snack. The best flavours are definitely blackcurrant and raspberry.2. XANTHAN GUM AND PROTEIN ICE-CREAM
I can’t remember how I found out about this but thank GOD i did because this stuff turns a watery boring protein shake into a thick, creamy consistency that resembles the unreal shakes in Gourmet Burger Kitchen (but minus 1000 calories). All you need is half a teaspoon of the stuff, add it to a blender with a handful of ice-cubes, a scoop of protein powder and about 400ml of water or milk of your choice, (it’s also really nice with frozen berries/ frozen banana) and blend it until its a thick texture.
If you want to make protein ice-cream, just add a little more of the xanthan gum and less water and blend it for longer to add more air to the mixture. This stuff is SO filling and yummy and can be under 100 calories (the xanthan gum is only 4 calories per serving and also adds fibre to your diet!). I get mine from My Protein but I think you can buy it in supermarkets and a number of health stores. POWDERED PEANUT BUTTER
If you love peanut butter, (who doesn’t?!) but kind of resent it at the same time for being so calorie dense for such a small serving, then you have to try PBB! The first time I ever weighed out my peanut butter i actually felt very sad (15g is a lot less than I initially thought ha!). Powdered peanut butter is basically half the calories and 90% less fat than regular peanut butter; and it honestly tastes amazing. Just mix it with water until you get the consistency you want! (Sometimes I make it into a satay sauce and have it with chicken in a stir fry).
SWEET FREEDOM CHOC POT
14 calories in one tsp……. and it’s vegan, free from dairy, gluten and gmo, and made with completely natural ingredients. I put it on my oats, in yogurt, on rice cakes and on fruit; and it just sorts out my chocolate cravings! 75% less fat and half the calories of standard chocolate spread, this stuff is basically a healthy nutella. The brand also has a range of healthy chocolate milkshakes, fruit syrups and chocolate sauces which are also amazing for helping with sweet fixes without the guilt!
WOMENS BEST FLAVOUR DROPS
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am absolutely obsessed with flavdropsand it comes everywhere with me. I put a couple of drops in my coffee, I add it to yogurt, quark and smoothies; and it tastes unreal. If you like to have sugar in your coffee or prefer to buy flavoured yogurts (which usually have far more artificial flavours and refined sugars) then this is the perfect alternative for you. Women’s best have a huge variety of different flavours and they’re all zero calories; making them perfect to incorporate into your diets so that you can still have maximum flavour but without the extra sugar, fat and carbs. *coconut and vanilla are my fav* I have a discount code for Women’s best to get you 10% off which is emmafituk
FLAVOURED SPARKLING WATER
I personally drink around 3.5-4 litres of water per day (this sounds like a lot but I personally feel like I need this much to stay hydrated; especially as I spend a lot of my time training in the gym). However, if you struggle to drink water or if you ‘dislike’ water (find it boring) then go into any supermarket, and find their own branded sparkling flavoured spring water. First, this will help keep you hydrated so that you don’t mistake thirst for hunger, and it’s also a really sweet and very low calorie drink to help with any cravings. You could also just get the flavoured still water but I prefer the ‘fizzy’ stuff.
Vegetable and bulking in the same phrase???? This is basically a food volumising technique that I have incorporated into so many of my meals! It packs in loads of micronutrients, minerals and vitamins from the vegetables whilst also ‘bulking’ out your food to make you psychologically feel like you’re eating more; and make you feel more full and satisfied.
You may have seen ‘zoats’ on instagram or pinterest which is adding grated zucchini (a courgette) to your oats to add LOADS of volume. It basically makes 50g of oats look like 80g of oats. Some people might think this sounds absolutely disgusting but you can’t taste the courgette whatsoever, and you can’t even see it if you mix in a protein powder after cooking it.
Butternut squash noodles / courgetti – This is my ‘go to’ when I want a filling but nutritious, tasty and healthy meal. I cut up loads of peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, (whatever veg you have basically) and cook it in a pan with some herbs and spices; then I add the vegetable ‘noodles’ with a can of chopped tomatoes. You’re then left with a HUGE plate of vegetables that actually tastes really good; plus it’s a low calorie, high volume meal! You can then add what you like to it; (chicken, tofu, prawns, feta cheese, mozzarella). There’s loads of other recipes that you can use vegetables noodles (have a look on pinterest for inspo!).
OPTIONS HOT CHOCOLATE / CADBURY’S BOURNVILLE HOT CHOCOLATE
Considering some hot chocolates can be as high as 400-500 calories in places like costa and starbucks, having a hot chocolate at home for less than 40 calories is definitely worth trying! My favourite options flavours are mint and butterscotch, and the bournville highlights hot chocolate is so frothy and bubbly (can’t believe it’s only 38 calories!).
Just in case you aren’t aware of the brilliant and revolutionary invention of low calorie ice-creams, you no longer have to ditch the ice-cream for good when you’re dieting as you can eat A WHOLE TUB of the stuff for as little as 290 calories! I have tried Brewers, Halo Top and Oppo Ice-cream and I can honestly say I actually prefer them to the high calorie, processed and refined sugary ice-creams. They don’t make you feel bloated or lethargic (or guilty); and for such as small amount of calories they taste extremely good! Also, these brands are naturally sweetened with stevia so it’s not packed full with artificial chemicals. So if you’re a huge lover of ice-cream, you could easily fit a few scoops of this stuff into your diets every day and still lose weight!
EAT LEAN CHEESE
The protein content of this cheese is crazy! In a 50g serving there is 85 calories, 18.5g of protein, and only 1.5g of fat! In comparison, 50g of cheddar cheese has approximately 210 calories, 12.5g of protein and 17.5g of fat! Since fat is the macro-nutrient which is highest in calories per gram, it is often hard to incorporate high amounts of fat and still remain in a calorie deficit. Therefore, substituting cheese for this high protein alternative is perfect for when you’re trying to cut your calories back. The texture of the cheese is a bit rubbery and plastic like in texture but it tastes good; and when I’ve added it to recipes or melted it on top of food I personally don’t really notice the difference.
I hope my top 10 dieting hacks can help those of you who are trying to lose weight, or struggling to stick to a calorie deficit. Let me know if you try any! And comment below or message me if you have any other dieting tips and secrets!