Nutritionist shares ‘important’ supermarket tips for weight loss and ideal comfort food

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Along with moderate and frequent exercise, a healthy diet is essential for slimming down. But a chaotic, unplanned supermarket trip can throw off even those with the best intentions. Lily Chapman spoke exclusively to about her top nutrition tips for dieters and how to deal with treat temptation.

Dieters will be delighted to know that losing weight is a simple feat, according to the expert.

She exclusively told “The most important thing if you’re looking to lose weight is most definitely creating a calorie deficit, reducing your calorie intake by even just 100-300 per day. I think the most is 800.

“A lot of people make it so much more complicated than it needs to be, but consuming less than you expend is the main thing.”

At the supermarket, the key is to “make sure that you’re buying foods that are aligned to your calorie needs”.

Thankfully, this does not mean buying “whole baskets of spinach”, but may mean upping one’s protein intake.

Lily explained: “Once you consume protein over carbohydrates and fat you’ll most definitely feel more full, which is good if you’re looking to lose fat because you won’t be needing to snack as much.

“When you consume a macronutrient your body takes time to break it down, and it takes longer with protein so you’ll feel fuller for longer basically.”

The benefits of protein are boundless, including increasing bone health and muscle retention, “which is really important when trying to lose weight”.

Lily gave her top recommendations for dieters looking to consume enough protein in their diets: “For meat eaters, focus on lean meats like chicken breast and low fat mince.
“Dairy sources are also really high in protein. I think three Baby Bells have about 16g of protein in them.

“I’m a vegan myself, so I focus on fruit and veg, tofu, beans, lentils, pulses and protein alternatives like vegan cheeses.”

Lily divulged that one of the nation’s favourite comfort foods is actually a great source of protein. “[Some] 75g of uncooked pasta already has over 10g of protein.

“Everything has protein in it. It’s mad how people say, ‘You need to have protein bars and you need to have protein shakes’.

“[A] 150g [portion] of peas has 10g of protein. Half a tin of baked beans has 10g of protein. It doesn’t need to be a relentless process of finding things that are high in protein.

“Try to keep to 25-30g of protein per meal.”

As for staples that slimmers should absolutely put in their shopping basket, Lily suggested low fat yoghurt, milk, fruit and granola.

And contrary to popular belief, Lily advised: “Making sure you’ve got a high carb diet is really vital.

“People recommend about 50 percent of your diet come from carbohydrates, so they automatically sort of assume that carbs are the bad thing when you’re putting on weight, but it’s just the fact that they’re not moving enough and not reducing their calorie intake.

“So many studies have found that a low carbohydrate diet will negative implications on both your physical performance levels and your mental health, making you more fatigued.”

She emphasised: “When you’re looking to lose weight, don’t cut out carbs at all. They’re really, really important.”

And this doesn’t necessarily mean white carbs as opposed to brown; in fact, Lily believes that the system of calling some foods ‘good’ and others ‘bad’ is “flawed and illogical” – although brown carbs are certainly higher in fibre.

But calorie counting isn’t a bad thing, as it can help show dieters if they’re consuming less to what they’re expending.

To avoid overindulging on food purchases they don’t need, “the most important thing is making meal plan lists”.

“On a Sunday night, set out the meal plan for the week so that when you go to the shops you know exactly what to get and don’t go AWOL with your basket.

“Being aware of your hunger cues is important too. Often people think they’re hungry so they pop to the shops for a snack, when actually they’re just thirsty.”


Another way to stop impulse buying junk food is to “treat yourself in other ways”; rather than celebrating a job well done with a family-sized bar of chocolate, dieters can reward themselves with an experience or new item of clothing.

Lily explained that slimmers can still enjoy their favourite foods – it may just be a question of how to make low calorie swaps.

“If you fancy some chocolate, maybe go for a Fredo bar as opposed to Dairy Milk.”

Another useful insight is that the ice cream versions of chocolate bars, for example Mars Ice Cream bars, include less calories than their regular chocolate bar equivalents.

With other calorie saving swaps it’s difficult to even tell the difference between the slimming version and the original, be it swapping bagels for bagel thinks, or tonic for slim-line tonic in your evening tipple.

The nutritionist believes that weight loss is simple: “Consuming less calories than you expend is all you need to do. You don’t need to invest hundreds of pounds into Slimming World and that sort of thing.”

Lily Chapman is a performance coach and nutritionist for P3RFORM.

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