Diet expert weight loss advice

Diet book author Helen Foster has a simple way to keep her weight under control. “I watch my portion sizes,” she says.

Helen Foster is the undisputed queen of the diet book, pushing all our diet angst buttons with fantastic titles like The Weekend Off Diet and Eat All Day Diet.

Ideal weight? I’ve given up trying to be 9st 7lb and now I’m happy at a toned 10st to 10st 4lb, which is probably a bit heavy for 5ft 4in, but as long as it doesn’t move when I do, I’m okay with that.

How do you stay at your weight? I run a lot and I’m currently training for a marathon, but I like food way too much to diet day in, day out. I eat healthily, but I’m very bad at stopping when I’m full, so I have to watch my portion sizes. I eat from a small bowl as often as possible, as I’ve found it’s the easiest and the absolute best way to slim.

Diet demons? Eating out and takeaways.

Do you diet? If I do gain weight, which happens quite easily, I have a foolproof diet that I know works. First thing – low-GI porridge, fruit and a protein shake. 11am – tuna or chicken with fruit. Lunch – tuna or chicken with salad or vegetables. 4pm – a protein shake or more chicken. Dinner – meat, fish or chicken and vegetables. If I’m doing a long run the next day or feel I need more energy, I’ll add a scoop of pasta, sweet potato or granary bread to give me an extra boost.

Best diet tips? Watch portion sizes. Everything is now so big that we’ve forgotten what we should eat. A good rule to follow is: whatever you put on your plate shouldn’t be larger than a closed fist for carbs and veggies or the palm of your hand for protein.
Don’t overestimate just how much of a difference exercise makes. I gained half a stone training for an ultradistance event – a half marathon followed by a full marathon – as I was over-eating carbohydrates all the time thinking I’m running, it won’t matter. It did!

For more advice by Helen Foster, see her book Eat All Day Diet – Eat 6 meals a day and lose weight (Hamlyn, £9.99).

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