Weight loss: Your favourite foods & alcohol can still be enjoyed ‘as part of healthy diet’

Debbie McGee reveals she is starting a new diet plan

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If you follow a healthy diet and do regular exercise, you don’t have to give up your favourite foods or even alcohol, according to some nutritionists. Kerri Major, a nutritionist and personal trainer who has recently released a book called The Dietitian Kitchen: Nutrition for a Healthy, Strong and Happy You, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about the easiest ways to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle, which may lead to weight loss.

Kerri noted that dieting can be “quite confusing” for people because there is a lot of “nutrition noise” on the internet.

The nutritionist said that one of the main misconceptions around dieting and weight loss is that people think they are not allowed to eat certain foods.

Kerri said: “People often think that becoming healthy is really difficult, in the sense that they need to be cutting out lots of different things or that they need to be spending lots of time in the kitchen.

“But if people just familiarise themselves with the different nutrients that they need to be eating, it hopefully shouldn’t be too difficult.”

Kerri explained that to be healthy or to lose weight, people do not in fact need to cut out certain foods from their diet.

She said: “I’m a big fan of saying to people that your favourite foods, even the ones you may consider as unhealthy, should still be in – or can be included as part of – a healthy diet.

“Food has to come from a place of enjoyment as well, and it has to make us feel good.

“It’s about having everything in moderation – trying to eat well the majority of the time but not worrying about having the ‘soul foods’, which I like to call them, every now and then.”

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Kerri explained that it is important to follow a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

Additionally, the nutritionist advised “being mindful of portion sizes”.

She said: “Overall, we use a fist size as a rough portion size for carbohydrates, a hand size as a rough portion size for protein, and a smaller portion of healthy fats.

“That’s just a handy measure but depending on people’s activity levels and requirements, they may need a few portions of each of them. It varies from person to person.”

For proteins, Kerri recommended eating chicken and fish.

She said: “Red meats can still be included as part of a healthy diet, but we should be a bit more mindful of how many portions of them we consume per week – leaner meats like chicken and fish are better.

“There are plant-based options as well such as peas, beans, lentils, and soy.”

As for carbohydrates, Kerri advised focusing on wholegrain starchy carbohydrates such as wholegrain bread, rice, potatoes, and pasta.

The healthy fats Kerri recommended eating as part of a healthy diet are mainly mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats.

It’s best to stay clear of saturated fats as they can increase your cholesterol levels.

“But, overall, people should be mindful of their fat intake,” Kerri said.

Kerri noted that it’s also important to be mindful while drinking, but people who want to follow a diet and lose weight do not have to necessarily stop consuming alcohol.

The nutritionist said: “If you enjoy having a drink, you don’t have to completely cut it out.

“But, be really mindful of the fact that alcohol contains calories as well. And it doesn’t tend to just be the alcohol, but the other things you take with it too – such as fruit juices or fizzy drinks.

“Alcohol doesn’t give you any other nutritional value, except calories,” Kerri added.

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