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Health Tips

The best of both worlds: How to compromise but not go without

By 12/09/2016May 23rd, 2017No Comments

‘Diets’ naturally come with feelings of deprivation, which are difficult to shake. Undoubtedly the vast majority of diets fail due to their depriving and restrictive nature. Thankfully a healthy, balanced long-term eating plan does not have to involve deprivation and it is possible to not go without. In fact, 80% of the time, it just takes a little compromise but remembering that 20% of the time anything in moderation wont hurt! Here are some simple ways to ‘compromise’ but not go without.

Cooking at Home

First and foremost, portion sizes do count and is an effective way to lose weight without feeling like you are changing much at all. It’s easy to allow portion sizes to increase without being aware of it. Reining it in by doing a ‘portion stocktake’ can see you move towards your health and weight goals.

Here is a general guide to portions of common foods:

  • ¼ avocado
  • 10-15 nuts (30g)
  • ½ cup cooked rice/pasta
  • 30-40g cheese (2 slices)
  • 1 medium piece of fruit x 2 daily
  • 20g dark chocolate or 2-3 squares
  • ½ cup oats/other cereal
  • 100-150g lean protein
  • 150g fish fillet
  • ½ cup natural yoghurt

Other ways to save kilojoule/energy intake and reduce saturated and trans fats include:

  • Replace animal-protein with legumes in 1 x meal per day, if this sounds like a hard task then reduce animal-protein portion by 50% and use legumes as the remaining 50%
  • Replace butter with avocado on bread or crackers
  • Try an ‘open sandwich’ using 1 slice of bread with lots of salad as the topping
  • Opt for ½ plate low-starch vegetables at each main meal (capsicum, cucumber, leafy greens, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower
  • Bulk dishes out (eg Bolognese, pasta) with low-starch fibre rich vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, capsicum, cabbage etc.
  • Cook sauces from scratch at home, this way you are controlling what goes in and can reduce use of poor quality oil


Simple swaps

Along with reducing portions, compromise may involve swapping out something you would usually opt for, for something else more in tune with your goals.

Here are some swaps, which will easily become second nature:

  • Roasted nuts for raw nuts
  • Thick sliced bread for thin
  • Lavash bread/wrap for mountain bread
  • Chips for popcorn or roasted chickpeas
  • Milk coffee for long black with milk on side
  • Sweetened yoghurt for natural yoghurt
  • Sour cream for natural yoghurt
  • Soft drink for soda water and fresh fruit
  • Bottled salad dressing for olive oil + lemon juice

Eating out

It is possible to eat out and enjoy yourself when watching your weight, here are some reminders of how to do it:

  • Order an entrée and vegetable dish side
  • Consider your liquids a meal or snack – avoid ordering a smoothie and sandwich or milky large coffee and cake
  • Order a tomato based dish instead of creamy
  • Stick to clear broth based soups instead of creamy
  • Avoid fried and opt for steamed or poached dishes
  • Choose extra salad/veg instead of chips with steak
  • Choose poached or boiled eggs over scrambled and fried
  • Share dessert or a cheese platter to end the meal

It can take a while to change habits but real change does require effort on your behalf and a true desire to change. With that in mind, go forth knowing you can achieve your goals and you are the one to make it happen!