By Nikka Garriga
QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA – Every person on a mission to lose weight has attempted – or at least thought of – following a diet.
However, there are also misconceptions on dieting. Eating rice, for instance, is on top of every Filipinos “I-must-not-eat” list when observing a diet.
But according to Nadine Tengco, a celebrity chef and US-certified nutrition and weight management specialist, excluding rice in a diet regimen is not exactly a good idea.
“Our metabolic system doesn’t break down wheat as well as we do with rice. The problem is not with rice but the quantity being taken in,” she explains.
The key lies in making rice a side dish, not THE dish. An ideal meal should also consist of the following: fill about half of the plate with vegetables, 1/2 to one cup of rice and 1/4 protein.
Nadine shares the following tips how to make dieting less of a drag even for foodies.
It’s all about adding color. Make your diet meals more palatable by adding colorful vegetables and herbs. Try mixing in some chopped parsley and bell pepper to your cup of rice or make grilled meat chops more appetizing by adding slices of tomatoes and onions.
You can even try serving your food on blue-colored plates because according to Nadine, this particular hue is known to suppress appetite.
Master the art of coaxing flavor from your food. Instead of using oil, salt and other food seasoning, Nadine suggests using spices and a mix of something acidic to help bring out its much needed flavor.
“Meat is difficult to work with in terms of cooking because it’s naturally bland. But instead of adding sauce, marinating it with a lot of spices is the technique,” she says. Yoghurt is also a natural tenderizer and even allows the spices to seep in because it contains traces of lactic acid.
Adding spices like cumin, turmeric and chili also helps in boosting metabolism and suppressing appetite
Make your drinks healthier and flavorful with herbs. If you’re looking at adding a nutritious zest to your choice of beverages, try mixing herbs to your usual blend of fruits.
Instead of just plain water, boil water with stalks of lemongrass and use this as the base for your fruit shake.
“Lemongrass is very potent and is even considered as one of the secrets to weight loss. Herbs like basil are also a good anti-flatulent and aids in the body’s digestion,” Nadine says.
This particular menu works on complete eating experience that is both delightful and guilt-free. From the starters, to dessert and even the drinks, all of the offerings are set on a 350-calories or lower count.
Whatever fad or routine you wish to adopt, it is a must to remember that dieting is all about moderation and knowing how to eat healthy.
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