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This guide works whether you’re trying to lose weight, or just eat more healthily. It’s not a diet, it’s a simple way to eat for life, not just for a few weeks – and what’s more, it really works!

If you want to lose some weight, cut right back on Bread, Potatoes, Rice, Pasta and all Cakes, Sweets and Fizzy Drinks. Replace with lots of Vegetables and Fruit instead – and drink plenty of water!

To function correctly, your body needs good quality Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates:

Protein comes from Meat, Dairy, Eggs, Nuts and Beans. It can also be found in Tofu and Quorn. Protein forms the basic structure of all cells in the body and is essential for healthy muscles and efficient immune system function. If you workout regularly, you’ll need more protein.

Fats are essential for you. Unsaturated Fats are the healthiest and come from plant sources like Olive Oil, Avocados and some Nuts such as Almonds, Brazils and Peanuts. Saturated Fats come from animal sources and can cause health problems, so these are best avoided or consumed in small quantities (less than 20 grammes per day).

Carbohydrates (Carbs) are the fuel on which your body runs. Carbs come from plants. Once in your body, Carbs turn to sugar (glucose), which your body uses as fuel. Carbs either turn to sugar quickly or slowly. You should try and eat Carbs that release their sugar slowly as these are far healthier and less likely to be stored as Body Fat. These Carbs are called Low GI Carbs and are the healthy ones. Low GI Carbs are found in food that is in a natural state and not processed – think steamed vegetables and fresh fruit rather than cakes or pies.


GREEN LIST – Try and eat mostly from here:


Calories per Portion or *100g


*All veg (except potatoes)

 30 – 50

Steam or boil lightly. Low Fat, Low GI. Can be fresh or frozen, or even tinned!

*All fruit 

 50 – 100

Natural and uncooked. Low Fat, mostly low GI.


 20 – 40

No dressing. Low Calorie, Low Fat, Low GI.

Wholegrain Rice

 150 per portion

Not more than 2 small (half a cup when cooked) portions a week. High Calorie, Low/Med GI.

Lean chicken

 150 – 220

Per breast, skin off. Low Fat, Low GI.

*Lean ham


Low Fat, Low GI.

*Lean turkey


Low Fat, Low GI.

*Lean beef

 175 – 200

Low Fat only if lean! Low GI.

*Oily fish

 170 – 200

Low Fat, Low GI.

*Fish fillet 


Steam or poach. Low Calorie, Low Fat, Low GI.

Poached egg

 70 each

Low GI.

Scrambled egg


3 whole eggs, v small amount of butter. Low GI.

Boiled egg

 70 each

Low GI.

Granary bread

 120 per slice

No more than 2 slices a day.

Protein shakes

 100 – 250

Low Calorie, Low Fat, Low GI. Look for low Carb.



The perfect way to hydrate!

Diet Coke/Pepsi

 0 per can

No more than 1 a day!

ORANGE LIST – Try and eat only occasionally from here:


 300 – 500

High Fat. Opt for the leanest available or choose turkey/chicken alternative.

Pork chops 

 300 – 500

High Calorie, High Fat.


 300 – 500

High Calorie, High Fat.

Grilled bacon

 80 per  rasher

No more than 2 lean rashers a week.

Jacket potatoes

 200 per  med size

High Calorie, High GI. Low fat if no butter!

Boiled potatoes


Per serving (200g) High GI.


 200 small  cup cooked

In low tomato/pesto sauce. Small cup only! High Calorie.

Rolls/Bagel (without filling!)

 120 – 180

High Calorie, High GI and that doesn’t include the fillings. Wholemeal and granary are ok, but small ones only!

Shop sandwiches

 300 – 700

High Calorie, High GI, High Fat. You’ll be amazed at how many calories these contain! Make your own, or buy with 350 calories or less.


 30 – 80  portion

Choose low-fat spreads instead. Benecol or Flora Proactive. If you eat butter, cut down portion size.

Breakfast Cereals

 300 per bowl

High Calorie, High GI. Try porridge, poached eggs, yoghurt and fruit instead.


 170 – 300

High Calorie, High GI. Healthy, but too much sugar! Not more than 2 a week.

Fruit Juice

 150 – 300

High Calorie, High GI. Eat whole fruit instead.


 200 – 400

Nuts are great, but full of calories if you eat more than a small portion.

Tinned fruit

 100 – 300     

High Calorie, High GI. Choose fruit in natural juice, never syrup! Or go for the real thing!


 250 per bar

High Calorie, High Fat. Just 1 bar a week!


 120 – 250

No more than 4 glasses of wine or beer a week!

RED LIST – Try to avoid foods from here:

White bread

 100 – 120

Per slice.

White rice


Per serving (200g) High Calorie, Mostly High GI.

Roast potatoes


Per serving (200g) High Calorie, High GI.

Pasta (in creamy sauce)

 500 – 650

Per serving (200g) High Calorie, High Fat, Low GI.

Anything with mayonnaise

 Lots and lots!

Mayonnaise is everywhere (especially in shop bought sandwiches) and is full of calories!


 400 – 700

Per pie (average). High Calorie, High Fat, High GI.


 100 – 150 each

High Calorie, High Fat.


 180 – 500

High Calorie, High Fat, High GI.

Fried bacon

 100 – 150 per rasher

Grill instead and trim fat off first.

Fried egg, each


Ok occasionally, but only if using a few drops of oil. A Better option is poached or boiled.

Fried anything!


High Calorie, High Fat.

Take away/fast food

 1000 – 2500!

High Calorie, High Fat, High GI.


 100 – 200

High Calorie, High Fat, High GI.



Per serving (100g) High Calorie, High Fat, High GI.



Per serving (100g) High Calorie, High GI.


 50 – 100 each!

High Calorie, High Fat, High GI.

Cereal bars

 120 – 250 each!

High Calorie, High Fat, High GI. They look healthy, are packed with sugar!

Boozy days

 Lots and lots

Stay off the booze if you want to lose weight, seriously!

Soft drinks, Coke etc.

 140 per can

Choose diet instead or drink water instead!



Other things you should do!

Eat Breakfast

Eat little and often

Eat protein with every meal if possible

Choose lower GI Carbs (slow sugar release)

Avoid processed and takeaway food – instead choose simple food in its natural state

Eat Vegetables or Fruit with every meal

Eat two portions of oily fish per week

Read food labels and watch for saturated fat and high sugar foods

Take healthy food to work

Cut down on alcohol

Drink plenty of water

If you want to lose weight, cut out fillers like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta and all sweets and cakes and pastries. If you’re not trying to lose weight keep the fillers but cut out the sweets, cakes and pastries!

Visit the BLOG next week for recipes and more tips!

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Captain Felix Deer joined the Army in 1985 and served in a number of Training Officer roles, qualifying as a Unit Fitness Officer in 1986. Since leaving the Army in 1994, Felix has sold property, built houses and flown airliners for a living, but has always maintained his keen interest in Fitness.

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