“Once you’ve got rid of the junk it’s time to restock,” says international best-selling author Dr Michael Mosley, creator of the 5:2 diet and author of The Fast 800. “Having no food in the house is almost as bad as having lots of junk food. You will end up eating takeaways or dropping into the petrol station to buy snacks.”
Here are Dr Michael Mosley's top 10 healthy foods to stock your fridge and cupboards with when you want to lose weight:
1. A large bottle of olive oil. Be generous with it. Use olive oil or cold-pressed/virgin canola oil when cooking. And get a bottle of extra-virgin olive oil to use in salads.
2. Vegetables. Lots of them, particularly spinach, broccoli, kale, carrots, capsicums, eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchinis. Pre-cut to snack on. Put them at the top of the fridge where you will see them when you open the fridge door.
3. Fruit. Fruit is a great alternative to cakes and biscuits if you feel like something sweet, but limit it to two pieces a day. Stick to lower-sugar fruits such as berries, apples, and pears.
4. Full-fat dairy products. Such as full-fat live Greek yoghurt, cheese and butter. Healthy natural fats will keep you full for longer. When I need a snack it is a small chunk of cheese with some slices of pear.
5. Unsalted and unsweetened nuts and seeds. Aim for a variety such as almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, chia and sesame seeds. Nuts are an excellent source of healthy natural fat. But eat no more than a handful.
6. Wholegrains. Such as brown and wild rice, quinoa or pearl barley. Small amounts of these can be added to your meals instead of white rice and pasta. Try to cut out bread completely. It is hard but ‘going brown’ is unlikely to reduce the sugar hit.
7. Eggs. We always have eggs on standby and have them for breakfast most days of the week. They are a great source of protein and will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
8. Oily fish. Smoked salmon goes well with eggs for breakfast and canned tuna can be a great snack or lunchtime alternative. Aim to eat oily fish 2-3 times a week.
9. Beans and lentils. They usually taste best when sprinkled with olive oil. Sneak a handful into stews, salads and bakes.
10. Fizzy water and herbal teas. Soda water can help to ease hunger pangs without adding calories. Include a piece of lemon, lime or cucumber for flavour. Herbal teas are another useful alternative to sugary drinks.
This is an edited extract taken from The Fast 800: How To Combine Rapid Weight Loss And Intermittent Fasting For Long-Term Health by Dr Michael Mosley, published by Simon & Schuster and available from all good book stores and online.