Don’t Eat That – Eat This

Dieting is no one’s idea of a fun time and the leaner you want to get, the harder you have to diet. Bodybuilders and fitness athletes often go to extremes in their pre-contest preparation and it’s not uncommon to hear that, in the lead up to a contest or important photo shoot, they survive on little more than salad, tuna and green tea for weeks at a time. Yes, the results from such an extreme regime are spectacular but fun? I think not.

Chances are, you don’t actually need or want to be as lean as the models you see in this and other fitness magazines so such an extreme nutritional approach is not necessary but what if you want to drop a few pounds or body fat percentage points without trying too hard or simply want to eat a little more healthily? What should you do?

Rather than go on a full-blown diet, I believe it’s possible to get in pretty good shape – better than 90 percent of the population at least – without restricting your food intake excessively. How? By making some simple food substitutions. With that in mind, here are some common meals that most of us eat on a regular basis (or would like to) and some hacks that will make them more fitness and physique friendly. Maybe that old expression “you can’t have your cake and eat it” is not true after all!


Lasagne is an Italian classic that is great hot or cold. While it is packed with protein, lasagne is also heavy on fat and carbohydrates which mean it’s a no-go if you are trying to get lean or stay lean. To make this meal more waistline friendly, try substituting the pasta with thin slices of courgette, making the white sauce with skimmed milk and substituting the regular cheese with extra strong low fat cheese – you’ll get the same flavors but considerably fewer calories. You can also use extra lean mince beef or even minced chicken or turkey instead to save even more fat calories.

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