One of the biggest reasons why the pounds just creep on over the years is the ever-increasing portion size we come to expect. Super-size popcorn buckets at the cinema, double portion chocolate bars that never seem to get shared between two, plates piled high at restaurants and pubs and the huge high-street milky coffees have changed our perception of normal serving sizes. As a result we are often eating almost double the portions that our grandparents ate. No wonder our waistbands are getting tighter. And then there is the fast pace we live at. Many of us wolf down meals in minutes due to urgent commitments – or eat on the go to save time…meaning we aren’t listening for our body’s full signals. Result? We eat more than we need for fuel and the rest just snuggles down on the hips.
Fancy a silly solution with sound science behind it?
Ditch the knife, fork and spoon and pick up a pair of chop-sticks. Unless you are a total expert it is pretty difficult to eat a meal quickly with chopsticks! Eating slowly gives your body more time to realise you are actually eating, and to signal back to you when you have had enough. Eating slowly means you are likely to eat less – and that means slow and steady weight-loss. What’s more, if you use your chopsticks for delicious, veg-packed, nutrient-rich stir-fries like the recipe featured below, you will boost your weight-loss efforts and feel great due to the wealth of vitamins, minerals and more.
CHOP-CHOP BASIL CHICKEN (serves 1)
1 nest dried wholewheat noodles
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Clove of garlic finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (to taste)
2 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2cm knob of fresh root ginger, grated
Few leaves of pak choi, white parts thinly sliced, green parts left whole or torn in half (or use any other veg you fancy like green beans, red pepper, sugar snap peas, broccoli)
100g chicken fillet thinly sliced
Handful of fresh basil leaves
For the sauce
2 tsp Asian fish sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp runny honey or sugar
1 tsp white wine vinegar or lime juice
Sprinkling chopped coriander
1. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, drain and refresh in cold water.
2. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick frying pan or wok. Add the garlic, stirring until lightly golden but don’t allow it to burn or it will taste bitter.
3. Add the chicken and cook, stirring constantly for a few minutes until white / golden.
4. Add spring onions, ginger, chilli and white parts of the pak choi, and fry over a high heat, stirring, for about 4 minutes until the vegetables are nearly cooked but still crisp.
5. Tip the drained noodles into the pan and add the green leaves of the pak choi, then fry for another minute or so, stirring to combine.
6. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Add the basil and sauce to the wok ingredients plus a splash of water if needed, stirring for a minute to combine.
7. Serve in a bowl, garnished with chopped coriander and lime wedges. Grab your chopsticks and dig in!