The cheese board is one of those things that would appear to be completely off-limits when it comes to weight loss. Think about all those beautiful morsels laid out so nicely on the wooden board – camembert, blue vein, goats cheese and aged cheddar, the list could go on. Surely, all of these things would be on the banned list when it comes to weight loss?
Guess what, it’s GOOD news. You see, it seems that cheese has been hit with the same stick as eggs did some years ago, when we were told that eggs were bad and led to high cholesterol. Thank goodness eggs are back on the menu (thanks to more robust research and the Heart Foundation now recommending enjoying up to 6 eggs a week), and it seems it’s now the same for cheese. Yep, guys, I’m pleased to tell you that cheese is back on the menu. In fact, studies have found that cheese can reduce our risk of heart disease, stroke and metabolic syndrome.
So, can you eat cheese and lose weight?
The answer is yes! Learn how with these simple tips:
1) Regular cheese has slightly more kilojoules than reduced fat cheese, so if you’re looking to lose weight, reduced fat may be a better choice. Or, you could simply eat a smaller portion of full fat stuff (let’s be honest, low fat cheese is not for everyone!)
2) Cheese is recognised as an “everyday food” in the Australian Dietary Guidelines, and most people need around 3 serves of dairy or dairy alternatives per day to meet their nutritional needs.
3) Women aged over 50 need a little more as they are at a higher risk of osteoporosis. A serve of dairy is 2 slices of cheese or 40g, so having a serve each day, for example, 2 slices of cheese on your sandwich or 40g feta tossed through your salad will help you achieve 1/3 of your needs. Add to this a cup of milk on your cereal and a tub of yoghurt for morning tea, and you’re all set!
4) Instead of going overboard with cheese and wine on the weekends, why not think about how you could include a little bit of cheese in your everyday life? Some of the ways I just love to enjoy cheese is adding a slice of Jalsberg to my sandwich at lunch, and in the mornings there’s nothing more that I love than some wholegrain sourdough toast with peanut butter, ricotta and a drizzle of honey.
5) Try to also balance out the more indulgent cheeses like haloumi and brie with cheeses like ricotta and bocconcini. Get outside your comfort zone and try different varieties.
6) Slow down and savour every mouthful and appreciate the food you have in front of you. After all, food is one of life’s great pleasures and no one should miss out on the pleasure of cheese.
7) Keep your portions right and change your mindset from indulgence to having a little each day. Yes, you can have your cheese and eat it too!
start your journey now