The Porridge, Popcorn and Prawns diet

I recently finished losing about 40 pounds, or around 3 stone as the British would say.  The main technique I used was a calorie-counter app on my iPhone called myFitnessPal.  It’s a simple concept: you just type in every single thing you eat, every day, every meal.  It helped me immensely because I tend to “graze” all day.  I never keep track of my eating.  I just keep telling myself I can just have some more.  I slide down the slippery food slope all day.

The calorie app is just a little calorie accountant.  It forces me to keep track and actively decide if I’m going to blow my diet or stay within my means.  Of course, I need to eat something.  Foods that make me feel full (and taste good!) without being too calorie-dense are perfect.

Three of those foods are:

1) Porridge (oatmeal if you’re American).  It’s very good for you and a filling bowl of it only has about 140 calories.  I add salt, which has no calories.  But there are lots of other things you could add to give it more flavour.

2) Popcorn.  I eat Trader Joe’s small bags of popcorn, only 130 calories per bag.  I bring them to the UK by the suitcase load (all for my own use, not for resale, customs officials!).  The bag is small, but enough to fill me up for an hour or two.  It’s a nice filling snack in the middle of the day.  Tastes pretty good without being “more-ish.”

3) Prawns (shrimp if you’re American). Strangely enough, these are also not calorie-dense. It’s because, like porridge, prawns are mostly water.  150 grams of prawns only has around 90 calories!

This diet name doesn’t work in the USA.  Oatmeal, popcorn and shrimp just doesn’t sound as catchy!

By the way, you can put sugar in your porridge instead of salt.  You might think that would blow your diet, but there are only 14 calories in a teaspoon of sugar.  Using a bit of sugar here and there isn’t bad.  It’s when it’s added at the factory, as in a can of coke for example, that it’s a problem.  There is the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar in one can of coke.  By contrast, I put 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar in my coffee in the morning.  With milk and sugar, I estimate my morning cup of coffee is only 50 calories.

These are the tricks that work for me.  Maybe some of them will work for you.  Good luck!

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