Cook Yourself Thin: sounds like a kitchen workout video. “Try these few simple exercises while you cook – lift those pans, jog between fridge and sink, whisk to lose calories.” Not at all. This is about eating but in a more thoughtful way. Almost sounds too good to be true… but read on.
The full title is All New Cook Yourself Thin – Quick and Easy (Shift the bulge and still indulge with over 100 new recipes). Still sounding good, but it’s about common sense. Diets often don’t work because they don’t fit into your existing lifestyle. They don’t take account of your tastes or budget and don’t tend to encourage you into eating habits that are sustainable. You take a diet and you break a diet and so the cycle continues.
Well, I was only half joking about the exercise. It’s half the weight-loss equation. It’s not rocket science, it’s maths. If you consume 1000 calories but you only use 500 of those calories then those other unused calories stay with you. If you use 1000 calories but you have only tucked into 500 calories worth then you are burning 500 calories of your store of calories.
Did you know that each pound of fat contains about 3500 calories? To lose a pound a week you need to reduce your intake by 3500 calories. Remember that a healthy diet has about 1500 calories per day for women and 1800 for men.
If you are the sort that sits for both a job and a hobby then you should look at increasing exercise. Take an honest look at yourself. You will know if you have a food problem or an exercise problem, although it’s probably a bit of both. Start with some walking. No need to join a gym. You’ll lose weight and improve your health.
Cook Yourself Thin offers help to count calories and also to select menus. The recipes here don’t give the impression of being low-calorie. No need to feel like you are a diet victim. This is real food that is just as healthy for those who don’t need to shed the pounds. It’s good news because you don’t want to fall into the trap of cooking different meals for different members of the family. Each recipe has preparation time, cooking time and calories per serving. Your aim is to have a maximum of 500 calories for a main meal, and every dish in this book has less than that.
Braised Lamb Shanks only has 323 calories and looks filling and manly. Texas Chilli Con Carne has 287 calories and that’s the version with added crème fraiche! This is one for the whole family. The kids will love it because it’s got Texas in the title. Chicken and Mushroom Curry isn’t authentic Indian fare but is tasty and only has 359 calories including the rice. No need to phone out for the oily takeaway.
Cook Yourself Thin gives real hope. It’s a small change to your eating habits to give quick and lasting results. Adapt your favourite recipes by using skimmed milk, less fat and less cream. Use the recipes in the book and keep an eye on the calories. Walk up the stairs. Walk to the next bus stop. Walk a bit faster. You know you want to do it – you’re reading this review, aren’t you!
Cook Yourself Thin
Published by: Michael Joseph – Penguin
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018