Here are six hassle-free diet hacks to cut down calories and help boost your energy

Here are six hassle-free diet hacks to cut down calories and help boost your energy

WILLPOWER is hard at the best of times but it can seriously waver when you are tired or stressed. And the last thing you need is complicated nutrition advice to keep you on your diet. Sun nutrition…

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WILLPOWER is hard at the best of times but it can seriously waver when you are tired or stressed. And the last thing you need is complicated nutrition advice to keep you on your diet.

Sun nutritionist AMANDA URSELL reveals six hassle-free diet hacks to help boost energy and cut calories when all you really want is a chocolate bar or five.

 Orange juice is a good source of vitamin C which helps the body absorb the iron that's added to many breakfast cerealsGetty – Contributor Orange juice is a good source of vitamin C which helps the body absorb the iron that’s added to many breakfast cereals

COOK PASTA LIKE ITALIANS

 Pasta gives a slower release of energy when cooked 'al dente'Alamy Pasta gives a slower release of energy when cooked ‘al dente’

Pasta that is still a bit hard, or “al dente” as they call it in Italy, gives a slower release of energy after eating, compared with the soft, overcooked pasta we are more used to.

When energy levels are steady and stable, experts say you are more likely to be able to focus on tasks.

ORANGE JUICE WITH CEREALS

Vitamin C in orange juice helps your body to absorb the iron that is added to many breakfast cereals such as Weetabix, Fruit and Fibre and Cheerios.

 Drink orange juice with your breakfast cereal for a vitamin C and iron combination which helps combat iron-deficiencyGetty – Contributor Drink orange juice with your breakfast cereal for a vitamin C and iron combination which helps combat iron-deficiency

Nearly half of teenage girls and more than a quarter of adult women up to 65 have low iron intakes, which can lead to tiredness, low mood and stress.

The vitamin C and iron combination helps to cut the risk of iron-deficiency anaemia.

EAT BANANAS WHEN THEY ARE MEDIUM-RIPE

 Medium-ripe bananas with some green on the skin are a better hunger-busting option.Alamy Medium-ripe bananas with some green on the skin are a better hunger-busting option.

Carbohydrates with a lower glycaemic index (GI) take longer to digest than high-GI carbs, helping us feel fuller for longer and curbing appetite, leading to a lower calorie intake.

While ripe bananas have a high GI of 74 – the same as sweet biscuits – medium-ripe bananas with some green on the skin have a GI of just 43, the same as porridge, making them a better hunger-busting option.

EAT LEFTOVER PASTA

Leftover pasta, stored in the fridge and eaten cold the next day in a salad, gives you fewer calories than the fresh variety.

 Leftover pasta feeds good bacteria in your colon, helping to improve gut healthAlamy Leftover pasta feeds good bacteria in your colon, helping to improve gut health

This is because some of its starch becomes resistant to the enzymes in your system that usually break it down.

The undigested starch feeds good bacteria in your colon, helping to improve gut health and, among other things, it may boost immunity.

OPT FOR CANNED BEANS

As with pasta, cooking and cooling vegetables such as haricot, red kidney and butterbeans, for example, has a similar effect on their starch, making some of it resistant to digestion.

 More resistant starch is formed when beans are canned which can have a significant effect on calorie contentAlamy More resistant starch is formed when beans are canned which can have a significant effect on calorie content

If these beans are then canned, still more resistant starch is formed.

Dr Guy Crosby, of Harvard University in the US, says: “Cooking and cooling legumes at home means they have four to five per cent resistant starch but canning them raises this to five to six per cent. This is enough to have a significant effect on calorie content and your feelings of fullness.”

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