Eating Loads and Staying Slim

Anything that tastes nice is probably fattening. Some people can eat anything without putting on weight. You’re not one of those people! Is any of this true? Not so, say authors Della Galton & Peter Jones in their latest book How To Eat Load Loads And Stay Slim. All you need is a willingness to change, and some gold stars…

Peter says


The problem with many self-help books, in my experience, is that the advice they contain is usually a lot easier to read than heed. Before you know it you’re at the end of the book, and nothing’s changed.

I’m not just an author. To two people in this world, my primary job is that of ‘Uncle’. It’s kind of a cross between being a clown, a punch bag, an audience, and a confidante.

I remember one weekend with my nephew and niece. Whilst my niece was her usual chatty self, my nephew spent much of the time with his face in a book. And not just a book, but a bumper book of maths puzzles. He spent the weekend doing sums. Was he catching up on school homework? Had his parents encouraged him to work through the book by way of extra study? No – it was completely voluntary. Why then had he chosen to spend his time in this way? Because of the stars.

At the back of my nephew’s book there were several sheets of self-adhesive gold stars, and at the bottom of each page was space for a gold star to be stuck once the page had been completed. This simple concept very much appealed to my young nephew. Della and I think that it might just work for you.

Each thought provoking, scientifically-provable, idea in How To Eat Loads and Stay Slim has a STAR RATING. There are fifty four stars available – you get one just for buying the book! Collect enough stars and we personally guarantee that a slim figure, coupled with a healthy but satiated appetite, are yours for the taking. No dieting required. And to get you started this article contains twelve of them.

How to calculate your Star Rating

Virtually Fat Free Chips – worth 1 star

Everyone loves chips. But they’re bad news if you’re trying to keep your chips-300x200weight under control, right? Not necessarily. You can have guilt-free chips. All you need to do
is swap the cooking method to a combination of microwave and oven baking!

Cut washed potatoes into chips, nice and thick (easier to cook), then spread them out on a plate and spray them with a low fat spray or a tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and microwave for four minutes. Transfer them to the oven on a baking tray (add a little more low fat spray, if necessary) and bake at 240 degrees Celsius. You will need to turn them often so they get evenly browned.

Chips made like this are not quite as good as tasty as fried chips – but they are totally guilt free. You can have as many as you like. They go very well with ham and eggs. They also work very well if you roast vegetables alongside them. And if you’d like cheesy chips then just sprinkle a handful of half fat grated cheese over them and melt.

Swapping – 1 star for each ‘swap’ to a maximum of 5

‘Swapping’ is the concept of identifying foods that could easily, and painlessly, be switched for healthier, less fattening alternatives. For instance:

  • swap chips for jacket spuds
  • swap beef mince for extra-lean mince
  • swap full fat cheese for half fat cheese
  • swap pints of beer for bottles of beer
  • swap beer for wine
  • swap sugar for less sugar (with the cunning use of measuring spoons)
  • swap crisps for popadums
  • swap shop bought burgers for shop bought veggie-burgers
  • swap snack foods for healthier and shockingly tasty alternatives

It isn’t a new concept at all, but it’s such a simple, easy idea that it’s often overlooked and forgotten about.

Changing Your Mind – 3 stars in total

Never mind calorie counting, or spending your lunch hour on the treadmill, the real secret to eating loads and staying slim is to exercise the lump of grey matter between your ears, and to re-think your approach to food, based on facts.

For instance, there’s evidence that we use our eyes, more than our stomachs, to judge how much food we’ve eaten. If our plates are anything less than over-flowing we often feel cheated, and consequently hungry. And if there’s food on the plate we’ll often eat it, regardless of whether or not we’ve already had our fill.

This is scientific gold dust, and immediately give us two more techniques we can use to control our weight.

Firstly, get into the habit of checking in with your stomach whilst you’re eating. Are you full now? Then stop. Who cares if there’s food left on the plate. Leave it. Don’t worry about the WASTE, worry about your WAIST. 1 star for this one.

Secondly, you can actually trick your mind into accepting smaller portions by using smaller plates. If you’re using ten inch dinner plates, switch to nine. That’s a 10% decrease in overall food intake right there, and you won’t even notice. 2 stars for this one.

How Hunger Really Works – fatometer-295x3003 stars in total

Many, many years ago, long before you and I came to be – before the invention of the internet, the telephone, pizza delivery services, before mopeds, and the wheels that make them possible – food was generally hard to come by. The only meal options available were fruit, nuts and berries – or catching something and killing it. Which could be a tad treacherous and usually involved a joint effort. Times were tough.

This being the case, it didn’t make sense to evolve a hunger mechanism that made your tummy rumble just because you hadn’t eaten. On the other hand, when food was plentiful – say, when your old pal Ug had managed to trap a woolly mammoth – it made a LOT of sense for your body to encourage you to eat as much as you could from the all-you-can-eat mammoth buffet. In those days, life was quite often a case of ‘survival of the fattest.’

Back in the 21st century every day is ‘woolly mammoth day’. Figuratively speaking. Food is plentiful, and quite a lot of it is packed with calories. But whilst we might eventually evolve a new hunger mechanism that takes all this into account, right now your body and mine are operating on the assumption that the local pizza delivery place might run out of pizza at any moment, and that it’s best to fill up whilst we can.

Put simply, your body is designed to make you fatter. It does this by associating the calories in the food you eat, with the flavour that food has. Over time your body figures out which flavours are ‘fattest’. Those foods usually become our favourites.

There are several ways we can use this information to our advantage but three quick tips – worth one star each – are:

  • Try new foods whenever you can
  • Mix up your flavours
  • Have home-cooked meals whenever possible (avoiding sauces in packets or jars, or anything that’ll make your food taste identical to last time)

Read more about how hunger really works here

This article originally appeared in Good Magazine

How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim is available now as an ebook, in paperback, and as an audio download, from amazon


Recipe: cocktail sausage and paprika omelette


Della says

It’s coming up to that time of year when our thoughts turn to comfort food and Christmas – not necessarily in that order.   Well, if you fancy eating some comfort food, but you don’t want to put on any weight before Christmas – you might like to try this omelette. It’s easy to make, very tasty, and has the advantage of being very low fat too.

Serve it on its own for lunch, or with a salad for dinner.

This recipe serves two – or possibly one very hungry eat loadser.   If you can’t manage it all, just refrigerate the leftovers. It’s nice cold the following day.

Cocktail Sausage and Paprika Omelette (very low fat)


Half a packet of cooked Quorn cocktail sausages.  (180g packet)

3 eggs

1 red pepper

1 green pepper

1 small onion

2 green chillis (optional)

Small handful of grated reduced fat mature cheddar


Black pepper and salt to season

Fat free spray to cook



Chop peppers, onion and chillis and cooked cocktail sausages.  Beat three eggs in separate bowl and season. Spray non stick frying pan with two to three sprays of fat free spray (I use Fry light).  Add peppers, onions and chillis. Fry for few minutes till soft, add chopped sausages. Add paprika and chillis if using. Add eggs, cook till lightly set. Sprinkle on cheese and finish under grill. Grill until brown and starting to rise slightly.

NB: Instead of sausages – smoked salmon and prawns work well. So does a can of tuna in brine (drained).  So does chopped bacon or ham (fat removed).

Other optional ingredients: a small can of sweetcorn (no added sugar). Freshly chopped tomatoes. Fresh chives. A handful of black olives (in brine not oil).

Leftover potato also works well (boiled potatoes – not roast!). If using potato, try adding garlic and lots of black pepper.


Phoenix FM Happy Club: We answer your happiness related questions

Earlier this month I joined the delightful Michelle Ward of Phoenix98 FM to discuss ‘happiness’, and to answer your happiness related questions.

This month’s questions were…

  • How do I control my uncontrollable rage when people do not follow my legitimate instructions?
  • How do you achieve a healthy work/life balance? As in, how can you effectively balance work and home life, especially when you work from home?
  • How can I be happy with my diet when I can’t afford lobster and fillet steak each day?
  • I want to change my life completely; my job, my looks, etc. Where do I start on such a monumentous task?
  • How do I get an octopus into a paper bag?
  • I would like to know Peter’s tips for staying focused on goals, and for being organised when the path is full of obstacles.
  • Why is Peter Jones’ name a mash up of the names of two of the band members of The Monkees?

To listen to the show click the big play button in the image below (or if you’re reading this in an email, click here)

How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting (mentioned throughout the show) is due out February 2014, How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim is available, now, in three formats.

If you have a question for next month’s show feel free to drop me a line, post a comment below, tweet either myself or Michelle, or send me a message on facebook. We’ll get through as many as we’re able.

Michelle’s live on Phoenix FM every weekday from 10am.

To listen to other radio interviews (and audio content) about How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim click here


Recipe: Spicy Leek and Carrot Soup


Della says

This is a rather tasty winter warmer soup.  You can eat it by the bowl full if you’re an ‘eat loadser’. It’s also a handy snack if you’re doing the five two diet because it happens to be very low in calories.

Spicy Leek and Carrot soup – serves two

Ready in about 25 minutes (including preparation time)



2 leeks (approx 145 cals)

3 medium sized carrots (approx 100 calories)

half a can of sweetcorn (80 cals)

1 vegetable stock cube (I use Knorr) (34 cals)

clove of garlic  (negligible)

1 chilli (negligible)

Smallish piece of fresh ginger (negligible)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon of Marmite – optional (20 calories)


Chop carrots and leeks roughly, and finely chop chilli and ginger and crush garlic and place in saucepan.

Cover with three quarters of a pint of water. Add sweetcorn. Add stock cube and seasoning and Marmite if using. Heat and then simmer till cooked.

Top Tip. This tastes even better the day after (keep in fridge overnight). It’s less than 400 calories a pan (serves two) so makes a handy and quite filling lunch or part lunch if you are on a ‘fast day’ on the five two diet.



Your Happiness Questions Answered: Phoenix FM ‘Happy Club’ Sept 2013 #Audio

Last Wednesday ‘Happy Club’ morphed from its previous incarnation as a workshop, to a radio show, as I joined the delightful Michelle Ward of Phoenix98 FM to discuss ‘happiness’, and to answer your happiness related questions.

This month’s questions covered weight loss, hypothyroid syndrome, and what to do if you feel you have to choose between your own happiness or someone else’s.

To listen to the show click the big play button in the image below (or if you’re reading this in an email, click here)

If you want to skip the pre-ample and move straight to the questions, use the slider to jump forward to the twelve minute mark.

Katherine’s supper clubs can be found here. ‘Deidre’s pen pals’ no longer exists. I’ve checked.

If you have a question for next month’s show feel free to drop me a line, post a comment below, tweet either myself or Michelle, or send me a message on facebook. We’ll get through as many as we’re able.

Michelle’s live on Phoenix FM every weekday from 10am.

To listen to other radio interviews (and audio content) about How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim click here

How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim is available, now, in three formats.

Meeting Your Heroes

steve wright

Things have been a tad crazy round here lately.

For instance, on Wednesday I was supposed to be writing a new WTFHIBD post for this blog but instead author Della Galton and myself were special guests on ‘Steve Wright In The Afternoon‘, on BBC Radio 2, talking about our book How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim

It was kinda momentous! I’ve listened to Steve for more years than I care to mention – in fact there was a period in my late teens where Steve inspired me to consider pursuing a career in broadcasting. This in turn led to me torturing hospital patients  in various Essex hospitals via hospital radio. If you happened to be in St John’s hospital during the late 80s, or Basildon Hospital in the early 1990s, I apologise profusely. Fortunately for everyone, like my ambitions of becoming an astronaut, a train driver or a fireman, I gave up on those dreams – Steve Wright on the other is still going strong.

Apparently Steve was keen to get us onto the show after reading the title of our book, and though the interview is quite quick – just over five minutes long – we still manage to discuss the concept of the book, how hunger really works, the mysterious oil diet, Della’s fat-free cooking principles, how to survive social eating, why diets don’t work, and why making lots of small changes does. Phew! But I’d have been happy just to shake the man by the hand.

If you’ve examined my Now List in any detail you’ll notice I have a section entitled ‘Sometime, maybe’ for those things that seem incredibly out of reach, but after Wednesday my dreams of having dinner with Imogen Heap, working with Steven Moffat, or appearing on Saturday Kitchen seem just a tiny bit more obtainable.

You can still listen to the interview over on the BBC website (or click the image below).

To listen to other radio interviews (and audio content) about How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim click here

How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim is available, now, in three formats.

Recipe: Very low fat cheese and onion quiche


Della says

Very low fat cheese and onion quiche – serves four

Ready in about 25 minutes (plus 20 minutes preparation time)


2-3 medium sized potatoes (No need to peel, just wash them and grate coarsely)

4 eggs

1 tub (500g) of fat free cottage cheese.

1 onion (chopped)

120g reduced fat mature cheddar (grated)

Fresh chives to taste

Black pepper



Preheat oven to 180 C

Spray a square quiche pan with Frylight.  Squeeze excess water from potatoes through a sieve. Spread grated potato over base of quiche pan and up the sides. Bake in oven until it has started to brown. (About fifteen minutes.)

Beat eggs in large bowl and then blend with cottage cheese, chopped onion, grated cheese and chives. Season with black pepper and pinch of salt if liked. Pour over the rosti potato base. Bake in oven for 25-30 mins. Should be golden on top and cooked through.

Serve hot or cold with:

Side salad. Or serve hot with baked beans.

This quiche also works very well with the following combinations. Replace the onion and some of the cheese with:

Smoked salmon and black olives.

Red pepper and ham.

Sweetcorn and tuna.

I actually find it’s better the next day (refrigerate overnight). It’s lovely cold.

Feel free to add comments in the box below or on our facebook page.

Recipe: Peter’s Veggie Bake

Peter says

Following the positive feedback to my veggie bean chilli post which inspired many of you to take your life in your hands and turn veggie for meal or two, I thought I’d take you through another veggie meal of mine – behold Peter’s Veggie Bake!

Whoever came up with the “eat five portions of fruit and veg a day” advice neglected to mention that it’s actually easier to do this, and far tastier, if all five portions are in the same meal. So with this in mind…

veggie bake 001

Step 1: Gather your ingredients. You’ll definitely need cornflower, salt, olive oil, milk, butter, cheese, some old bread, garlic, and every type of vegetable you can lay your hands on. I’m using cabbage, courgettes, carrots, broccoli, squash, and parsnips. Root vegetables are especially good in this dish.

By the way, did you know parsnips are higher in carbs than potatoes? Who knew. Anyway…

veggie bake 002

Step 2: ‘Grease’ a large oven proof dish with some olive oil (or butter), then chop your veg and layer inside the dish. Don’t forget several cloves of (roughly chopped) garlic, and maybe some ginger.

veggie bake 003

Step 3: Wait! I almost forgot the chilli! Blimey that was close. You definitely want to get some chilli in there. Why? What do you mean why? Because chillies are great that’s why!

(You’ll notice the broccoli and courgettes haven’t been chopped yet. I ran out of space in the dish. That often happens.)

veggie bake 004

Step 4: Drizzle a little oil on the veg. Remember to season. Maybe get your fingers in there and give it all a really good mix up.

veggie bake 005

Step 5: Right then! Time to start upsetting Della. Bring on the breadcrumbs! Don’t buy packet breadcrumbs (yuk) – instead save bits of old bread in the freezer, and grind them to crumbs in the food processor. I like to add a few sprigs of rosemary at this stage. And oh yes, another chilli.

veggie bake 006

Step 6: Darn it, I forgot the cheese (sorry Della). Take a few chunks of cheese and grind those in with the crumbs. Also, add a little seasoning.

veggie bake 007

Step 7: Grate a handful of the cheese that’s left (sorry Della) and put to one side with the breadcrumbs and the veg.

veggie bake 008

Step 8: Prepare a white sauce. Take a pint of (semi) skimmed milk (cow’s milk or an alternative), add a knob (just a knob) of butter (sorry Della), and warm slowly, adding a couple of teaspoons of cornflour every thirty seconds and whisking continuously. When the mixture begins to stiffen take off the heat immediately.

veggie bake 009

Step 9: Add the grated cheddar cheese.

veggie bake 010

Step 10: Pour over the veg.

veggie bake 011

Step 11: Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top. If you have any left over put them in a bag and store in the freezer for next time.

veggie bake 012

Step 12: Cover the whole thing with foil (shiny side down). Bake for an hour and a half at around 170 degrees Celsius (Gas mark 3). The longer you bake the better it gets – just try not to burn the top.

veggie bake 013

Step 13: And a little later on this is what emerges… it should be bubbling with deliciousness

veggie bake 014

Step 14: Use a ladle to serve as many portions as necessary. At this stage the ‘bake’ doesn’t have much solidity. It tastes utterly amazing though. Whilst you tuck into a bowlful allow the rest to cool, then cover the roasting dish and transfer to the fridge.

veggie bake 015

Step 15: The following day remove the roasting dish from the fridge and cut the remaining bake into portions. You’ll noticed that it’s ‘set’ over night. It’ll also taste even better! Reheat what you want to eat right now in the oven for five or ten minutes, the remaining portions can be individually wrapped in foil and be frozen (thaw before reheating).

If your bake looks lonely on the plate, try serving with a salad (don’t groan – it works). My salad (pictured here) consists of lettuce, tomato, silverskin onions, and pickled jalapeño peppers. Of course. Don’t forget to dress your salad.

Now it’s going to come as no surprise to some of you that my esteemed co-author almost had heart failure when she saw the list of ingredients: butter, oil, cheese, breadcrumbs… It was almost enough to put her off her fat free dessert (though not enough to prevent her from clearing the plate when I made this dish for her), and once again one of my recipes was called into question. To which I offer the following defence:

Firstly, the point here is not to create a fat free meal, but to help you break your reliance on meat and convenience foods, and re-introduce you to vegetables which are, by their very nature, very low in fats, fabulously good for you, and lip-smackingly delicious… if you use plenty of them.

Secondly, if you’re truly worried about the calorie count I encourage you to use Della’s fat free cooking principles to turn this dish into a slightly more wholesome, guilt-free version.

I’d value your feedback. Feel free to add comments in the box below or on our facebook page.

Three yummy uses for 0 % Total Yoghurt

Della says


Three yummy uses of 0% Total Yoghurt.

Fat free yoghurts feature quite a lot in my diet and I’m always looking for good ones.  Total 0 % is creamy and tastes good. But don’t just eat it as it is. Here are three uses for it that you may not have considered.

  1. For a quick sweet snack, stir a heaped teaspoon of Nutella through it, then dollop over a sliced banana. Awesome and pretty saintly.
  2. Use it to dollop over hot beef chilli (instead of full fat yoghurt or sour cream) it’s lower in calories and has a nicer flavour.
  3. Use it instead of cream on fresh fruit salad. (you can wear a halo while doing this as it’s positively saintly)

And no, I am not on commission. Unfortunately!