Retrain Your Appetite

The Buzzness : Retrain Your Appetite


"Everything is permissible," but not everything is beneficial...

1 Corinthians 10:23 (CSB)

What do I eat to retrain my appetite?

Choose from a mixture of green (unlimited) foods and amber foods (good in moderation) to make up meals and snacks of your choice. Make sure you include a MINIMUM of five portions a day of fruit and veg (with at least 3 portions of veg). Try to ensure you eat a good mix of foods, rather than relying on a lot of a few foods!

While some people may enjoy three large meals a day, others prefer to graze on healthy snacks throughout the day. Listen to your body and experiment to see what keeps you satisfied.

Red foods are to be avoided. That doesn't mean you will never eat them, for example there are times - such as wedding receptions - when eating ordinary cake may be appropriate. However, do try to avoid red foods when you are given a choice. During your appetite's initial training phase of around one month red foods should be avoided completely, along with those amber foods that are marked with an asterisk.

Green - eat as often as you like
Potatoes - if baked or boiled and eaten with skin-on
All other fresh fruit and vegetables
Fruit and veg, frozen or tinned, with only water added
Fruit tinned in natural fruit juice
  • Beans (not soy)
  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Chick peas, including houmous
  • Baked beans (although most brands contain added salt and sugar, I feel this is outweighed by the accessible nutrition that baked beans provide)
Unprocessed Grains and Cereals:
  • Oats, including rolled oats.
  • Millet (try using this as an alternative to cous cous).
  • Brown Rice
Rye bread - sourdough wholegrain recipe (e.g. can be bought from Lidl)
Unsalted nuts
Most fresh white fish and frozen white fish (but not battered or in a ready-made sauce etc.) See NHS guidelines for exceptions
Extra virgin olive oil, uncooked, e.g. drizzled on salads
Herbs and spices - fresh or dried, without additives
Herbal and fruit teas - no added sugar or additives
Rooibos/Red Bush tea
Oat Drink (e.g. "Oatly" or "ProVitamil")
Water, hot, with or without a slice of lemon
Water, cold, with or without ice and lemon

Amber - eat in moderation
Fresh meat - up to three palm sized portions a week, ideally organic
Oily fish - See NHS guidelines
Tinned fish, including tuna - See NHS guidelines
Eggs, up to half dozen a week, ideally free-range and organic
Dairy products - choose organic whenever possible:
  • Full fat natural yogurt, up to 150ml daily
  • Full fat or semi skim milk, up to half-pint daily
  • Full fat cheese, up to 30g daily
  • Butter, up to 20g day
Pure sunflower margarine with no preservatives, emulsifiers, etc. (e.g. "Pure")
Wholemeal flour - personally I enjoy wheat, but please note that not everyone finds wheat the most helpful grain. You might want to experiment with other flours such as spelt and buckwheat
Wholemeal bread - homemade or bakery (made without emulsifiers) - up to 4 slices daily
Wholemeal pasta, max 125g portion size (aim for a 50-75g portion)
Basmati or wild rice, max 125g portion size (aim for a 50-75g portion)
Homemade, wholemeal, Yorkshire puddings
Homemade, wholemeal, scones (made without sugar)
Jams made without refined sugars (e.g. "St Dalfour")
Olive oil may be used in small amounts for cooking - See BBC News article
Tamari Sauce, ideally organic
Mayonnaise, up to one dessertspoonful per day
Honey*, up to two teaspoons (10g) daily
Pure maple syrup*, up to two tablespoons. Make sure you check the label, and avoid maple syrup that contains any other ingredient than actual maple tree syrup
Dried fruit, up to a tablespoon (approx. 14g) each type daily, e.g.:
  • Raisins
  • Currants
  • Dates
  • Apricots - the brown sort which have been dried without added sulphites
Salted nuts, max small handful
Chocolate - minimum 70% cocoa
Tea (no sugar) - up to 6 cups daily (this is if no coffee is being drunk - if it is please adjust amount of tea down accordingly as coffee has roughly twice the amount of caffeine as tea)
Coffee (no sugar) - up to 3 cups daily (but note that as most Lattes contain two shots of expresso, one of these counts as two cups of coffee!)
Fruit juice - up to 200ml daily
Alcohol* - max two units a day

Red - avoid
Refined sugar, including brown and demerara as well as white!
Foods made with white flour - including white bread
Soft drinks (ideally also exclude diet drinks)
Fruit squashes (ideally also exclude 'no added sugar' versions)
Foods containing flavour enhancers, such as MSG - these will make you want to keep eating!!
Foods containing artificial flavours, colours and preservatives etc.
Margarines containing emulsifiers
Bread made with emulsifiers - unfortunately this includes most prepacked loaves
Processed meat - including sausages, bacon and most prepacked cooked meats, which contain preservatives - there has been shown to be a link between these foods and cancer - See BBC News article
Chocolate that contains less than 70% cocoa. Chocolate in itself is not bad; in fact it is a source of various nutrients, including iron. Unfortunately, most of the chocolate we eat actually contains rather more fat and sugar than chocolate. This turns chocolate into sweeties! Therefore, if you eat it more often than as a very occasional treat, choose chocolate which has a minimum of 70% Cocoa Solids; this will be shown on the wrapper and can be included as an amber food
Adding salt to food. However if you really cook EVERYTHING from scratch, with no processed foods or any bread at all, then you may want to add a little salt to your cooking - perhaps up to half a level teaspoon a day (NHS guidelines currently suggest a maximum daily intake for adults should be 6g)

Retrain Your Appetite : The Buzzness