Crunching the calories
Weight management products, as with other formerly niche categories, have traditionally resided within safe, easy and comfortable formats such as supplement pills and drinks where aspects such as texture pose significantly less issues than is the case in solid food products. Be it creaminess or crunch, the fat and sugar/carbohydrates within food often plays a crucial role in the texture of a product, not to mention taste. Past attempts to eliminate such ingredients in the quest for fat and calorie reduction have at times resulted in products that are either tasteless, have a flat texture or both. The result of this has been a downturn in the weight management foods market in recent years. However innovation from the food industry in response to the burning issue of calorific reduction and weight management through developments in ingredients, formulation and processing has resulted in a new wave of staple food products where taste and texture are given equal footing to overall weight management potential.
Meals & Diet Plan Products
Nupo Cocoa Diet Shake is very low in calories at just 115 calories per portion. It has a natural taste of chocolate and is made with protein and fiber to curb hunger. The shake is a part of Nupo’s Very Low Calorie Diet product range that has been on the market for over 30 years. By replacing all meals with 6 daily portions of Diet Shake or Diet Soups, calorific intake is limited to 700 calories per day, thereby promoting weight loss. Nupo’s full meal replacement also ensures all essentials vitamins, minerals and nutrients that the body needs. Nupo has been more thoroughly tested and medically documented than any other diet in the world with more than 56 clinical studies.
LighterLife Fastpacks are exclusive to Superdrug in the UK and are part of the LighterLife Fast plan which is designed to make 5:2 intermittent fasting easy and nutritious. These specially formulated nutritional food options contain all the protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals required without the extra calories. They are available in a range of convenient and easy-to-use meals, including pasta carbonara, vegetable soup, porridge, banana shake and nut fudge bars.
By eating four LighterLife Fastpacks on each of their fasting days, 5:2 followers will be consuming 600 calories on fast days while getting 100% of their recommended daily allowances (RDAs) of key minerals and vitamins, together with plenty of protein and fibre. On the remaining days follows of the plan would eat normally.
Tesco’s Healthy Living Chicken Laksa Noodles is part of a range that includes chilled prepared meals, salads and salad dressings, through to desserts, snacks and sweets. Healthy Living has been developed so that eating healthily doesn’t have to taste like a compromise. Every dish has been crafted by nutritionists to be full of flavour for people who appreciate taste but also want to control levels of sugar, salt, fat and saturates. Chicken Laksa Noodles contains tender chicken breast pieces in a creamy coconut sauce enhanced with lime, lemongrass, ginger and chilli, served on a bed of rice noodles and finished with a mix of vegetables at 261 calories per serving.
USN Diet Fuel Protein Soup has a meal replacement formula with whey and soy protein which provides dieters with a complete, nutritious meal for anytime of the day. It contains all the essential nutrients in adequate quantities to aid a healthy lifestyle and physique. The high fibre and protein levels in this Meal Replacement Soup contribute to the maintenance of lean muscle and promote healthy, long-lasting weight loss. Additionally, it is formulated with chromium to help maintain a normal blood sugar level. At just over 200 calories per serving, USN Diet Fuel Protein Soup is the perfect option for a mid-day snack. Replacing one daily meal with the soup will help with body maintenance, and replacing two meals will effectively aid weight loss goals. A recent study published in the Physiology & Behaviour Journal found that soups reduce hunger and increase fullness as much as solid foods. Diet Fuel Protein Soup can be purchased directly from the USN online store.
Pasta & Noodles
Slendier is an Australian brand of ‘konjac pasta’. Konjac is a vegetable that can grow up to 25 centimetres in diameter and is a dietary staple throughout many Asian countries. Slendier is significantly low in calories with 100g of pasta containing 8 calories, as opposed to around 300 calories for the real thing. Slendier also acts as an appetite suppressant as it is particularly high in fibre which helps delay digestion and keeps you feeling full and satisfied despite a lack of calories. Slendier pasta is the only certified organic pasta and gluten and fat free. This helps to achieve a firmer bite and less translucent appearance and has led to the introduction of Lasagne to the range.
Slim Pasta is a range of pasta products that offers significant calorific reduction. In comparison to standard pasta, 100g of Slim Pasta offers as calorific reduction of as much as 330kcal and a carbohydrate reduction of over 99%. To maintain texture Slim Pasta uses an ingredient called ‘Juroat’ (a blend of konjac flour and oat fibre).
Independent studies on konjac show how it can help increase insulin in the blood and lower blood sugar levels, making Slim Pasta ideal for diabetics. In addition, studies also show it can help lower LDL cholesterol. The Slim Pasta range meets the requirements set out by the European Law for Konjac to be used as an effective food for weight loss.
Clearspring Skinny Soba Somen noodles are largely made from buckwheat where others are made from refined wheat flour. The a higher fibre content makes them much more easily digestible and thereby wasting less energy. The noddles are produced using a traditional method, drying the noodles (slowly rather than a quick blast of heat) helping to retain the high nutritional content of the noodles. This makes them a richer source of fibre than any other noodle. All other noodles in the UK market are dried quickly in a non traditional way, meaning they lose a lot of their nutrients, including fibre, due to the intense drying process they under-go.
Bio-Synergy Garcinia with Vitamin B6 is an all natural supplement which has been proven to boost metabolism with no jitters. The ingredient from the rind of the fruit could hasten weight-loss efforts. The natural extract is from the rind and researchers claim that it can double or triple one’s weight loss. With proper weight-loss efforts (dieting and exercising), the average person taking Garcinia lost an average of four pounds a month. The extract from garcinia cambogia supplement aids in weight loss by helping to block fat, and suppressing appetite.
Zotrim is a herbal weight loss aid based on a patented blend of extracts from South American plants, which have traditional herbal use. Several previous studies have shown that Zotrim enables weight loss at a healthy rate even without dietary and exercise changes. In a University of Liverpool study those taking Zotrim consumed 112 fewer calories being on average, than those with the placebo, with the reduction mainly resulting from less high fat sweet and savoury items.
Full & Slim is a virtually calorie-free drink available in three fruit flavours that contains a ‘super-fibre’ enabling people to gain control of their appetite and cholesterol by imitating the effects of a gastric band, without the risks of invasive surgery. The EFSA-approved food supplement contains the highest quality Glucomannan available on the market that works by expanding and stimulating the stomach wall, which then signals to the brain that the stomach is full. This increased sense of ‘fullness’ can help to reduce the amount of food that people eat and in turn lower cholesterol; eventually leading to long term weight loss.
Native to South America, Stevia is a small green plant bearing leaves which have a taste that can be 30 times sweeter than sugar. As various studies have found, the leaf contains proteins, fibre, carbohydrates, iron, calcium and true Vitamin A and Vitamin C. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) ruled in 2012 that Stevia is an approved food supplement for use by consumers and food manufacturers in the EU. Now BetterStevia from the US is an ultra low calorie natural sweetener. Unlike chemical sweeteners, Now BetterStevia contains pure Stevia extract, so it is a perfectly healthy substitute for table sugar and artificial sweeteners. Quality Stevia leaves, such as those used in Now BetterStevia, are nutritious, natural dietary supplements offering numerous health benefits. It is available in a variety of liquids and powders.
Natvia is stevia based sweetener from leaves grown on farms in Australia and blended with a naturally occurring nectar (known as Erythritol) found in melons and grapes. Developed with baristas in mind, Nativa was crafted to complement coffee perfectly and contains a clean, sweet flavour without the unpleasant aftertaste. Natvia can also be used for baking and cooking.
SlimGum is the first chewing gum designed to help achieve weight management goals. The peppermint flavoured gum contains six active ingredients which are proven to aid fat loss and maintain a healthy metabolism, including Green Coffee Bean extract which can enhance weight-loss by up to 2.5kg over 60 days. Detoxing Green Tea and L-Carnitine which increase fat burning and reduce fat absorption, Chromium which aids weight loss and suppresses cravings and Thiamin and Biotin which are essential for energy and building up metabolism.