Are Low Calorie Recipes The Best Way To Lose Weight After Detoxing?

Best Ways To Lose Weight, detox diet“A truly delicious way to lose weight” were the opening words of a booklet about comfort food with a healthy makeover I happened to see at the weekend. “Watching your weight doesn’t mean missing out on delicious indulgent food” says the food writer.

I took a quick look at the recipes and was horrified at what I saw. The writer said she had taken comfort food recipes and made them healthy by cutting down on the calories.

Her idea of healthy food recipes included cooking in sunflower oil and using refined flour and sugar! I’m sure you know by now that sugar and white flour are not healthy. I’ll tell you what’s wrong with cooking in sunflower oil in a moment.

I often get asked by my subscribers if they should stick to low calorie recipes and foods when they have done a detox to lose weight. So what’s the answer?

It’s the kind of calories that matter

We’ve been told for years that in order to lose weight we need to eat fewer calories but it’s the kind of calories we eat that matter most. If the low calorie dishes contain unhealthy ingredients then they are not going to be good for you even if they are low in calories. And, restricting calories can cause your metabolism to slow down.

Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and epidemiologist whose research focuses on the effects of lifestyle, particularly diet, on heart health and disease, said “What you eat makes quite a difference. Just counting calories won’t matter much unless you look at the kinds of calories you’re eating”

The results of a new major, long term study showed that “people who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades”

Saturated fat is not the real baddie!

It’s been wrongly assumed for years that saturated fats are bad and vegetable fats are good. Polyunsaturated oils like soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil and a few others are all processed oils.

The processing means they are loaded with trans-fats which are highly toxic and associated with obesity and an increased risk of various diseases, like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. It’s better to cook in coconut oil or clarified butter.

So getting back to the question of whether low calorie recipes are the best way to lose weight, studies show that low-carb diets, especially low refined carbs, reduce your appetite and make you eat fewer calories and lose weight pretty much effortlessly, as long as you manage to keep the carbs down.

One recipe that I saw in the low calorie recipe book was for A Rich & Chocolatey Mud Pie. The writer has used chickpeas (garbanzos) in place of “heaps of butter and sugar” but the recipe still contained golden syrup, castor sugar and white flour. Now I ask you how is that healthy?

Here’s a great infographic I found that explains what these sort of refined carbs do to you.

 Carbs Are Killing You Infographic


The bottom line is that instead of helping you to reach your target weight more quickly,  restricting calories actually prevents your bodies from burning fat effectively , and unfortunately, this means that weight loss slows down.

The best way to lose weight after detoxing is to continue to eliminate sugars and starches,  eat good quality protein, healthy fat and lots of vegetables, keep well hydrated with pure water and to exercise three or four times a week.  It’s still possible to eat your favorite comfort foods but made with healthier ingredients.

So what do you think? Have you made healthier versions of your favorite recipes yet?  What are they?




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  1. Great article Sandy,

    I think people don’t understand the whole sugar thing and are still stuck on the low fat diets. I think the hardest part is that people just think of sugar as sugar. They don’t realize all this refined sugar is in cereal, sauce, soup, you name it. All hidden. And white, processed food turns into sugar.

    It’s something that has to be taught by us health professionals. It’s taking time, but worth it. Great job. Lisa

    • Sandy Halliday says:

      Lisa, I just watched the first episode of a four part series on sugar last night. They analyzed the diet of some people they were studying to see how much sugar they were eating a day. It was really shocking. One guy was consuming the equivalent of 39 teaspoons of sugar a day and they wanted them to get their sugar intake down to 6 teaspoons a day which is now what is recommended by the WHO. He was found to have non-alcoholic fatty liver.

      He found that simply by making himself a fruit infused water he could satisfy his taste for sweet fizzy drinks which was the main cause of his high sugar intake. Not too difficult really.

      It’s taking a long time for the message to get through but we’ll get there in the end.


  2. Hey Sandy
    This was a really interesting article. I remember reading a piece on Harvard Health’s website talking about the increase in diabetes in other diseases increasing as the whole low-fat craze kicked in and we gravitated towards a diet higher in carbohydrates. I remember being vegan for a couple of years and eating a diet pretty high in fat…lots of nuts and drenching my salad in dressing. It was a healthy dressing but high in fat none the less. And it certainly didn’t impact my weight negatively. I aim to include plenty of healthy fat in my diet, particularly avocados and nuts.

  3. Hi Sandy,

    That was an informative infographic 🙂

    Yes indeed, it’s not the healthy fats that make you fat, but the carbs, and all the starches and whites that we need to stay away from. I don’t know about the oils you mentioned above, because soybean oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil – and all come in the category of relatively good oils, though you need to use any oil to just a few drops in your cooking, that is the key. I know this as I wrote a post in the “Health” section related to fats too sometime back – and these oils don’t come under trans fat I think. I agree that coconut oil and even mustard oil are wonderful, somethings we use in our country too.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    • Sandy Halliday says:

      Hi Harleena,

      Yes, that infographic was a good find. I wish I could make my own but that’s another learning curve. They are so usefull.

      Most polyunsaturated vegetable oils sold in supermarkets have been partially hydrogenated to increase the shelf life so will contain trans fats. It is possible to get unrefined soybean oil, which is cold-pressed and expeller-pressed but you won’t find it in the supermarket.

      Mustard oil is something that I’ve never come across. Does it taste hot? I’ll have to look out for it.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Have a great weekend.

      • I guess the places would differ, because the oils we find here, come under the category of no trans fat, so perhaps they are already processed differently 🙂

        Not hot, in fact, you need to let it heat up a little or burn it a while so that the mustard seed odor lessens, as many people don’t like smell coming in their food. But I’ve been seeing our seniors always use it – age long oil that goes well with coconut oil our end.

        Thanks 🙂

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