Tom Kerridge has shifted more than 11 stone over the past four years on a low-carb diet, but he knows it’s not for everyone. With his new book, Lose Weight for Good, he shows how you can cut calories while still adding flavour.
Here, we give him a good grilling…
What inspired your book?
I was keen to make lower calorie food that celebrates flavour. When I was trying to lose weight, the recipes I looked at were so dull. No wonder people yo-yo when they’re on them, it’s so easy to slip back. If you can be excited and celebrate the food you eat, it’s a lot easier to lose weight.
Which of your new recipes do you love the most?
The doughnuts are great because they are baked, rather than deep fat fried. You can eat them for breakfast and it feels like a treat. The breakfast muffins and the doner kebab are really tasty, too. And there’s a lovely baked southern chicken recipe. It just doesn’t feel like diet food; it’s important to actually enjoy what you’re eating, not make it feel like you’re punishing yourself.
Do you have any tips for optimising flavour without adding calories?
Poaching in a flavoured stock is a good way to bring flavour forward. That way, you’re not deep fat frying or drizzling dishes in oil before roasting them. Use spices and dry rubs like barbecue and Chinese five spice to make dishes more exciting. I love jerk chicken with those wonderful clove and cardamom flavours.
You’re around food all day – what were your big challenges while dieting?
The key is to make sure that you’re not hungry, otherwise you become weak-willed and can lose motivation. The hardest thing is the mindset. Getting that right first,
then maintaining it.
What do you eat on a typical day?
I’ll start the day with fruit and yogurt, then I’ll have some chicken and salad for lunch, and in the evening, I may have an omelette with avocado and bacon salad on the side.
Do you exercise as well?
I go to the gym or swim every day and that’s very important. Not necessarily for weight loss but more to keep up the motivation!
What about snacks?
I don’t snack and the main food I avoid is sugar. It’s not great for any diet! It works as a preservative and is often hidden. It’s in fruit, but the bonus is that you get vitamins, too, so if you are going to have sugar, get it from apples or grapes.
Do you need to cook separate meals for your family while on the diet?
No, not at all. There are around 100 recipes in the book and they’re all flavour driven and taste amazing from delicious beef stew and dumplings to a mouthwatering vanilla and strawberry cheesecake. This is an opportunity for reduced-calorie food to be accessible and convenient.