Step 3 – Food choices

Be aware of your food choices When we start thinking about what we put in our bodies, things will start changing. With awareness comes the ability to change.

Top 10 foods to put on your grocery list

Here are some foods that experts say should be on any health-conscious shopper’s grocery list:

Tomatoes These juicy, red fruits are loaded with the antioxidant lycopene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in women.

Low-fat proteins Good sources of lean protein include seafood, skinless white-meat poultry, eggs, lean beef (tenderloin, sirloin, eye of round), and skim or low-fat yogurts, milk, and cheeses. Some research has indicated that a diet moderately high in protein can keep hunger at bay, and thus help you lose weight.

Whole grains, oats, and fibrous foods Fibre helps your digestive tract work properly and lowers cholesterol levels while keeping your belly feeling full. Whole grains also contain antioxidants, are fat free, and are easy to fit into your diet.

Berries (red and blue), including grapes Berries are loaded with vitamins and minerals, as well as phytochemicals with cancer-fighting properties. Red grapes, in the form of one glass of red wine daily, may even reduce the risk of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. (If you’re a nondrinker, check with a doctor before starting.)

Nuts A handful of almonds, cashews, pecans, or walnuts provides fiber, vitamin E, and healthful, monounsaturated fats. Just watch your portion size; these nutritious nuggets are high in calories.

Fish and fish oil Fish and fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce the risk of heart disease by protecting the heart against inflammation.The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, or sardines at least twice a week.

Unsaturated fats Unsaturated fats such as olive, canola, and soybean oils are the best kind of fats.

Low-fat dairy products Low-fat dairy products provide plenty of calcium to help keep bones and teeth strong, are a great source of protein, and may even enhance weight loss, according to some research.

Vegetables Vegetables are a healthful eater’s best friend. All veggies, except avocadoes, are fat-free and loaded with disease-fighting phytochemicals.

Legumes Legumes (like pinto, garbanzo, kidney and black beans and lentils) are underrated. The lowly bean is naturally fat free and loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, especially iron. They add few calories, but keep you feeling full.

At the ReliSlim Slimming Clinic we strongly advise that, right at the beginning of your weight loss effort, you start taking a detailed diary of everything that you eat and drink throughout the day. There are many calorie/diet tracking apps available on Mac and Android that can make this much easier to do. With awareness comes change.

Different exercise affects appetite differently

A study in the American Journal of Physiology finds that aerobic exercise affects levels of two different hormones involved in appetite. Weight lifting only affected levels of one of the hormones.

Click here for the full article and podcast

DAIRY PRODUCTS (low fat 7 fat free-plain & sweetened): Buttermilk, custard (cooled) & Ultramel Lite; ice cream e.g. Country Fresh Lite, Diaby, Dialite, Wilfredo’s low GI low fat; milk, yoghurt, including drinking yoghurt (lite or dite is lower GL) CEREAL & PORRIDGE (lower GI with milk): Cereal & Muesli: Cereal: All-Bran Fruitful, All-Bran Hi-Fibre & Hi-Fibre Fruit & Oats ; Oatbix, ProNutro Whole Wheat (Original, Apple Bake & Honeymelt), Right Start Fibre Plus. Muesli: Absolute Organics low GI granola, Fine Form Muesli’s. Nature’s Source low GI Mixed Berry, Simply Cereals Balance, Apricaot & Peach, Thistlewood Cranberry, Vital. Porridge: Instant Porridge: All-Bran instant, Future Life (Regular, High Protein, Zero) Gluco-less, Skinny Oats(original, Strawberry) SPP Insta-Meal, Vitality Life. Other: Cupo’Oats, Instant oats (boxes, plain, Peach & Banana, Jungle-no creamer)oat bran – all brands (raw), oats (quick cooking & rolled, cooked)-all brands, Oats-so-easy Original (sachets, Jungle), mealiemeal (cooled), sorghum (acid added).

BREADS & CRACKERS: Breads & Rolls: Breads: Barley 50% kernel bread, Brown Plus & Digesta (Blue Ribbon), low GI Brown (Star bakery),low GI Cholesterol lowering (Woolworths), low GI Hi fibre Vital wheat (Star bakery), low GI Multigrain/-seed (Albany, Spar, Sunbake, Sasko, including cranberry, Rosehip & honeybush and Smooth, Wheatfields, Woolworths), low GI Oats and Honey(Sasko), low GI Whole Grain & Omega-3 (Woolworths), low GI Seeded Brown (Albany), low GI Seed loaf (Duens, Sasko, Sunbake, Sunshine, Woolworths), low GI Soya & Linseed (Sasko, Sunbake, Woolworths), low GI Whole Wheat brown & Dumpie Brown(Sasko), low GI White(Albany, Blue Ribbon Fuel, Sasko), Ultima low GI low kj brown bread(Albany). Rye bread (Astoria, Woolworths): Fruit & Honey Whole Grain, Pumpernickel, Sunflower Seed Whole Grain, Volkorn. Bread pre-mixes: Ruto low GI Seed, South Bakels low GI Multigrain. Bread rolls: low GI Seeded Special Bread Buns (Sasko), Nature’s Valley low GI soya & Linseed (Sunbake). Crackers: Provita (Original & Multigrain), Global wraps (no filling), tortillas (corn & wheat).

STARCHES: Legumes: all dry, cooked & canned beans, chickpeas, lentils & peas, e.g. baked beans, bean sprouts (from mung beans), lupine, pinto and soya beans, peadhal, etc.;& their flours, e.g. chickpea (besan), lentil (urad), lupine, mung bean, pea(chana), split pea(dhal) and soya flour. Non-grains: bucketwheat, mesquite, quinoa, mesquite flour. Other Grains: barley(cracked & pearled), bulgar(cracked wheat),corn(whole, on the cob), mealiemeal, mealier ice &samp(cooled), semolina, sorghum(whole), wheat(pearled/stampkoring/weet-rice). Pasta: Fine Form, gnocchi, mung bean noodles, Puccini & all pasta made from durum wheat; soba noodles. Rice: Tastic Nature’s brown(Old Mill Stream) & white; Spekko (Americano, basmati, brown & long grain parboiled), wild rice, sushi (with sea weed). Root Vegetables:(ama) dumbe, cassava, Charisma low GI potato, sweet potato (purple skin). Werda Salads: Italia pasta e Fagiole, Samp & Bean, Spanish Vegetable Paella.

FRUIT: All berries: cranberries, strawberries, etc. Citrus: grapefruit, lemon, lime, naartjie, orange. Deciduous: apple, cherry, nectarine, peach, pear, plum, rhubarb. Other: fig, granadilla, guava, kiwi, grapes and mango (control portions), pomegranate, prickly pear, quince, rhubarb. Canned: all the above in juice, pie apples, pineapple in juice(Rhodes). Dried: all the above, unsweetened; dried apricots, Safari sugar free fruit flakes. Fruit bars: Montagu mixed fruit, Just Fruit(Safari, Fruit Break berry(Safari). Fruit Rolls: Safari-apricot, guava & mango (sweetened), berry (unsweetened). Fruit Juices (control portions): apple, fresh grapefruit and orange; lemon, pomegranate. Appletiser juices: Appletiser, Apple & Dragon fruit, Mango & Mandarin, Peartiser. Ceres juices: Cloudy Apple & Pear, Passion fruit, Pineapple, Secrets of the Valley. Ceres Plus juices: Carrot and Pawpaw, Cranberry and Rooibos. Liquifruit juices: Mango/Orange, Peach/Orange. Quali Lite juices, Sir Juice juices. Apple, Raspberry & Rooibos, Apple Cranberry & Ginger and Apple pie juice.

VEGETABLES (low GL): Gherkins, all vegetables(fresh, cooked, canned & frozen) that are not intermediate/high GI, including Braai relish & Gourmet tomato & onion mix (Miami); tomato juice, Werda French Bean salad.

SNACKS & SUGARS: Snacks: Chestnuts, low GI biscuits (Thistlewood), rusks (Bospoort, Phyl’s Kitchen, Premium Low GI Multigrain and Raisins) & scones (sugarlite pre-mix); Nutren balance Bars; popcorn(low fat)-homemade, Just Popcorn(plain). Jam & Syrup: Marmalade(Seville), Naturlite fruit spreads, Rhodes fruit spreads, Thistlewood low GI compotes, jam & jam sweetened with sugar alcohols below, Weighless strawberry jam. Jelly: those sweetened with low GI sugars below. Pudding: instant pudding(low fat milk). Sugars: artificial sweeteners, fructose (control portions), isomaltulose(Palatinose), lactose, polyfructose(inulin), Sugalite & sugar alchohols, e.g. erythritol, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, polydextrose, polyglycitol, sorbitol, xylitol.

SWEETS: Boiled/jelly sweets sweetened with low GI sugars,Gingerbon sweets, Yottis Low GI Turkish Delight.

DRINKS: Bmax Tone-a-Lean, Diabetic Plus mini-meal-replacement,dairy/fruit juice blend (all flavours, Dairy Blend), Diabetorange, Maxidrate; Ensure, Glucerna SR; Lite drinks e.g. Chele Lite & Lite mineral waters e.g. Canderel, Nestle Pure Life, Panolca, Seltzer, Lite ice tea,e.g.Lipton, Nutri; sugar free cold drink, Mague Number 1,Mnandi Amahewu, Milo & Nesqick (in low fat/fat free milk); Nomu skinny hot chocolate, nucleo, Nutren Diabetics & Fibre; Nutri Shake(chocolate,vanilla),Replace Diabetic & Soy Shake (Nativa); Smoo milk shake(chocolate, strawberry & vanilla), soya milk & yoghurt (low fat); SPP Instadrink, soya milk, low fat, flavoured/plain, Sustagen, Tropika da Lite, Up ‘n Go, Vitrace.

Dairy Products

  • Evaporated whole milk
  • Evaporated fat-free (skim) or reduced-fat (2%) milk
  • Whole milk
  • Low-fat (1%), reduced-fat (2%), or fat-free (skim) milk
  • Ice cream
  • Sorbet, sherbet, low-fat or fat-free frozen yogurt, or ice cream
  • Whipping cream
  • Imitation whipped cream (made with fat-free [skim] milk)
  • Sour cream
  • Plain low-fat yogurt
  • Cream cheese
  • Neufchatel or “light” cream cheese or fat-free cream cheese
  • Cheese (cheddar, Swiss, jack)
  • Reduced-calorie cheese, low-calorie processed cheeses, etc.
  • Fat-free cheese
  • American cheese
  • Fat-free American cheese or other types of fat-free cheeses
  • Regular (4%) cottage cheese
  • Low-fat (1%) or reduced-fat (2%) cottage cheese
  • Whole milk mozzarella cheese
  • Part-skim milk, low-moisture mozzarella cheese
  • Whole milk ricotta cheese
  • Part-skim milk ricotta cheese
  • Coffee cream (½ and ½) or nondairy creamer (liquid, powder)
  • Low-fat (1%) or reduced-fat (2%) milk or fat-free dry milk powder

Cereals, Grains, and Pasta

  • Ramen noodles
  • Rice or noodles (spaghetti, macaroni, etc.)
  • Pasta with white sauce (alfredo)
  • Pasta with red sauce (marinara)
  • Pasta with cheese sauce
  • Pasta with vegetables (primavera)
  • Granola
  • Bran flakes, crispy rice, etc.
  • Cooked grits or oatmeal
  • Reduced-fat granola

Meat, Fish, and Poultry

  • Low-fat coldcuts (95 to 97% fat-free lunch meats, low-fat pressed meats)
  • Lower fat hot dogs
  • Lean ham or bacon
  • Extra-lean ground beef such as ground round or ground turkey (read labels)
  • Chicken or turkey without skin (white meat)
  • Water-packed tuna (rinse to reduce sodium content)
  • Beef (round, loin) (trimmed of external fat) (choose select grades)
  • Pork tenderloin or trimmed, lean smoked ham
  • Fish or shellfish, unbreaded (fresh, frozen, canned in water)
  • Egg whites or egg substitutes
  • Frozen TV dinners containing less than 13 grams of fat per serving and lower in sodium
  • Turkey or chicken sausage, drained well (read label)

Baked Goods

  • Hard french rolls or soft brown ’n serve rolls
  • English muffins, bagels, reduced-fat or fat-free muffins or scones (choose lowest calorie variety)
  • Low-fat crackers (choose lowest in sodium)
  • Saltine or soda crackers (choose lowest in sodium)
  • Reduced-fat or fat-free cookies (graham crackers, ginger snaps, fig bars) (choose lowest calorie variety)

Snacks and Sweets

  • Popcorn (air-popped or light microwave), fruits, vegetables
  • Frozen yogurt, frozen fruit or chocolate pudding bars
  • Puddings (made with skim milk)

Fats, Oils, and Salad Dressings

  • Light spread margarines, diet margarine, or whipped butter, tub or squeeze bottle
  • Light or diet mayonnaise or mustard
  • Reduced-calorie or fat-free salad dressings, lemon juice, or plain, herb flavored, or wine vinegar
  • Jelly, jam, or honey on bread or toast
  • Nonstick cooking spray for stir-frying or sautéing
  • As a substitute for oil or butter, use applesauce or prune puree in baked goods


  • Canned broth-based soups
  • Canned baked beans in tomato sauce
  • Gravy mixes made with water or homemade with the fat skimmed off and fat-free milk
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Cucumber slices or lettuce leaves
  • Salsa

“Eating Clean” means revamping your diet, and stripping it of nutritionally devoid foods, meaning no processed, artificially flavored, artificially sweetened, artificially colored, fatty, fried, sugary refined unnatural items, and buying WHOLE FOODS.

Avoid Processed Foods

Processed foods, although these items are convenient, you pay for that convenience with your health and waste line, as they are usually high in chemical additives, trans-fats, too much salt and tons of refined sugars. These foods are pretty much already “broken down” before you eat them, so it takes much less time to digest a french fry, then it takes to digest a baked sweet potato. This will cause you to be hungry sooner, and leads to unhealthy cravings. Processed foods usually have loads of sugar, but you should also stay away from item using artificial sweeteners, sodium, and preservatives that makes them quite addicting. Try to ween yourself off of the regular chips, candy, and all other “junk food”. As you do this, your tastes will change, causing you not to want those items anymore, and this effect takes about 2 weeks. However, you can still consume chips, sweets and other snack foods that are made from whole, nutrient dense ingredients. Many are easy to find at your local grocery store, Whole Foods Market, or other health food store. I also provide numerous recipes here on the website, to help provide you with more choices. Tasting WHOLE, real food is so much more satisfying in comparison to eating food hiding behind a blanket of nutritionally invaluable crap. Keep in mind not all processed foods are equal. They span a spectrum ranging from minimally processed items like the bag of spinach you get at the grocery store, to heavily processed foods like the frozen fish sticks or chicken nuggets in the back of the freezer. The closer your foods are to the minimally-processed side, the closer you are to eating clean.

Food Additives To Avoid

Avoid Most Refined Foods

This means refined white flour, sugars, high-fructose corn syrup, trans-fats etc. If you’re interested in cutting down body fat, of special importance is to cut out refined sugars, which due to their affect on insulin levels and hormone sensitive lipase, aids in fat loss. Also be careful not to drink your calories. Soda is loaded with sugar, diet soda is loaded with artificial sweeteners and watch the fruit juices you pick as they are often loaded with refined sugar, as well as natural sugars. There is far more than what meets the eye as far as additives to food and water go. These added food ingredients are not necessarily listed on the product nutrition chart, especially when it comes to things like GMO.

Avoid GMO Foods As Much As Possible

GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants & animals. These experimental combinations created in laboratories involving mixing genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. Most other nations do not consider GMOs to be safe, and more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and in all of the countries in the European Union, there are restrictions or bans on production & sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them, and profit from their sale. Unfortunately, even though polls consistently show that a significant majority of Americans want to know if the foods they purchase contain GMOs, the powerful biotech lobby has succeeded in keeping this information from the public. In the absence of mandatory labeling, the Non-GMO Project was created to give consumers the informed choice. So when purchasing prepackaged foods, look for the Non-GMO seal.

You can also avoid GMOs by consuming organically certified produce which is required to be GMO-free, or by following and buying from the list of companies below who choose to remain GMO-free! By choosing to support companies who do not use GMOs, you are letting Monsanto know that you will NOT buy their products.

Another interesting side effect of processed, refined, artificial, and GMO food is a huge risk of Cancer among other most other chronic diseases. The American Institute for Cancer Research says people should avoid processed meats like ham, hot dogs, nitrate filled bacon, salami, and sausages due to dangerous preservatives. Avoid Processed Meatsor red meats containing heme iron, as the compound gives red meat it’s color, and is the substance has been linked to an increased risk for colon cancer.Microwave Popcorn not only contains diacetyl, the chemical which gives it the buttery flavor, but the bigger cancer-causing issue is it’s packaging. Non-organic Fruits & Vegetables contain pesticides,Farm-Raised Salmon can have high concentrations of several cancer-causing substances, so if you are going to purchase it, you should look for Wild Salmon. Also, Hydrogenated Oils start out as healthy oils, but are exposed to extreme heat & chemical additives to give them a consistency more similar to silicone than to oil. This processing changes the oil at a molecular level, making it thicker, and a cancer-causing foods to avoid.

Choose High Quality Meats

Meat eaters, aim to get your meat from grass-fed animals as much as possible. It is more expensive, but it’s also healthier because it is typically organic or free-range. One budget-friendly idea is to have fewer, but higher quality meat-eating days, then lower quality meat eating days, where you want to purchase leaner cuts, as chemicals can accumulate in the fatty tissues.

Include Healthy Fats

Healthy Fats don’t make you fat, they’re actually good for you, and this includes some healthy high-quality saturated fats. You can get these healthy fats from fish (white tuna, salmon, anchovies and sardines), nuts and seeds (walnuts, almonds, pecans as well as chia, flax & hemp seeds), avocados, eggs, oils (extra virgin, real butter, olive oil, virgin coconut oil), dairy products and grass-fed beef.

Veggies, Veggies Veggies

Get as many vegetables as you can into your meals. Choose cruciferous, dark leafy greens, even certain potatoes. The idea is to make sure you have a variety of veggies on your plate, and include as many colors of the rainbow as you can get, remembering to vary the veggies you eat as often as possible, yet consistently having certain items several times weekly.

Fruits In Moderation

Fruits are a sweet treat and nutritious alternative to candies and other refined sugars, but it is possible to eat too many. Eating too much fruit is that it can lead to problems with the hormones which regulate blood sugar which can mess up fat loss. Also, modern day fruits are generally much larger and higher in sugar due to hybridization.

Drinking and Fluid Intake

Drinking pure filtered Water is the best way to stay hydrated, so ditch the soda, and stick to water or Green Tea most of the time, and moderate use of Coffee (caffeine has a 6 hour half-life in the body, so it’s best to drink it earlier in the morning). But it also is very good to include Coconut Water & Aloe Vera Juice and I offer many recipes here on the website to teach you how to make what I consider the BEST POWERADES you can find.

Worried About Counting Macronutrients (Calories, Fat, Carbs & Protein)

Macronutrient ratios vary according to your genetic makeup, your body type, and your activities etc. The bottom line is that there is no magical macronutrient ratio for fat loss or muscle gain, but you want to make sure you’re including all your macronutrients in your meals.