Battling the bulge and the bain-marie

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Keeping the kilos at bay while you are working away can be challenging if you don’t consider the calorie content of what you're tucking into. But the 'bain-marie life' needn't keep you looking and feeling stodgy and overweight. Use these practical tips next time you chow down – your waistline and health will thank you for it!

The healthy tips have been prepared (with no gravy on the side, sorry!) by our resident personal trainer Mareike Bout, South Australia’s Personal Trainer of the Year in 2008. 




Cereals (esp muesli, porridge and Weet-Bix)


Fresh fruit


Grainy, wholemeal toast

Scrambled eggs

Poached or boiled eggs

Poached fruit

Grilled tomato


Low-fat natural yoghurt


Nuts and seeds

Fruit juice

Baked beans



Wraps or grainy bread like multi-grain or wholemeal filled with chicken breast and as much fresh salad as possible are a great choice. Finish off with some fruit and a few nuts and you will have plenty of energy to get you through the afternoon.


This is where it can get tough: you have worked hard all day, you're hungry and tired and all you want to do is relax and eat a tasty and satisfying meal. The bottom line with weight loss or weight maintenance is that you must keep your portions to a reasonable size. Your body can only process and use so much food at a time; any excess is quickly stored as body fat. I tell my clients that the one thing they can do right now to start losing weight is to eat what they normally would, just 1/3 less of it. Simple. You still get to eat what you like (within reason!) so you don’t feel deprived and you don’t have to worry about counting calories or sourcing special foods.

Top tips for stopping the kilos from piling on:

  1. Banish the bread.
  2. Slow down and savour: remember to eat slowly to allow your brain the time it needs to register you are full. Put you fork down between mouthfuls and savour your meal.
  3. Start with soup or salad: the more you eat of the healthy stuff, the less you will eat of the calorie and fat-laden choices. For soups, go for vegetable or bean-based, the chunkier the better. Avoid any that are cream-based. For salads, the golden rule is to use minimal dressing.
  4. Fill up on extra veggies: again, a low-calorie food choice.
  5. Go for lean protein: stick with low-fat cuts of meat or chicken. If necessary, you can remove the skin. Fish and shellfish are excellent choices but shouldn’t be crumbed or battered.
  6. Sauce on the side: gravies, sauces, and dressings are big traps when you are watching your weight. Go easy on them or avoid them altogether.
  7. Finish with fruit.

For dessert, fresh fruit (without the ice-cream) is your best choice. Most other desserts are a dietary disaster. My advice is to avoid dessert or if you must indulge, a couple of spoonfuls with your coffee should get you off the hook with minimal dietary damage!

More expert advice on health and wellbeing

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Mareike Bout is a qualified and registered personal trainer who specialises in holistic fitness and lifestyle coaching. She is a recognised leader in the industry, receiving the peer-voted South Australia Personal Trainer of the Year award in 2008. She is also a regular guest on Adelaide’s top-rating radio station FIVEaa. Mareike runs her personal training business, One Life Live Well, both online and from a private studio in Adelaide.