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Grocery Shopping Essentials?

Tonight is the night for a big online shop, ready for a week of religiously planning my food, exercising and sticking within my calorie allowance.

So, what are your top tips and shopping must haves? Although I've spent the last 3 years on a constant diet, I've never thought about calories, so have no idea what a good low cal meal or snack is, so any help much appreciated....what types of things can I cook, what should I keep in the cupboard etc?

DINX

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I would say a good snack is between 100 cals. If, like me you can't stay away from sweet treats, try buying skinny cow ice creams at 89 cals each and lemon cheesecake yougurts by muiller at 112cals each. :) CLAIRENEWBY

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If you are shopping at Tescos this week watch out - Vienettas are buy one one free and I am a sucker for a bargain. When they arrive tomorrow I will put them at the back of the freezer until I have visitors or reach my target weight whichever comes first. ANTAN

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Plenty of fruit n veg it always good u can get tinned n frozen types so they last longer n they really help bulk out meals. I usually get quorn stuff aswell cos they r lower cal than meat n taste really nice x TEDDYBEAR

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just make sure whatever you get that you get a couple of healthy range ready meals to sling in the freezer as it is always handy to have em in when you can't be bothered with cooking - makes sure you don't pop out for takeaways!- saves Ib's and pounds!!LOL LINDSAY1975

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remember you eat ANYTHING with WLR

just remember to control your portion sizes :o) LINDA13

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Each week I buy chicken breasts, turkey strips, fish portions, lots of fresh veg (at the moment oven baked aubergine, courgette, pepper and onion is favourite), low fat yoghurts (to mix with muesli for breakfast). Tinned mackerel fillets (good oils) to add to salads for lunch. Lite Hot Dogs (only 300 cals for 8, eaten with mash and a small tin of baked beans is good filling dinner and easy when I cant be bothered to cook). Prawns (for my cats more than me, in fact my cats get through a pack every other day). Brown rice and wholewheat pasta. Tescos Healthy Living Potato wedges (260cal for the pack and make part of my healthy fry up with Quorn sausages, turkey rashers etc..)

Plus fruit and salad stuff. SHOTSFAN

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Definitely pasta, pesto and dolmio as these are very quick to cook and take no effort and you can always change quantites depending on how much else youve eaten in the day.

Also lots of chicken breasts (frozen or fresh) as you can add it to everything. obviously heaps of veg and potato's and snacky fruit like cherries and strawberries. also to snack on i buy houmous (great with carrots) and also oatcakes and rice cakes, cos my biggest downfall is snacking and if i didn't buy anything to snack on i'd probably pop to the shop and buy crisps! low fat yogs! EMILY23

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The easy steam meals from birdseye are fab, fish and veg, pasta.really low cal, some as low as 220 cals and really fill you up, at least if your starved they take 6mins so you wont snack while waiting. i never but biscuits when doing major shop, as i know ill scoff them all! so id stock up on steam meals and tuc crackers!(delicious with low fat pate on)

happy shopping! LINZ

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For 'store cupboard' shopping I usually make sure I have lots of beans and pulses, pasta, noodles, rice, canned fish and nice condiments/spices (mustard, soy, Lea and Perrins, dried chillies, porcini mushrooms etc etc). That way if I am feeling lazy I can still knock something yummy togther without resorting to ten tons of cheese on toast! One item I find invaluable is Marigold Vegetable Bouillon, maybe the most versatile ingredient on earth! My favourite 'emergency' meal (i.e. for when I have had 200 pints at the weekend and am way over my calorie limit!) is soup made with the bouillon, chilli, lemongrass, mushrooms, spinach and prawns. Delicious and v low cals. You can add noodles as well if you like or anything you want really. KATEP

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Lots of fruit and stuff - berries at the moment, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries. Skinny Cows. Tuna in brine, low cal ready meals for emergencies. Eggs and thick bread for brekkie. Search for the sort of things you fancy on the database and check their cals before you order. Which shop do you use? I know a fair bit about Tesco ifyou are using them. RACHAEL REYNOLDS

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Hmm, that's a toughy. The only thing I must have is fruit and vegetables, soup, low fat yoghurts/mousses, salad stuff and some kind of meat/fish (chicken/tuna/ham) to put in my salad.

For main meals I tend to cook stir fries (with salmon in), occasionally pasta dishes (with tomatoey sauces), I'm quite boring other than that, other than stir fries I tend to just have things like healthy options breaded cod or chargrilled chicken or even a small WW pizza with loads of veg (usually broccoli, cauli, carrots, sometimes roasted sweet pot and parsnip). If I fancy anything naughty like sausages and mash I usually get those 95% fat free sausages and have smash rather than using potatoes as smash is pretty low in everything (if you don't add any marg). It's all about experimenting to a certain extent tho. FRUITYLOOPS

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I tend to buy heaps of fruit and veg..try different sorts such as butternut squash, asparagus etc. I buy potatoes to use as baked/boiled/wedges. I also get fresh meat to put in the freezer such as skinless chicken fillets which you can sue for lots of things. Muller light yogurts/Ryvita crackers/extra light philadelphia are all things I find handy. Hope that gives you a few ideas. Helen x

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Lots of fish and fresh veg if you want to keep healthy and low cal or want just the low cal so you can have puddings :0P Strawberries and raspberries are in season too at the mo and make great low cal snacks or breakfasts with yoghurt etc

VILLINGWORTH

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Eggs - it works!

I read on this site that eating a couple of eggs in the morning fills you up and stops you snacking during the day. I've tried it this week and it works!! Just thought I'd share my experience.

CAIRNEYHILL

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Yes I agree too. I have an egg on toast most mornings for breakfast and it keeps me full till lunch.

They're wonderful :-) LUPILIZZY

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I agree! Poached egg on toast for me in the morning works for me (1 min in the microwave with pricked yolk). RACHAEL REYNOLDS

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umm scrambled eggs on bagel, wish I had had that instead of my cornflakes now! LOU

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Mmm I love poached eggs but haven't managed to perfect my cooking of them though :- Wish I had time to have eggs before coming in to work but as it is I have to eat a mobile brekkie when I've arrived! Will just have to test it on weekends I guess. FRUITYLOOPS

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One of my regular breakfasts is egg with a bit of low cal mayonnaise on oatcakes. A winner all round! Go to work on an egg, and all that! WJD

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Chocolate sin - yummy

We all like chocolate and I would expect 75% of us just occasionally have to give in to temptation and have that bar, either to reward ourselves or part of our "calorie controlled diet" - lol

What do you like and how many calories does it have as it may make us try something less calorie hungry!

To kick off I like the odd Twirl - 231 cals the whole bar

HAPPYHATTER

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Well I've not had chocolate for well over a month or so, but my favourite Fry's pepermint creams and is 216 cals, if I decide to have a treat one day at the weekend. HELEN9265

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Hadn’t even thought I could have my favourite... Fry's turkish delight. Lovely. Just looked it up and its only 96.5 cals.

Any excuse x SASSYSHARON

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Chocolates from The Chocolate Tasting Club! Think I may have a couple or 3 now!LADYV18

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Praline Flake for me - 203 calories of pure delight! TUCANKAZ

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Cadbury's Bournville. The 45 g bar is 225 calories but 2 squares at 75 cals is pretty satisfying. ANTAN

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.... it has to be either Cadburys Dairy Milk chunky, straight from the fridge so it's crisp and cold and melts on my tongue (Oh lordy! I'm drooling now!!) or Green & Blacks... either 70% cocoa or the Mayo Gold one or the White Choloate one. But I'm also very partial to Thorntons Continentals.... I could go on forever!!! JEWELS

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Green Blacks with ginger. Yummy! Whole bar is pretty scary but one line is around 50 cals I think. SEXYSUZIE

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I've been eating kit kat dark - 2 finger ones are 105 cals

I also like green and black cocoa coated almonds - 20g is 110 cals - and you get the good fats from the nuts

Now I want chocolate! AVDH

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Ainsley Harriott Heaven Bar (147 cals) yummy!! KERRILOU

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curly wurly

chocolatey and chewy DAYBLUE

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Unfortunately I'm a kitkat chunky person. Something to do with being able to eat all the chocolate off around the wafer and then chomp the wafer. They are about 280 cals VILLINGWORTH

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Kinder Bueno 245cals!!! CLAIRENEWBY

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Curly wurlys!!! 117 calories I think, I love them. RUMPHALINA

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Fudge bar..

Curly Wurly (mmmm).. Crunchie

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Or I buy swiss dark chocolate discs from M&S one disc is about 30 cals and great to to take the edge of that chocolate cravings!! LIGHTERPLEASE

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Freddos!!!

Can't beat them for gorgeous chocolate, enough to satisfy and 110 cals! WHISKAS

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I am currently having a square of Lindt Dark Chocolate, about an inch and a quarter square and only 50 calories. And dark chocolate is supposed to be good for you too, If I'm feeling naughty tho I'll have a packet of minstrels which is about 200 calories, or a fudge bar which is 114 calories. FRUITYLOOPS

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A small bar of Cadburys Dairy Milk which is about 255 cals - yummy!

Mind you, I've just had a Quality Street (hazelnut whirl) which was lovely and only about 40 cals - and I don't really want another one either! SARAHWOO

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