When you’re hungry and there’s not much in the fridge, don’t ring for pizza – these four store cupboard foods will help you create waistline-friendly meals in minutes
Research shows that foods such as soups, which are low in calories and high in volume provide a sense of fullness or satiety. ‘Overweight men and women on a low calorie diet who were asked to eat soup every day liked the plan better than those just reducing calories, and they maintained their weight loss better over the following year,’ says Professor Barbara Rolls, an expert in food and fullness at Penn State University in America. For max nutrition and fullness, go for those with lots of vegetables and plenty of protein, such as Heinz Big soup.
Cupboard creation. Serve a 400g can of soup with a small chunk of grainy bread for a healthy and filing quick meal.
Tuna canned in spring water has only 99 calories in a 100g portion and is a great source of appetite-curbing protein. It’s also provides the mineral selenium, which helps keep the immune system healthy and may boost protection against viruses.
Cupboard creation. For a low carb version of tuna melt, fill scooped out beef tomatoes with tuna, sautéed onion and peppers and top with a slice of cheese. Grill for around 3 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and browned.
Tomato pasta sauce
A serving of tomato and basil sauce in a jar counts as one of your five a day and is low in fat and calories. Processing tomatoes releases more of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked with lower risk of heart disease and cancer.
Cupboard creation. Ideal with pasta or, for a really slimline dinner, serve with courgette or carrot spaghetti, and top with some canned tuna or canned sardines.
Chickpeas and other pulses – boiled or canned in water – are a healthy choice, rich in protein, fibre and slow releasing carbs, which together help to keep you fuller for longer. Research by Canadian scientists in 2016 found that people who added a daily serving of pulses to their diet lost an average of three-quarters of a pound over six weeks without making any conscious effort to change anything else about their diets
Cupboard creation: Nigella Lawson suggests poshing up chickpeas by stir-frying them in a pan with cumin seeds and a slug of sherry and then wilting in some rocket salad. Serve with a fist-sized portion of wholegrain rice.