5 tips for having your cake, eating it and fitting into your jeans

Amanda Bowen enjoying a chocolate almond croissant in Paris
Balancing the scales, the dinners out and the gym is a constant battle when you are a food writer.

I was brought up to never leave anything on my plate - 'think of the starving children in China' my mother used to say.

Well the children are no longer starving in China, that's for sure, and I'm not either but leaving good food on my plate still is hard.  My daughter says that eating food just because you should is the same as treating your body like a waste bin.  Thanks for that V Diddy!

I 'met' Amanda Bowen on my Facebook page when she asked me for a High Tea recommendation in Brisbane, so I know she likes good cake. (Amanda went to the Sofitel and loved it)

Amanda is a weight-loss consultant, blogger and speaker based in Brisbane.  Her approach is coined ‘weight-loss for hedonists’. She works with women who love food, but hate elasticised pants (me).  She advocates all the things that diets generally don’t: champagne, cake and celebrating life.   

These are her top five tips for having your cake, eating it, and fitting into your jeans:
Food - Naughty- Gluten Free, Dark Choc Walnut  Brownies

Respect the cake

1) Sweet treats and alcohol need to be treated with respect. Have them to celebrate good times and always share them with the people you love. Eating cake by yourself on a Tuesday night usually spells disaster. Using food or booze as a salve when you’re feeling low sets up an unhealthy relationship with these vices and will generally make you feel worse.

Food - Naughty- Croissant and dark chocolate pudding-cake (Amanda made it!)

Only the best will do

2) If it’s not amazing, don’t eat it. Have you ever had a bite of cake, a biscuit, macaron or crème brulee and it just wasn’t as good as you’d hoped it would be? Leave it. There are brilliant, shining examples of your favourite treats in this world and you deserve the best.

Food - Naughty-ish -Pork Belly  - Comfort at my Table, Milton

Own it!

3) Acknowledge that you are eating something beautiful, and enjoy it. I have often been guilty of ‘just having a slither’ of cake, and then just having five more slithers! It’s more enjoyable if you own it, cut yourself a piece, sit down with a cuppa and exclaim over how freakin’ good it is with your cake companions. If you are prone to ‘accidentally’ eating half a cake, go with cupcakes or individually wrapped items. Then you have to consciously choose to have seconds, thirds and fourths, rather than mindlessly chipping away at a slab of caramel slice or your son’s pirate ship birthday cake.

Food- Nice- Pho at Pho 99- Inala


4) If you know you have a degustation, high tea or other special meal coming up, consider a little compensation to minimise the collateral damage. You can take measures either before or after the indulgence: have an energetic workout the morning of, eat light and clean foods for a few days prior, or go for a nice, relaxing walk after the event. Walking after a big meal might be the last thing you feel like doing, but it’s a lovely habit to forge as it aids digestion, minimises fat storage and can be a very pleasant way to round off an evening.

A friend and I love to go to the West End markets every Saturday to get veggies, drink honey-spiced lattes and eat haloumi wraps. Trick is, we workout at 7am and hit the markets at 8. We’re starving, everything that is earned tastes twice as good and it makes for a very happy start to the weekend indeed.

Food- Nice- Slow Roasted Lamb - a regular at our house

Ditch the leftovers

5) Love entertaining? It’s a lovely excuse to get friends and family around, and to share good food, wine and frivolity. Problem is, the host is often left with leftovers. I love any excuse to bake an apple pie, make a batch of buttercream cupcakes or a decadent cheesecake, and a single piece isn’t too dangerous. However, leave that pie in my fridge for two days, and magically it disappears, only to reappear on my thighs several days later. It’s the difference between 500-800 calories, and 4000-5000 over the course of several days. Christmas is an especially deadly time for this. So I say, enjoy it on the day and get rid of the leftovers. Send them home with your Mum, neighbour, or unsuspecting friends. They can share it with their families and so the cake-joy spreads further, instead of your waistline.

However, despite all of these tactics, if I could make one recommendation to foodies, it would be get on out there and move! Make exercise a habit and not only will you get all of the physical and mental health benefits; you will enjoy your food even more!


Thank you Amanda!

To me Amanda makes a lot of good sense.  This is the way I like to eat anyhow, I just need to be better at it.
If you like food and eating, but don't like elasticised pants, I hope this helps you your journey. Find out more about Amanda here

Disclaimer:  This is not a paid post.  Sharing food love also comes with the responsibility to share good eating messages  and I think this is one of them. Enjoy.