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Anna’s Secret Recipe: Say Goodbye to Yo-yo Dieting

8 Mins read

Want to lose weight quickly? The internet offers an overwhelming amount of information on crash diets that boasts promising results, yet how can you feel energized when you’re eating nothing but salads and vegetable smoothies? The unsustainable weight loss gimmicks make it inevitable to fall back to old patterns and gain back all the weight you lost. Like many of us, CircleChangemaker and ISSA certified nutrition coach Anna has fallen into this vicious cycle of decades-long yo-yo dieting, but fear not, she has finally cracked the code to sustainable weight loss: healthy food, and she’s here to share some of her healthy recipes with us.

Anna Wong, better known as “Anna the Nutritionist” has a complicated relationship with food. She was health-conscious but also couldn’t resist trying every hot restaurant in town to live up to her title as a self-proclaimed foodie. Despite her petite 155cm frame, she weighed about 77kg, and her body fat percentage was sitting above average at 35%. That was the moment she decided it’s time to change her lifestyle for the sake of her health. 

Different Weight Loss Methods

Making a lifestyle change wasn’t easy and Anna tried everything. Initially, she was intrigued by shiny ads promising rapid weight loss in a short period of time. Every yo-yo dieting program, from keto to fasting and everything in between, Anna tried it all, she even invested up to USD10,000 in the hope to get in shape. However, despite the amount of money spent, none of the crash diets or fitness classes provided sustainable long term improvements. She always ended up gaining back the few pounds she lost. 

How CircleDNA Helped Anna Lose 25kg

After spending time, effort, and lots of money, Anna was frustrated with the lack of results. At the peak of her frustration, she came across CircleDNA and learnt that taking a genetics test might be the answer to her weight loss conundrum. Her results helped her better understand her body and make better choices for her diet and workout plans. Anna’s report flagged that her body could metabolize carbohydrates better than the average person, indicating that It would benefit her if she reduces her carb intake and adds more vegetables and proteins to her diet. 

Additionally, her genetic results uncovered that there is an obesity trait in her family. She was therefore advised by CircleDNA to alter her workout routine from cardio and explosive training to low-intensity exercises, as intensive cardio tends to leave an individual hungry, causing them to consume more food than normal just after 12 weeks of adjusting her diet and workout approach, Anna lost 10kg and reduced her body fat percentage down to 10% just after 12 weeks. At the end of her weight loss journey, she successfully lost 25kg and managed to keep the weight off for the first time. 

Anna’s Weight Loss Revelations 

Anna’s experience taught her the importance of understanding her body’s genetic make-up through DNA testing. With the right information, you can easily hit your fitness goals. To those who are sensitive to carbohydrates or those who want to try a low-carb diet, Anna has prepared some healthy recipes to try at home. Whether you’re busy studying for an exam, working from home, or staying in due to public health concerns, instead of ordering fast food takeaways, try these easy recipes for a change! 

Chinese Meal

Fancy some Chinese food? Forget about greasy takeouts and whip up a plate of stir-fried pork and Chinese kale in no time!

Ingredients:
2 x bell peppers (colours of your choice – green, yellow, red, orange)
300g of Lean Pork slices
200g of Chinese Broccoli (Kai Lan)
1 cup of uncooked Mixed Grain Rice (Brown rice / Red rice)
A teaspoon of Salt and Pepper
1 tablespoon of Soy Sauce
Optional: Oyster Sauce
Once you have the ingredients set up, simply follow the steps below:

1. Wash and place mixed grain rice inside a rice cooker and add water before cooking.
2. Marinate lean pork slices with a pinch of salt and pepper plus 1 tablespoon of soy sauce for 20 minutes.
3. Wash all vegetables and cut bell peppers into square bite-size pieces.
4. Heat up 1 tablespoon of cooking oil on a pan, add in the pork slices and stir fry for 2 minutes until they’re half-cooked.
5. Add the bell peppers and stir fry for another few minutes until they’re soft and cooked thoroughly.*Additional salt, pepper, or soy sauce if needed.
6. Boil a pot of water with a pinch of salt.
7. Add Chinese kale and boil for around 5-8 minutes until cooked.
Serve with 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce on the side if preferred.

Nutritional Value:

  • Bell peppers are high in Anti-Oxidants and Vitamin C
  • Pork is high in Vitamin Bs and Protein
  • Chinese Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable good for detoxification
  • Mixed grain rice provides more fibre than white rice – making it a perfect choice for individuals with high carb sensitivity.

Steak

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Got an appetite for steak night? You don’t have to completely cut out red meat from your diet to be healthy. In fact, steak is high in vitamins and proteins. Those with a higher carb sensitivity should opt for sweet potatoes as they are high in resistance to starch. 

Ingredients (for 2 portions):
400g of Filet Mignon (leaner cut)
350g of Brussel Sprouts
250g of Sweet Potatoes
1 teaspoon of Paprika, Garlic Powder, Salt & Pepper for seasoning
Once you have the ingredients set up, simply follow the steps below:
1. Preheat oven to 205 C° / 400 F°. Wash and chop sweet potatoes (smaller the pieces, faster it cooks).
2. Wash and chop brussel sprouts in half.
3. Prepare a baking tray. Lightly spray with cooking oil (can use a non-stick silicone cooking mat).
4. Lay your sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts on the tray.
5. Lightly add salt and pepper.*Optional to add in other seasonings like garlic powder and paprika for more flavour.
6. Bake the potatoes for 30-40 mins, until it’s golden brown outside and cooked inside.
7. For the fillet, make sure they have been resting at room temperature before you cook it.
8. Use a paper towel to dry all sides of the steak. Season with salt and pepper.
9. In a pan, lightly spray with cooking oil. Add the steak when the pan is heated up.
10. For a 200g fillet: 3-4 mins per side will give you medium-rare temperature.*Optional: Add an extra 2-3 mins for medium quality.
11. Rest the steak for 5 mins before cutting & serving.

Nutritional Value:

  • Beef is high in Protein, Iron, Zinc & Vitamin B
  • Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A.
  • Sweet potatoes are also high in resistant starch, which is great for individuals with a higher carb sensitivity.
  • Brussel sprouts are high in Vitamin C & K, they’re also cruciferous vegetables that aids liver detoxification

Pasta

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Want to host a seafood party? Throw in salmon, shrimps, coupled with high protein pasta for a protein-rich meal. Pro tip: use milk instead of cream to cut down on the fat. 

Ingredients (for 2 portions):
4oz of any Pasta (recommend high protein pasta)
150g of Salmon
150g of Shrimp
2 handfuls of Baby Spinach
1/2 Onion
3-5 cloves of Garlic
250ml of Milk
1 tablespoon of Flour
A teaspoon of Salt and Pepper
1 teaspoon of Cooking Oil
Once you have the ingredients set up, simply follow the steps below:
1. Cut salmon into bite-size pieces. (Remove skin and bones if there are any.)
2. In a pan, lightly spray some cooking oil and pan-fry the salmon and shrimp pieces for 4-5mins(Or until almost cooked through).
3. Remove from pan and set aside.
4. Boil a pot of water with a teaspoon of cooking oil and a pinch of salt. Add in pasta and cook according to package instructions.
5. In a pan, add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil. Add in minced garlic and chopped onion to sweat for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
6. Add in 1 tablespoon of flour and cook for a minute to form a thick paste.
7. Add in the milk from two separate batches. Stir until the roux is combined well. The sauce will thicken as it cooks.
8. Add in the cooked/drained pasta, baby spinach, the cooked salmon and shrimp.
9. Stir and combine everything for 2-3 mins until heated through
10. Add salt and pepper to boost its taste
**Optional to serve with freshly chopped parsley and grated cheese.

Nutritional Value:

  • Chickpea / Mungbean pasta are great alternatives to regular pasta for individuals with high carb sensitivity
  • Salmon is high in Omega-3.
  • Both salmon and shrimp are high in Protein.
  • Spinach is high in folic acid, Vitamin A, C, K and Iron.

Soba Salad

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Celebrate the hot summer with refreshing soba salad. Tight on time? This is the perfect dish for you! Besides being easy to make, this dish is packed with protein and vitamins, guaranteed to keep you full! 

Ingredients:
4oz of Soba Noodles
2 handfuls of Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 of a Medium Carrot
1 Medium Cucumber
2 Eggs
200g of Shredded Chicken
Japanese cold noodle sauce OR Sesame dressing (your choice)
Once you have the ingredients set up, simply follow the steps below:
1. Boil soba noodles according to packet instructions. Drain and set aside in the fridge to cool for 20mins while working on other ingredients.
2. Boil/steam the chicken tenders for 15 mins or until cooked through.
3. Shred chicken into thin pieces with a chopstick or fork.
4. Beat the eggs and fry the mixture on a pan until it forms an egg sheet.
5. Remove from pan to cool down and slice them into thin pieces.
6. Thinly slice the cucumber & carrots. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
7. Plate up everything and drizzle in some cold noodle sauce or Japanese sesame dressing. (it’s your choice!)
Note: When choosing your dressing, check the labels and choose one with lower sodium and sugar levels!

Nutritional Value:

  • Buckwheat (soba) noodles are high in Protein, Fibre, Manganese, Thiamin, and low in fat.
  • They’re also Gluten-free.
  • Tomatoes and carrots are high in Vitamin A, K & Potassium.
  • Egg and chicken are high in Protein and Vitamin Bs.

Buddha Bowl

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Calling all vegetarians, build your very own Buddha bowl. From soaking chickpeas the night before to slicing tofu and the greens, this dish requires a little planning in advance. Healthy food doesn’t need to be boring so if you have the time, plate it and make this rainbow-coloured bowl of goodness instagrammable!

Ingredients (for 2 portions):
200g of Tofu1/2 cup cooked Chickpeas
2-3 handfuls of Mixed Green Salad Base
1 Avocado
Quinoa
1 handful of Cherry tomatoes
3-4 tablespoons of Lemon vinaigrette dressing (ratio is 2/3 olive oil, 1/3 lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste)
Once you have the ingredients set up, simply follow the steps below:
1. Combine the homemade dressing ingredients and whisk them together to combine well. After that, set it aside. You can also make a big batch of it and keep it in the fridge for future use.
2. Cook the chickpeas, soak the dry chickpeas for 8 hours / overnight.
3. Drain and cook them in water: let it simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours until your desired tenderness.
4. For quinoa, boil in water for 15-20mins to cook through.
5. Slice the tofu into big pieces and pan-fry them with a little cooking oil until golden.
6. Slice avocado and cherry tomatoes.
7. Wash greens for the salad base.
8. Lastly, combine everything in a bowl. It’s going to be super colourful and tasty!
9. Add in dressing and mix well before eating.

Nutritional Value:

  • Tofu & chickpea are good vegan sources of Protein
  • Avocado is a great source of healthy fats
  • Omega-3 Quinoa provides Carbohydrate, Protein and Fibre
  • Salad greens are strong in Vitamin A and folic acid
  • Homemade lemon vinaigrette dressing is easy to make – and you can control the sodium level compared to store-bought dressings.
  • Olive oil also has anti-inflammatory properties, being a staple in the Mediterranean diet.
  • Lemons are a boost for Vitamin C-intake.

The easiest change you can make to living a healthier lifestyle is your diet. Instead of ordering food on FoodPanda or Deliveroo, try out these healthy recipes by Anna and whip out delicious food that rivals Michelin restaurants. Share Anna’s tips with your friends and loved ones and enjoy a healthy summer!

Like Anna, want to know which of these healthy recipes works best for your body based on your own unique genetic makeup? Take our DNA test to identify your diet and nutrition profile! 

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The editorial team behind CircleMagazine, dedicated to bringing you bite-size health tips, real-life health stories and the latest genetic-related findings at this digital health hub.
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