Fad Diets versus ‘Good Looking & Healthy The Nordic Way’

Look, you don’t need us to tell you that fad diets don’t work. It’s common sense, isn’t it?

See what it has done to Norway: All those people suddenly deciding that they were going to listen to those ‘doctors ‘who says that it is perfectly okay to stuff yourself with high fats and butters, as long as you don’t end the meal with a loaf of bread and an apple? What happened there? The country ran out of butter, is what happened. People didn’t get any thinner and everybody got upset.

Jokes aside (they really did run out of butter LINK http://scandikitchen.typepad.com/scandikitchen/2011/12/smuggling-butter-swedes-norways-butter-shortage-continues.html , though) – it is largely agreed amongst the clever nutritionists of this world that cutting out a food group isn’t the way to go to find peace and long term slim-ness. Eating sensibly IS. Moving around and getting some exercise IS good because not only does it help top keep you healthy it also helps to reduce that muffin top.

You may have heard about the Nordic Diet. Let’s decide right now that we’re going to re-name it because the word “diet” makes it sound like a fad diet, we think. So, let’s call it BOLD “the way the Nordics have eaten for thousands of years and this is why they all look like the lovely ladies from ABBA” /BOLD instead.

In short, ditch that strange diet that only allows you to eat onion soup and boiled eggs (you may lose weight, but you will fart like a trooper and put it all back on when you head for the mars bars). Instead, get hold of some nice crisp bread or rye bread, ditch the top of the sandwiches and go topless every day – and by the summer, you may be able to take your own top off on the beach and show off your flat belly.

Here’s our Top Ten Tips for following a Nordic style of daily diet:


Swap the wheat bread for rye and fiber crisp bread. You’ll eat less as it is slow releasing and filling. Look here for some inspiration for great crispbreads
Make open sandwiches. Less bread, focus on what you put on top. No need to big lumps of mayo to hold it all together. You spend time to make it look pretty – eating with your eyes is also surprisingly filling.
Get into Herring. It’s a great little friend and it tastes really nice and has loads of omega 3. Try the Scandinavian pickled herring – it is less sour than German and Dutch varieties and more tender. The good news is there’s lots of herring around in the sea still.
Mackerel is a fantastic fish any way you prepare it. It’s also reasonably cheap and a great alternative if you’re not ready for herring – but still contains buckets of omega 3 oils. Try mackerel in tomato on dark rye bread as an open sandwich.
Eat your porridge. If you don’t like porridge, eat muesli with lots of oats, barley and rye flakes and some tasty dried berries such as blueberries and cranberries. Make your own muesli in a jiffy by buying the ingredients in a health food store (tip: add a spice to make it exciting, such as a sprinkle of cinnamon).
Be friends with the berries, especially seasonal ones where they are bursting with flavour and nutrients. Be concerned about food miles out of season, but know that frozen berries are also excellent and do not lose much of their nutritional values at all so you’ll still get great antioxidants and vitamins.
Cabbage is your new friend. It may make you let out a few sneaky ones in the beginning if you’re not used to it, but your body adapts and you’ll feel great. Pickled red cabbage is great as a side dish with your evening meal, shredded white cabbage in your salad.
Catch a moose. Oh well, this might be a bit tricky. But when you choose meat, try to include some game in there, and ask your butcher for meat that is proper free range and not intensely farmed. Yes, it’s a bit more pricey but so full of flavour you don’t need as much. A lot of specialty butchers can order in game for you. Game meat is very low in fat. In our London store, we sell reindeer fillets and loins – check the freezer.
Eat sitting down. Don’t rush. Don’t eat on the go. It’s not very good for the digestion and you’ll never catch a Scandinavian trying to munch an open herring sandwich whilst waiting for Bus 38.
Don’t be too strict about it. It’s not a quick fix diet, it’s a way of eating better and giving your body what it needs in order to function well and for a long time.


From Monday, we’re adding many new salads to our lunch time range – containing great wholesome veg such as kale, fennel, cabbage and root veg. We’re cutting back on the mayo so you can cut back on the calories and the flab and end up feeling fab. Pop by and try, from Monday onwards.

May we recommend getting your hands on The Nordic Diet by Trina Hahnemann to get your started?



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