Whether it’s a wedding, holiday or big event on the horizon shedding a few pounds is generally the top of most women’s ‘to-do’ list along with all the other pampering and prep. To get you toward the shape you want to we lift the lid on the best meal plan, tips, tricks and slimming strategies.
The good news is, it’s not just case of scrimping and skipping meals, if you stick to the tips and follow the menu, you’ll definitely feel the benefit even if your big date is just days away.
Quick fix diet tips
Always eat breakfast – Kick-start your body’s engine with a low fat, slow release, unrefined meal. And aim for a 300-350 calorie meal to fit in with the body’s natural metabolism which is primed in the morning and tails off during the day.
Hydrate – Drink plenty of fluids (water, herbal teas and sugar-free cordial); aim for two litres spread throughout the whole day and you’ll feel more energised, toxins will be flushed away and your complexion will definitely improve.
Don’t skip meals; eat evenly throughout the day – Your body actually burns up calories in digesting food, so the fewer meals you eat, the less of a chance it has to do that.
Kick the booze – If you drink your maximum recommended units (21 per week for women), then you are taking in more than 1,000 extra calories. Strengthen that willpower and try to cut alcohol as much possible in the lead up to the big day.
Don’t scrimp on protein – Eat a portion of protein at lunchtime – to help avoid an energy slump in the afternoon, which could have you heading for the vending machine.
Eat mindfully – You can’t afford to ‘waste’ calories by eating mindlessly at the fridge, or straight from the saucepan. Make sure that you sit down to savour all your meals and snacks.
Get a smaller plate – swap your normal plate for a slightly smaller one, it makes your meals seem larger and you'll find your 'full switch' will flip a little faster.
Say no to processed food – If it comes in a packet, leave it on the supermarket shelf, you’re automatically eliminating food manufacturers’ high fat and high sugar products.
Move more – remember as well as cutting calories you can burn them too – make sure you compliment the 10-point plan with physical activity.
Mix it up – make sure you don’t eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner day-in day-out.
Healthy diet meal options
Here’s our mix and match menu to give your diet variety – choose one breakfast, lunch and dinner option and two snack options per day and remember space your five meals evenly. Please note this is only a short-term weight-loss plan aimed to cut calories. The best way to lose weight in the long term is to gradually increase your levels of physical activity and follow a balanced, healthy diet.
Breakfast options (approx 300-350 calories)
- 50g oats mixed with 100g low-fat fromage frais and 100g strawberries
- 45g cereal with 200ml semi-skimmed milk and 200g blueberries
- Two boiled eggs, one slice of wholemeal toast and 10 cherry tomatoes
Lunches (approx 200-250 calories)
- Brown pitta bread stuffed with 50g lean ham and 100g salad
- Two ryvitas topped with 100g cottage cheese and 50g of ham
- One slice of wholemeal toast, smeared with half an avocado and a sprinkle of Tabasco sauce.
Dinner (approx 250-300 calories)
- 150g grilled cod, 150g broccoli and 10 roasted cherry tomatoes
- Omelette made with two eggs, two egg whites, 50g mushrooms served with 150g salad
- 150g grilled turkey, 150g roasted vegetables (yellow peppers, courgettes, red onions)
Snack options (approx 150 calories each)
- One 120g pot of yoghurt plus one tablespoon of honey
- 50g reduced fat hummus with one medium carrot cut into sticks
- Three rough oatcakes smeared with marmite