Your body’s been through a lot in the past year, carrying, delivering and looking after a special new person. Getting back on a healthy-eating plan can seem daunting, but little changes can help get you ready for the beach or pool and raise your body confidence. My three-day diet plan is a template for eating well and will get you started on the new-you action plan. You can follow it for a week, two weeks or more – you decide when to stop and when you’re happy with your shape.
Before you start
When you do anything differently in life it feels weird. If someone took away your mobile phone or television, for instance, it’d probably seem like the end of the world. Yet within a few days you’d soon adapt. The same is true when you begin eating differently. It just doesn’t feel quite right.
This basic emotion is usually made worse by the fact that when you give up eating junk, many of us actually experience a physical withdrawal from high-sugar drinks and high-fat foods. Knowing that this’ll happen, and coming up with ideas to distract yourself, will help to get you through the first week, by which time you’ll have adjusted both your mind and your body to your new approach to eating. With that in mind, make the next three days the start of a happy, healthy new you…
- Breakfast: A slice of granary bread with a poached egg and grilled tomato
- Lunch: A tortilla wrap with chicken and salad
- Dinner: A pasta Bolognese with a lean, minced-beef sauce
- Breakfast: A slice of granary toast with peanut butter and a glass of orange juice
- Lunch: A pasta salad with tuna, peppers and sweet corn
- Dinner: Roast turkey with new potatoes, broccoli and peas
- Breakfast: A grapefruit followed by a bowl of Bran Flakes with skimmed milk
- Lunch: A multigrain bread sandwich with reduced fat Cheddar and tomato.
- Dinner: Baked beans, chilli con carne or cottage cheese with a baked potato and a green salad.
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If you’d like a little something between meals, reach for one of these snacks, which avoid the sugar-and fat-craving rollercoaster from things such as sweets and crisps:
- A handful of almonds (about 10)
- A low-fat plain, fromage frais or yoghurt with a chopped apple
- A handful of dried apricots mixed with about 10 walnut halves
- A glass of skimmed milk or a skinny latte or cappuccino
- A serving of fruit of your choice
Amanda’s golden rules to lose those pounds:
- Eat slowly. The slower you eat, the fuller you will feel.
- Plan meals and snacks for the day. It helps to keep you in control and able to say no
- to people offering you sweet treats.
- Eat regularly. This means breakfast, lunch and dinner to keep your metabolism firing and you burning calories fast.
- Choose low-GI foods that will keep you feeling fuller for longer. At breakfast have sugar-free muesli, porridge, bran-based cereals or multigrain toast with peanut butter.
- Base your lunch on pitta bread, tortilla wraps, multigrain bread, rolls or rye bread.
- At lunch and dinner add a good serving of lean protein foods, such as chicken and fish, lean red meat, skimmed milk, low-fat cheese, Quorn, tofu or baked beans.
- Don’t forget to add plenty of veg, selecting the ones you really enjoy. Have them steamed, stir-fried or roasted, aiming to eat 2-3 servings a day.
- In-between meals if you feel peckish have foods that will keep your blood-sugar levels steady. Peaches, nectarines, apples, plums and any type of berries are ideal.
- Other good snacks are low-fat yoghurt and fromage frais – just avoid any with added sugar.
- Try to drink water as your main drink with just the odd cup of tea and coffee. Smoothies and alcohol are off the menu!
- Don’t eat diet foods like crispbreads for the sake of it. You should enjoy your meals.