Want to get your fill, but slim down at the same time? Never fear, we’re hear to help.
We all dream of losing fat without eating less, but if you think it’s impossible, think again. In fact, the idea of honing your perfect physique without calorie counting or cutting back portions isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds.
Eating the right foods at the right times harnesses your body’s fat-melting powers, speeding up your metabolism and zapping fat cells for good. Here’s how to do it.
This easy-to-follow meal plan will get your body burning fat. Each day you’ll be eating five small meals at regular intervals to regulate your blood sugar levels and reduce cravings. Team the eating plan with a fat-burning HIIT workout and you could lose up to 3lb over seven days.
You’ll also feel less bloated, with renewed energy and clearer skin. For longer-lasting results, you can follow the diet for up to one month, mixing up the meal ideas by experimenting with different types of complex carbohydrates such as pearl barley, millet and brown rice and alternating the animal proteins suggested here with veggie sources such as lentils.
Breakfast: 50g porridge oats made with 120ml almond milk topped with grated apple and 1tsp cinnamon.
Morning snack: 1 carrot and 2 sticks of celery served with ¼ pot of houmous.
Lunch: Mackerel salad with 1 mackerel fillet, 50g roasted butternut squash, 1 beetroot, a handful of salad leaves, 5 cherry tomatoes and 4 walnuts.
Drizzle with flaxseed oil.
Afternoon snack: 2 oatcakes with 1tbsp reduced-fat cottage cheese and tomato.
Dinner: Chicken stir-fry with 1 chicken breast, half a pack of stir-fry veg, 1 deseeded chilli, 1tbsp soya sauce and a squeeze of lime. Serve with 50g brown rice.
Breakfast: 2 poached eggs served on 1 slice of toasted rye bread.
Morning snack: 1 chopped apple and 4 Brazil nuts.
Lunch: 1 small carton of lentil soup served with a small wholemeal roll on the side.
Afternoon snack: Blueberries. These brightly coloured low-GI berries are packed with antioxidant phytonutrients, which boost your body and brain function. 1 small pot of low-fat natural probiotic yoghurt served with 2tsp mixed seeds, such as pumpkin and sunflower.
Dinner: Chicken curry made with 1 chicken breast, 1 small onion, 1 crushed garlic clove, ½tsp curry powder, ½tsp turmeric, ¼ can coconut milk, garnished with coriander and served with around 50g pearl barley.
Breakfast: Half a can of cannellini beans, cooked with tomato purée, half a small onion and 1 crushed garlic clove on 1 slice spelt bread toast.
Morning snack: Chia pudding made with 3tbsp chia seeds covered with 120ml oat milk. Top with 1tsp cinnamon and 1tsp coconut flakes. Make it the evening before and keep it in the fridge ready to go!
Lunch: 1 baked sweet potato with 1 can tuna in water (drained), chopped tomato, cucumber and 1tbsp reduced-fat cottage cheese.
Afternoon snack: Smoothie made with 1 scoop of good-quality whey protein, half a small banana, 3tbsp mixed berries such as blueberries and raspberries, 1tsp flaxseeds and 200ml coconut milk blended together.
Dinner: 50g wholemeal pasta served with 1 sliced chicken breast and fresh basil pesto. Serve with a green side salad.
Breakfast: 2-egg omelette with spinach and mushrooms served on 1 slice of wholegrain toast.
Morning snack: 2 oatcakes, each served with 2tsp guacamole.
Lunch: Quinoa salad made with 50g quinoa, 6 cooked, peeled king prawns, a generous helping of watercress, beetroot and roasted peppers seasoned with a squeeze of lemon, 1tsp of olive oil and chopped parsley.
Afternoon snack: Kale crisps. Bake half a bag of chopped kale in the oven at a low heat (around 150°C) until crispy. Season with black pepper, paprika and ½tsp Himalayan salt.
Dinner: 2 fishcakes made with 1 small mashed sweet potato, 1 can of salmon, 1 chopped, deseeded chilli and a small handful of chopped coriander mixed together and shaped into patties. Fry the fishcakes in about 1tsp coconut oil until golden.
Breakfast: 2 buckwheat pancakes made with 50g buckwheat flour, 1 egg and 150ml skimmed milk, whisked together and ladled into a pan heated with a little butter. Serve with 3tbsp blueberries, 1tbsp low-fat crème fraîche and a small drizzle of maple syrup.
Morning snack: Half a grapefruit served with a small pot of low-fat natural yoghurt and a drizzle of honey.
Lunch: 1 chicken sandwich with avocado and tomato, served on rye bread.
Afternoon snack: 6 almonds and 2 fresh figs.
Dinner: 2 Mexican bean burgers made with 1 tin of mashed red kidney beans, 1 small chopped onion, 1 crushed clove of garlic, ½tsp cumin, ½tsp mild chilli powder and 1 egg. Mix the ingredients together, shape into patties and lightly dip in oat flour before grilling until golden. Serve with sweet potato wedges and steamed broccoli.
Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs with 1 sliced tomato served on 1 slice of wholegrain toast.
Morning snack: 2 oatcakes each topped with 1 slice of smoked salmon and 2 cherry tomatoes.
Lunch: 2 mini wholemeal pittas filled with 1 can of sardines mixed with ½ red onion and 1 chilli, deseeded, and some rocket.
Afternoon snack: 1 cup of miso soup and 2 oatcakes.
Dinner: Turkey chilli con carne made with 100g minced turkey, 1tsp cinnamon, 1tsp paprika, 1 small onion, 1 minced garlic clove, ½ tin of chopped tomatoes and coriander. Serve on 50g quinoa.
Breakfast: 1 pot low-fat natural yoghurt served with 3tbsp mixed berries and 2tbsp sunflower seeds.
Morning snack: 6 walnuts and 2 plums.
Lunch: Sweet potato and bean stew made with ½ tin of mixed beans, 1 small red onion, 1 crushed garlic clove, ½ yellow pepper, 1 small sweet potato, a handful of spinach, ½tsp cinnamon and ½tsp mild chilli powder.
Afternoon snack: Carrot and cucumber crudités served with 3tbsp reduced-fat cottage cheese.
Dinner: 1 steamed salmon fillet served with a large helping of sautéed onion, garlic, broccoli, spinach and mushroom.
Top Slimming Foods
Chillies contain a compound called capsaicin, which helps to speed up the metabolism long after you finish your meal.
Strawberries get top marks for their antioxidant content. Nibble on this juicy fruit for a sweet treat when sugar cravings strike.
Kale is crammed with weight-loss promoting fibre and liver supportive nutrients. This dark green veg is one of the healthiest members of the cruciferous family.
5 Handy Hints
Need a helping hand? Try these tips to make your slim-down strategy easier
- Make sure you eat at regular intervals. You should leave no longer than three hours between each meal.
- Give your digestion a boost with a massage twice daily. Using light circular movements, massage from just under your ribcage to under your belly button in a clockwise direction.
- Try to guzzle a minimum of two litres of water a day.
- Sip on herbal teas such as fennel, nettle and peppermint throughout the day to curb any hunger pangs.
- Cut out alcohol for the full seven days to see the best results. This will give your liver a real chance to clean up its act.
This article first appeared in Women’s Fitness