Issuu on Google+

The essential guide to

LOSING WEIGHT g it off! & keepin

GET WAISTED!

WHY A TRIM TUM MATTERS

SIMPLE 14-DAY KICKSTART DAILY MENU

HEALTH TRENDS MADE EASY courgetti energy balls l bircher muesli l juicing l l

RECIPE COLLECTION ISSUE 18 ONLY £5.99

PLUS

FITNESS FIXES that fit into your day

100+

B R E A K FA

STS

LOW-CAL RECIPES and TIPS FROM the DIETITIANS at

D IN N E R S

AKES P UDS & B


AT LAST… a plan for long-term weight loss H

ave you tried an extreme diet where you’ve cut out carbs or lived on soup for a week? Thought so. You’re not alone – so many of us have deprived ourselves for a few weeks to lose weight quickly. As you’ve no doubt found, once we get back to our normal eating habits, the lbs pile back on. That’s where this diet plan differs. It’s based on making small changes that add up to long-term weight loss. You can eat all your favourite meals – just healthier versions. And our dietitians and recipe consultants have made the adjustments for you, with nutritious, balanced dishes that include the main food groups. All our recipes are low cal but to help you choose for particular needs – low fat, high protein, low sugars or high fibre, to name a few – we’ve added nutrition symbols. Having tasted all the dishes in our test kitchen, I can vouch that not only are they delicious, but the portions are generous. Check out the options on p51. To get you started, Healthy Food Guide magazine’s dietitian Juliette Kellow has devised a 14-day kickstart menu plan (p18). It includes everything you’ll be eating for two weeks to help you lose weight gradually but for good. Make 2017 the year you ditch fad diets and learn to eat well to lose weight – you’ll never look back. Hard to believe? Read the stories from Healthy Food Guide readers who did just that last year (p43) and are still going strong. They’re enjoying their food to the full – and the changes they’ve made can work for you. MELANIE LEYSHON, EDITOR

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 3


Contents Think slim

6 Weight loss… Why

it’s all about the waist

Our experts explain the health risks of abdominal fat – and what to do about it

10 How to make

it work – this time for good

Advice from nutrition professionals

14 So you want

to break free?

Identify your eating personality and change the habits holding you back

36 21 healthy ways to feed a snack attack

See what you can get for just 100kcal

43 If they can do it,

so can you!

Insider tips from healthy eaters who’ve reached their weight-loss goals

46 Exercise… It’s all

in a day’s work

Too busy to work out? We help you factor activity into your daily routine

114 Tips from the

health stars

Find out how your favourite foodie and sports personalities stay in shape

2-week kickstart diet plan 18 A slimmer,

healthier you in just 14 days

Our nutritionally analysed planner has all your meals and snacks covered

The recipes 50 Recipe index 52 Breakfasts 58 Chicken & meat 80 Vegetarian 96 Fish 102 Snacks 106 Desserts

Healthy trends to try

56 Bircher

A delicious way to get more fibre-rich oats every day

94 Courgetti

Why spiralizing is here to stay – and how to get the best health benefits

104 Energy balls

Stock up on nutritious dates and join in the craze for these satisfying snacks

112 Juicing

Quick, refreshing ways to pack in three of your five-a-day

4 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN


WEIGHT LOSS DIET PLAN MORE RECIPES EVERY MONTH 78

Subscribe to Healthy Food Guide

Get more nutritionally analysed recipes and meal plans every month, plus all the latest health info and advice from dietitians

with

RECIPE COLLECTION ISSUE 18 EYE TO EYE MEDIA LTD, Axe & Bottle Court, 70 Newcomen St, London SE1 1YT HEALTHY FOOD GUIDE MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS 01795 414778 Healthyfood.co.uk/subscribe EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES 020 7803 4128 EMAIL Info@healthyfood.co.uk Editor Melanie Leyshon Assistant editor Liz Atkins Art director Tina Betts Art editor Abigail Dodd Senior sub editor Rebecca Almond Editorial assistant/writer Laura Day Nutrition consultant Juliette Kellow Recipe consultant Phil Mundy ADVERTISING SALES Ad director Jason Elson 020 7150 5397 Senior sales Laura Collinder 020 7150 5043 Group head, partnerships Josh Jalloul 020 7150 5040 Regional business development manager Nicola Rearden 0161 209 3629 Managing director Seamus Geoghegan 020 7803 4123 seamus@eyetoeyemedia.co.uk Publishing director Adrienne Moyce 020 7803 4111 adrienne.moyce@eyetoeyemedia.co.uk Consultant editorial director Jo Sandilands Circulation director Owen Arnot 020 7803 4121 Production director Jake Hopkins 020 7803 4110 Marketing consultant Julia Rich 020 7803 4129 Finance director Gary Pickett gary.pickett@eyetoeyemedia.co.uk Finance manager Adam Wright 01733 373135 adam.wright@eyetoeyemedia.co.uk WITH THANKS TO

EDITORIAL: Matteo Zanre, Debbie Voller, Diana Galligan RECIPES: Kate Belcher, Angela Boggiano, Jackie Charles, Charlie Clapp, Laura Faire, Silvana Franco, Sophie Gray, Lizzie Kamenetzky, Nadia Lim, Patrick McNamara, Nichola Palmer, Joy Skipper, Rebecca Smith, Tracey Sunderland, Alison Turner, Nikki Wallman, Yvonne Walus, Zoe Wilson, Hannah Yeadon, Jennifer Yee (Nzfava) PHOTOS: Steve Baxter, Jodie Collins, Laura Edwards, Wendy Fenwick, Rebecca Hanson, Cath Harries, Melanie Jenkins, Dan Jones, Bill Kingston, Amanda Lennon, Andy Lewis, Andre Martin, Gareth Morgans, Cath Muscat, Myles New, Mark O’Meara, Martin Poole, Carolyn Robertson, Craig Robertson, Maja Smend, Diane Temple, Angela Walker, Ian Wallace, Stuart West, Joanna Wickham, Michael Woods, Vanessa Wu, Kelly Young, Getty, iStock

The Essential Guide to Losing Weight Recipe Collection 18 and Healthy Food Guide magazine are published by Eye to Eye Media Ltd, Axe & Bottle Court, 70 Newcomen Street, London SE1 1YT, under licence from Healthy Life Media International Limited and its content includes copyright material which is owned or controlled by, and is reproduced under licence from, Healthy Life Media International Limited. The title Healthy Food Guide and the Healthy Food Guide logo are trade marks owned by, and used under licence from, Healthy Life Media International Limited. The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of Healthy Life Media International Limited, its subsidiaries, affiliates or contributors. For licensing enquiries contact Phil Ryan, Healthy Life Media International (phil.ryan@hlmedia.co.nz). ISSN 2045-8223. Printed in UK. Colour origination by Rhapsody. Copyright Eye to Eye Media Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part prohibited without permission. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for errors in advertisements, articles, photographs or illustrations. Eye to Eye Media Ltd is a registered data user whose entries in the Data Protection Register contain descriptions of sources and disclosures of personal data. This paper is manufactured using pulp taken from well-managed, certified forests.

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN5


WEIGHT LOSS ...Why it’s all about the waist The size of your belly is a good indicator of your future health risks, from heart disease to dementia. We reveal the effects of an expanding waistline and give expert advice on how to beat the bulge

6 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN


D

o you know your body mass index (BMI)? It’s a useful guide for assessing whether you’re overweight or obese, based on a combination of your height and weight measurements. If you don’t know whether you’re in the healthy range, you can check using the calculator at healthyfood.co.uk/bmi. But while it’s good to know your BMI, taking a simple waist measurement is an even better measure of your health. Experts now agree that carrying excess fat around the middle is far more harmful than too much fat around the hips and thighs.

THINK SLIM chemicals that can make body cells divide far more often than usual, which can increase the risk of cancer.’

heart disease The inflammatory chemicals produced by visceral belly fat may lead to the build-up of plaques in the arteries, which can increase risk of heart attack.

dementia Belly fat may ramp up the risk of dementia later in life, according to research by Boston University School of Medicine.

What’s wrong with a bit of belly fat? The problem comes if you have too much of it. Carrying a lot of fat around the tummy can be a sign that you have more sinister, internal fat known as visceral fat. This accumulates deeper in the belly and is dangerous because it wraps around, and lies within, our vital organs, such as the kidneys, heart and liver. This can cause serious health problems, such as:

type 2 diabetes Too much abdominal fat can lead to insulin resistance, which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. Shedding excess waistline inches can reduce your risk of developing the disease.

certain cancers According to the World Cancer Research Fund, extra abdominal fat is linked to an increased risk of cancer of the pancreas, endometrium and bowel, as well as postmenopausal breast cancer. Healthy Food Guide nutritionist Amanda Ursell explains: ‘This extra fat around the middle is surprisingly “active”. It releases hormones and other

osteoporosis Harvard University research found obese men carrying deep visceral fat suffer decreased bone density and strength.

migraines Research by Drexel University in the US involving women and men aged between 20 and 55 found that about 37% of the women with excess fat around their belly reported migraines, compared with 29% of the women without belly fat.

asthma Research by the University of Science and Technology in Norway found adults with ‘central obesity’ (but who were not obese overall) were 40% more likely to develop asthma.

poor sleep Losing weight, particularly belly fat, improves sleep and reduces daytime tiredness, according to a Johns Hopkins University study.

TURN THE PAGE for what to do next…

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 7


How do you know if you have visceral fat? That’s where your waist measurement comes in. The average person can’t have their levels of visceral fat measured so, according to Diabetes UK, your waist measurement is a relatively reliable indicator of the health risks associated with excess visceral fat.

How to measure your waist accurately Find the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips. Wrap a tape measure around your body halfway between these two points – it’s usually where your belly button is.

What’s a healthy waist measurement? The table below shows the measurements that apply to the average person. If you’re short or especially tall, from certain ethnic groups (or if you’re measuring a child), it’s better to look at the waist to height ratio instead. Your waist should be less than half your height.

The ‘magic’ waist number to keep below…

WOMEN

MEN

80cm (31½in)

94cm* (37in)

Risks to health really begin to climb if over…

88cm (34½in) W 8 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

102cm (40in)

When you switch to a healthy, balanced diet that’s lower in calories, and start exercising regularly, your waist measurement will start to fall. That’s because when you cut back on calories to lose weight, your body usually burns visceral fat first, with the result that it’s among the first fat to go. Doctors from McMaster University in Canada found that when obese patients burned off an average of 20% of their body weight, the layer of visceral fat clinging to organs shrank by an average of 32%. Add exercise to the mix and you’ll see even better results — even if the scales don’t register a big weight loss. Don’t get hung up on stones and pounds: as you get fitter and fat turns to muscle, your weight loss may not seem so dramatic, but you’ll be shaving off those waistline inches, looking leaner and feeling healthier.

The maths is simple… Basically, you need to take in fewer calories than you burn, so your body starts to use its fat stores for energy,’

*FOR MEN OF ASIAN ORIGIN, WHO ARE AT A HIGHER RISK OF DEVELOPING TYPE 2 DIABETES, THIS FIGURE IS 89CM (35IN)

Lose the belly and the rest will follow


THINK SLIM says Healthy Food Guide nutrition consultant Juliette Kellow. No single food group should be prioritised – or demonised – when trying to lose weight. That’s where our collection of healthy recipes comes in. Our expert dietitians have devised a healthy eating plan that won’t restrict your enjoyment of food one bit.

Losing weight the Healthy Food Guide way We believe eating should continue to be a pleasure when you’re trying to reduce your waistline – and any healthy eating plan should be sustainable for life. If you cut calories too drastically with the latest fad diet (cutting out whole food groups, for example), you may well see quick results and initially love the new-look you. But that faddy way of eating will be unsustainable, especially if you’re hungry all the time, and sooner or later you’ll go back to your old eating habits. Then, frustratingly, you pile the pounds – and waist inches – back on, probably with a few more this time. Instead, how about setting out to enjoy food even more than you already do? All it takes is the right mindset and a few healthy guidelines.

HEALTHY GUIDELINES

1Don’t cut out whole food groups

, unless advised to by your doctor, as you could miss out on vital nutrients. A balanced, healthy diet should include: high-fibre, carb-rich foods, such as wholegrain pasta and cereals, brown rice and wholemeal bread fruit and veg low-fat dairy products low-fat, protein-rich foods, such as lean meat, eggs, fish, pulses and tofu.

2Cut right back on

fatty and/or sugary foods, such as biscuits, crisps, chocolate, sweets, fizzy drinks, fried foods and takeaways – these come with a high price tag in terms of calories, but with few nutrients. Want the detail? The government’s Eatwell Guide shows the recommended proportions of the main food groups for a healthy, balanced diet. Find it at healthyfood.co.uk/new-eatwell-guide.

simple swaps to cut calories, fat 3Make and sugar

, such as replacing regular cheddar with reduced-fat cheese, butter with low-fat spread, fatty meat with lean cuts and skinless chicken, full-fat milk with semi or skimmed and sugar with a sweetener.

4Watch your portion sizes

. For most of us, they’ve crept up over the years because of the portions served in cafés and restaurants and the size of food products we buy. Thanks to bigger plates, bowls and wine glasses, we’re dishing up bigger portions at home, too. Cutting these down to size is an important step in reducing your calorie intake. To do this, you need to get used to what a sensible portion looks like. Download our at-a-glance guide at healthyfood.co.uk/article/ easy-portion-size-guide

PHOTOS: ISTOCK, GETTY IMAGES

5Get more active

. Start with 150 minutes of moderateintensity exercise each week. This is the recommended minimum for good health – and you’ll need to do more if you want to shift fat. Keep as active as possible on a daily basis and find an exercise you enjoy so you’ll be able to stick to it (turn to p46 for ideas). Don’t forget to include strength training as well as cardio for good bone health and to increase lean muscle mass – muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, so it will also help you lose weight.

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 9


How to make it work – this time for good

Our experts in nutrition and weight loss share their professional expertise

Tracy Kelly is a workplace health and wellbeing coach and registered dietitian.

Amanda Ursell is an awardwinning health writer and qualified nutritionist.

Dr Dawn Harper is a GP and runs regular clinics on women’s weight management.

Jennifer Low is a dietitian specialising in IBS and bariatric surgery.

Dahlia Kulkarni works as a registered dietitian and mindfulness expert.

Juliette Kellow is a registered dietitian who has worked in the food industry.

Change your mindset Stop dieting

When we’re on a strict diet, then (inevitably) eat something ‘off limits’, we feel guilty, and this can lead to comfort eating. Jennifer

Analyse this

If you’re not sure why you can’t seem to lose weight, try this: take a photo of everything you eat and drink for a week, then print them all out at the end of the week, separating them into meals and snacks/extras. It’s a quick and easy way to see if you’re overeating, grazing or filling up on ‘hidden’ calories – and it can be an eye opener. Juliette 10 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

Don’t ban foods

Allow yourself to eat your favourite things, even if they’re unhealthy – but keep them for occasional treats and really enjoy them. You’re less likely to get fixated on the ‘bad stuff’ if it isn’t banned, you’ll enjoy it more and you’ll probably eat less of it. If only chocolate or wine will do, savour a small piece or a small glass instead of having both. Tracy

Remove distractions

Do you eat at your computer, only to look down at your lunch box and wonder who ate all the food? Remove distractions such as phones, tablets and laptops and regain your meal. At work, allocate time not only for eating but also to take a screen break. Dahlia

Take stock

If you’re at a party, use a plate for canapés instead of gobbling them down as they pass by. Who notices how much they’ve eaten when they’re busy chatting and can’t see the food properly? A sure recipe for overeating. Tracy

LOSE WEIGHT AND KEEP IT OFF


THINK SLIM

Get organised Plan your meals

Decide what you’ll cook for the week and shop only for the foods on your list. Don’t forget to include healthier snacks, such as oatcakes, veg to cut into sticks, reduced-fat hummus and fresh and dried fruit to keep between-meals hunger at bay. Juliette

Be methodical

Weighing out ingredients and checking the serving sizes on packs will help you get used to sensible portion sizes. Click on ‘nutrition’ at healthyfood.co.uk for our nutrition and diet cards, including portion guides. Juliette Do it yourself

Make cooking from scratch your default – you’ll have more control over what you’re eating. If you do find yourself reaching for a ready meal, look to the healthier ranges. Dawn

Get more zzzzz

Check your bedtime: research suggests a good night’s sleep tonight can help you to eat well tomorrow. Studies show sleep deprivation changes decision making and predisposes us to poor dietary choices. Amanda

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 11


Deal with hunger Don’t set off on empty

It’s been proved breakfast aids weight loss, but if you have no time to sit down and eat in the morning, at least take an apple or banana to munch on the go. Hold out until lunch and you’ll be so hungry your sensible eating plans will go out of the window. Jennifer

Snack smart

Keep a bag of almonds in your bag or desk drawer. Research shows eating these heart-healthy nuts can help to reduce belly fat and waist circumference. Stick to a small handful (30g) to avoid excess calories. Search ‘diet planner’ at healthyfood. co.uk for more healthy snack ideas. Juliette Add fibre

Make your evening meal more filling by adding fibre and extra vegetables to your plate (put extra beans in chilli and veg in curries, for example) so you don’t feel the need to nibble in front of the TV later on. Tracy

Stop grazing

Picking at the kids’ leftovers or regularly raiding your desk drawer can add loads of calories to your daily intake. Before you reach for food, rate your hunger on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is absolutely starving and 10 is totally stuffed. Make a pact with yourself only to eat once you get to 3 or 4. Juliette

12 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN


THINK SLIM

Make healthy swaps

Include low-fat dairy

Don’t cut out all fats

Go wholegrain

Numerous studies show adults who consume low-fat dairy products as part of a lower-calorie diet tend to lose more weight, especially from around their waist, than those who skip dairy. It’s calcium that appears to work the magic – and it seems to be far more effective at blasting belly fat when it’s taken in the form of dairy foods rather than supplements.

Not all types of fat are bad. The monounsaturated fats found in olives and olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, lean red meat and chocolate are not only good for your heart (they help to lower levels of LDL or bad cholesterol), but research suggests they may also help to beat belly fat. These foods are, however, high in calories, so keep portions small.

Switching from white processed carbs to wholegrains, such as wholewheat pasta, wholegrain cereals and breads, brown rice and oats, may help you to lose fat from around your middle. In one large study, women who ate the most wholegrains (at least three servings) each day had waist measurements that were, on average, 3.3cm lower than those who ate none. One serving is equal to a slice of wholemeal bread, 3–4 crispbreads or 3tbsp wholegrain cereal.

SWAP… Semi-skimmed milk (1.7% fat) FOR 1% fat or skimmed milk Full-fat Greek yogurt FOR fat-free or 2% fat Greek yogurt Cheddar FOR reduced-fat cheese, cottage cheese or quark Ice cream FOR frozen low-fat yogurt

SWAP… Butter FOR peanut butter Sunflower oil FOR rapeseed or olive oil

SWAP… Couscous FOR bulgur wheat

Crisps FOR a few unsalted nuts

Corn flakes FOR Shredded Wheat, Shreddies or Weetabix

Mayo FOR olive-oil-based salad dressings

White bread FOR multigrain, rye or wholemeal bread

Soured cream dip FOR guacamole

Croissants FOR wholemeal scones

Tortilla chips FOR olives

White rice FOR brown basmati rice White pasta FOR wholewheat pasta White risotto rice FOR pearled spelt Biscuits FOR oatcakes

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 13


14 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN


So you want to break free?

THINK SLIM

Are you reaching for that biscuit because you’re bored, upset – or just because it’s there? Knowing why you overeat will help you reconnect with your body’s appetite signals – and stick with a healthy plan. Read on to discover your eating personality

E

njoying a slice of birthday cake or a glass of wine with friends has nothing to do with hunger and, of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. But often there’s a real disconnect between the amount of calories we need and the amount we consume on a daily basis. So how do we stop eating for the wrong reasons and reconnect with appetite? First, work out your eating personality to help you recognise the triggers. See if one or more of the eating styles on these pages seem familiar, then read our experts’ advice on how to change your approach and develop healthier habits.

Do you have no idea what you ate yesterday? THEN YOU’RE A

chaotic eater Whereas regular eaters are likely to have three meals of similar size and type each day, your eating habits are far less predictable. This makes it harder for you to improve your eating habits – primarily because you don’t have regular habits and routines! As you can’t remember what you’ve eaten, it’s harder to identify problem areas.

HOW TO BREAK FREE Start out the way you mean to go on Your aim is to create some consistency around the way you eat, and breakfast is a good place to start. Have a filling breakfast, such as a crunchy high-fibre cereal or fruit with low-fat yogurt (turn to p52 for more ideas) so you’re less likely to be hungry and start mindlessly grazing.

Keep notes Start a food diary so you know what you’re eating and when. Aim to spread meals evenly over the course of the day – if you were to split the day into thirds, each third would have food in it.

Do you eat because it’s there? THEN YOU’RE AN

environmental eater Eating whenever you’re faced with food is undoubtedly a good strategy when it’s in short supply. But it works against most people in the developed world as we’re surrounded by temptation despite having enough to eat. Unfortunately, our society has made unhealthy food so accessible – the chocolate at the checkout, the biscuit jar in the office kitchen, the nibbles at the party – that environmental eaters are at risk of harm from excessive weight gain.

HOW TO BREAK FREE Improve your environment Replace any junk food and drink in your cupboards, fridge, car and desk drawer with healthy snacks such as dried fruit, wholegrain crackers, snack tins of tuna and 30g portions of unsalted nuts.

Work out your weak spots Write a list of situations that could be eating traps for you, and plan simple ways to limit the temptation. This could mean offering round the sausage rolls rather than hovering next to them at the party, asking colleagues to put the biscuit tin away in a cupboard, or throwing away your children’s leftovers as soon as they’ve finished. Choosing sweet-free supermarket checkouts can be helpful for those who can’t resist.

Put food away Store treat foods in opaque containers at the back of the fridge or cupboard – out of sight, out of mind.

IDENTIFY YOUR EATING HABITS

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 15


Do you eat because you’re bored or low? THEN YOU’RE AN

emotional eater Boredom, anger, loneliness or depression can bring on mindless eating. Some people also use food as a reward – treats are often given to children to control behaviour and this habit can carry over into adulthood. The dieting process can also become a vicious circle, as you find your self-imposed restraint too stressful and then eat to comfort yourself.

HOW TO BREAK FREE Look for patterns Keep a food and mood diary to record what and when you ate, and how you felt before, during and after eating. This helps you identify patterns so you can pinpoint your emotional triggers.

Reward yourself in another way Make a list of things you really enjoy, such as relaxing in a hot bath or in front of your favourite TV show. When you’re about to turn to food, reach for your list instead and spoil yourself.

Find a support network Once you begin to recognise what drives you to eat, you may realise you need the advice of a psychologist, psychiatrist or dietitian. Ask your GP for advice on getting help.

Take food out of the equation Suggest meeting friends or business contacts for a walk instead. You can talk just as easily – and sneak in some of your daily exercise while you’re at it.

Stick to regular mealtimes Eating breakfast is particularly important. A bowl of porridge or high-fibre, low-sugar cereal will help you resist the midmorning cake run.

Don’t go out hungry Have a light snack, such as a piece of fruit and a low-fat yogurt, before any evening events so you don’t arrive starving and load up on sausage rolls and crisps. Go easy on the alcohol and alternate each drink with a glass of water.

Is food a matter of ‘all or nothing’? THEN YOU’RE A

restrained eater The saying ‘everything in moderation’ just doesn’t apply to you. You have a tendency to label foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and on a ‘good’ day, you stick to strict rules; on a ‘bad’ day, rules go out of the window. In fact, bingeing often occurs because you’ve deprived yourself for a few days.

HOW TO BREAK FREE

THEN YOU’RE A

social eater You eat healthily when left to your own devices, but run into trouble as soon as a work or social event appears on the calendar. Think meetings where croissants are supplied, colleagues’ birthdays, after-work drinks… Or, if you work at home or are a full-time parent, it could be the regular coffee shop meetings or tea and cake at a friend’s house.

HOW TO BREAK FREE Mark events on the calendar that are likely to involve eating If you see several planned during the same week, reschedule.

Fit fact

16 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

Understand that food is fuel The first step is to realise that an all-or-nothing approach is guaranteed to fail. Everyone needs to eat a sensible amount regularly for optimal energy levels and good concentration. Without the right food, your body can’t function properly.

Ditch the D word Don’t believe your own hype – after all, it hasn’t worked so far, has it? A restrictive diet is your worst enemy and banning foods is unrealistic. Saying, ‘I’ll go on a diet first, drop a few pounds and then start eating sensibly,’ just leads to disappointment. Healthy eating every day is the way to go for the rest of your life.

Ask for help if you need it Talking to a health professional can help you gain perspective and accept that aiming for good health rather than super-fast weight loss is a more achievable goal.

A study by Professor Brian Wansink, who’s renowned for his award-winning RESEARCH INTO EATING BEHAVIOUR, looked at how environmental factors can influence what we eat. When Brian put lollies in both clear and opaque bowls on office workers’ desks, the workers ATE MORE LOLLIES FROM THE CLEAR BOWLS – even when they were further away than the opaque bowls.

PHOTOS: ISTOCK

Do you eat to be polite?


THINK SLIM

DON’T LINGER AT THE BUFFET TABLE AT SOCIAL EVENTS. TAKE A LITTLE, THEN MOVE AWAY

Your healthy eating goals

EAT BECAUSE YOU’RE HUNGRY, choosing foods that you really like – and stop when you’re satisfied. BASE EATING ON REGULAR MEALTIMES, including breakfast, but stay flexible enough to accommodate business or

social eating events when they come up.

ENJOY EATING without letting it dominate your life.

ENJOY CELEBRATIONS with friends or family and acknowledge food can make you feel good. You may still find you occasionally overeat, but you won’t need to punish yourself emotionally later.

IF YOU’VE UNDEREATEN, don’t compensate with extra food at your next meal. UNDERSTAND FOOD is one of life’s pleasures and eat without guilt or shame. WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 17


18 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN


MEAL PLAN

Eat well and lose weight

Our dietitian has devised an eating plan that includes all the vital nutrients you need to stay healthy while losing the pounds YOUR 2-WEEK KICKSTART DIET PLAN

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 19


A slimmer, healthier you in just 14 DAYS…

Find more recipes online at healthyfood. co.uk

This is no crash diet. Our 14-day plan works because it helps you drop excess lbs slowly – and keep them off. The delicious daily menus make it easy

BY JULIETTE KELLOW, NUTRITION CONSULTANT, HEALTHY FOOD GUIDE MAGAZINE

O

n average we’ll have gained 5lb over Christmas. Bearing in mind we’ve had weeks of nights out, treats and over-stuffed fridges, many of us could be looking at even more! So if your waistband is feeling snug, read on. Losing weight in the cold, dark months of January and February is a daunting prospect, but that’s where we come in. Our plan isn’t a restrictive diet. Instead, it provides enjoyable healthier options that will fill you up. By eating three proper meals and two snacks a day – every day – you’ll not only reverse those festive gains, but find it easier to stick with healthy eating for good. Our 14-day kickstart plan is the best way to start. The recipes, devised by the Healthy Food Guide food and nutrition team, are basically your favourite meals made healthier – all low-calorie and containing essential nutrients. After that, use the recipes in this collection to keep

Your plan made easy 20 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

1

you going. You’ll find more online at healthyfood.co.uk. HFG recipe consultant Phil Mundy doesn’t use added salt and watches the fat and sugar content, so you won’t experience low blood-sugar episodes and those dreaded slumps that have you heading to the biscuit barrel. We don’t ban food groups so you can enjoy bread, pasta and so on, but in healthy portion sizes (which means sticking to the amounts shown in our ingredients lists). You can even choose a glass of wine with your dinner as one of your ‘snack’ options. To maximise weight loss, make sure you also follow the government’s recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week – and factor in some cardio to help with fat burning. A combination of eating well and taking regular exercise really is the way to stay fit, healthy and energised. Here’s how to get started…

SIMPLY FOLLOW THE DAILY MENUS. It’s fine to swap meals around or replace them with another recipe from this collection with a similar calorie content. You should aim to lose around 1–2lb a week (although you may lose a little more when you start out, as your body adapts to a new way of eating).

2

IT DOESN’T MATTER WHEN YOU EAT YOUR SNACKS. You can combine them if you prefer, or even add them to meals. If you only have a little weight to lose, you may want to miss out one of the snacks. If you have a lot of weight to lose or are male, you may like to add an extra snack.

3

AS WELL AS YOUR MEALS and snacks, have 300ml skimmed milk every day for a burst of bone-building calcium and protein to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Drink milk on its own, use in hot drinks or blend with some of the fruit in each day’s menu to make a shake.


MEAL PLAN

Guide to recipe symbols & nutrition analysis vegetarian

gluten free

dairy free

450kcal or less for a main course; 300kcal or less for breakfast; and 150kcal or less for a starter, snack, drink or dessert 3g fat or less per 100g 1.5g saturates or less per 100g 5g total sugars or less per 100g 0.3g salt or less per 100g At least 6g fibre per 100g or 3g fibre per 100kcal At least 20% of the calories come from protein At least 30% of the RDA per serving At least 30% of the RDA per serving

1

The number of portions of fruit and/or veg contained in a serving

l Nutrition is calculated using McCance and Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods, Seventh Edition, but may vary slightly depending on your ingredients. l All recipes are approved by Diabetes UK as suitable for people with diabetes. l We use standard UK measurements, where 1tbsp is 15ml and 1tsp is 5ml. l For gluten- and dairy-free recipes, we recommend you check all product labels. l In vegetarian recipes, use a vegetarian cheese substitute if you avoid animal rennet.

4

THIS PLAN CONTAINS PLENTY OF FRUIT AND VEG, so you should easily achieve five-a-day – and probably closer to seven-plus, which studies have found may boost our health even more. If you find you’re still hungry, simply serve bigger portions of vegetables or salad with meals.

5

AVOID ADDING EXTRA CALORIES, but don’t miss out on taste. Drizzle salads with balsamic or white wine vinegar, or look for readymade dressings that are virtually calorie-free.

6

KEEP HYDRATED but don’t drink your calories. Stick with water, tea and coffee (with milk from your daily allowance and a sweetener such as stevia instead of sugar), herbal and fruit teas, and calorie-free soft drinks.

TURN THE PAGE TO GET STARTED…

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 21


Day1 Breakfast 5tbsp branflakes with 2 chopped dates, 1tbsp chopped hazelnuts and skimmed milk 330kcal

Snack 1 skinny cappuccino and 1 apple 120kcal

Lunch 1 serving tuna, green bean and lentil bowl with yogurt dressing 285kcal

Snack 1 wholemeal fruit scone with 1tsp low-fat spread 175kcal

Dinner Chilli made from ½ onion, chilli to taste, a pinch of cumin, 1tsp veg oil, ½ red and green pepper, 125g lean turkey mince, ½ large can tomatoes, ½ large can red kidney beans and 1tbsp tomato purée, served with 5tbsp cooked brown rice 573kcal

TOTAL = 1,483kcal

Tuna, green bean and lentil bowl with yogurt dressing PREP 15 MIN COOK 5 MIN SERVES 4 GLUTEN FREE

350g green beans 3 x 120g cans no-drain tuna 1tbsp extra-virgin olive oil A few dashes tabasco or 1tbsp sweet chilli sauce Juice and zest 1 lemon 100g low-fat natural yogurt 1tbsp snipped fresh chives 2 x 400g cans lentils in water, rinsed and drained 2 celery sticks, finely diced ½ red onion, finely chopped 175g roasted red peppers from a jar (without oil), sliced 60g rocket 2tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

1 Steam the green beans for 3 min or until just tender. Refresh under cold running water, then drain. 2 In a small bowl, combine the tuna with the olive oil, the tabasco

Tuna, green bean and lentil bowl with yogurt dressing

START PLANNING

Make a shopping list at the beginning of the week, so you have all the ingredients and no more excuses not to cook healthily.

22 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

or sweet chilli sauce, and half the lemon juice.

3 In a separate small bowl or jug, combine the yogurt with the chives and lemon zest to make a dressing. 4 In another small bowl, mix the lentils with the remaining lemon juice and season with black pepper.

5 Divide the lentil mixture, celery, onion, peppers, rocket, green beans and tuna among 4 serving bowls. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle over the parsley to serve.

3 PER SERVING 285kcal 11.9g fibre 5.4g fat 34.5g protein 1.5g saturates 1g salt 24.7g carbs 177mg calcium 7.7g sugars 7.3mg iron


MEAL PLAN

Day2 Breakfast Bowl of porridge made from 4tbsp oats and 275ml skimmed milk, topped with 1tbsp sunflower seeds and 1tsp honey 354kcal

Snack

Chicken, leek, lemon and olive casserole

125g pot fat-free fruit yogurt and 1 orange 140kcal

Lunch 1 large jacket potato topped with 4tbsp tzatziki mixed with extra cucumber and served with salad. Plus 1 apple 368kcal

Snack 1 wholemeal pitta with 1 slice lean ham and 1 tomato 190kcal

Dinner 1 serving chicken, leek, lemon and olive casserole 415kcal

TOTAL = 1,467kcal

Chicken, leek, lemon and olive casserole PREP 15 MIN COOK 45 MIN SERVES 4 DAIRY FREE

2tbsp plain flour 1tsp smoked paprika 400g skinless chicken breast fillets, cut into 4–5cm pieces Cooking oil spray 2 large leeks, trimmed, halved lengthways and thinly sliced 2 celery sticks, finely sliced 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 500g potatoes, peeled and cut into 5cm pieces Zest and juice ½ lemon, plus wedges, to serve 250ml very low salt chicken stock 6tbsp fresh flatleaf parsley, plus extra (optional), to garnish 75g pitted black olives, drained 150g couscous, to serve

1 Put the flour and paprika in a large food bag. Add the chicken pieces to the bag and shake to lightly coat.

2 Spray a large, deep, heavy-based, non-stick frying pan with oil and set

over a medium–high heat. Add the chicken breast fillets and cook, turning occasionally, for 4–5 min until sealed and golden. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

3 Spray the frying pan with more oil. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3–4 min until soft. Add the celery and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 min. 4 Add the reserved chicken to the frying pan, along with the potatoes, lemon zest and juice and stock. Season with black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30–35 min until the potatoes are tender. Stir the parsley and olives into the casserole.

5 Five minutes before the end of the cooking time, put the couscous into a bowl with 225ml boiling water. Cover and leave for 5 min, then fluff the grains with a fork. Divide among 4 bowls. Top with the chicken casserole, garnish with parsley (if using), sprinkle with black pepper and serve with lemon wedges.

2 PER SERVING 415kcal 9.7g fibre 5.6g fat 34.1g protein 1.1g saturates 0.9g salt 60.8g carbs 93mg calcium 5.6g sugars 4.1mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 23


Day3 Breakfast

T MEA FR E E

6tbsp bran flakes with 3 dried dates, 1 banana and skimmed milk 368kcal

Spinach and ricotta crêpes

Snack 1 slice wholegrain toast with 1tsp low-fat spread and Marmite 100kcal

Lunch 1 serving spinach and ricotta crêpes. Plus 1 apple 433kcal

Snack ½ carton fresh bean soup 150kcal

Dinner Vegetable and cashew nut stir-fry made from 2tsp vegetable oil, ½ pack stir-fry veg, 1tbsp unsalted cashew nuts, 1tbsp reduced-salt soy sauce and 1 layer or individual pack cooked noodles 387kcal

TOTAL = 1,438kcal

Spinach and ricotta crêpes PREP 10 MIN COOK 15 MIN SERVES 4 VEGETARIAN

300g cherry tomatoes on the vine Cooking oil spray 8 large eggs 4tsp dijon mustard 30g parmesan-style vegetarian cheese, grated 250g frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess moisture 125g ricotta, crumbled 4 slices wholegrain bread and 125g mixed leaves, to serve

2 Meanwhile, spray a small (about

in the pan with an eighth each of the grated cheese and spinach. Cook gently for 1–2 min until lightly golden and cooked through – do not flip. Remove the crêpe from the pan and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining egg mixture in the bowl. Continue in this way until all the eggs, mustard, cheese and spinach are used up, making 8 crêpes in total.

10cm) non-stick frying pan with oil and set over a medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk 2 of the eggs with 1tsp of the mustard, then pour half the mixture into the pan. Sprinkle the egg mixture

3 Serve 2 crêpes per person, scattered with the ricotta, tomatoes and ground black pepper, with the bread and mixed leaves on the side.

1 Heat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/ gas 6 and line a baking tray with baking paper. Add the tomatoes and roast for 15 min or until soft.

24 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

2 PER SERVING 383kcal 5.3g fibre 19.9g fat 29.4g protein 7.3g saturates 1.5g salt 23.6g carbs 408mg calcium 5.6g sugars 4.7mg iron


MEAL PLAN

Day4 Breakfast 2 Shredded Wheat with skimmed milk, 1 banana, 2 handfuls of blueberries and 1tsp honey 351kcal

Snack 1 skinny cappuccino and 1 thin slice malt loaf with 1tsp low-fat spread 184kcal

VEG OUT!

Make friends with seasonal veg. Not only do they taste better, but they’re cheaper, too. Keep carrot and celery sticks in the fridge for hunger pangs.

Lunch 1 wholemeal wrap filled with salad made from 3tbsp grated reduced-fat cheese, 1 grated apple, 3 chopped celery sticks, 4 crushed walnut halves and 1tbsp reduced-fat mayo 444kcal

Snack 2 handfuls plain air-popped popcorn 60kcal

Dinner 1 serving pork satay salad. Plus 1 slice cantaloupe melon 438kcal

TOTAL = 1,477kcal

Pork satay salad PREP 10 MIN + COOLING COOK 10 MIN SERVES 4

GLUTEN FREE

DAIRY FREE

Cooking oil spray 350g 5% fat pork mince Zest and juice 1 lime, plus wedges to serve Pinch dried chilli flakes 60g natural crunchy peanut butter 100ml canned reduced-fat coconut milk 2 x 250g packs ready-to-heat brown basmati rice 250g crunchy salad mix, or a mixture of leaves and shredded cabbage and carrot 3tbsp fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

1 Spray a large non-stick frying pan with oil and heat until hot. Add the pork mince and stir-fry for about 5 min or until browned. Turn down the heat, then add the lime zest and juice, chilli flakes, peanut butter and coconut milk. Stir well.

Pork satay salad

2 Add the rice straight from the packs and heat through for 2–3 min. Take off the heat and set aside for 5 min, then stir through the crunchy salad mix. 3 Serve garnished with coriander and lime wedges to squeeze over.

411kcal

PER SERVING 4.7g fibre

14.9g fat 4.7g saturates 40.9g carbs 4.2g sugars

30g protein 0.1g salt 44mg calcium 2.8mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 25


Day5 Breakfast 2 boiled eggs with 2 slices wholegrain toast and 2tsp low-fat spread. Plus 1 satsuma 395kcal

Snack 15g unsalted almonds and 1 kiwi fruit 122kcal

Lunch 1 large jacket potato with a 200g pot reduced sugar and salt baked beans and salad. Plus 1 apple 430kcal

Snack 3tbsp tzatziki with ½ red pepper cut into sticks 80kcal

Dinner 1 serving lamb and halloumi with pea and watercress salad 432kcal

TOTAL = 1,459kcal

Lamb and halloumi with pea and watercress salad 15 MIN COOK 10 MIN SERVES 4

175g frozen peas, thawed 100g watercress ½ bunch spring onions, sliced Cooking oil spray 400g lean lamb rump steaks 125g reduced-fat halloumi, sliced 4 wholemeal pittas, toasted and cut into triangles

the lamb for 2–3 min on each side for medium, or until cooked to your liking. Set aside to rest for 5 min.

4 Meanwhile, spray the pan with more oil. Fry the halloumi for 1–2 min on each side until golden.

5 Slice the lamb into thin strips, then add to the salad with the halloumi and toss gently. Drizzle over the dressing and serve with the pitta triangles.

1

For the dressing

1½tsp sumac 100g fat-free Greek yogurt Juice ½ lemon 3tbsp chopped fresh mint

1 Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

PER SERVING 432kcal 6.8g fibre 15.2g fat 39.3g protein 6.9g saturates 1.8g salt 34.4g carbs 365mg calcium 5.9g sugars

5mg iron

2 Toss the peas, watercress and spring onions together in a large bowl.

3 Spray a large non-stick frying pan with oil and set over a high heat. Fry Lamb and halloumi with pea and watercress salad

26 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN


MEAL PLAN

Day6 Breakfast

T MEA FR E E

MAKE A MEAL OF IT

6tbsp branflakes with 3 chopped dried dates and skimmed milk and 1 small glass orange juice 338kcal

Eat at the table and switch off the TV. You’ll concentrate on your food and eat more slowly (and probably less).

Snack 30g good-quality plain chocolate 146kcal

Lunch Sandwich made from 2 slices wholegrain bread filled with ½ mashed avocado and 1 tomato. Plus a 125g pot fat-free fruit yogurt and 2 handfuls blueberries 433kcal

Snack 2 rye crispbreads topped with 2tbsp low-fat soft cheese and a handful of grapes 146kcal

Dinner 1 serving pesto and mushroom spaghetti 416kcal

TOTAL = 1,479kcal

Pesto and mushroom spaghetti PREP 10 MIN COOK 15 MIN SERVES 4 VEGETARIAN

300g mixed baby tomatoes Cooking oil spray 350g wholewheat spaghetti 400g button mushrooms, sliced 4tbsp fresh vegetarian basil pesto 150g baby spinach Zest and juice 1 lemon Pinch dried chilli flakes 25g vegetarian parmesan-style cheese, shaved

Pesto and mushroom spaghetti

in a roasting dish and spray with oil, then grill for 10 min or until the skins are blistered. Set aside.

a large non-stick frying pan with oil and set over a medium-high heat. Cook the button mushrooms, stirring, for 5 min or until golden. Add the basil pesto and enough of the reserved pasta water to make a sauce, then mix gently to heat through.

2 Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a

4 Add the mushroom sauce and

medium pan of unsalted boiling water, according to the pack instructions, until al dente. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water, then return to the pan.

roasted tomatoes to the cooked spaghetti, then toss through to coat. Add the spinach, lemon zest and juice, chilli flakes and half the parmesan-style cheese. Toss briefly, then divide among 4 plates. Top with the remaining cheese.

1 Heat the grill. Put the tomatoes

3 Around 5 min before the end of the spaghetti cooking time, spray

2 PER SERVING 416kcal 12.7g fibre 12.1g fat 17.1g protein 2.8g saturates 0.4g salt 63.7g carbs 228mg calcium 6.8g sugars 4.5mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 27


Day7 Breakfast 1 wholemeal wrap filled with 1 scrambled egg, 2 grilled rashers lean back bacon and 1 grilled tomato 394kcal

Snack Milkshake made from 200ml skimmed milk and 1 banana 147kcal

Thai fishcakes with crunchy rice salad

Lunch 1 serving Thai fishcakes with crunchy rice salad. Plus a 125g pot fat-free fruit yogurt 350kcal

Snack 30g piece reduced-fat cheddar with 1 apple 144kcal

Dinner 1 grilled lean lamb steak with 1 medium potato cut into cubes and roasted with 1tsp olive oil and fresh rosemary, steamed baby corn and mangetout and 1tbsp mint sauce 435kcal

TOTAL = 1,470kcal

Thai fishcakes with crunchy rice salad PREP 15 MIN COOK 15 MIN SERVES 4 GLUTEN FREE

DAIRY FREE

500g skinless and boneless haddock fillet, chopped 1 egg white 1tbsp gluten-free fish sauce 1tbsp finely grated fresh ginger 1tbsp lemongrass paste 3tbsp chopped fresh coriander 6 spring onions, thinly sliced 1 long red chilli, finely chopped Cooking oil spray For the rice salad 250g pack ready-to-heat brown rice 400g crunchy salad mix 200g mangetout, thinly sliced lengthways 2tsp sesame seeds Juice 1 lime, plus wedges to serve 1tbsp toasted sesame oil

28 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

1 Put the haddock, egg white, fish sauce, ginger, lemongrass paste, coriander, half the spring onions and two-thirds of the chilli in a food processor. Blitz to a coarse paste, then shape into 8 fishcakes. If you plan to freeze them, do so now.

2 Spray a large non-stick frying pan with oil and set over a medium heat. Cook the fishcakes, in batches, for 4 min on each side or until golden and cooked through.

3 Meanwhile, prepare the salad. Heat the rice according to the pack instructions, then transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the salad mix,

mangetout, sesame seeds, lime juice and sesame oil, then toss.

4 Garnish the fishcakes with the remaining spring onions and chilli, and serve with the salad and lime wedges.

2 PER SERVING 270kcal 6g fibre 6.1g fat 29.3g protein 1g saturates 1.4g salt 26g carbs 109mg calcium 6.8g sugars 1.8mg iron


MEAL PLAN

Day8 Breakfast 2 slices wholegrain toast topped with 4tbsp low-fat cottage cheese, 1 banana and 2 chopped dates 412kcal

Snack 1 skinny cappuccino and 1 reduced-fat digestive 135kcal

Lunch 1 wholemeal wrap filled with 100g cooked prawns mixed with 1tbsp light mayo and lemon juice, with watercress. Plus a 125g pot fat-free fruit yogurt 345kcal

2 Meanwhile, put the flour on a plate. Whisk the egg with 1tbsp water in a bowl. Combine the quinoa flakes with the herbs and lemon zest in a mixing bowl, then tip on to another plate. Rub a little garlic on to each turkey escalope, then dip, one at a time, into the flour, then the egg, then the quinoa mixture. Set aside.

3 Heat the sunflower oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a mediumhigh heat. Add the coated escalopes and cook for 1–2 min on each side until golden. Transfer to the second baking tray and put in the oven for the final

5 min of the veg cooking time. Bake until cooked through, then serve the schnitzels with the vegetables, salad leaves and lemon wedges.

3 PER SERVING 435kcal 10.7g fibre 7.8g fat 34.2g protein 1.6g saturates 0.5g salt 63.3g carbs 98mg calcium 18.6g sugars 3.1mg iron

Snack 3tbsp reduced-fat hummus with ½ red pepper cut into crudités 110kcal

Dinner 1 serving turkey schnitzels with roasted veg 435kcal

Turkey schnitzels with roasted veg

TOTAL = 1,437kcal

Turkey schnitzels with roasted veg PREP 15 MIN COOK 45 MIN SERVES 4 DAIRY FREE

400g beetroot, cut into wedges 500g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges 2 large carrots, cut into thick lengths Cooking oil spray 4tbsp plain flour 1 egg, beaten 100g quinoa flakes 2tbsp chopped fresh herbs, such as chives or parsley Zest 1 lemon, plus wedges to serve 2 garlic cloves, crushed 4 x 100g turkey breast escalopes 1tbsp sunflower oil 150g mixed salad leaves, to serve

1 Heat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/ gas 5 and line 2 large baking trays with baking paper. Put the beetroot, sweet potatoes and carrots in one tray and spray with oil. Bake for 45 min or until tender and golden at the edges. WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 29


Day9

T MEA FR E E

Breakfast 1 apple and 1 pear chopped and topped with a 170g pot fat-free Greek yogurt and 3tbsp toasted oats 320kcal

Baked falafels with tahini yogurt and tomato salad

Snack 6 walnut halves 150kcal

Lunch 1 serving baked falafels with tahini yogurt and tomato salad. Plus 1 orange 359kcal

Snack Milkshake made from 200ml skimmed milk and 2 handfuls frozen summer berries (defrosted) 107kcal

Dinner Tortilla made from 1tsp veg oil, ½ red onion, ½ red pepper, 1 sliced medium boiled potato, 2 eggs mixed with 1tbsp skimmed milk and 3tbsp grated reduced-fat cheddar, cooked until the egg is set, served with salad 513kcal

TOTAL = 1,449kcal

Baked falafels with tahini yogurt and tomato salad PREP 20 MIN COOK 20 MIN SERVES 4 VEGETARIAN

1 lemon 400g can chickpeas in water, drained 1 small onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 25g bunch fresh coriander, stalks and leaves chopped (reserve a few leaves unchopped) 2tsp ground coriander 1tsp ground cumin ½tsp baking powder 1 egg white 25g bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped Cooking oil spray 400g mixed baby tomatoes, halved or quartered if large 2tsp olive oil 6tbsp fat-free Greek yogurt

30 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

1tbsp tahini 100g rocket 4 round wholemeal pittas, warmed, to serve

5 Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes,

1 Heat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/ gas 7 and line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

lemon rind, reserved coriander leaves, olive oil, remaining parsley and remaining 1tbsp lemon juice in a salad bowl. Combine the yogurt and tahini in a small bowl with 1½tbsp water and mix well, using extra water to thin if necessary.

2 Remove the rind from half the lemon

6 Serve the falafels with the tomato

using a vegetable peeler, then slice the rind thinly. Slice the lemon in half, then juice (you need 2tbsp lemon juice).

salad, rocket, pittas and tahini yogurt.

3 Put the chickpeas, onion, garlic, chopped coriander, ground coriander, cumin, baking powder, egg white, half the parsley and 1tbsp of the lemon juice in a food processor. Blitz until the mixture is finely chopped.

4 Shape level tablespoons of the chickpea mixture into 16 balls and put them on to the prepared tray. Flatten slightly and spray with oil, then bake the falafels for 16–20 min until golden and hot throughout.

2 PER SERVING 299kcal 10g fibre 7.4g fat 17g protein 1g saturates 0.8g salt 43.3g carbs 199mg calcium 7.3g sugars 5.1mg iron


MEAL PLAN

Day10 Breakfast 1 serving banana, nut and berry blast 290kcal

Snack 1 skinny cappuccino and 1 slice wholegrain toast with 1tsp low-fat spread and Marmite 170kcal

BARGAIN BERRIES

They’re not in season right now, so save money and buy frozen raspberries instead.

Lunch 1 panini filled with 1tbsp green pesto, baby spinach, 1 tomato and 2 slices chicken breast. Plus 1 slice cantaloupe melon 439kcal

Snack 2 rye crispbreads topped with 2tbsp tzatziki and 1 sliced hard-boiled egg 185kcal

Dinner 1 chunky haddock fillet brushed with oil and roasted until cooked through, served with 1 scrubbed, large potato cut into wedges, brushed with oil, sprinkled with paprika and baked until soft, and 3tbsp peas 398kcal

TOTAL = 1,482kcal

Banana, nut and berry blast PREP 5 MIN SERVES 1 VEGETARIAN

GLUTEN FREE

1 banana, sliced 80g fresh or frozen berries 1 medjool date, pitted and sliced 1tbsp ground linseeds 1tsp no added sugar or salt peanut butter ½tsp ground cinnamon 175ml skimmed milk

Banana, nut and berry blast

1 Simply whiz the ingredients in a blender and serve in a glass, poured over ice, if you like.

2 PER SMOOTHIE 290kcal 9.6g fibre 9.4g fat 12.6g protein 1.2g saturates 0.2g salt 42.5g carbs 317mg calcium 36g sugars 2.2mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 31


Day11 Breakfast 2 eggs scrambled with skimmed milk on 1 slice wholegrain toast with 1tsp low-fat spread. Plus 1 small glass orange juice 325kcal

Thai prawns with coconut rice noodles

Snack 125g pot fat-free fruit yogurt and 1 apple 130kcal

Lunch Salad made from 5tbsp cooked wholewheat pasta, ½ avocado, ½ ball reduced-fat mozzarella, 1 tomato, 1tsp olive oil and balsamic vinegar 468kcal

Snack ½ carton fresh vegetable soup 120kcal

Dinner 1 serving Thai prawns with coconut rice noodles 387kcal

TOTAL = 1,430kcal

Thai prawns with coconut rice noodles PREP 10 MIN COOK 10 MIN SERVES 4 DAIRY FREE

300g frozen raw peeled and deveined prawns, thawed 4tbsp Thai green curry paste 200g flat rice noodles 400g can reduced-fat coconut milk 500g frozen mixed green vegetables (such as broccoli, green beans and peas) 1tbsp sesame oil

1 Toss the thawed prawns in the Thai curry paste and set aside.

2 Put the noodles in a large heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and set aside for 6–8 min until softened. Drain and set aside.

3 Meanwhile, put the coconut milk in a large pan with 150ml water. Set over a medium heat and bring to the boil.

4 Add the vegetables to the coconut milk and simmer for 2–3 min. Add the noodles and heat through for 1 min.

32 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

5 Heat the sesame oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the prawns and curry paste and cook, tossing, for 2–3 min until hot.

6 Divide the noodles and vegetables among 4 bowls, reserving the sauce. Top with the prawns, then spoon over the sauce and serve.

1 PER SERVING 387kcal 5.6g fibre 13g fat 21g protein 7.2g saturates 0.7g salt 47.1g carbs 104mg calcium 4.4g sugars 2mg iron


MEAL PLAN

Day12

T MEA FR E E

Breakfast 2 slices wholegrain toast topped with 1 mashed banana, 1tbsp flaked almonds and drizzled with 2tsp honey 382kcal

Snack Milkshake made from 200ml skimmed milk and 2 handfuls frozen raspberries 87kcal

Lunch 4 oatcakes with 30g reduced-fat cheese, 3 celery sticks, a handful grapes and 1 satsuma. Plus a 125g pot fat-free fruit yogurt 443kcal

Snack 1 wholemeal pitta filled with salad 170kcal

2 Meanwhile, spray a wok or large non-stick frying pan with oil and set over a high heat. Add the tofu and stir-fry for 2–3 min until golden, then transfer to a plate and set aside.

3 Return the pan to a high heat and spray with a little more oil. Fry the onion for 1 min, then add the garlic and sambal oelek or chilli sauce and stir-fry for 1–2 min until fragrant. Add the pepper and broccoli, along with 2tbsp water, then stir-fry for 2 min or until the veg are almost tender. Add the rice and soy sauce to the pan and stir-fry for 1–2 min until heated through. Return the tofu to the pan and toss to heat through.

4 At the same time, spray another large non-stick frying pan with oil and

Dinner

set over a high heat. Fry the eggs for 2–3 min, in batches if necessary, until cooked to your liking.

5 Divide the nasi goreng among 4 serving plates. Top each with a fried egg and grind of black pepper, then serve with the pickled carrots and cucumber on the side.

3 PER SERVING 408kcal 11.2g fibre 11.8g fat 27g protein 2.8g saturates 0.8g salt 51.3g carbs 242mg calcium 11g sugars 4.7mg iron

MAKE A NOTE

1 serving nasi goreng with fried egg and quick pickle 408kcal

Starting to nibble at work and at home? Try keeping a food and drink diary – find a template at healthyfood.co.uk (search ‘diary’).

TOTAL = 1,490kcal

Nasi goreng with fried egg and quick pickle PREP 15 MIN COOK 10 MIN SERVES 4 VEGETARIAN

DAIRY FREE

2 carrots, cut into matchsticks ½ cucumber, trimmed and thinly sliced diagonally 1½tbsp seasoned rice vinegar Cooking oil spray 375g firm tofu, cut into bite-size cubes 1 small red onion, thinly sliced into wedges 3 garlic cloves, crushed 2tsp sambal oelek (Malaysian chilli paste) or hot chilli sauce 1 red pepper, diced 1 large head broccoli, cut into florets 2 x 250g packs ready-to-heat brown rice 1tbsp reduced-salt soy sauce 4 eggs

1 Put the carrots, cucumber and rice vinegar in a bowl. Leave to pickle for 10 min, then drain.

Nasi goreng with fried egg and quick pickle

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 33


Day13 Breakfast Homemade muesli made from 4tbsp oats, 2tbsp branflakes, 1tbsp mixed nuts and 1tbsp raisins, served with skimmed milk and 1 handful blueberries. 393kcal

Snack 1 wholemeal fruit scone with 1tsp low-fat spread 175kcal

Lunch Sandwich made from 2 slices wholegrain bread filled with 2tsp low-fat spread, ½ can pink salmon and cucumber slices. Plus 1 orange 394kcal

Snack 1 yogurt lolly made by freezing a 125g pot fat-free fruit yogurt in a lolly mould 80kcal

Dinner 1 beef and vegetable cottage pie. Plus 1 apple 404kcal Beef and vegetable cottage pies

TOTAL = 1,446kcal

Beef and vegetable cottage pies PREP 15 MIN COOK 45 MIN MAKES 4 GLUTEN FREE

1tbsp olive oil, plus extra to grease 1 onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 large carrot, diced 1 celery stick, finely chopped 150g button mushrooms, thinly sliced 400g 5% fat beef mince 400g can chopped tomatoes 250g cherry tomatoes, chopped 2tsp worcestershire sauce 125g frozen peas 650g potatoes, peeled and chopped 5tbsp skimmed milk

1 Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery and mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, for 5 min or until soft. Increase the heat to medium-high. 34 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

2 Add the mince to the frying pan and cook for 4–5 min, stirring with a wooden spoon to break it up, until browned. Stir in the canned tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and worcestershire sauce, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pan partially and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 min. Stir in the peas.

3 Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling water for 10–12 min until tender. Drain and return to the pan. Reduce the heat to low and toss the potatoes until dry. Remove from the heat, then add the milk and mash until smooth.

4 Heat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/ gas 6. Grease 4 x 500ml ovenproof

(and freezerproof if freezing) dishes with oil. Spoon the mince mixture into the dishes and top with the mashed potato. Put the dishes in a baking tray and bake for 15–20 min until the edges bubble and the mash is just golden on top.

3 PER PIE 354kcal 8.5g fibre 8.7g fat 28.1g protein 2.8g saturates 0.4g salt 43.8g carbs 95mg calcium 15.2g sugars 4.2mg iron


MEAL PLAN

Day14 WELL DONE, YOU!

Breakfast 1 scrambled egg, 2 grilled rashers lean back bacon, poached mushrooms, 1 grilled tomato and 1 slice wholegrain toast with 1tsp low-fat spread. Plus 1 small glass orange juice 399kcal

Snack 1 skinny cappuccino and 1 kiwi 100kcal

Pineapple and prawn stir-fry

Lunch Salad made from 6tbsp cooked wholewheat pasta, steamed broccoli, 1 tomato, 1tsp toasted pine nuts and 1tbsp green pesto 427kcal

You’ve finished the plan and we hope you’re feeling full of energy and enjoying the Healthy Food Guide way of eating. Your palate will already be used to less salty and sugary foods, so eating well should be easier from now on. Turn to p50 for more recipes and click on ‘weight loss’ at healthyfood. co.uk if you’d like more diet plans.

Snack 30g reduced-fat cheddar cheese with 3 celery sticks 100kcal

Dinner 1 serving pineapple and prawn stir-fry 435kcal

TOTAL = 1,461kcal

Pineapple and prawn stir-fry PREP 15 MIN COOK 10 MIN SERVES 4 GLUTEN FREE

DAIRY FREE

220g can pineapple rings in fruit juice (drained and juice reserved), chopped 1tsp cornflour 2tbsp reduced-salt tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) 2tsp toasted sesame oil 20g ginger, finely grated 1 large mild red chilli, finely sliced 2 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced (optional) 2 red peppers, diced 2 courgettes, halved lengthways and chopped 320g frozen soya beans, thawed 300g peeled and deveined raw king prawns 2 x 250g packs ready-to-heat brown rice Fresh coriander sprigs, to garnish (optional)

1 Combine the reserved pineapple juice, cornflour and tamari in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5–6 min to form a thin sauce.

4 Heat the rice according to the pack instructions. Divide among 4 serving plates with the stir-fry, then garnish with coriander, if using.

2 Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil in a wok or large non-stick frying pan. Stir-fry the ginger, chilli, kaffir lime leaves (if using), peppers, courgettes and soya beans for 2–3 min. Add the prawns and cook for 2–3 min until almost cooked through.

3 Add the chopped pineapple pieces and the tamari sauce to the wok or pan, then stir gently to heat through and coat the stir-fry mixture.

3 PER SERVING 435kcal 7.8g fibre 8.3g fat 28.5g protein 1.2g saturates 1.2g salt 65g carbs 125mg calcium 12.6g sugars 4.3mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 35


21

healthy ways to feed a snack attack

When you’re following a weight-loss plan, it’s easy to be caught out by the choice of calorie-laden snacks on offer. Instead, try these low-calorie but satisfying options from Healthy Food Guide’s Juliette Kellow

EACH

100 CALORIES

330g strawberries Why? They’re delicious and especially rich in vitamin C – this serving provides more than double our daily needs. Supercharge them (+5kcal) Slice and drizzle with 1tsp balsamic vinegar to enhance their natural sweetness without adding sugar. Nutrition note Although strawberries taste super sweet, even this large serving provides less than a quarter of the maximum amount of sugar recommended for a day.

36 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN


THINK SLIM

½ small avocado (50g)

8 dried apricots (64g)

Why? It’s rich in monounsaturated fat, which helps reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and promote HDL (good) cholesterol. Plus, it contains potassium, vitamins B6 and E and pantothenic acid. Supercharge it (+15kcal) Make guacamole by adding 1 tomato, garlic, lemon juice and black pepper. Nutrition note Scrape as much flesh as you can from the skin as many of the antioxidants lie just under it.

Why? You’ll get 16% of your daily needs for iron, 22% for fibre and 44% for potassium (when water is removed from fruit, the nutrients are concentrated). Supercharge them (+85kcal) Add 1tbsp pumpkin seeds to boost the range of vitamins and minerals. Nutrition note Around 5% to 13% of people with asthma have sulphite sensitivity, so asthma sufferers should choose dried apricots free from sulphur dioxide.

140g cooked prawns

15 almonds (15g)

Why? Prawns provide phosphorus and copper and are rich in protein, omega-3 fats, selenium and vitamins B12 and E. Supercharge them (+20kcal) Make a low-cal prawn cocktail by combining them with a handful of lettuce, 1 tomato and a squeeze of lemon juice. Nutrition note This snack counts as one of the two recommended weekly portions of fish and contains good amounts of heart-healthy omega-3 fats.

Why? They contain more calcium than other nuts, plus nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, manganese, vitamin B2 and biotin – and 30% of our daily need for vitamin E. Supercharge them (+48kcal) Combine with 4 dried apricots to satisfy a sweet tooth. Nutrition note Choose nuts with their skins on – whole almonds contain around 40% more fibre than blanched ones.

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 37


30 cherry tomatoes (450g)

1tbsp sunflower seeds (15g)

Why? You’ll get a huge hit of vitamin C, potassium and filling fibre – and can eat loads for 100kcal. Supercharge them (+10kcal) Toss with a handful of rocket, baby spinach or watercress and 1tsp balsamic vinegar. It’s a good combination as the vitamin C helps the body absorb the iron from the leaves. Nutrition note This serving provides less than a fifth of an adult’s recommended maximum amount of sugar for a day.

Why? Like nuts, they’re nutrient packed – especially high in potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, manganese, selenium, and vitamins B1 and E. Supercharge them (+5kcal) Sprinkle over a bowl of dark green mixed leaves – the fat in the seeds will help the body absorb the carotenoids from the leaves. Nutrition note It can be tricky serving up seeds, so use a measuring spoon to ensure you get the right portion size.

90g canned tuna in water

1 slice wholegrain bread with 1tsp peanut butter

Why? It’s a low-fat way to get hunger-busting protein into your diet and boost phosphorus and vitamins B3, B6, B12 and D. It’s also rich in selenium. Supercharge it (+25kcal) Mix with 1tbsp fat-free natural yogurt for calcium and lemon juice for flavour, then spoon into cos lettuce leaves. Nutrition note This snack provides 100% of your daily need of selenium, essential for healthy immunity.

Why? This is a rich source of starchy carbs and fibre and releases its energy slowly to provide sustainable energy. Supercharge it (+10kcal) Top the buttered bread with a 5cm chunk cucumber, sliced – the crunch will make the snack even more satisfying. Nutrition note To keep the calories down, choose a medium (rather than a thick) slice of bread and spread with no added sugar or salt peanut butter.

38 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN


THINK SLIM

250g blueberries

20g plain chocolate

Why? They’re rich in anthocyanins – these are antioxidants that lab research has linked with numerous health benefits, including better memory, heart health, eyesight and blood sugar control. Supercharge them (+43kcal) Top with 2tbsp fat-free natural yogurt for a protein and calcium boost. Nutrition note The 23g sugar in this snack is still only a quarter of the maximum you should have in a day.

Why? It’s rich in antioxidants and will give you a healthy boost of magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, manganese and potassium. Supercharge it (+16kcal) Melt the chocolate and serve with 4 strawberries for dipping, for a vitamin C boost. Nutrition note Choose chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa solids. Dark chocolate has a little more fat but usually much less sugar than milk chocolate.

1 large boiled egg

10 whole cashew nuts (15g)

Why? Eggs are high in protein, selenium, iodine, vitamins B2 and B12, and biotin, plus they contain vitamin A and folate and are packed with vitamin D. Supercharge it (+10kcal) Turn it into a salad with mixed leaves, cucumber and cress, to add fibre and vitamin C. Nutrition note One egg contains 10% of our daily iron needs – but avoid eating it with a cup of tea, as the tannins in tea hinder iron absorption.

Why? Like all nuts, cashews provide a wide range of nutrients, but they contain more iron and copper than most others. This serving provides 30% of our daily need for copper. Supercharge them (+40kcal) Mix with 1 level tbsp (15g) raisins for an extra nutrient boost. Nutrition note Choose unsalted varieties of cashews to keep your salt intake low – regular high intakes of salt are linked to raised blood pressure.

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 39


5 brazil nuts (15g)

Why? It’s rich in beta-carotene, which the body uses to make vitamin A. Supercharge them (+0kcal) Sprinkle with cinnamon, which has been shown to help slow down the rise in blood sugar that occurs after eating. Nutrition note This is a big portion, but still low in calories – studies have shown that the actual quantity of food we eat is important for helping to fill us up!

Why? They’re nutrient powerhouses: three-quarters of their fat is heart-healthy unsaturates, plus they’re rich in selenium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, manganese, vitamins B1 and E and contain calcium, iron, vitamin B6 and biotin. Supercharge them (+25kcal) Add a satsuma for vitamin C. Nutrition note Brazil nuts vary in size – if you want to be sure of sticking to 100kcal, weigh out 15g.

Small matchbox-size piece reduced-fat cheddar (30g)

1 large banana (120g)

Why? It’s packed with protein to keep us fuller for longer, and is rich in essential calcium, phosphorus and vitamins A, B1 and B12. Supercharge it (+2kcal) Enjoy it with a celery stick to add fibre and boost the hunger-busting effects of this snack. Nutrition note Cheddar contains a lot of salt, so keep an eye on the salt content of other meals and snacks during the day, so you don’t exceed your recommended daily intake.

Why? Full of starchy carbs, bananas are filling and top up potassium. They also contain vitamin B6, which ensures the immune and nervous systems work properly and is needed to make red blood cells. Supercharge it (+80kcal) Use it to top 1 slice granary bread for a wholegrain energy boost. Nutrition note As they ripen, some of the starches turn into sugars, so choose firm bananas to keep sugar content down.

40 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

PHOTOS: CATH HARRIES

3½ slices cantaloupe melon (530g)


THINK SLIM

400g raspberries

150g plain reduced-fat cottage cheese

Why? They’re full of fibre and vitamin C, and a surprising source of folate. This amount provides 66% of our daily need for this B vitamin. Supercharge them (+43kcal) Purée and mix with 2tbsp fat-free natural yogurt for calcium and protein, then freeze as a lolly. Nutrition note If it’s quantity you’re after, this is one of the biggest snacks you can get for your 100kcal!

Why? It’s the low-fat way to enjoy dairy and boost protein, while still getting all the benefits of calcium, phosphorus and other vitamins and minerals. Supercharge it (+10kcal) Add ½ finely chopped onion (rich in flavonoids, antioxidants that have been linked with protecting against heart disease and stroke). Nutrition note Check the label and choose a low-fat variety – that’s one with no more than 3g fat in 100g.

1 Weetabix with 100ml skimmed milk

125g pot fat-free fruit yogurt

Why? This cereal contains wholegrain, good intakes of which are linked to better heart health and weight maintenance. Plus, Weetabix is fortified with B vitamins and iron, and milk adds lots of nutrients. Supercharge it (+16kcal) Add 4 sliced strawberries – their vitamin C will help the body absorb the iron from the cereal. Nutrition note This has less than 1% of the maximum amount of sugar or salt we should have in a day.

Why? Yogurt is loaded with protein and contains bonebuilding calcium and phosphorus. Plus, it’s rich in iodine, which helps to keep our thyroid functioning properly, and contains energy-producing vitamin B2. Supercharge it (+24kcal) Sprinkle with 1tsp chia seeds for a nutrient boost of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Nutrition note Yes, fruit yogurts usually contain some added sugar, but you get a lot of nutrients, too.

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 41


LOSE WEIGHT NOW!

healthyfood.co.uk

O GO TR OU BSIThuEndreds WtEhese ands, plus nd

Want more of these lower-cal favourites?

for e recipe plans a mor kly diet ce wee lth advi hea

BREAKFAST

LUNCH

DINNER

BAKES

DESSERTS

SNACKS

Oat bran berry porridge

Gluten-free lemon meringue cupcakes

Steak & caramelised onion sandwiches

Passionfruit pannacotta

Gluten-free cauliflower pizza

Apricot, cranberry & goji berry bars


THINK SLIM

If they can do it, so can you! Take inspiration from the Healthy Food Guide weight-loss stars. They’ve all overcome personal hurdles and ditched unhealthy routines to trim their waistlines

Insider tips from healthy eaters who have reached their goals

‘I found healthy foods I love’ Jo Butcher, 46 HEIGHT 5ft 4in (163cm) WEIGHT BEFORE 13st 9lb (88kg) WEIGHT NOW 9st (57kg) WAIST BEFORE 39¾in (101cm) WAIST NOW 28in (71cm) BMI BEFORE 32.7 BMI NOW 21.6

Seeing herself in a fitting room mirror spurred Jo to revamp her lifestyle. ‘Working nights in a residential care home was one of the main reasons I put on weight. Being in charge meant I rarely had time to take a break and eat a proper meal, and there were always cakes and biscuits around,

FIVE WAYS JO LOST IT

1

Meal planning

Batch cooking one night a week and keeping chopped fruit in the fridge meant she could eat healthily even when busy.

2

Aerobics classes

She found invaluable moral support in the group – and was inspired to become a fitness instructor herself.

3

which I’d snack on when I needed an energy boost. I also struggled with portion sizes – at home my plate was usually piled high with carbs. One day when out shopping I saw a woman in the changing room and thought, “My goodness, she’s fat.” Then I realised I was looking at my reflection in the mirror. ‘It took me about eight months to lose the weight. I started to eat everything in moderation and stuck to three meals a day. On a night shift I’d eat something to give me lasting energy, such as chicken with brown rice, salad and fruit, so I could go to bed without feeling hungry. ‘To stay motivated I carried my “before” photo with me everywhere, and I still do. It’s a constant reminder of how I used to be.’

AFTER

BEFORE

Moving more

Walking or riding her bike in the evening stopped her just sitting and snacking on the sofa.

4

Waiting before eating

If tempted to eat between meals, she’d distract herself for 20 minutes: ‘95% of the time the urge passed.’

5

Trying new foods

Discovering new healthy foods added interest to her diet, helping her stay on track.

Carrying her ‘before’ photo everywhere she went was a big motivation for Jo

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 43


‘Too much white bread was my downfall’

BEFORE

Carol Bailey, 54 HEIGHT 5ft 7in (1.7m) WEIGHT BEFORE 12st 8½lb (80kg) WEIGHT NOW 10st 2lb (64.5kg)

‘Now I control food – it doesn’t control me’

WAIST BEFORE 37in (94cm) WAIST NOW 31in (79cm) AFTER

Darin McCloud, 52 HEIGHT 5ft 7in (1.7m) WEIGHT BEFORE 21st (133kg) WEIGHT NOW 15st 5lb (97.5kg) WAIST BEFORE 48in (122cm) WAIST NOW 36in (91.5cm) BMI BEFORE 46.4 BMI NOW 33.7

Darin kickstarted his incredible weight loss with a podcast to retrain his mind. ‘I’d lost my job as a bus driver because my weight was causing health problems. I had a 48in waist and type 2 diabetes and I couldn’t walk down the street without getting out of breath. I’d convinced myself a gastric band operation was the answer, but my local health authority said my BMI wasn’t high enough for the procedure, so I had to put more weight on before I could take it off. My plight was reported in

a local paper, then the national press. ‘I got a phone call from the founder of a company called Thinking Slimmer. They had a new technique called a Slimpod, a short recording that retrains your brain to want to eat less, exercise more and make healthier choices – and it’s supported by NHS Change 4 Life. I started listening at bedtime every night and, after three weeks, I realised I’d stopped eating sweets, chocolate and crisps and wasn’t drinking cola any more. To my amazement, I didn’t miss them. I started exercising with Xbox fitness games, and the pounds dropped off. Eight months after starting to losing weight, I completed the 10K Great South Run. ‘That was five years ago. Today, I’ve lost a total of 79lb and I’ve kept it off. Now I eat to fuel my body. I control food; food doesn’t control me. I’ve run the London Marathon, completed a duathlon (running and cycling event) and cycled 200 miles across Cuba. I no longer need diabetes medication and I feel happier and at peace with the way my life is changing for the better. I’ve recently got my bus driver’s licence back, but I tell you what, I’ll be travelling by bike as much as I can.’

FIVE WAYS DARIN LOST IT

Cutting 2 litres of cola a day

2

Cycling Making snack for 30 minutes a day swaps An

3

4

5

Saving 840 calories and 21.2g sugar a day (equal to around 54tsp).

Using up 400 calories (based on Darin’s weight of 15st 5lb).

apple for a large packet of crisps saved around 200 calories.

Giving up a standard size, eaten between meals, cut 260 calories a day.

calories and 45g fat (based on a chicken madras with pilau rice).

1

44 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

Dropping Ditching the takeaways chocolate bar Saving 900

BMI BEFORE 27.7 BMI NOW 22.3

Carol’s yo-yo dieting is a familiar problem. To get out of the habit, she had to think about what, as well as how much, she was eating. ‘My weight was always a challenge – I was an apple-shaped size 16 – and in 2005, I was shocked to discover I had type 2 diabetes. I managed to lose a few pounds but it fluctuated between 12st and 12½st – nothing seemed to work long term. Three years later my blood tests showed a significant increase in my blood sugars and I went on diabetes medication. I took a long, hard look at what I was eating and realised too much white bread had been my downfall, so out it went and in came wholemeal bread (and less of it). Biscuits, crisps, chocolate and alcohol had to go, too, in favour of 0% fat Greek yogurt, lots of fruit and veg, and preparing meals from scratch. ‘I couldn’t believe it when I got down to 10st 11lb. My doctor reduced my diabetes medication and I was over the moon when I reached my goal weight. I feel so much happier, healthier and fitter. My blood sugar levels have reduced again and so have my blood pressure levels for the first time in 20 years.’


THINK SLIM BEFORE

‘Recovery was my motivation’

BEFORE

AFTER

Margaret Shukla, 60

AFTER

HEIGHT 5ft 3in (1.6m)

Carol got her blood sugar and blood pressure down FIVE WAYS CAROL LOST IT

1

Ditching thick sliced white bread

didn’t miss butter, for instance (saving 200kcal a day).

She replaced them with two slices of Drinking wholemeal daily less wine (160kcal instead She switched of 490kcal). from half a bottle of wine Upping the with supper to one or two small exercise glasses a week She started regular exercise (saving 300kcal a day). classes and now walks five to seven miles Saying no a day (using up to crisps 350–400kcal). Previously, she’d get through a sharing bag by Cutting extras She herself (saving around 750kcal). realised she

4

2

5

3

WEIGHT BEFORE 18st 12lb (120kg) WEIGHT NOW 12st 1lb (77kg) WAIST BEFORE 42in (107cm) WAIST NOW 29in (74cm) BMI BEFORE 46.9 BMI NOW 30.1

With a hectic work life, Margaret had let her diet slip into the unhealthy zone. A breast cancer diagnosis in 2011 led to an overhaul of her lifestyle. ‘I was fit and healthy during my late 20s and early 30s, but having children saw the weight creep on and stay there. Life became hectic as I started travelling with work, and I wasn’t interested in understanding the food choices I was making. My diet was very carb-heavy, with lots of butter, jam and creamy

sauces and quick grab-and-go cereals. ‘In 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, which was a wake-up call. I realised I hadn’t been taking my health seriously enough. I stopped eating sugary cereals and switched to wholegrain bread. I started making my own soups and vitamin-rich juices. Fizzy drinks and alcohol were out, too. I began eating as many different coloured foods as possible to get a wide variety of nutrients. ‘During my treatment, I’d take long walks with my dogs, so I learned to value the benefits of exercise. Now I do regular strength training, aquafit classes and yoga, which I absolutely love. ‘I’ve just been given my five-year clearance since the cancer. I feel a lot healthier now and, having recently turned 60, I’m so proud of what I’ve managed to achieve.’

FIVE WAYS MARGARET LOST IT

1

Easing back into exercise She

started with long, gentle walks with her dogs, then moved on to joining a gym and doing regular exercise classes at the weekend.

2

Eating more veg

Having plenty of leafy greens and including them in homemade juices helped her increase the amount of calcium in her diet, which is important for bone strength.

3

Saying no to junk

Instead of filling up on muffins and popcorn while travelling with work, Margaret goes for fruit, veg and highprotein foods that keep her fuller for longer.

4

Having a goal With

the aim of getting to 12st by the time she was 60, she took a steady approach to ensure she’d stick with it.

5

Switching to wholegrains She started limiting herself to two slices of wholegrain toast a day: ‘It keeps me feeling much fuller than white bread ever did, so I don’t need as much.’

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 45


LITTLE THINGS YOU CAN DO EVERY DAY

EXERCISE It’s all in a day’s work…

Getting more active needn’t mean losing all your free time. Try these easy ways to keep fit in the office, on the way to work or while watching TV

46 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN


YOUR DAILY PLAN

A

s a nation, we all need to move more for the sake of our health, but our best intentions are easily thwarted when we’re busy. At times, it can seem hard to fit in 30 minutes a week, let alone on most days, as is recommended. ‘The key is to find some easy, clever ways to sneak extra activity into your normal day,’ says celebrity personal trainer Stuart Amory (inkilterfitness.co.uk). ‘If all you want to do when you get home is slump on the sofa, you’re better off finding a class that’s on your route home or looking for ways of revving up your commute. If you’re a morning person, think about what you can fit in on your way to work. Then there’s your lunch break – an exercise opportunity just waiting to happen. ‘It’s no secret that our sedentary lifestyles are killing us,’ he adds, ‘and if, like many people, you have a desk-bound job, you might feel there’s nothing you can do about it. But there are loads of ways to get moving around the clock and undo some of the damage.’ First, decide what time of day would suit you best – before work, during your lunch break or after work – then follow our tips to help transform your daily routine into a tailor-made fitness programme.

THIS WORKS FOR ME…

‘I cycle my commute’ ‘I got over my “there’s no time to exercise” by cycling to work. I use my bike to shop at weekends and for pleasure, but now I cycle at least two days a week out of four. It’s a round trip of around 9 miles and only takes me 30 minutes each way. It’s a great morning energiser and helps me unwind at the end of a busy day. It also fulfils a big chunk of the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week. As well as keeping me trim and toned, my blood pressure is much healthier. Cycling isn’t easy in the cold weather, but with the right kit and waterproofs for a rainy day, it’s not so hard.’ Editor Melanie Leyshon

Join the wide-awake club According to the findings of a US study presented at the 2013 annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, the earliest risers and exercisers went on to be the most active for the rest of the day. For every hour people slept in after 7.30am, there was a noticeable drop in activity levels. So if you’re at your best before work, you’re lucky. Try one – or a mixture – of the following…

Get up and get going Try personal trainer Lucy Wyndham-Read’s Monday to Friday Morning Challenge: ‘Every morning, before your shower, do 40 reps of the following exercises,’ she says. ‘On Mondays, squats; Tuesdays, standing wall press-ups; Wednesdays, lunges; Thursdays, tricep dips; and Fridays, side-to-side jumps. As you get better, you can add more reps. This kickstarts your metabolism as well as getting you in a better mindset to make healthier choices all day.’ For more tips, follow Lucy on Twitter (@lucywyndhamread).

Use the commute as a built-in workout

Tone up with your toothbrush

If you live close enough to work, leave the car at home, pull on your trainers and walk, run or cycle to work (check out bike2workscheme.co.uk). If it’s too far, take public transport, but leave earlier and walk at least a quarter of the way. ‘Every little bit of activity counts – even walking up and down the platform while you’re waiting for the train,’ says Lucy.

‘When you’re cleaning your teeth, stand on one leg to work on your balance and core stability,’ says Lucy. ‘Close your eyes to make it harder.’ Once you’ve mastered that, take it up a notch: ‘Take your straight, raised leg slightly behind and to the side, then pulse it up and down to tone your buttocks. Switch legs halfway through,’ she says.

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 47


Do your desk duty An Australian study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found that the more you sit (over four hours per day), the higher your risk of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes. ‘Get up from your desk and walk around every 20 minutes,’ says Lucy. ‘Or just stand up and stretch. If necessary, set up a regular prompt on your computer to remind you.’

Practise ‘desk-ercising’ Simple desk-ercises are better than nothing. ‘Try marching your legs under your desk,’ suggests Lucy, ‘or do calf raises, leg extensions or buttock squeezes, holding for a count of 10.’

Take the stairs Climbing three flights of stairs burns about 15 calories. Do that six times a day and you’ve worked off two Jaffa Cakes! Regular stair climbing also improves bone density, aerobic fitness and levels of good cholesterol.

Walk and talk Skip the conference room and invite your colleagues for a stroll instead (you can record any notes on a smartphone). Rather than emailing co-workers, walk to their desk to talk to them – and stand up to make phone calls.

Working from home? Replace your chair with an inflatable exercise ball to stimulate your muscles and improve your posture while you work. You’ll need to stabilise your position and straighten your spine constantly, which means you’ll stay upright, improving your core strength. Just make sure your work station is adjusted to fit the height of the ball so you can maintain good posture and protect your back. Or consider an adjustable standing desk (see below). Find a range at uk.varidesk.com.

THIS WORKS FOR ME…

‘I stand at work’ ‘We’d never sit down all day, every day at home, so why do it at work? I decided to see if a standing desk made me feel less sluggish. I chose a Varidesk Pro Plus 36 because it can be raised or lowered in one silent movement (taking all your desk paraphernalia with it), so you don’t have to commit to standing longer than feels comfortable. I haven’t looked back. I find I engage my tummy muscles instead of slumping, and no longer have ants in my pants by 3pm… Well worth the investment.’ Assistant editor Liz Atkins

48 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

Make your lunch break count However short your break, move away from your desk. The trick is to be prepared, so you can maximise workout time.

Do a walkabout Keep trainers at work and research different routes. To rev up the calorie burn, vary your pace: alternate three minutes of walking as fast as you can with two minutes at a regular pace.

Team up with workmates Stuart suggests starting a lunchtime club with colleagues, such as gentle yoga or jogging. ‘You don’t have to get so sweaty that you need to shower,’ he says, ‘but it beats sitting immobile at your desk.’

Find a quick class near you If you never make it to your local gym in the evenings or at weekends, switch to one close to where you work (your company may even subsidise membership). Many chains, including Virgin Active, Pure Gym and Fitness First, recognise people don’t have a full hour to train at lunchtime, so offer shorter, high-intensity classes to get the job done.


YOUR DAILY PLAN THIS WORKS FOR ME…

‘I’m a midday mover’ ‘My energy levels aren’t at their peak in the morning, and come 6pm the last thing I want to do is drag myself to a workout. So lunchtime is my fitness window. When the clock strikes 1pm, I head to a nearby gym for a 30-minute session – and I go no matter how motivated I’m feeling. I make sure I have a plan written down, so I don’t waste time thinking about what to do when I’m there. I use Instagram and, of course, healthyfood.co.uk to create a short high-intensity routine: usually about eight moves, each performed for 30 seconds in a circuit that’s repeated three to five times. The free Interval Timer app from iTunes means I don’t need to clock watch. My lunchtime habit has become an integral part of my day – and I always feel better for it.’ Senior sub editor Rebecca Almond

Energise evenings

On average, adults watch three to four hours of TV a day – but this doesn’t have to be all sitting down time. You could be racking up at least an hour of exercise during viewing time if you decide to move during the ad breaks.

Do three-minute blasts ‘Grab a big, heavy book and do chest presses,’ suggests Lucy. ‘Use your stairs for step-ups. Or take a sofa cushion and use it like a wobble board for squats and planks – the list of exercises you can do in minutes at home utilising your own body weight is endless.’

Keep your gear handy Many of us are guilty of buying fitness equipment, then leaving it to gather dust. Sound like you? ‘Whether it’s something big like an exercise bike or treadmill, or smaller kit like hand weights and resistance bands, move it to the living room,’ says Stuart. ‘You can still watch The X Factor, but burn some fat at the same time.’

WORDS: HANNAH EBELTHITE

Get competitive This brilliant idea from Lucy gets the whole family involved in TV fitness: ‘Grab some sticky notes and ask the kids to choose different types of adverts, then match each to an exercise,’ she says. ‘Stick them somewhere near the TV so no one forgets. Then, for example, when a car ad comes on, everyone has to do as many star jumps as they can for the duration. If it’s a perfume ad, hold the plank position for as long as possible, and so on. Anyone who gives up makes the next cuppa…’

RESEARCH UPDATE

Your smartphone addiction could be bad for your body (and we don’t just mean your thumbs). A study conducted at Kent State University, Ohio, USA, found a link between spending more than 90 minutes a day using a mobile phone with poor fitness levels. All that stopping to text, take photos, play games or surf the internet meant heavy users scored lower on treadmill tests measuring heart and lung function. If you’re a phone junkie, why not use your mobile to get more mobile? Download one of the many fitness apps available. For something different, try The Walk Game (£2.99, thewalkgame.com). As a thriller unfolds on your phone, you need to take more steps to save the day.

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 49


71

WAYS TO EAT WELL AND LOSE WEIGHT

50 GET FIT WITH HEALTHY FOOD GUIDE


Recipe index 14-DAY MEAL PLAN

22 Tuna, green bean and lentil bowl

with yogurt dressing 285kcal 23 Chicken, leek, lemon and olive casserole 415kcal 24 Spinach and ricotta crĂŞpes 383kcal 25 Pork satay salad 411kcal 26 Lamb and halloumi with pea and watercress salad 432kcal 27 Pesto and mushroom spaghetti 416kcal 28 Thai fishcakes with crunchy rice salad 270kcal 29 Turkey schnitzels with roasted veg 435kcal 30 Baked falafels with tahini yogurt and tomato salad 299kcal 31 Banana, nut and berry blast 290kcal 32 Thai prawns with coconut rice noodles 387kcal 33 Nasi goreng with fried egg and quick pickle 408kcal 34 Beef and vegetable cottage pies 354kcal 35 Pineapple and prawn stir-fry 435kcal

BREAKFASTS

52 Spiced maple granola with fruit and yogurt 300kcal

53 Muesli bars 230kcal 54 Ham and tomato soufflĂŠ omelette 275kcal 55 Scrambled eggs with salmon 281kcal

CHICKEN AND MEAT

58 Spice-rubbed steaks with jacket

potatoes 400kcal 59 Tandoori chicken burgers 272kcal 60 Curried beef lasagne 409kcal 61 Spiced chickpea and chicken fritters 395kcal 62 Chipotle beef stew with polenta 391kcal 63 Asian chicken noodle salad 392kcal 64 Chicken, baby kale and roasted tomato pasta 379kcal 65 Beef burgers 302kcal 66 Mustard chicken with couscous 423kcal 67 Herby meatballs with orzo 431kcal 68 Creamy lemon chicken 321kcal 69 Parma ham and rocket pizza 333kcal 70 Moroccan beef and couscous 329kcal 71 Italian-style chicken and bean casserole 318kcal 72 Spicy chicken kebabs with sweet potato wedges 359kcal 73 Singapore noodles 442kcal 74 Turkey and basil meatball soup 449kcal 75 Chicken korma 419kcal 76 Chicken and antipasto salad with orzo 393kcal

77 Lamb with minty couscous and pea salad 361kcal

VEGETAR IAN

80 Spicy cauliflower and

chickpea tortillas 337kcal

81 Sweet potato and fennel parcels 286kcal 82 Griddled vegetable and tofu stack 228kcal

83 Mexican quinoa salad with lime dressing 254kcal

84 Warm caprese pasta 425kcal 85 Sweet potato, chickpea and egg bowl 415kcal

86 Mexican baked egg 408kcal 87 Squash, spinach and ricotta cannelloni 293kcal

88 Roast pepper, pea and

courgette quiche 390kcal

89 Roast vegetable salad

with satay dressing 329kcal

90 Lentil and vegetable pasta 394kcal 91 Spinach, feta and halloumi Turkish pide 285kcal

92 Lentil and aubergine gratin 273kcal 93 Griddled vegetable and almond quinoa salad 367kcal

FISH

96 Lime and ginger fish tacos 326kcal 97 Hot and sour fish soup with noodles 417kcal

98 Seafood lasagne 417kcal 99 Spiced fish with carrot and coconut salad 338kcal

100 Fish tortillas 416kcal 101 Cod and feta panzanella 415kcal

SNACKS

102 Banana, oat and chocolate muffins 45kcal 103 Oat and raisin cookies 72kcal

DESSERTS

106 Sticky peaches with cheesecake cream 124kcal

107 Blueberry custard puddings 138kcal 108 Berry pannacottas 139kcal 109 Choc and nut brownies 123kcal 110 Chocolate mousse 139kcal 111 Blackcurrant and cherry meringue trifle 143kcal

HEALTHY TRENDS TO TRY 57 Bircher muesli 244kcal 95 Courgetti with lentils, feta and mint 350kcal

105 Lemon and coconut bliss balls 83kcal 113 Minty mango refresher 189kcal 113 Green ginger buzz 118kcal WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 51


BREAKFASTS

Spiced maple granola with fruit and yogurt PREP 5 MIN + COOLING COOK 25 MIN SERVES 8

VEGETARIAN

250g rolled oats (see tip, far right) 60g unsalted cashews, roughly chopped 50g pumpkin seeds 1tbsp chia seeds 1tsp ground cinnamon 1tsp vanilla bean extract 3tbsp maple syrup 2tbsp fat-free Greek yogurt, 2 handfuls fresh or thawed frozen berries and ½ fresh fig, halved (optional), to serve with each serving

52 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

1 Heat the oven to 150°C/fan 130°C/ gas 2 and line a large baking sheet with baking paper.

5 To serve, spoon a portion of granola

2 Combine the oats, cashews, pumpkin

into a bowl with the yogurt, berries and fig pieces, if using.

seeds, chia seeds and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the vanilla bean extract and maple syrup, then stir to coat.

Tip If you need to follow a gluten-free

3 Spread the mixture evenly over the prepared baking sheet, then bake in the middle of the oven for 20–25 min until crisp and golden. Give the mixture a stir halfway through the cooking process so that it bakes evenly. 4 Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set aside, then leave to cool completely. Store in an airtight

container (it will keep for up to a month).

diet, check the label on the oats you choose – it will say if they’re suitable.

1 PER SERVING 300kcal 7.1g fibre 9.9g fat 14.9g protein 1.7g saturates 0g salt 39.8g carbs 152mg calcium 14.8g sugars 3mg iron


BREAKFASTS

Muesli bars PREP 15 MIN + COOLING COOK 25 MIN MAKES 16 BARS GLUTEN FREE

VEGETARIAN

300g gluten-free oats 50g sunflower seeds 25g sesame seeds 50g dried cranberries 50g dried prunes, chopped 30g linseed (flaxseed) 100g low-fat spread 405g tin light condensed milk 50g no added sugar or salt peanut butter 2tbsp runny honey

1 Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/ gas 4 and line a 30x20cm baking tray with baking paper. Put the oats, seeds, cranberries, prunes and linseed in a large bowl and mix well. 2 Put the spread, condensed milk, peanut butter and honey in a small heavy-based saucepan. Stir over a low heat until melted and bubbling.

3 Pour the hot liquid into the dry ingredients and stir well until combined. Press the mixture into the baking tray, then bake for 20–25 min until golden. Set aside to cool in the tin.

4 Once completely cool, remove the slab from the tray (discard the baking paper) and cut with a sharp knife into 16 bars.

PER BAR 230kcal 3.6g fibre 7.9g fat 6.9g protein 1.4g saturates 0.2g salt 32.7g carbs 114mg calcium 20.7g sugars 1.4mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 53


Ham and tomato soufflé omelette PREP 10 MIN COOK 10 MIN SERVES 2 GLUTEN FREE

4 eggs, separated 2tbsp skimmed milk 3tbsp finely grated parmesan 1tsp wholegrain mustard Cooking oil spray 80g baby spinach, wilted 100g thinly sliced lean ham 125g cherry tomatoes, halved

1 Combine the egg yolks, milk, parmesan and mustard in a bowl and set aside. 2 In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until firm peaks form, then carefully fold the whites into the yolk mixture.

54 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

3 Spray a 20cm non-stick frying pan with oil and set over a medium-low heat. Add half the egg, spreading it evenly over the base. Cook for 2–3 min until the edges set. Sprinkle over half the spinach, ham and tomatoes. Cook for 2–3 min until the egg is cooked, then fold in half and keep warm on a plate. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and serve.

1 PER SERVING 275kcal 1.4g fibre 16g fat 39.5g protein 5.2g saturates 1.7g salt 3.7g carbs 211mg calcium 3.6g sugars 3.5mg iron


BREAKFASTS

Scrambled eggs with salmon PREP 5 MIN COOK 10 MIN SERVES 2

Cooking oil spray 4 eggs, beaten 3tbsp skimmed milk 200g hot-smoked salmon fillets, flaked 2tbsp snipped fresh chives, plus extra to garnish 3 slices wholegrain bread Fresh flatleaf parsley sprigs, to garnish

1 Spray a non-stick pan with oil. Mix the eggs and milk, add to the pan and cook over a medium heat for 2 min, stirring, until the eggs are part cooked. Add the salmon and snipped chives, season

with freshly ground black pepper and continue to cook until the eggs are cooked but still a little wet. Remove from the heat and leave in the pan for 1 min.

2 Meanwhile, toast the bread and cut each slice in half. Serve with the scrambled eggs, garnished with the extra chives and parsley sprigs.

PER SERVING 281kcal 1.6g fibre 14.9g fat 22.2g protein 3.4g saturates 1.3g salt 15.3g carbs 122mg calcium 1.4g sugars 1.9mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 55


Healthy trend to try BIRCHER STAR INGREDIENT OATS

L

ike all things Scandi, bircher muesli is riding high at the moment, even though it was originally created over 100 years ago by Swiss doctor Maximilian Bircher-Benner. All the health benefits of natural yogurt, rolled oats and grated apple come together in a mixture that’s soaked overnight to create a light breakfast that’s easy to digest. There’s no cooking required so it makes a quicker alternative to porridge in the morning. Eat it as it is or pimp it up with extra fresh fruit or a sprinkle of dried fruit, nuts and seeds.

Using a good quality, unsweetened yogurt with live lactic cultures makes a big difference to the flavour and health benefits of your bircher. Making your own yogurt is easy to do and any leftovers can be frozen to make a healthier alternative to ice cream. Flavour it with fresh fruit purée such as mango, blueberries or banana, to give a little natural sweetness.

Go-to gadget

Good to know… NOT ALL OATS ARE GLUTEN-FREE, check ingredients on the label. PORRIDGE MADE WITH LOW-GI oats, and tryptophan-rich semi skimmed milk to boost 56 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

serotonin, will keep blood sugar levels steady throughout the morning, preventing energy slumps. OATS ARE HIGH in beta-glucan, the soluble

fibre that can reduce cholesterol when eaten regularly (two to four servings each day). OAT MILKS AND YOGURTS are an easy way to get your oats.

EasiYo Red Yogurt Maker (makes 1kg), £16.99, and EasiYo Yogurt Mix sachets, from £1.39, Holland & Barrett, Lakeland, Wilko, The Range, Hobbycraft, easiyoshop.co.uk Never run out of yogurt again – just mix a sachet with water in the container provided, shake and leave in your yogurt maker for 8–12 hours.

WORDS: NICHOLA PALMER. PRICE CORRECT AT TIME OF GOING TO PRESS

Everyday trick


TREND

Bircher muesli PREP 10 MIN + CHILLING MAKES 4 VEGETARIAN

100g rolled oats 120g fresh or frozen blueberries 20g desiccated coconut 130ml skimmed milk 2 apples, peeled and coarsely grated 170g low-fat natural yogurt 2tsp runny honey 20g almonds or hazelnuts, chopped 100g raspberries, thawed if frozen, to serve

1 Combine the oats, blueberries and desiccated coconut in a large bowl. Stir in the milk, grated apples, yogurt and honey, then sprinkle over the chopped nuts. Cover and chill for at least 2 hr or overnight. 2 To serve, spoon the bircher into 4 bowls or small jars and top with the raspberries.

1 PER SERVING 244kcal 5.7g fibre 8.6g fat 8.1g protein 3.6g saturates 0.1g salt 35.8g carbs 146mg calcium 17.9g sugars 1.7mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 57


CHICKEN & MEAT

Spice-rubbed steaks with jacket potatoes prep 15 MIN cook 25 MIN serves 4 GLUTEN FREE

DAIRY FREE

4 medium baking potatoes 1tsp coriander seeds 2tsp sesame seeds ¼tsp cinnamon Pinch dried chilli flakes 1tsp ground cumin 4 x 125g lean sirloin steaks Cooking oil spray 140g mixed salad leaves 250g baby plum tomatoes, halved 1tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2tsp balsamic vinegar Fresh coriander leaves, to garnish (optional)

1 Prick each potato with a fork, then microwave for 10–12 min (or cook in an oven heated to 200°C/fan 180°C/ gas 6 for 1 hr) until almost tender. 2 Meanwhile, toast the coriander seeds and sesame seeds in a dry, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat for 30 sec or until fragrant. Transfer to a pestle and mortar and pound until finely crushed. Stir in the cinnamon, chilli flakes and cumin.

3 Heat a non-stick griddle pan. Spray the steaks on both sides with oil, then sprinkle all over with the spice mixture. Cook the steaks in the hot pan for 2–3 min on each side for medium, or until done to your liking. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 5 min.

4 While the steaks are resting, toss the mixed salad leaves with the 58 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

tomatoes, olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a bowl.

5 Serve the steaks and potatoes with the salad, sprinkled with coriander leaves (if using) and freshly ground black pepper.

1 PER SERVING 400kcal 6.8g fibre 10.5g fat 35.6g protein 3.3g saturates 0.3g salt 44.1g carbs 66mg calcium 5.9g sugars 4.2mg iron


CHICKEN & MEAT

Tandoori chicken burgers

chicken, turning, for 5–10 min until golden and cooked through.

prep 15 min cook 10 min serves 4

3 Combine the remaining yogurt

2tbsp medium curry paste 170g pot fat-free Greek yogurt 300g skinless mini chicken breast fillets 2tsp sunflower oil 2tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves 4 medium wholegrain rolls, halved 50g baby spinach ½ cucumber, peeled into ribbons 1 carrot, peeled into ribbons Fresh coriander leaves, to garnish (optional)

1 Combine the curry paste and 2tbsp of the yogurt in a medium non-metallic bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat.

2 Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Cook the

and the chopped mint in a small bowl, then spread some over the bottom half of each roll. Top with the spinach, cucumber, carrot and cooked tandoori chicken. Dollop over the remaining yogurt mixture, garnish with coriander (if using) and add a grind of black pepper. Serve topped with the remaining roll halves.

1 PER SERVING 272kcal 4.2g fibre 6.5g fat 28.2g protein 1g saturates 0.9g salt 26.6g carbs 199mg calcium 6.2g sugars 2.9mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 59


Curried beef lasagne PREP 15 MIN COOK 1 HR SERVES 6

Cooking oil spray 1 onion, finely chopped 2tbsp medium curry paste 400g 5% fat beef mince 1 very low salt beef stock cube, dissolved in 250ml boiling water 400g can chopped tomatoes 250g mushrooms, sliced 1 courgette, diced 2 carrots, grated 70g rocket 250g dried lasagne sheets Fresh coriander leaves, to garnish (optional) Mixed leaves, to serve (optional) For the cheese sauce

175ml skimmed milk 2tsp cornflour 250g ricotta, crumbled 30g parmesan, grated

60 WEIGHT WEIGHT-LOSS LOSS DIET PLAN

40g reduced-fat cheddar, grated 1tsp wholegrain mustard

1 Heat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/ gas 5 and spray a 2-litre ovenproof dish with oil. 2 Spray a large non-stick frying pan with oil and set over a medium heat, then cook the onion for 5 min or until softened. Stir in the curry paste and mince and cook until browned. Add the stock, tomatoes, mushrooms, courgette and carrots, then cook for 10 min. Stir in the rocket, then take off the heat.

3 Meanwhile, prepare the cheese sauce by combining all the ingredients with a balloon whisk. 4 Spoon a third of the mince mixture into the prepared dish and spread over the base. Cover with a third of the lasagne sheets, then spoon over a third

of the cheese sauce. Repeat the layers twice more, ending with the cheese sauce. Bake for 40–45 min until golden and bubbling hot.

5 Sprinkle with coriander, if using, and some ground black pepper, then serve the lasagne with mixed leaves on the side, if using.

2 409kcal

PER SERVING 5.8g fibre

13.7g fat 6.9g saturates 44.5g carbs 10.8g sugars

29.9g protein 0.8g salt 324mg calcium 3.9mg iron


CHICKEN & MEAT

Spiced chickpea and chicken fritters PREP 15 MIN COOK 15 MIN SERVES 4

200g self-raising flour 1tbsp mild curry powder 250ml skimmed milk 1 egg 400g can chickpeas in water, drained 125g courgette, grated 150g cooked skinless chicken breast, diced 4 spring onions, finely chopped 1 small red pepper, finely chopped ½ x 25g bunch fresh mint, chopped Cooking oil spray 200g low-fat natural yogurt and 70g bag rocket, to serve

1 Sift the flour into a large bowl, then mix in the curry powder and make a well in the centre. Beat the milk and egg together in a separate small bowl, then pour into the well and whisk to combine with the flour.

3 Spray a large non-stick frying pan with oil and set over a medium heat. Put 4 large spoonfuls of fritter batter into the pan, keeping them separate. Cook for 2–3 min on one side until small bubbles appear on the surface and the underside is golden. Using a spatula, turn each fritter and cook for 2–3 min on the other side until golden. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Repeat to make 12 fritters in total. 4 Divide the fritters among 4 plates. Serve with the yogurt, scattered with the remaining mint, with the rocket on the side.

1 395kcal

PER SERVING 7.6g fibre

6.2g fat 1.5g saturates 59.5g carbs 9.6g sugars

29.3g protein 0.7g salt 407mg calcium 4.6mg iron

2 Add the chickpeas, courgette, chicken, onions, pepper and half the mint to the flour mixture. Season with black pepper and combine well.

LEANER, HAPPIER, HEALTHIER 61


Chipotle beef stew with polenta PREP 15 MIN COOK 1 HR 50 MIN SERVES 6

1tbsp olive oil 700g lean beef, diced 2 red onions, chopped 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 2 red peppers, chopped 2–3tsp chipotle paste 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes 140g self-raising flour 2tbsp polenta 60g low-fat spread 15g parmesan, finely grated 400g can kidney beans in water, rinsed and drained 200g baby corn, sliced 2tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

1 Heat the oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/ gas 3. Set a large flameproof casserole dish (that has a lid) on the hob over a medium-high heat. Drizzle in half the oil and heat, then add the beef and cook for 5 min or until browned. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. 2 Heat the remaining oil in the same dish. Add the onions, garlic and peppers and cook, stirring, for 5 min or until the onion softens. Return the beef to the dish with the chipotle paste and cook, stirring, for 1 min or until fragrant.

3 Add the tomatoes and 100ml water to the casserole dish and bring to the boil. Cover with the lid and transfer to the oven. Bake for 1 hr 20 min or until the beef is tender. 4 Meanwhile, combine the flour and polenta in a medium bowl. Rub the spread into the flour mixture, then stir in

62 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

the parmesan and 3tbsp cold water to make a soft dough.

5 Remove the dish from the oven, uncover and stir in the kidney beans and baby corn. Drop tablespoon-size balls of dough on to the stew, making sure they are about 2cm apart. Cover the dish, return to the oven and bake for 20 min or until the dumplings are firm to the touch and cooked through.

6 Scatter the flatleaf parsley over the stew and serve.

3 PER SERVING 391kcal 8.7g fibre 11.6g fat 35.4g protein 3.6g saturates 0.7g salt 38.5g carbs 170mg calcium 11.6g sugars 5.8mg iron


CHICKEN & MEAT

Asian chicken noodle salad PREP 10 MIN COOK 5 MIN SERVES 4 DAIRY FREE

3 x 150g packs straight-to-wok udon noodles 4tbsp hoisin sauce Juice 1 lime 1 red chilli, finely chopped, or ½tsp dried chilli flakes 2 x 150g cooked, skinless chicken breasts, shredded ½ red pepper, finely sliced ½ green pepper, finely sliced 2 carrots, grated or finely sliced 6 spring onions, finely sliced 30g roasted, unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped

1 Heat the noodles according to the pack instructions. While they are cooking, combine the hoisin sauce, lime juice and chilli in a large bowl.

2 Add the chicken, peppers, half the noodles and most of the carrots and spring onions to the bowl and toss gently to coat. 3 Divide the remaining noodles among 4 serving bowls. Top with the chicken mixture, then garnish with the remaining carrots and spring onions. Sprinkle over the peanuts to serve.

1 PER SERVING 392kcal 5.9g fibre 7.6g fat 30g protein 1.6g saturates 1.2g salt 50.5g carbs 81mg calcium 11.3g sugars 2.4mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 63


Chicken, baby kale and roasted tomato pasta PREP 15 MIN COOK 15 MIN SERVES 4 DAIRY FREE

400g cherry tomatoes, halved Cooking oil spray 250g wholewheat or spelt penne 300g skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced 1 leek, thinly sliced 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Zest and juice ½ lemon 100g baby kale leaves 2tbsp flaked almonds, lightly toasted and roughly chopped

1 Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/ gas 4 and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Put the tomato halves in the tray, spray with oil and roast for 10–12 min until just softened. Set aside.

2 Meanwhile, cook the penne, according to the pack instructions, in a large saucepan of unsalted boiling

water until al dente. Drain the penne, then return to the pan.

3 At the same time, set a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat and spray with oil. Add the sliced chicken breasts and cook, turning, for 3–4 min until golden. Transfer to a plate and set aside, but leave the pan on the heat.

4 Spray the frying pan with a little more oil and reduce the heat to medium. Add the leek and gently fry for 5 min or until softened. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook, stirring, for 1 min. Add the kale leaves and cook, stirring, until just wilted. Return the chicken to the pan and cook until heated through. 5 Add the chicken mixture and roasted tomatoes to the pasta, then squeeze over the lemon juice and gently toss to combine. Divide among 4 bowls, scatter with the flaked almonds and season with ground black pepper to serve.

2 Chicken, baby PER SERVING 379kcal 11.9g fibrekale and roasted tomato pasta 8.3g fat 30.3g protein 1.1g saturates 0.2g salt 48.9g carbs 101mg calcium 7.8g sugars 4mg iron

64 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN


CHICKEN & MEAT

Beef burgers PREP 10 MIN + CHILLING COOK 10 MIN SERVES 4

75g small gherkins, finely chopped (see tip, right) 400g 5% fat beef mince 1 garlic clove, crushed Cooking oil spray 4tbsp low-fat natural yogurt 1tbsp hot chilli sauce, or to taste 4 wholegrain rolls, halved 2 handfuls lettuce leaves, torn 2 tomatoes, sliced 1 carrot, grated 2 vacuum-packed cooked beetroot, sliced

1 Combine the gherkins, mince and garlic in a mixing bowl, then shape the mixture evenly into 4 burgers. Put on a plate, then cover and chill for 10 min or until firm. If you’re making this recipe in advance, wrap the chilled burgers in clingfilm, then freeze (thaw completely before cooking).

2 Spray a non-stick frying pan with oil and heat until hot. Fry the burgers for 3–4 min on each side until cooked through.

3 Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the yogurt and the hot chilli sauce. 4 Fill each bread roll with lettuce, tomato, carrot, a beef burger, beetroot and the chilli-yogurt sauce, then serve.

Tip Replace the chopped gherkins with red onion, if you prefer.

1 PER SERVING 302kcal 7.9g fat 3.1g saturates 31.3g carbs 10.9g sugars

4.9g fibre 28.6g protein 1.3g salt 200mg calcium 3.4mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 65


Mustard chicken with couscous PREP 15 MIN COOK 20 MIN SERVES 4

1tbsp olive oil 2 leeks, very finely sliced 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 500g skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks 1tbsp dijon mustard 1tbsp wholegrain mustard 400g mushrooms, sliced 160g frozen peas 200g wholewheat couscous 100g lightest soft cheese 3tbsp skimmed milk Fresh coriander, to garnish (optional)

66 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

1 Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Cook the leeks, garlic and chicken over a medium heat for 5 min or until the leeks are soft. Add both mustards and the mushrooms, then cook gently for 5 min. Add the peas, along with 100ml water, then simmer gently for another 5 min or until the chicken is cooked through. 2 Meanwhile, prepare the couscous according to the pack instructions.

3 Combine the soft cheese and milk in a small bowl, then add to the pan with the chicken. Cook gently over a low heat for 1 min to heat through, then serve with the couscous, garnished with coriander, if you like.

3 PER SERVING 423kcal 9.5g fibre 7.5g fat 45.4g protein 1.7g saturates 0.9g salt 44.4g carbs 114mg calcium 9.1g sugars 4.9mg iron


CHICKEN & MEAT

Herby meatballs with orzo PREP 15 MIN COOK 25 MIN SERVES 4

500g lean beef mince ½tsp chilli flakes Zest 1 lemon 4tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley or coriander 2tsp dried oregano Cooking oil spray 1 large onion, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, crushed 2tbsp tomato purée 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes 200g orzo 4tbsp ricotta, to serve 150g mixed salad leaves 2tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Put the mince, chilli flakes, lemon zest and half the fresh and dried herbs in a medium bowl and season with black pepper. Wet your hands, then combine

the ingredients. Shape rounded teaspoons of the mixture into 28–32 small balls (if making ahead, freeze the meatballs in a freezerproof container at this stage, then thaw thoroughly before continuing).

2 Spray a large, deep, non-stick frying pan with oil and set over a mediumhigh heat. Add the meatballs. Cook (in batches if necessary) for 5–6 min, turning, until browned. Transfer to a plate.

3 Re-spray the pan with oil, then cook the onion and garlic for 5 min or until soft. Add the remaining dried oregano and the tomato purée and cook, stirring, for 1 min. Add the chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil. 4 Return all the meatballs to the frying pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10–15 min until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is thickened.

5 Meanwhile, cook the orzo in unsalted water according to the pack instructions, then drain and divide among 4 bowls. Spoon over the meatballs and sauce, top with a dollop of ricotta, then scatter over the remaining parsley or coriander and some ground black pepper. Toss the salad leaves with the vinegar, then serve alongside.

3 PER SERVING 431kcal 6.9g fibre 9.3g fat 36.4g protein 4g saturates 0.4g salt 54.3g carbs 122mg calcium 16.2g sugars 5.1mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 67


DINNER FOR ONE

Creamy lemon chicken PREP 10 MIN COOK 10 MIN SERVES 1 GLUTEN FREE

150g skinless chicken breast 1tsp olive oil 40g light soft cheese 1tsp lemon juice 1tsp dijon mustard 1tsp wholegrain mustard 175g frozen mixed green veg (such as broccoli, green beans and sugar snap peas) Fresh flatleaf parsley leaves, to garnish 25g rocket, to serve

68 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

1 Slice the chicken breast horizontally through the middle to make 2 thin fillets. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat, then fry the chicken fillets for 3–4 min on each side or until cooked through.

4 Meanwhile, steam the vegetables for 4–5 min until just tender.

5 Season the chicken with ground black pepper and garnish with parsley. Serve with the steamed vegetables and rocket.

2 Transfer the chicken to a plate and then reduce the heat under the frying pan to low.

3 Add the soft cheese, lemon juice and both mustards to the frying pan, then mix with 2tbsp water. Bring to a gentle simmer, then return the chicken to the pan and cook for 30 sec more or until the sauce is heated through.

2 PER SERVING 321kcal 7.7g fibre 10.8g fat 46.4g protein 4.1g saturates 1.3g salt 9.9g carbs 203mg calcium 6.7g sugars 2.8mg iron


CHICKEN & MEAT

Parma ham and rocket pizza PREP 10 MIN COOK 15 MIN SERVES 4

2 ready-to-bake thin-crust pizza bases 150ml passata with herbs 1 small courgette, thinly sliced 1 small red pepper, thinly sliced 125g ball light mozzarella, drained, torn and blotted with kitchen roll Handful rocket 4 parma ham slices, torn

1 Heat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/ gas 7. Put each pizza base on a non-stick baking sheet, then spread with the passata, leaving a 1cm border.

2 Scatter each pizza with the courgette, pepper and mozzarella. Bake for 12–15 min until crisp and golden. Transfer to a chopping board. Add the rocket and parma ham, cut into slices and serve.

1 PER SERVING 333kcal 3.5g fibre 8.9g fat 18.4g protein 3.9g saturates 2g salt 47.7g carbs 210mg calcium 6.6g sugars 1.9mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 69


Moroccan beef and couscous PREP 15 MIN COOK 10 MIN SERVES 4

300g thin frying steaks, cut into strips 2tsp ras el hanout Cooking oil spray 175g wholemeal couscous 2tsp reduced-salt vegetable stock powder Zest and juice ½ lemon, plus extra zest and wedges to serve 1 small red onion, diced 125g rocket 1 large carrot, grated 125g roasted red peppers from a jar, drained and sliced 125g tzatziki

1 Toss the beef in the ras el hanout. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat and spray with oil. Cook the beef, in 2 batches, for 2–5 min or until done to your liking.

70 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

2 Meanwhile, put the couscous in a large bowl. Mix the stock powder with 450ml boiling water, then pour over the couscous, cover and leave for 5 min. Fluff the grains with a fork, then stir in the lemon zest and juice and onion.

3 Divide the couscous mixture, rocket, carrot and roasted peppers among 4 serving bowls. Top each with some beef and a dollop of tzatziki, then serve sprinkled with a grind of black pepper and the extra zest, with lemon wedges on the side.

1 PER SERVING 329kcal 5.8g fibre 8.1g fat 26.6g protein 3g saturates 1.3g salt 37.4g carbs 130mg calcium 6.7g sugars 4.6mg iron


CHICKEN & MEAT

Italian-style chicken and bean casserole PREP 15 MIN COOK 45 MIN SERVES 4 DAIRY FREE

1tbsp olive oil 400g skinless chicken breasts, chopped 4 reduced-fat sausages, chopped 1 onion, chopped 1 celery stick, chopped 2 carrots, sliced 2 garlic cloves, crushed 2tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves 1 bay leaf 2tsp dijon mustard 500ml very low salt chicken stock 400g tin borlotti beans, rinsed 200g spinach

1 Heat half the olive oil in a large flameproof casserole dish (one with a lid) over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sausages and cook, stirring, for 5 min or until browned all over. Transfer to a plate. 2 Add the remaining oil to the casserole dish. When hot, add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic and cook for 6–8 min until softened slightly.

2 PER SERVING 318kcal 9.6g fibre 8.8g fat 39g protein 2.3g saturates 1.4g salt 21.5g carbs 182mg calcium 9.4g sugars 2.6mg iron

3 Return the browned chicken and sausages to the casserole dish, together with the rosemary, bay leaf, mustard and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover with the lid and simmer for 20 min. 4 Add the borlotti beans and simmer for 10 min more or until the chicken and sausages are cooked through. Stir the spinach through the stew and cook for 1–2 min until it’s wilted, then divide among 4 bowls and serve.

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 71


Spicy chicken kebabs with sweet potato wedges PREP 15 MIN COOK 35 MIN SERVES 4 GLUTEN FREE

DAIRY FREE

1tsp ground cumin 2tsp paprika ½tsp dried chilli flakes 2tbsp lemon juice 1tbsp olive oil 400g skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1.5cm cubes 500g small sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into thin wedges Cooking oil spray 2 red onions, cut into thin wedges 4 tomatoes, chopped ½ cucumber, chopped 400g can chickpeas in water, drained 25g bunch fresh flatleaf parsley or coriander, coarsely chopped, plus extra leaves to garnish

72 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

1 Heat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/ gas 7. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Combine the cumin, paprika, chilli flakes, half the lemon juice and 1tsp of the olive oil in a shallow non-metallic dish. Add the chicken and stir to coat, then cover and put in the fridge. Leave to marinate for 15 min. 2 Meanwhile, put the sweet potato wedges in the prepared baking tray and spray with oil. Roast in the oven, turning once, for 30–35 min until tender and golden. 3 Thread the marinated chicken on to 8 skewers (pre-soaked in water if wooden), alternating with the onion. Spray a large griddle pan with oil and heat to medium–high. Add the kebabs and cook, turning occasionally, for 8–10 min until the chicken is cooked through.

4 Put the tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas and herbs in a salad bowl with the remaining lemon juice and

olive oil. Season with ground black pepper, then toss.

5 Serve the chicken kebabs with the sweet potato wedges and the chickpea and tomato salad, garnished with extra herbs.

5 PER SERVING 359kcal 11.3g fibre 7.2g fat 32.1g protein 1.1g saturates 0.3g salt 45.8g carbs 126mg calcium 15.7g sugars 4.2mg iron


CHICKEN & MEAT

Singapore noodles PREP 15 MIN COOK 15 MIN SERVES 4 DAIRY FREE

Cooking oil spray 2 eggs, lightly beaten 400g lean pork loin medallions, trimmed 250g vermicelli rice noodles 1tbsp medium curry powder 1tsp runny honey 2tbsp reduced-salt soy sauce 500g stir-fry vegetable mix 100g beansprouts 4tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander

1 Spray a wok or a large non-stick frying pan with oil and set over a high heat. Add the egg and swirl to thinly

coat the base of the pan, then cook for 1 min or until just set. Turn out on to a chopping board, roll up and slice thinly crossways, then set aside.

2 Spray the pan with a little more oil and return to a medium heat. Add the pork and cook for 3–4 min on each side until cooked through. Transfer to a board and slice thickly. Meanwhile, cook the vermicelli according to the pack instructions, then drain, refresh under cold water and drain again.

3 Combine the curry powder, honey and soy sauce with 2tbsp water in a small bowl. Return the pan to a medium-high heat. Add the stir-fry vegetables and fry for 2–3 min until tender. Add the cooked noodles, pork and curry mixture and toss together. Add the beansprouts and fry for 1 min more or until piping hot, adding a little water if the noodles become dry. 4 Toss the coriander through the noodles, then divide among 4 bowls and top with the egg ribbons to serve.

PER SERVING 442kcal 4.6g fibre 8.9g fat 33.1g protein 2.4g saturates 1.4g salt 57.7g carbs 85mg calcium 7g sugars 4mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 73


Turkey and basil meatball soup prep 15 min + chilling cook 55 min serves 4

350g turkey breast mince 50g fresh wholegrain breadcrumbs 25g bunch fresh basil leaves, chopped, plus extra (optional), to garnish 1tbsp olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 1 bay leaf 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 large potato, peeled and diced 2 carrots, diced 1 celery stick, trimmed and diced 2 very low-salt chicken stock cubes 400g can chopped tomatoes 150g savoy cabbage, finely shredded 6tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley 175g frozen peas 25g parmesan, grated, and 4 small wholegrain bread rolls, to serve

74 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

1 Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Put the mince, breadcrumbs and basil in a large bowl, season with ground black pepper and mix well. With wet hands, shape the mixture into 20 small meatballs, then put in the prepared tray. Cover and chill for 1 hr.

5 Ladle into 4 bowls, garnish with extra

2 Heat the oil in a large saucepan set

basil, if using, scatter over the parmesan and serve with the wholegrain rolls.

over a medium-high heat. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, for 3–4 min. Add the bay leaf, garlic, potato, carrots and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 min.

3 Dissolve the stock cubes in 1.25 litres boiling water, then add to the vegetables, along with the tomatoes. Cover the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the vegetables, stirring occasionally, for 30 min. Add the cabbage, then cover the pan again and simmer for 10 min or until the vegetables are tender.

4 Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the meatballs to the soup and

cook, gently stirring occasionally, for 10–12 min until the meatballs are cooked through. Stir in the parsley and peas, season with black pepper, then simmer for a further 2 min.

3 PER SERVING 449kcal 10.9g fibre 9.9g fat 34.4g protein 3.1g saturates 1.1g salt 58.9g carbs 289mg calcium 16.7g sugars 4.2mg iron


CHICKEN & MEAT

Chicken korma PREP 15 MIN COOK 20 MIN serves 4 GLUTEN FREE

1tbsp rapeseed oil 4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks 2 onions, sliced 1tsp ground turmeric 1tsp caster sugar 500ml 5% fat Greek yogurt (we used Total) 2tbsp desiccated coconut 25g fresh coriander, chopped, plus extra leaves to garnish Lime wedges, to serve (optional) For the spice paste 1tsp coriander seeds 1tsp cumin seeds 1tsp garam masala 2 garlic cloves, crushed 35g flaked almonds 2 green chillies, sliced 25g fresh ginger, sliced 2tbsp tomato purée

1 To make the spice paste, heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, then toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and garam masala for 1–2 min until fragrant. Transfer to a mini food processor or pestle and mortar and grind to a powder. Add the rest of the spice paste ingredients along with 4tbsp water, then whiz or pound until well combined. 2 Heat the oil in the frying pan used for the spice mix over a high heat, then, when hot, add the chicken and onions and cook for 5 min. Add the turmeric along with the spice paste and cook, stirring, for a further 3–4 min until fragrant.

4 Stir the chopped fresh coriander through the curry. Serve sprinkled with the toasted coconut, extra coriander leaves and lime wedges, if using, to squeeze over.

1 PER SERVING 419kcal 4.2g fibre 18.1g fat 51.2g protein 7.2g saturates 0.4g salt 14.7g carbs 209mg calcium 12.2g sugars 2.9mg iron

3 Turn down the heat to medium, then add the sugar and yogurt. Stir well, then simmer gently for 5–10 min. Meanwhile, toast the desiccated coconut in a dry non-stick frying pan for a few min until golden.

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 75


Chicken and antipasto salad with orzo PREP 10 MIN COOK 15 MIN SERVES 4

200g orzo pasta 1 bay leaf Cooking oil spray 400g small skinless chicken breasts (halved horizontally if thick) 300g antipasto mix (such as olives, artichokes, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes), all drained of excess oil 1 garlic clove, crushed 1tbsp red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

76 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

50g reduced-fat mozzarella, torn 100g rocket Lemon wedges, to serve

the sliced chicken and serve with the lemon wedges and a grind of black pepper.

1 Cook the pasta with the bay leaf in unsalted water according to the pack instructions until al dente, then drain. Remove the bay leaf. 2 Meanwhile, spray a large non-stick frying pan with oil and set over a medium heat. Fry the chicken for 12–14 min, turning halfway, until cooked. Transfer to a board and slice.

3 In a large bowl, toss the antipasto mix, garlic, vinegar, mozzarella and rocket together. Divide the pasta and salad mixture among 4 bowls, top with

1 393kcal 9.3g fat

PER SERVING 5.1g fibre 35.4g protein

3.5g saturates 42.9g carbs 6.1g sugars

2.4g salt 154mg calcium 2mg iron


CHICKEN & MEAT

Lamb with minty couscous and pea salad PREP 15 MIN + MARINATING COOK 15 MIN SERVES 4

Juice 1 small lemon 2tsp olive oil 1 garlic clove, crushed 400g lean lamb neck fillets Cooking oil spray 125g wholemeal couscous 2tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves, plus a handful extra whole leaves 225g frozen petit pois 200g sugar snap peas, halved lengthways 300g asparagus, trimmed and sliced into short lengths 50g reduced-fat feta, crumbled

1 Mix 1tbsp of the lemon juice with 1tsp of the olive oil and the garlic in a shallow non-metallic dish. Add the lamb and turn to coat. Cover and put in the fridge to marinate for 15 min. 2 Spray a large griddle pan with oil and set over a medium–high heat. Cook the lamb, turning often, for 8–10 min (for medium), or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for a few min.

3 Meanwhile, mix the couscous with 275ml boiling water, cover with clingfilm and leave for 5 min or until all the water is absorbed. Fluff and separate the grains with a fork, then stir through the chopped mint and set aside. 4 At the same time, steam the petit pois, sugar snap peas and asparagus

for 3 min or until just tender. Refresh under cold running water, then drain well. Transfer to a large salad bowl, then add the remaining lemon juice and olive oil, the feta and extra mint leaves. Toss lightly.

5 Cut the lamb into thick slices, then serve with the couscous and pea salad, sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper.

2 PER SERVING 361kcal 8.1g fibre 12.7g fat 33.3g protein 5.3g saturates 0.8g salt 28.7g carbs 141mg calcium 6.2g sugars 4.6mg iron

LEANER, HAPPIER, HEALTHIER 77


HALF-PRICE SUBSCRIPTION 6 ISSUES from just £9.60

LOVE THE RECIPES IN THIS RECIPE COLLECTION? Why not get the parent magazine, Healthy Food Guide? Every month, it will provide you with calorie-counted, nutritionally analysed recipes plus health and fitness advice.

Half-p offerrice

ONLY £ 1 PER I.S60 SUE n orma £3.20lly

78 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN


IN EVERY ISSUE… 30-plus healthy recipes Expert weight-loss tips Full nutrition breakdown and symbols with every dish

A monthly meal plan from our nutritionist Health issues investigated The latest fitness trends

SUBSCRIBE TODAY healthyfood.co.uk/ subscribe (please quote HFGRC0117)

0844 245 6914* (please quote HFGRC0117) *Calls will cost 7p per minute plus your telephone company’s access charge. Lines are open 8am–8pm (Mon–Fri) and 9am–1pm (Sat).

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 79


VEGETARIAN

Spicy cauliflower and chickpea tortillas PREP 15 MIN COOK 25 MIN SERVES 4 VEGETARIAN

DAIRY FREE

1tbsp olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 large carrot, grated 400g can chopped tomatoes 2tbsp tomato purée 1–2tsp chipotle paste 400g can chickpeas in water, drained 4 wholemeal tortillas 25g bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped 75g baby spinach and 4tsp hot chilli sauce (optional), to serve

80 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

1 Heat the olive oil in a large pan (that has a lid) over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and fry for 5 min or until soft. Stir in the cauliflower florets and cook for 3–4 min until light golden. 2 Add the garlic and carrot to the pan and cook for 1 min. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, chipotle paste and chickpeas, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10–12 min until the cauliflower is tender and the liquid reduced and thickened. When almost ready, warm the tortillas following the pack instructions.

3 Stir the parsley into the spicy cauliflower and chickpea mixture, then serve with the tortillas, spinach and hot chilli sauce, if using.

Tip If freezing, cool, then freeze the cauliflower mixture at the end of step 2. Thaw fully before reheating until hot, then complete the recipe.

5 PER SERVING 337kcal 11.7g fibre 8.4g fat 14.3g protein 2g saturates 0.9g salt 54.6g carbs 196mg calcium 15.9g sugars 4mg iron


VEGETARIAN

Sweet potato and fennel parcels PREP 15 MIN COOK 40 MIN SERVES 4 VEGETARIAN

GLUTEN FREE

600g sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into thin slices 2 small fennel bulbs, sliced 1 small red onion, sliced 1tbsp olive oil 100g ricotta, crumbled 40g walnuts, chopped 2tbsp snipped fresh chives 70g mixed leaves, to serve For the dressing

Juice 1 orange 2tsp dijon mustard

1 Heat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/ gas 7. Cut out 4 large squares of foil and 4 squares of non-stick baking paper (each about 30x30cm). Arrange the foil squares over 1 or 2 large baking sheets, then put a paper square on top of each to create 4 double-layer squares. 2 Put the sweet potatoes, fennel and red onion slices in the centre of each square. Drizzle with the oil and season with black pepper, then fold in the edges of the squares to make 4 tightly sealed parcels.

3 Cook in the oven for 35–40 min until the veg are tender (open a parcel to check; take care as the steam that escapes will be hot). 4 To make the dressing, shake the orange juice and mustard together in a small lidded jar until combined.

5 Open the parcels and scatter with the ricotta, walnuts and chives. Serve with the leaves and dressing.

3 PER SERVING 286kcal 8.7g fibre 13.2g fat 7.1g protein 3g saturates 0.4g salt 37.2g carbs 140mg calcium 13.3g sugars 1.9mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 81


Griddled vegetable and tofu stack

in batches for 2–3 min on each side (3–4 min for the sweet potato) until tender and lightly charred.

PREP 15 MIN COOK 15 MIN SERVES 4

2 Stack the griddled veg and tofu with

VEGETARIAN

GLUTEN FREE

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced 396g pack firm tofu, cut into 1cm slices, then each slice halved diagonally 2 courgettes, thinly sliced diagonally Cooking oil spray 150g roasted red peppers from a jar, cut into strips 100g baby rocket 50g vegetarian fresh basil pesto 50g reduced-fat feta, crumbled

1 Heat a non-stick griddle pan to medium-high. Spray the sweet potato, tofu and courgettes with oil, then cook 82 WEIGHT WEIGHT-LOSS LOSS DIET PLAN

the red peppers and rocket on 4 plates.

3 Mix the pesto with 1–2tbsp hot water to loosen it, then drizzle over the stacks. Scatter over the feta and some freshly ground black pepper to serve.

2 PER SERVING 228kcal 4.6g fibre 11.2g fat 14.8g protein 3.1g saturates 1.1g salt 17.3g carbs 273mg calcium 7g sugars 2.9mg iron


VEGETARIAN

Mexican quinoa salad with lime dressing PREP 20 MIN COOK 15 MIN SERVES 4

vegetarian dairy free

gluten free

140g quinoa 3 corn on the cobs (see tip, far right) Cooking oil spray 400g can black beans in water, rinsed and drained ¼ small red cabbage, trimmed and shredded 2 large tomatoes, chopped ½ x 25g bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped Juice 1 lime, plus wedges to serve 1 garlic clove, crushed 2tsp avocado or rapeseed oil 1tsp paprika 1 mild red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped 1tsp maple syrup

1 Put the quinoa in a medium saucepan with 300ml water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 12–15 min until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Set aside to cool. 2 Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan to medium. Spray the corn cobs with oil and then add them to the griddle pan. Cook, turning occasionally, for 8–10 min until golden and tender. Remove from the heat and leave until cool enough to handle.

3 Carefully slice the corn kernels from the cobs with a sharp knife. Put the cooked quinoa and corn in a large salad bowl. Add the black beans, cabbage, tomatoes and coriander and toss together.

4 Combine the lime juice, garlic, oil, paprika, chilli and maple syrup in a small bowl to make a dressing. Add to the salad and toss gently. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

Tip If you like, replace the corn on the cobs with a 320g can sweetcorn in water, drained, and skip step 2.

3 PER SERVING 254kcal 12.5g fibre 5.9g fat 13.3g protein 0.7g saturates 0.1g salt 36g carbs 105mg calcium 8g sugars 5.1mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 83


Warm caprese pasta PREP 15 MIN COOK 10 MIN SERVES 4 VEGETARIAN

250g pasta spirals, or other short pasta 2tbsp olive oil 1 red onion, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, crushed 600g mixed baby tomatoes, halved 25g pack fresh basil, leaves torn 100g rocket 1 cucumber, peeled into ribbons (stop at the seeds) 125g mixed olives 2tbsp balsamic vinegar 125g ball light mozzarella, torn

1 Cook the pasta in a large pan of unsalted water according to the pack instructions. Drain, reserving 100ml of the cooking liquid, then set aside. 2 Meanwhile, heat the oil in a deep non-stick frying pan over a medium

84 WEIGHT-LOSS WEIGHT LOSS DIET PLAN

heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 min or until soft. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 5 min or until just soft.

3 Add the cooked pasta to the onion mixture, along with the reserved pasta liquid. Stir so the liquid mixes with the tomatoes and forms a thin sauce. Remove the pan from the heat, then stir in the basil. 4 Toss the rocket, cucumber and olives in a salad bowl, then drizzle over the balsamic vinegar.

5 Divide the pasta among 4 plates, then top with the mozzarella and the rocket salad. Season with ground black pepper and serve.

4 PER SERVING 425kcal 8.3g fibre 14.3g fat 18g protein 3.8g saturates 1.3g salt 59.6g carbs 265mg calcium 12.4g sugars 3mg iron


VEGETARIAN

Sweet potato, chickpea and egg bowl PREP 15 MIN COOK 40 MIN SERVES 4 VEGETARIAN

GLUTEN FREE

DAIRY FREE

500g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes 1½tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 4 eggs 350g tenderstem broccoli, trimmed 3 garlic cloves, crushed Zest and juice 1 lemon 2 x 400g cans chickpeas in water, drained 200g kale, sliced 1tsp ground coriander 1tbsp lightly toasted sunflower seeds, to serve

1 Heat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/ gas 6. Line a large baking tray with baking paper, add the sweet potatoes and toss with ½tbsp of the oil. Roast for 30–40 min until golden and tender. 2 Meanwhile, put the eggs in a large saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 min for soft-boiled, or until done to your liking. Cool under cold running water, then peel away the shells and cut in half.

3 Steam the tenderstem broccoli for 2 min or until just tender. Refresh under cold running water, then drain. 4 Heat another ½tbsp of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Sauté the garlic and lemon zest for 30 sec or until fragrant. Add the chickpeas and cook for 2 min or until heated through. Transfer the mixture to a plate and set aside.

5 Add the kale to the frying pan with 2tbsp water and cook, stirring, until just wilted. Set aside.

6 Whisk the remaining oil with the lemon juice and ground coriander to make a dressing.

7 Divide the kale, chickpeas, sweet potatoes and broccoli among 4 bowls. Drizzle with the dressing, top with the eggs, then sprinkle with the sunflower seeds and a grind of black pepper.

4 PER SERVING 415kcal 16.2g fibre 16.6g fat 23.9g protein 3.1g saturates 0.4g salt 46.2g carbs 221mg calcium 8.9g sugars 5.8mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 85


Mexican baked egg PREP 5 MIN COOK 10 MIN SERVES 1 VEGETARIAN

200g can mixed beans or red kidney beans in chilli sauce 227g can chopped tomatoes ½ small red pepper, chopped 1 egg 2tbsp fat-free Greek yogurt Fresh coriander or parsley, to garnish (optional) 1 slice wholegrain toast, to serve

1 Combine the beans with the tomatoes and pepper in a 500ml microwave-safe dish with a lid. Cover and microwave on high for 4 min, then stir. 2 Make a well in the bean mixture and crack the egg into the centre. Cover the dish and microwave on high for 3 min or until the egg is cooked to your liking.

3 Top with the yogurt, then add a grind of pepper and garnish with the herbs, if using. Serve with the toast.

86 WEIGHT-LOSS WEIGHT LOSS DIET PLAN

4 PER SERVING 408kcal 12.9g fibre 7.3g fat 27.9g protein 2g saturates 1.8g salt 59.8g carbs 227mg calcium 21.9g sugars 5.4mg iron

DINNER FOR ONE


VEGETARIAN

Squash, spinach and ricotta cannelloni PREP 15 MIN COOK 1 HR SERVES 4 VEGETARIAN

500g butternut squash flesh, cut into 2cm cubes Cooking oil spray 400g button mushrooms, sliced 3 garlic cloves, crushed 1 onion, chopped 500g passata 25g bunch fresh basil, chopped, plus extra leaves to garnish 200g frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out 150g ricotta Fresh nutmeg, grated, to taste 6 fresh lasagne sheets (250g total weight), halved widthways 2tbsp freshly grated parmesanstyle vegetarian cheese

1 Heat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/ gas 6. Line a large baking tray with baking paper, then add the squash cubes and spray with oil. Roast for 25–30 min until tender and golden. Remove from the oven and leave to

cool slightly, then transfer to a large bowl and mash roughly with a fork, leaving some texture.

2 Meanwhile, spray a large, deep non-stick frying pan with oil and set over a medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms to the hot pan and cook for 4–5 min until golden. Add half the garlic and stir for 1 min, then transfer to a plate to cool. Leave the pan on the heat.

3 Spray the pan with a little more oil, then add the onion and fry for 5 min or until soft. Add the remaining garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 sec or until fragrant. Add the passata, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 min. Season with black pepper, then set aside.

4 Add the cooled garlicky mushrooms to the mashed squash, along with the basil, spinach and two-thirds of the ricotta. Stir and season with the nutmeg and black pepper.

5 Spread one-third of the tomato sauce evenly across the base of a 1.5–2 litre baking dish. Lay the lasagne sheets on a work surface (see tip, right). Spoon the squash mixture down the

centre of each lasagne sheet, then roll up to enclose the filling. Put the pasta rolls on top of the tomato sauce, so they fit snugly.

6 Spoon the remaining sauce over the pasta to cover it, then dot with the rest of the ricotta and scatter over the parmesan-style cheese.

7 Cover with foil and bake for 20 min. Remove the foil and bake for 10 min more or until piping hot. Garnish with extra basil to serve.

Tip If your lasagne sheets feel brittle,

dip them, one at a time, into boiling water for 15 sec, then drain before filling.

4 PER SERVING 293kcal 8.2g fibre 7.7g fat 14.4g protein 3.5g saturates 0.8g salt 42.6g carbs 305mg calcium 15.5g sugars 5.2mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 87


Roast pepper, pea and courgette quiche PREP 15 MIN COOK 35 MIN SERVES 4 VEGETARIAN

Cooking oil spray 4 filo pastry sheets 200g asparagus, cut into 3cm lengths 200g frozen peas 300g silken tofu, drained 5 eggs 1 large courgette, grated and moisture squeezed out 100g roasted red peppers from a jar (in water), drained, patted dry and diced 4 spring onions, cut into 3cm lengths 70g reduced-fat feta, crumbled 2tbsp chopped fresh mint 125g mixed salad leaves, to serve

88 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

1 Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/ gas 4. Grease a 23cm diameter loosebottom tart tin with spray oil. 2 Spray each filo pastry sheet with a light coating of oil, then fold in half. Layer the folded filo in the prepared tart tin, evenly covering the base and sides, to make a case. Put the tin on a baking sheet.

5 Pour the egg mixture into the quiche case, distributing the feta and vegetables evenly. Bake for 30–35 min until the filling is set.

6 Remove the quiche from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5 min, then transfer to a serving plate. Cut the quiche into slices and serve hot or cold, with the salad.

3 Blanch the asparagus and peas in a saucepan of boiling water for 1 min or until just tender. Drain, refresh under cold water, then drain again.

4 Blend the silken tofu with the eggs until smooth. Season with freshly ground black pepper, then transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the blanched asparagus and peas, grated courgette, red peppers, spring onions, feta and mint.

3 PER SERVING 390kcal 7.7g fibre 14.5g fat 28.3g protein 4.7g saturates 1.6g salt 38.4g carbs 304mg calcium 8.9g sugars 5.1mg iron


VEGETARIAN

Roast vegetable salad with satay dressing PREP 15 MIN + SOAKING COOK 30 MIN SERVES 4 VEGETARIAN

GLUTEN FREE

DAIRY FREE

50g unsalted, roasted cashews 1kg butternut squash, deseeded and diced into 2cm cubes Cooking oil spray 2 x 400g cans chickpeas in water, drained 250g tenderstem broccoli, trimmed 1tsp curry powder 1tbsp mirin 1tbsp lemon juice 100g baby spinach ½ small red onion, thinly sliced

1 Put the cashews in a medium bowl, cover them with cold water and leave to soak for 2 hr. 2 Heat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/ gas 6 and line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Put the squash in one tray and spray with oil, then roast for 30 min or until tender.

3 Pat the chickpeas dry with kitchen paper, then put them in the remaining baking tray with the broccoli. Spray with oil, then roast for 10 min or until the chickpeas are golden and the broccoli is tender. 4 Meanwhile, make the dressing: drain the cashews, then tip them into a blender and add the curry powder, mirin, lemon juice and 2tbsp water. Blitz until thick and creamy, adding a little more water to thin, if necessary.

5 Gently toss the roasted squash, broccoli and chickpeas with the spinach and red onion to combine. Transfer to a serving dish, drizzle with the dressing, then season with ground black pepper to serve.

4 PER SERVING 329kcal 14.6g fibre 10.8g fat 16.6g protein 1.7g saturates 0.1g salt 44.2g carbs 221mg calcium 13.3g sugars 5.6mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 89


Lentil and vegetable pasta PREP 10 MIN COOK 10 MIN SERVES 4 VEGETARIAN

150g risoni or orzo pasta (or other small pasta) 200g green beans, trimmed and halved 250g frozen soya beans 400g can lentils in water, drained 4tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley, plus extra to garnish 2 red peppers from a jar, drained and chopped 4tbsp balsamic vinegar

100g baby rocket Juice and zest ½ lemon 1tbsp garlic-infused or chilli-infused olive oil 4 large flat mushrooms Cooking oil spray 150g reduced-fat feta

1 Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions in unsalted water until al dente. Add the green beans and soya beans for the last 2 min of the cooking time (see tip). Drain, then transfer everything to a large bowl. Add the lentils, parsley, peppers, vinegar, rocket, lemon juice and zest and olive oil, then toss well.

and cook for 4–6 min, turning once, until soft. Turn the mushrooms so they’re flat-side down and fill the centre with the feta for the last 1 min of the cooking time. The cheese should melt slightly.

3 Divide the pasta among 4 bowls, top each with a mushroom, then garnish with extra parsley.

Tip You could also add the lentils to the pasta water for the last 2 min of the cooking time to warm them through, if you like.

2 Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan over a

3

high heat. Spray the mushrooms with oil

PER SERVING 394kcal 10.8g fibre 12g fat 23.6g protein 5.3g saturates 2g salt 49.4g carbs 7.9g sugars

90 WEIGHT-LOSS WEIGHT LOSS DIET PLAN

289mg calcium 5.6mg iron


VEGETARIAN

Spinach, feta and halloumi Turkish pide PREP 15 MIN + PROVING COOK 20 MIN SERVES 4

vegetarian

7g sachet fast-action dried yeast ½tsp caster sugar 90g strong white bread flour, plus extra for kneading 90g wholemeal spelt flour 1tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for oiling 500g frozen spinach, thawed 50g reduced-fat feta, crumbled 50g reduced-fat halloumi, coarsely grated ¼tsp dried chilli flakes 1 egg, beaten Cooking oil spray Juice ½ lemon, plus lemon wedges to serve 3 fresh mint sprigs, leaves picked 4 fresh flatleaf parsley sprigs, leaves picked

1 Combine the yeast and sugar in a measuring jug with 125ml warm water. Stand in a warm place until frothy (around 5–15 min, depending on the temperature of the room).

2 Put half the bread flour in a mixing

bowl, then whisk in the yeast mixture. Cover with clingfilm and stand in a warm place for 1 hr.

3 Stir the remaining bread flour into the yeast mixture along with the spelt flour and oil, to make a dough. Turn out and knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and stand in a warm place for 1 hr.

4 Put 2 baking trays in the oven and heat to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7. Squeeze out the excess liquid from the spinach, then combine with the feta, halloumi, chilli and egg in a bowl. 5 Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a 15x30cm rectangle on a floured sheet of non-stick baking

paper. Spread the spinach and cheese filling across the centre of each rectangle, leaving a 2cm border. Brush the edges with water, then fold over the border and press to secure. Fold the ends under to form a long oval shape. Remove the hot baking trays from the oven and carefully transfer the pides, on the baking paper, to the trays. Spray with oil, then put them in the oven and bake for 20 min or until lightly golden.

6 Combine the lemon juice with the herbs in a small bowl. Cut the pides into thick slices and top with the herb mixture. Serve with lemon wedges.

1 PER SERVING 285kcal 6.3g fibre 9.7g fat 17.1g protein 3.6g saturates 1.1g salt 33.7g carbs 376mg calcium 1.5g sugars 3.4mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 91


Lentil and aubergine gratin PREP 20 MIN + STANDING COOK 55 MIN SERVES 6 VEGETARIAN

GLUTEN FREE

2tbsp olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 carrots, finely chopped 2 celery sticks, finely chopped ½tsp cinnamon 1tsp allspice 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes 2 x 400g cans lentils in water, rinsed and drained 3 aubergines (about 750g), thinly sliced Cooking oil spray 600g potatoes, peeled and sliced into 5mm thick slices 40g parmesan, finely grated 150g mixed salad leaves and 2tbsp balsamic vinegar, to serve

1 Heat half the olive oil in a large, deep, non-stick saucepan (that has a lid) over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, for 8 min or until soft. Add the cinnamon and allspice and cook, stirring, for 1 min or until fragrant. 2 Add the tomatoes and lentils to the pan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for 20 min.

3 Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C/ fan 180°C/gas 6. Line 2 large baking sheets with baking paper. Lay the aubergine slices on the sheets in a single layer and spray with oil. Bake for 15 min or until tender.

4 Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Continue to boil for 6–8 min until tender.

5 Spread a third of the lentil mixture across the base of a 2.5–3 litre

92 WEIGHT-LOSS WEIGHT LOSS DIET PLAN

ovenproof dish. Arrange half the baked aubergine slices over the lentil mixture. Top with another third of the lentil mixture, then top with the remaining aubergine. Finish with the remaining lentil mixture. Arrange the potato slices over the top and scatter over the parmesan. Put the dish in the oven to bake for 25 min or until tender and golden. Leave to stand for about 15 min.

6 Toss the salad leaves with the balsamic vinegar and remaining olive oil and serve with the gratin.

5 PER SERVING 273kcal 13.3g fibre 7.3g fat 12.5g protein 2.4g saturates 0.2g salt 41.5g carbs 151mg calcium 14.7g sugars 4.6mg iron


VEGETARIAN

Griddled vegetable and almond quinoa salad PREP 15 MIN COOK 25 MIN SERVES 4 VEGETARIAN

1tbsp olive oil 1 large onion, chopped Pinch dried chilli flakes 450ml reduced-salt vegetable stock 175g quinoa 400g skin-on butternut squash, deseeded, thinly sliced 1 large red pepper, cut into thick strips 2 courgettes, sliced lengthways Cooking oil spray 150g vacuum-packed beetroot, cut into quarters

40g roasted unsalted almonds, chopped 75g reduced-fat feta, crumbled 70g mixed salad leaves Lemon wedges, to serve

1 Heat the oil in a large pan (that has a lid) over a medium heat, then add the onion and fry for 5 min or until soft. Add the chilli, stock and quinoa and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, then cover and simmer for 15–20 min until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is al dente. 2 Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick griddle or frying pan over a medium heat. Spray the squash, pepper and

courgettes with oil. Add the butternut squash to the pan and cook, turning once, for 8–10 min until charred and tender. Set aside, then add the courgettes and pepper to the pan, without crowding (work in 2 batches if necessary), and cook for 5 min, turning once, until tender.

3 Cut the griddled veg into chunks, then fold into the quinoa. Divide among 4 bowls and top with the beetroot, almonds, feta and salad leaves. Serve with the lemon wedges.

4 PER SERVING 367kcal 11g fibre 13.9g fat 16.5g protein 3.2g saturates 1.7g salt 47g carbs 236mg calcium 18.7g sugars 6mg iron

LEANER, HAPPIER, HEALTHIER 93


Healthy trend to try COURGETTI STAR INGREDIENT COURGETTES

I

t barely existed 18 months ago, but courgetti has jumped into our food vocabulary and revolutionised the way we eat courgettes. Sales of spiralizers – the gadget Green that cuts vegetables andginger fruit into buzzthin spaghettilike spirals – rocketed so fast last year, that Lakeland, for instance, has no fewer than 10 models. Our interest isn’t waning, it seems. And why would it? Courgetti makes a fabulous low-carb, low-cal, wheat-free and gluten-free pasta alternative, a super-speedy stir-fry veg and a delicious raw ingredient tossed into salads.

The key to eating courgetti at its best is to have it raw or very lightly cooked as it quickly turns soggy if overcooked. If cooking a half-and-half mix of courgetti and pasta or noodles, add the courgetti for the final 30 sec cooking time if the recipe doesn’t specify otherwise. Try this For a light and warming soup, pile a handful of raw courgetti in the bottom of a soup bowl and pour over hot stock flavoured with chilli, ginger and fresh coriander.

Go-to gadget

Good to know… COURGETTES BOOST OUR INTAKE of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which help keep our eyes healthy and protect against age-related macular degeneration. 94 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

SPIRALIZING IS AN EASY way to get more veg into our diet and is a lighter alternative to pasta, but just as filling. COURGETTES ARE IDEAL FOR spiralizing,

but also try cucumber, broccoli stems, butternut squash, carrots and parsnips. HALF A LARGE COURGETTE gives you one of your five-a-day.

Betty Bossi Vegetable Spiralizer £34.99, Lakeland There are many designs available (from as little as £7.47), but we like the clever screw system and easy-turn handle of this one. Suitable for both left and right hand users, it comes with two cutting cones for ribbons or spirals.

WORDS: NICHOLA PALMER. PRICE CORRECT AT TIME OF GOING TO PRESS

Everyday trick


TREND

Courgetti with lentils, feta and mint

Courgetti with lentils, feta and mint PREP 15 MIN COOK 15 MIN SERVES 4 VEGETARIAN

250g wholewheat spaghetti 250g green beans, halved diagonally 2 courgettes, trimmed 2tsp olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed Zest 1 lemon and 1tbsp juice 400g can lentils in water, drained 2tbsp chopped fresh mint, plus extra leaves to garnish 2tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley 75g reduced-fat feta, crumbled

1 Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of unsalted boiling water according to the pack instructions. Add the beans for the last 2 min of the cooking time. Drain well, then return to the pan. 2 Meanwhile, slice the courgettes into long, thin strands using a julienne peeler or spiralizer, or grate them coarsely lengthways.

3 Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook gently for 5 min or until soft. Add the garlic and lemon zest. Cook, stirring, for 1 min or until the mixture is fragrant.

4 Add the lentils to the pan and stir for 1 min to heat through. Add the courgettes and cook for 1 min or until

just bright green (don't overcook or they'll turn to mush).

5 Add the lentil mixture, mint, parsley, feta and lemon juice to the pasta and gently toss to combine. Divide among 4 plates, season with black pepper, garnish with extra mint leaves and serve.

3 PER SERVING 350kcal 15.1g fibre 6.4g fat 18.4g protein 2.8g saturates 0.9g salt 57.8g carbs 180mg calcium 8.4g sugars 6mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 95


FISH

Lime and ginger fish tacos PREP 15 MIN + MARINATING COOK 5 MIN SERVES 4

DAIRY FREE

Juice ½ lime, plus wedges to serve 1tsp grated fresh ginger 1 garlic clove, crushed 400g thick white fish fillets, cut into bite-size pieces 3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped 2 small ripe avocados, roughly chopped ½ x 25g bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped 2tsp hot chilli sauce, or to taste Cooking oil spray 8 taco shells 100g mixed salad leaves

96 WEIGHT WEIGHT-LOSS LOSS DIET PLAN

1 Combine the lime juice, ginger and garlic in a non-metallic mixing bowl, then add the fish and stir to coat. Leave to marinate for 10 min. 2 Make a salsa by combining the tomatoes, avocados and coriander. Add the hot chilli sauce and mix gently to combine.

3 Spray a non-stick frying pan with oil and heat until hot. Cook the fish for 3 min or until cooked through. Meanwhile, warm the taco shells according to the pack instructions. 4 Divide the taco shells among 4 plates. Add the salad leaves, salsa and fish. Serve immediately with the lime wedges to squeeze over.

1 PER SERVING 326kcal 4.5g fibre 17.9g fat 21.5g protein 2.8g saturates 0.3g salt 19.4g carbs 56mg calcium 3.4g sugars 1.1mg iron


FISH

Hot and sour fish soup with noodles PREP 15 MIN COOK 15 MIN SERVES 4 DAIRY FREE

2tsp sesame oil 3 garlic cloves, chopped 25g fresh ginger, grated Zest and juice 3 limes, plus wedges to serve 2 mild red chillies, finely diced (deseed for a milder soup) 2tbsp white miso paste 160g shiitake mushrooms, sliced 160g green beans, sliced 160g green cabbage, shredded 160g edamame beans 500g white fish fillets, cut into chunks 250g buckwheat or brown rice soba noodles Small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped

1 Heat 1tsp of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Fry the garlic, ginger, lime zest and half the diced chillies for a few min. Add the miso paste and 1 litre boiling water to the pan, then cover and bring back to the boil. Add the mushrooms, green beans, cabbage and edamame beans and bring to the boil again. Add the fish and simmer for 3 min. Set the soup aside for 5 min so the fish can poach in the residual heat (it should be opaque when cooked). 2 While the fish is poaching, cook the noodles according to the pack instructions. Drain, then toss with the remaining oil and divide among 4 serving bowls.

3 Spoon the fish soup over the noodles, then squeeze over the lime juice and top with the coriander and remaining chillies. Serve with extra lime wedges to squeeze over.

2 PER SERVING 417kcal 8.4g fibre 6.3g fat 37g protein 1.1g saturates 1.8g salt 50.3g carbs 113mg calcium 9.7g sugars 3.6mg iron

LEANER, WEIGHT-LOSS HAPPIER, HEALTHIER DIET PLAN 97


Seafood lasagne PREP 15 MIN COOK 1 HR 5 MIN SERVES 6

Cooking oil spray 1 red onion, sliced 2tsp garlic purée 4 tomatoes, chopped 250g mushrooms, sliced 1 red pepper, diced 2tbsp tomato purée 150ml white wine 400g can chopped tomatoes 4 fresh thyme sprigs 1 very low salt fish or vegetable stock cube, dissolved in 100ml boiling water 400g skinless white fish fillets, cut into chunks 200g mixed cooked seafood 4tbsp chopped fresh basil or parsley, plus extra to garnish 250g dried lasagne sheets For the cheese sauce

3tbsp cornflour 250ml skimmed milk 50g parmesan, grated

98 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

40g reduced-fat cheddar, grated 200g reduced-fat cottage cheese, blended until smooth ½tsp dijon mustard ½tsp paprika

1 Heat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/ gas 5 and spray a 2 litre ovenproof dish with oil. 2 Spray a large non-stick frying pan with oil and set over a medium heat. Cook the onion with the garlic purée for 5 min or until softened. Add the fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, red pepper and tomato purée and cook for a few min or until veg softens. Add the wine and bubble for 3–4 min. Add the canned tomatoes, thyme and stock, then cook for 5 min. Add the fish, seafood and herbs and cook for 2–3 min until cooked through.

3 Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, blend the cornflour with a little of the milk to form a paste. Heat

the remainder of the milk in a pan until hot. Add the cornflour paste and stir continuously until the sauce is smooth and thick. Add the cheeses, mustard and paprika, then remove from the heat.

4 Spoon a third of the fish mixture into the prepared dish and spread over the base. Cover with a third of the lasagne sheets, then spoon over a third of the cheese sauce. Repeat the layers twice more, finishing with the cheese sauce. Bake for 40–45 min, then serve garnished with the extra herbs.

2 PER SERVING 417kcal 5.2g fibre 7.8g fat 34.5g protein 3.5g saturates 1.4g salt 50.8g carbs 309mg calcium 12.4g sugars 3.9mg iron


FISH

Spiced fish with carrot and coconut salad PREP 15 MIN COOK 5 MIN SERVES 4

2tsp brown mustard seeds 1tsp cumin seeds ½tsp turmeric Zest 1 lime 4 x 170g firm white fish fillets Cooking oil spray 4 small reduced-fat naan breads (see tip, far right) For the carrot and coconut salad

2 large carrots, coarsely grated 150g baby spinach, shredded 2tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander leaves 3tbsp desiccated coconut, or 30g fresh coconut, grated and lightly toasted

1tbsp lime juice, plus lime wedges to serve 2tsp olive oil

1 Toast the mustard and cumin seeds in a dry non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, stirring, for 30 sec or until fragrant. Transfer to a pestle and mortar and pound until finely crushed. Stir in the turmeric and lime zest. Spray the fish lightly with oil on both sides, then sprinkle over the spice mixture to coat. 2 Spray a large, non-stick griddle pan with oil. Add the fish fillets and cook over a medium heat for 2–3 min on each side until cooked through.

3 Meanwhile, make the salad. Toss the carrots, spinach, coriander leaves, coconut, lime juice and olive oil together in a large salad bowl.

4 Warm the naan breads according to the pack instructions. Serve the fish with the salad, naan breads and lime wedges to squeeze over.

Tip For a dairy-free dish, check the label on the naan bread (it may contain milk products), or serve with rice instead.

1 PER SERVING 338kcal 5.3g fibre 8.5g fat 36.1g protein 3.6g saturates 0.9g salt 31.1g carbs 201mg calcium 6.2g sugars 3mg iron

LEANER, WEIGHT-LOSS HAPPIER, HEALTHIER DIET PLAN 99


Fish tortillas PREP 15 MIN COOK 15 MIN SERVES 4

4 x 170g white fish fillets 1tsp chopped red chilli 2tbsp chopped fresh coriander Zest and juice ½ lemon 1 medium avocado, flesh scooped out 170g tub fat-free Greek yogurt 1 large carrot, shredded 250g red cabbage, shredded 70g bag rocket 8 mini wholemeal tortillas

1 Heat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/ gas 5. Put the fish fillets on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Mix the chilli, coriander and lemon zest in a bowl, then rub over the fish. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 15 min or until just cooked through. 2 Meanwhile, mash the avocado in a small bowl, then add the lemon juice and 3tbsp of the yogurt and mix together. Toss the carrot, cabbage and rocket together to make a slaw. Warm the tortillas according to the pack instructions.

3 Spread the tortillas with a little of the mashed avocado mixture, then top with the slaw, fish and remaining avocado mixture and yogurt. Season with a grinding of black pepper and serve.

1 PER SERVING 416kcal 9.3g fibre 12.3g fat 41.3g protein 3.5g saturates 1g salt 33.8g carbs 182mg calcium 7.6g sugars 2.5mg iron

100 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN


FISH

Cod and feta panzanella PREP 20 MIN COOK 10 MIN SERVES 4

500g skinless and boneless cod (see tip, right) Cooking oil spray 6 thick slices (about 300g) seeded or wholegrain bread 400g baby plum or cherry tomatoes, halved 150g radishes, sliced 1 red onion, chopped 1 cucumber, diced 75g reduced-fat feta, crumbled Handful fresh basil leaves 2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2tbsp red wine or sherry vinegar 1 garlic clove

1 Bring a deep frying pan of water to the boil, then add the fish and cook gently for 4 min. Turn off the heat, leave for 2 min, then drain and leave to cool before flaking. 2 Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and spray with oil. Tear the bread into pieces and add to the pan. Fry for 2–4 min (depending on the freshness), tossing, until golden and toasted. Leave to cool, then transfer to a bowl with three-quarters of the tomatoes and all the radishes, onion, cucumber, flaked cod, feta and basil.

3 PER SERVING 415kcal 7.3g fibre 11.6g fat 35.2g protein 3.5g saturates 1.9g salt 44.6g carbs 296mg calcium 10.3g sugars 2.8mg iron

3 In a food processor, whiz the remaining tomatoes with the olive oil, vinegar and garlic. Add to the salad, then toss to serve.

Tip Replace the cod with 400g cooked peeled prawns if you like.

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 101


SNACKS

Banana, oat and chocolate muffins PREP 15 MIN + COOLING COOK 15 MIN MAKES 24 VEGETARIAN

3tbsp sunflower oil 90g smooth apple sauce (see tip) ½ ripe banana, mashed 1 egg, lightly beaten 70g self-raising flour ½tsp baking powder 20g milled seed mix (we used Linwoods) 30g milk chocolate chips 20g oats

102 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

1 Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/ gas 4. Line 2 x 12-hole mini muffin trays with paper cases (if you only have 1 tray, bake in 2 batches).

Tip To make your own apple sauce, go to healthyfood.co.uk and search ‘apple sauce’ for a recipe.

2 In a large bowl, combine the oil, apple sauce, banana and egg. Stir in the flour, baking powder and seed mix. Mix in the chocolate chips.

3 Spoon 1tbsp of the mixture into each case. Sprinkle with the oats, then bake for 12–15 min until the muffins are risen and golden, and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

4 Remove from the oven and cool in the tray for 5 min, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

PER MUFFIN 45kcal 0.4g fibre 2.5g fat 1g protein 0.5g saturates 0.1g salt 5g carbs 14mg calcium 1.9g sugars 0.2mg iron


SNACKS

Oat and raisin cookies PREP 15 MIN + COOLING COOK 20 MIN MAKES 30 VEGETARIAN

DAIRY FREE

90g porridge oats 90g jumbo oats (see tip, right) 135g wholemeal plain flour 2tsp ground cinnamon 1tsp bicarbonate of soda 125g raisins, coarsely chopped 2tbsp runny honey 1tsp vanilla extract 3tbsp sunflower oil 150g smooth apple sauce (see tip for recipe, left) 1 egg

bowl. Add the raisins and stir well. Whisk the honey, vanilla extract, oil and apple sauce together in another mixing bowl using a balloon whisk.

3 Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Wet your hands slightly, then shape the mixture into 30 x 1tbsp balls. Put them on the baking sheets and press gently to flatten. 4 Bake for 15–20 min until golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on the baking sheets. The cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Tip If you don’t want to buy two lots

of oats, you can use a double quantity of either the porridge oats or jumbo oats.

PER COOKIE 72kcal 1.2g fibre 1.9g fat 1.5g protein 0.3g saturates 0.1g salt 12.8g carbs 10mg calcium 5.4g sugars 0.6mg iron

1 Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/ gas 4 and line 2 large baking sheets with baking paper. 2 Combine the oats, flour, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda in a large

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 103


Healthy trend to try ENERGY BALLS STAR INGREDIENTS DATES

W

ith recipes by Deliciously Ella and Joe Wicks of Lean in 15 fame, energy balls have become the health snack of the moment. Made from a mix of blended dried fruit, nuts, seeds and grains, they’re a power ball of protein, carbs and fats. A word of caution: they’re very moreish and can be high in calories, so eat them as a treat or when you need a quick energy boost before or after exercise. At 83kcal, ours are low-calorie, but limit yourself to one at a time! They’re also good for popping into children’s lunch boxes instead of biscuits and cereal bars.

With a food processor you can quickly make your own energy balls, which means you can control the fat and sugar content. Simply blitz together your choice of nuts and seeds with pitted dates, soft prunes or apricots to make a thick paste. Chill the mixture, then roll into balls. If you’re craving a chocolate hit, add a few cacao nibs to the mixture or half-dip the balls in melted dark chocolate. Go to healthyfood.co.uk for our deliciously simple recipes.

Go-to gadget

Good to know… DATES CONTAIN FIBRE and natural sugars and are rich in potassium, which helps to control blood pressure. They also boost our intake of antioxidants copper and manganese. 104 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

ENERGY BALLS ARE add a fruity flavour to QUICK and easy to make, Persian and North with a more pronounced African stews and salads. flavour and texture than DRIED PACKS OF those you buy. DATES will keep for up NOT JUST FOR to a year in a sealed SWEET SNACKS, dates container in a cool place.

Kenwood FPM250 Multipro Compact Food Processor, £69, widely available Great value, neat and compact, but with a powerful motor that will whiz up your power snacks in seconds. Generous 2.1 litre bowl and 1.2 litre blender.

WORDS: NICHOLA PALMER. PRICE CORRECT AT TIME OF GOING TO PRESS

Everyday trick


TREND

Lemon and coconut bliss balls PREP 20 MIN + SOAKING + CHILLING MAKES 26

VEGETARIAN

GLUTEN FREE

DAIRY FREE

80g pitted dried dates 200g ground almonds 90g desiccated coconut, plus 3tbsp (15g) extra for rolling 2tsp cacao powder or cocoa powder Zest and juice ½ lemon 2tbsp runny honey

1 Line a large plate or tray (that will fit in your fridge) with baking paper. Put the dates in a small heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soften for 2 min, then drain. 2 Whiz the drained dates in a food processor with the ground almonds, desiccated coconut, cacao or cocoa

powder, lemon zest and juice and honey for 2–3 min until combined and the mixture holds its shape when pressed into a ball.

3 Put the extra coconut on a small plate. Press and shape 2tsp of the date mixture into a ball, then roll in the coconut and put on the prepared plate or tray. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make 26 balls in total. 4 Chill for 30 min or until firm, then transfer to an airtight container. The balls will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

PER BALL 83kcal 1.8g fibre 6.8g fat 2g protein 2.5g saturates 0g salt 3.9g carbs 22mg calcium 3.7g sugars 0.4mg iron

Lemon and coconut bliss balls

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 105


DESSERTS

Sticky peaches with cheesecake cream PREP 15 MIN COOK 15 MIN SERVES 4 VEGETARIAN

GLUTEN FREE

2½tbsp runny honey 2tsp lemon juice ½tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to sprinkle 1tsp vanilla bean paste 4 large firm ripe peaches, halved and stones removed 100g lightest soft cheese 2tbsp skimmed milk 20g crystallised ginger, finely chopped, to serve

106 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

1 Heat the oven to 190ºC/fan 170°C/ gas 5. Combine 2tbsp of the honey with the lemon juice, cinnamon and vanilla bean paste in an ovenproof baking dish. Add the peaches and turn until they’re coated in the honey mixture, then arrange them so they’re cut-side up. Bake for 15 min or until tender. 2 Meanwhile, make the cheesecake cream: whisk the soft cheese, milk and remaining honey together in a bowl until smooth and combined.

3 Divide the baked peaches among 4 bowls and drizzle with any leftover syrup in the dish. Serve with the cheesecake cream, sprinkled with the ginger and extra cinnamon.

1 PER SERVING 124kcal 3.1g fibre 0.8g fat 4.5g protein 0.5g saturates 0.2g salt 26.6g carbs 52mg calcium 25.9g sugars 0.6mg iron


DESSERTS

Blueberry custard puddings PREP 15 MIN + COOLING + CHILLING COOK 5 MIN MAKES 6 VEGETARIAN

GLUTEN FREE

100ml skimmed milk 410g can light evaporated milk 2tbsp custard powder 1tsp vanilla bean paste Calorie-free sweetener, to taste 150g fat-free Greek yogurt 400g frozen blueberries, thawed

1 Put both milks, custard powder and vanilla bean paste in a bowl and stir with a whisk until well blended. 2 Transfer the mixture to a pan and heat over a medium heat, stirring, for about 4–5 min until thickened. Stir in sweetener to taste and leave to cool in the pan, covered with clingfilm (it should touch the surface to prevent a skin forming) for 30 min.

3 Gently stir in half the yogurt. Divide three-quarters of the blueberries with any juices among 6 glasses, then pour over the custard. Add the remaining berries and chill for at least 1 hr. 4 When ready, serve topped with the remaining yogurt.

PER PUDDING 138kcal 1.1g fibre 3g fat 8.8g protein 1.7g saturates 0.3g salt 19.9g carbs 231mg calcium 15.3g sugars 0.4mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 107


Berry pannacottas PREP 15 MIN + CHILLING COOK 5 MIN MAKES 4

GLUTEN FREE

Cooking oil spray 5 gelatine sheets 250ml light evaporated milk 1tsp vanilla bean paste Calorie-free sweetener, to taste 250g fat-free berry yogurt (flavour of your choice) 250g fresh or frozen blueberries or raspberries Fresh mint leaves, to decorate

1 Lightly spray 4 x 150ml ramekins or tea cups with oil. Soak the gelatine in a small bowl of cold water for 5 min, then drain and squeeze out excess water.

108 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

2 Put 6tbsp evaporated milk in a medium saucepan with the vanilla bean paste. Heat over a low heat until the liquid starts to simmer. Remove from the heat, then add the drained gelatine and whisk it into the milk mixture until dissolved. Add the remaining evaporated milk and sweetener to taste and stir well.

5 Turn out the pannacottas on to serving plates (see tip, below), or serve in the ramekins or cups. Top with the berries and juices and decorate with mint leaves.

Tip To loosen each pannacotta, dip the

ramekin or cup into a bowl of warm water for a few sec. Carefully turn on to one side to create an air pocket, then turn out.

3 Whisk the yogurt into the milk mixture until well combined. Divide among the prepared ramekins or cups and chill for 2–3 hr until set.

4 Meanwhile, put the berries in a microwave-proof bowl and cook on high for 30–40 sec, or heat gently in a pan until the juices start to seep (allow longer if frozen). Stir, then chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

PER PANNACOTTA 139kcal 1.3g fibre 2.8g fat 10.2g protein 1.6g saturates 0.3g salt 19g carbs 262mg calcium 18.6g sugars 0.5mg iron


DESSERTS

Choc and nut brownies PREP 10 MIN + COOLING COOK 30 MIN MAKES 16

VEGETARIAN

250g jar apple sauce (or make your own – find a recipe at healthyfood.co.uk) 1tsp vanilla extract 35g cocoa powder 100g self-raising flour ½tsp bicarbonate of soda 60g caster sugar 90g dark chocolate chips 70g walnuts, chopped 1tsp icing sugar, to dust

1 Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/ gas 4. Line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.

2 Put the apple sauce and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Sift in the cocoa

powder, flour and bicarbonate of soda. Stir in the sugar, chocolate chips and walnuts, mixing until just combined (don’t over-mix or the brownies will be tough.

Choc and nut brownies

3 Spoon the batter into the prepared tin, then bake for 25–30 min until the top is just set with a bit of a wobble. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 5–10 min before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into 16 equal squares, then sift over the icing sugar. The brownies will keep in an airtight tin for a few days.

PER BROWNIE 123kcal 1.3g fibre 5.2g fat 1.9g protein 1.6g saturates 0.1g salt 17.9g carbs 27mg calcium 12.3g sugars 0.6mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 109


Chocolate mousse PREP 10 MIN + CHILLING COOK 5 MIN SERVES 6 VEGETARIAN

GLUTEN FREE

100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), plus 20g extra, shaved, to decorate 1tbsp agave syrup 6 egg whites 30g caster sugar

1 Gently melt the chocolate with the agave syrup in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water), stirring occasionally. It should take about 5 min for the chocolate to melt. Remove the bowl from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

2 Meanwhile, put the egg whites into a large mixing bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks. Add the sugar and whisk until the egg whites become glossy.

110 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

3 Fold a little of the whisked egg whites into the cooled chocolate mixture to loosen, then add the rest, little by little, taking care not to knock out the air. Divide the mousse among 6 glasses, then chill for at least 30 min.

4 Top each mousse with the extra chocolate shavings to serve.

PER MOUSSE 139kcal 1.7g fibre 7.2g fat 5.5g protein 4.4g saturates 0.2g salt 13.2g carbs 9mg calcium 11.9g sugars 0.4mg iron


DESSERTS

Blackcurrant and cherry meringue trifles PREP 15 MIN + COOLING + CHILLING COOK 10 MIN SERVES 6 GLUTEN FREE

23g sachet Hartley’s Sugar Free Strawberry or Raspberry Jelly 3 meringue nests, crumbled 150g fresh or frozen blackcurrants or mixed berries, thawed if frozen, plus extra to decorate 150g fresh or frozen pitted cherries, thawed if frozen 325ml skimmed milk 1tbsp caster sugar 1tsp vanilla bean paste or extract 2tbsp custard powder 150g pot fat-free cherry yogurt Fresh mint sprigs and 1tbsp grated dark chocolate, to decorate

1 Dissolve the jelly in 75ml boiling water. Stir in 350ml cold water and leave to cool. 2 Divide the meringue among 6 glasses, then add the blackcurrants or berries and the cherries. Pour the cooled jelly over the fruit, then transfer the glasses to the fridge and leave to set (about 1 hr).

3 Meanwhile, put 250ml of the milk in a pan with the sugar and vanilla paste or extract and heat until hot. Mix the remaining milk with the custard powder in a medium bowl to make a paste. Pour the hot milk over the paste, mix well and return to the pan. Stir over a gentle heat until thickened, then remove from the heat and leave to cool, stirring often to prevent a skin forming. 4 Mix the cooled custard with the yogurt, then spoon over the set jelly and transfer to the fridge to chill.

5 Serve decorated with the extra berries and the mint and chocolate.

143kcal

PER TRIFLE 2.5g fibre

1g fat 0.5g saturates 28.7g carbs 23.9g sugars

6.6g protein 0.2g salt 132mg calcium 0.7mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 111


Healthy trend to try JUICING STAR INGREDIENTS CARROTS and GINGER

F

resh fruit and veg juices go hand-in-hand with clean eating (eating fewer processed foods), a trend made popular by food bloggers such as the Hemsley sisters. Juices featuring dark green and brightly coloured veg, such as kale, broccoli, spinach and beetroot, are everywhere. Why? They’re less sweet than fruit juices and have the added bonus of calcium and beta-carotene as well as vitamin C and vitamin K. For maximum health benefits, drink the juice as soon as possible after making, so rather than storing a jug of it in the fridge, whiz up your juice as and when you want it.

The key to success is finding flavour combinations you like and want to drink. This will mean balancing strongtasting veg such as beetroot and kale with apple, carrot or pear and using spices such as ginger and chilli for a warming kick. The pulp that’s left after juicing can be used in soups or added to pasta sauces so nothing is wasted.

Go-to gadget Dualit Dual-Max Juicer, £99.99, dualit.com and electrical retailers With its double sieve technology, this machine not only extracts juice from the fruit and veg, but also from the remaining pulp to get the maximum amount – less waste, more vitamins.

Good to know… GRATED FRESH GINGER provides healthy antioxidants along with a flavour hit.

beta-carotene, which is converted into skin-friendly vitamin A once inside the body.

NATURALLY SWEET AND JUICY, carrots are rich in the antioxidant

FOR MORE SUSTENANCE, blend chia seeds, a source of

112 WEIGHT- LOSS DIET PLAN

essential omega-3 fats, with a little water and add to your drink. A LITTLE AVOCADO will give green juices extra creaminess without affecting flavour.

WORDS: NICHOLA PALMER. PRICE CORRECT AT TIME OF GOING TO PRESS

Everyday trick


TREND

Green ginger buzz

Minty mango refresher

Minty mango refresher

Green ginger buzz

SERVES 1

SERVES 1

VEGETARIAN

GLUTEN FREE

DAIRY FREE

1 small mango, peeled, stoned and diced 1 carrot, grated 1tbsp desiccated coconut Pulp 1 passionfruit Handful fresh mint 175ml coconut water

1 Whiz everything together in a blender and pour over ice.

3 PER SERVING 189kcal 10.2g fibre 5.1g fat 2.5g protein 4g saturates 0.2g salt 35.9g carbs 65mg calcium 34.5g sugars 2.5mg iron

VEGETARIAN

GLUTEN FREE

DAIRY FREE

40g baby spinach or kale 100g fresh pineapple, chopped ½ green apple, chopped ½ banana, sliced 2tsp grated fresh ginger 175ml cold water

1 Whiz everything together in a blender and pour over ice.

3 PER SERVING 118kcal 3.5g fibre 0.8g fat 2.5g protein 0.1g saturates 0g salt 26.9g carbs 73mg calcium 25.1g sugars 1.2mg iron

WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN 113


THINK SLIM

Tips from the health stars Find out how famous faces in food and fitness stay in shape Gordon Benson

Tim Spector

Professor of genetics, researcher and author of The Diet Myth

Enjoy treats in moderation ‘I don’t abstain from anything. I believe everything should be in moderation. So I’ll have maybe one beer with a meal, not 10!’

Ben Fogle

TV presenter and adventurer

Eat a varied, balanced diet ‘Five years ago I was 8kg heavier and did little exercise – I wasn’t obese but I was above average weight. I’d been eating too many carbs (mainly pasta and rice) and not much variety in my fruit and veg. My diet is now mainly plant and dairy based, and full of diversity.’

Make exercise part of your daily routine ‘As hard as it is, I try to find an hour for exercise every day. It’s as much for my brain as it is for my body. A run, the gym, a workout in a hotel room or on a forest floor… There’s always a way.’

Ching-He Huang

Food writer and TV chef Don’t use too much oil ‘Keep cooking light by measuring out the oil you use in stir-fries. Steam more and add lots of vegetables to your dishes – my ethos is to have 90% vegetables or grains and 10% meat or fish on a plate. We should eat the way our grandparents did, with plenty of wholefoods. I like to use fresh, local ingredients, cooked simply.’

Amanda Hamilton

Nutritionist and broadcaster Find the fun in fitness ‘I’m an advocate of team sport as it works so well socially and for body confidence. I took up netball when I was 40! I do resistance training at the gym twice a week and yoga, plus I walk our Labrador every day.’

Atul Kochhar Michelin-starred restaurateur

Professor Greg Whyte OBE Activity expert

Define a realistic goal ‘Identify what you’re trying to achieve – just saying you want to eat more healthily has no end goal – but be realistic. People try to do too much too soon: “I want to lose 6st by February,” for example. Losing it is possible, but give yourself time.’

114 WEIGHT-LOSS DIET PLAN

Keep food interesting ‘There’s nothing like home cooked food. My top tips for making Indian cooking healthier are to use less oil and to use spices for seasoning. Toasted cumin and coriander seeds, fresh ginger, mint and coriander stems perk up all kinds of dishes, but although spices are very important in any Indian dish, you don’t want to mask or overpower the flavours of the ingredients you’re cooking with.’

WORDS: MELANIE LEYSHON, LAURA DAY. PHOTOS: MATT RUSSELL, ISTOCK

Team GB triathlete


What do the customers think?

this is how thousands of Brits

lower their cholesterol naturally!

Maria, 50 I’ve recommended Betavivo to all my friends who are looking for a healthy breakfast, rich in both fibre and protein.

Mary, 58 After one year of eating this cereal my cholesterol has been reduced from 15% risk to 5 % I am so pleased in fact I’m over the moon!!

Betavivo is not your ordinary oat product... A daily portion of Betavivo cereal is scientifically proven to lower cholesterol1. A unique way of treating Swedish oats and a patented composition. The cholesterol-lowering power of Betavivo equals at least three big bowls of porridge!

Liz, 55 I proved to my GP that it worked in lowering my cholesterol.

= As a bonus, bonus the beta-glucan in Betavivo also contributes to reducing the rise in blood sugar after the meal. Find inspiring recipes and more information at www.betavivo.co.uk James, 48 Betavivo helps me lower both cholesterol and blood sugar. I recommend it to friends and family – and also others!

For your heart. Every day. Right now

Buy now at:

promotion at:

One serving of Betavivo cereal gives you the full three grams of oat beta-glucan fibre needed daily to lower cholesterol. Coronary heart disease has many risk factors. Altering one of these risk factors may or may not have a beneficial effect. A varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle are always important. 1

Ref: European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy. 2009. The EFSA Journal (2009) 1175, 1-9 | *Netigate marketing survey, April 2016


Crafted with care & packed with the goodness of wholefoods, our delicious bars are bursting with nutritious energy & fibre, rich in Vitamin E and omega 3 with a whopping 5g protein per bar!

Go gaga for goji! Our plump juicy goji berries are rich in vitamin A goodness, vital for healthy skin & immune system.

Grab one to munch on the go from the free-from aisle of Sainsburys, Tesco, ASDA, Morrisons, in health foods shops, Wholefoods Market and online with Holland & Barrett and Amazon.

perkierfoods

@perkierfoods

perkier_foods

www.perkier.co.uk


Healthyfood guide phongkhambaylor 2017