3 Week Beginner Plan

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There are some diets out there that tell you to eat 1000 or under calories a day and do 2 hours exercise a day along with it. Whilst you may lose weight doing this, in the beginning, you won’t be able to maintain it for very long and even if you could, you would eventually stop this crazy “diet” and the weight would come piling back. Besides that, eating that little is not good for your body, and is that not the reason you want to lose weight anyway? To be better to your body? I have done the under 1000 calorie a day diet and trust me, the weight does come back. I have tried all the diets, and they only one that works is a balanced diet and eating enough. You NEED to exercise alongside the healthy eating and that is so difficult to do whilst eating under 1000 calories a day.

It is tempting to want to lose a lot of weight in a short space of time, but the truth is, it may take you a couple of years. It has taken me around 2 years to lose the 7st I needed to and I was hoping to do it in under a year – that just wasn’t realistic.

I thought it would be helpful if I posted a healthy eating plan, very similar to the one that I followed when I first started losing weight, for you to also follow, if you are looking to lose weight. It is a 3 week kick start plan, that, if followed, you can expect to lose around 2lb a week with. Maybe more in the beginning, depending on your start weight and what your diet consisted of before. Please don’t sit there and think “2lb a week is not enough”. It really is the right amount. If you lose weight too quickly, you are more likely to have loose skin.  Take it slow, allowing yourself to still enjoy food and you will get there in the end. Most importantly, you will have a healthy relationship with food at the end of it. By all means, carry this on after the 3 weeks. Don’t go back to your old unhealthy diet, because it goes without saying, the weight will pile back on. The only reason I say it is a 3 week plan, is that you would get bored with the same meals after that. When the 3 weeks is up, stick to a similar plan, and choose some of the great choices in the recipe section.

You should eat a breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. You can pick whatever one from the list below that you like. If you really like one meal, try to leave a day in-between having it, just so your body doesn’t get too used to the same food.

You should also choose 2 snacks a day and eat one between breakfast and lunch and one between lunch and dinner. If you are still hungry after dinner, have a healthy snack.

Each breakfast will be around 350 calories, lunch will be around 400 calories and dinner will be around 500 calories and the snacks will be around 100-200 calories each. This will mean you are eating around 1500-2000 calories a day (depending on the meals you are choosing), which is enough to keep you going, but a good amount to mean you should lose around 2lb a week if you are exercising as well. Take a look at this calorie counter to see how many calories you should be eating – it differs for everyone. If you need extra calories in your plan, add another post workout snack or a bigger serving of a meal. You can find some exercise tips here. But you should be aiming to do at least 40 minutes of exercise 5 times a week – a mix of cardio and weights.

Don’t have any fizzy drinks, try to avoid fruit juice and alcohol as alcohol will not help with weight loss and fruit juice makes it easy to have a lot of sugar at once. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and green tea will help too. Basically, just drink water and green tea – your body will thank you for it.

So, choose a choice from each of the sections each day for 3 weeks and you could lose at least 6lbs. I lost more than 6lbs in my first week, as it was a change from what my eating was like, but everyone is different. The weight loss slowed down in the following weeks though. I have tried to make sure the meals are as cheap and easy to make as possible and included options for lunch that you could take to work. Leave a comment at the bottom of the post to let me know if you are going to give it a try and keep me updated on how you are getting on. You can use a fake name if you want to be anonymous ;)

I have also uploaded recipes for a lot of the meal options here, and you can click on the options to take you to the recipes. Some of them won’t link to any recipes, as they are pretty self explanatory. You don’t need me to post a step by step guide to making a sandwich do you! I will also add more options as and when I create them. I am always in the kitchen coming up with new and healthy recipes, so I will make sure they fit in with this plan and I will update as and when.

 

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Breakfast

- 40g porridge made with 140ml skimmed milk and topped with banana or any fruit you like. Sprinkle some cinnamon or some agave/honey if you want it to be a little sweet.

- Banana and almond butter stuffed French toast

- Apple, cinnamon and vanilla pancakes

- Healthier wholewheat pop tarts

- 3 ingredient flourless pancakes

- 1 slice of wholemeal toast, 60g grilled mushrooms and scrambled eggs made with 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites.

- 70g home-made muesli with 200ml skimmed milk and an apple

- 2 eggs (poached, boiled or scrambled with skimmed milk) and spinach on 1 slice of brown bread and a banana.

- 2 slices brown bread with 1 tablespoon of almond butter with sliced banana on it

- Egg nests

- Eggs baked in Avocado

- Huevos Rancheros

- Banana porridge made with 170ml skimmed milk, 30g oat and 1 small banana

- Banana, Berry and Almond Smoothie

- Apple Pie Smoothie

- Banana smoothie

- Granola Bar

- Wholewheat Pancakes with 2 tbsp 0% Fage Greek yogurt and blueberries

- Homemade bagel topped with 1 tsp almond butter, half a banana and some cinnamon

- 2 pieces of Shredded Wheat with 200ml skimmed milk topped 20g raisins and half a banana.

- Spinach, Sun-dried tomato and cheese Frittata

- 250g Fage 0% Greek Yogurt topped with whatever fruit you like and a slice of brown bread with 1 tbsp almond butter

- Egg baked in Roasted Tomatoes

- Scrambled egg (made with 2 eggs and 100ml skimmed milk) on 1 slice of brown bread with grilled mushrooms and tomatoes

- Omelette Cupcakes

- Breakfast Burrito using whole wheat wrap

- Tomato, Egg and Spinach wrap

- Breakfast Quinoa

- Orange and walnut pancakes

- Egg Boats

- Eggs Florentine

- Grilled full English Breakfast

- Breakfast Hash

- Overnight Oats

- Oven baked hash browns with eggs

- Homemade beans on toast

- Banana pancakes

 - Stuffed French Toast

- Egg and Spinach Nests

- Egg and Avocado Pizza

Lunch

- Smoked haddock chowder

- Tuna Nicoise Salad

- Mushroom omelette made with 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites, 80g mushrooms and 60g red peppers. Sweet potato on the side

- Chicken Pasta Salad and an apple

- Turkey meatball in a pita

- Medium sized baked potato topped with either 1 portion of homemade baked beans or half a tin of tuna mixed with a tbsp of balsamic vinegar or 100g low fat cottage cheese. Eat 2 pieces of fruit after.

- Sopa de Calabaza with a homemade bagel and an orange

- Carrot and coriander soup

- Leek and Potato Soup

- Roasted Onion Soup

- Chicken noodle soup

- Chicken and sweetcorn soup with 1 slice of wholemeal bread and some fruit  for dessert.

- Mexican bean and tomato soup

- Egg and Vegetable Bake

- Oven baked falafel in a pita

- Ribboned Vegetable “Pasta”

- Creamy chicken, mustard and basil wrap and a salad

- Lemon and herb chicken with couscous

- Marinated chicken skewers with rice/couscous

- Tuna, Bean and couscous salad

- Rainbow Rice

- Tuna Pasta Salad

- Honey and mustard chicken salad

- Chicken Caesar salad

- Greek salad

- Salmon fishcakes and a salad

- Salmon Burrito

- Qunioa Sushi

- Egg mayonnaise sandwich (made with 2 slices of brown bread, 2 mashed up boiled eggs, 1 tbsp extra light mayo, lettuce, cucumber and tomato) and a piece of fruit (not banana).

- Tomato soup with egg nests

- Mexican bean burrito using whole wheat wraps

- Quinoa salad with feta and avocado

- Homemade bagel with half a chicken breast, 1 tbsp extra light mayo, salad and an apple

 - Steak and Potato Salad

- Lettuce Wraps

- Chicken Pasta Salad

- Stuffed Peppers

 - Lemon and Mustard Chicken Wrap

- Carrot and Lentil Soup

- Tomato and Bean Soup

Dinner

- Medium grilled salmon fillet with 180g new potatoes and a whole head of broccoli

-  150g well-trimmed grilled/George Foreman steak  with 200g butternut squash and sweet potato cubes, roasted in 1tbsp olive oil. Serve with a head of broccoli.

- Beef stir-fry with avocado salad

- Lemon and herb chicken with couscous

- Miso salmon noodle soup (you could use a chicken breast instead of salmon if you want)

- Grilled curries prawns with mango couscous

- Prawn Korma (you could use chicken instead)

- Mushroom omelette with one medium baked sweet potato and a portion of home-made baked beans

- Portobello mushroom pizzas with new potatoes

- Chicken Quesadillas with an apple for dessert. You could use 150 calories worth of tofu/quorn/pinto beans instead of chicken.

- Wholewheat pasta with ricotta and roasted vegetables

- Fajitas

- Thai Chicken Cakes with new potato slices and coleslaw

- Prawn Jambalaya

- Chipotle Prawn Soft Tacos

- Creamy Cajun chicken pasta

- Creamy Avocado Pasta

- Butter Chicken

- Shakshuka (Eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce)

- Prawn Laksa

- Thai Red Noodle Soup

- Slow Cooked Moroccan Chicken

- Slow Cooked Jerk Chicken

- Chicken and black bean chimichangas

- Turkey Chilli

- Chicken Enchiladas

- Chicken Tortilla Soup

- Eggplant Parmesan

- Creamy lemon pasta

- Healthier Carbonara

- Chicken Pad Thai

- Nasi Goreng

- Spicy meatball Asian noodle soup

- Butternut squash risotto

- Mushroom stroganoff

- Healthier KFC

- BBQ chicken pizza

- Fajita burger

- Turkey and feta burgers

- Turkey Chilli

- Bean Chilli with Avocado salsa

- Vegan Burrito Bowl

- Slow cooked balsamic chicken

- Summer Spaghetii

- Stuffed mushrooms

- Roasted vegetable lasagne

- Turkey Meatball risotto

- Healthy macaroni and cheese

- Caprese chicken

- Paprika and pepper chicken skewers

- Chicken tagine

- Creamy dill salmon

 

Snacks

- An apple, sliced, dipped in half a tbsp of almond butter

- 1 carrot, cut into sticks, dipped in 2 tbsp hummus

- 100g Fage 0% yogurt topped with mixed berries

- Smoothie

- Kale Crisps

- 10g walnuts and a mandarin orange

- 15 almonds

- A serving of homemade frozen yogurt

- A banana

- Apple and banana mini muffin

- 1 portion of Roasted Chickpeas

- 200g strawberries with 2 tbsp of fat free yogurt

- 1 serving of chili pecans

- Hard boiled egg with a satsuma

- 70g Edamame beans (found in oriental super markets and Holland and Barratt)

- Smoothie lolly and a piece of fruit (not banana)

- Frozen banana and a piece of fruit (not banana)

- Mini crustless quiche

- Chocolate banana pops

- Turkey Muffins

- Banana bread

- Cocoaty balls

- Roasted brussels sprouts

- Roasted cauliflower

 

 

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Comments

  1. Kate says

    This is the website I’ve been looking for! Not only is your weight loss story an inspiration, it actually looks achievable and realistic. I’ve been searching for an easy way to eat clean and also offer tasty clean meals to my family that they will enjoy. Your recipes are so simple and straight forward. I like that fact that I haven’t got to buy the contents of a health food shop to eat better and can get most of these bits from my local aldi. Budget and convenience are a huge factor for me.
    I’m training for a 10k so looking to slim down and fuel up, I reckon this plan will help me out. I no longer believe in diet clubs, they’ve sent my head into a compete mess and lost my way combining the methods of far too many diets.
    Thanks for sharing all your wisdom. I’ll be taking it a day at a time and will look forward to the end result (3 dress sizes to go!)
    Kate

    • Dannii says

      I am so happy that you have found what you are looking for on my blog. I really do try and make my recipes so that you don’t have to buy a lot of speciality ingredients. Keep me updated on how you get on :)

  2. Toni says

    I’m so glad I’ve stumbled on your web site. I’m in a similar position, 3 yrs ago I weighed 19.5stone, I’m now 12 or thereabouts, but I’m starting to waver slightly in my healthy eating plans. Now I’m inspired by your weight loss journey, it’s just the motivation needed to get back on it!!…fab

  3. says

    I’ve some upper body muscle and a few leg muscles, yet, I do not have any stomach muscle there are some fat closer to the the lower abs. I dont understand whether or not to start ab workouts or wait till I lose more weight and then begin. What should I do?

  4. kat says

    OMG this is amazing!!!! I feel so happy to have found you. I joined Slimming World to keep motivated but I want to get weighed only but eat clean. Thanks to you Dannii I can now plan what to eat for me and my kids. This is great ehat you have done for everyone.. I am sovgrateful. Will follow this everyday. So so happy now :)))) ♡

  5. Gale van dijck says

    Great motivation!! Thank u for this blog! I would like to see more before and after pics of you though :P
    I will follow your 3 weeks meal plan next week (need to go on a shopping spree :P) and keep u posted every week!!
    Can’t wait to lose the pounds!!! hihihihihii

  6. Alexa Lewis says

    I am highly interested in this! I have done herbalife and it worked! Yet it is expensive e and if you stop your right the weight comes right back. I am young and on the go with two jobs. I love to workout yet my schedule is always changing and makes it hard to have a steady gym schedule. I am looking forward to giving this a try and seeing where it will take me! Thank you for providing this for us!

    • Dannii says

      I personally don’t like herbalife for the exact reason you said – the weight comes back on. I don’t class that as working. For me, something works if it is healthy and the weight stays off. Just eat clean and workout :)

  7. Aiza says

    I was wondering if it’s possible to replace some meals with others on your blog along as the meal lies around the designated calories e.g lunch 400

  8. Kassi says

    Hi Dannii,
    I am going to start this on Fri (once I have been shopping and made a meal plan)
    I can start with a few of the meals with what I have at home so will do that until Fri.
    Wish me luck,
    Kassi

  9. Denise says

    Thank you so much for this site.
    I have trouble knowing the right combination of food to eat , I think this is a plan I could follow

  10. pam says

    I am trying to get on a list for a lung transplant and need to lose 30 pounds or more, My conditio n does not allow much exercise at all. If this cou ld help, I would be so happy. Thank you.

  11. Danielle says

    Hi. Just thought I’d say I think you’re amazing and I’m going to try to stick to your diet for three weeks and if I like it just carry on! My overall goal is to lose 90lbs, but I want to lose at least 50lbs by this time next year (for my prom). I’ve got my exercise started by doing the C25K (seriously, I would recommend this to anyone – I’m up to week 5 and feel so much healthier already!), but my diet is still a bit shaky, so hopefully this will help me.
    Also, does anyone know of any exercises that don’t take up a lot of time but still burn lots of calories so that I can crank it up a notch when I’m comfortable with running 5K but won’t interfere with my studies?

  12. tota says

    most of the recipes is chicken and tune and I hate chicken, meat and tuna I’m so picky :( what should I do I can’t live on eggs and mushroom :D

  13. Marie Shanahan says

    I think you are brilliant – and obviously speaking with the benefit of experience. Although very thin my whole life, I had a hysterectomy a few years ago, compounded by hypothyroidism and through it all, I put on 25 very, very difficult pounds to lose. I’ve lost about 10 pounds so far, but still have the rest to go. And after two years, I DO understand that you can’t simply “diet” – that you must change your life style. A doctor told me a long time ago that weight loss comes with change and change comes from expanding our experience and “leaving our comfort zone.” Food is a familiar friend, she went on to explain in that we return to set of “old favorites” that most people don’t stray from. But if we have the “spirit” of change within us, we will discover these new worlds that are just as gratifying and will actually enable us to live better, healthier lives. So thank you for your website. It reminds me of her words.

  14. Julia Mathers says

    Going to start this as soon as my chest infection has gone, but will let you know how I get on. I am 5’8 and 252 pounds vegetarian and needing to lose weight now. I will let you know how I go :)

  15. Trying Again says

    amazing amount of work you’ve put into this fabulous site. I’ve been following you for inspiration on FB but am really glad to see your healthy eating options. THX will keep in touch with my progress.

  16. Danae says

    Hi I’m starting at 270lbs and will start this tomorrow! Will let you know how I go! I look forward to getting into my clothes again!

  17. Me says

    I have a couple of questions.
    With breakfast, is it suitable to replace Shredded Wheat with Wheatabix? I know Shredded Wheat are less processed, but I really can’t stick them!
    Have you got any further suggestions for vegetarian lunches (ie, what would you replace the chicken with in the Pitas?)
    And finally, what are egg nests?! (I know you said you were going to get the recipes up, but I can’t wait!)

    • HHHAdmin says

      Hi, thanks for the comment.
      Yes, you could replace shredded wheat with wheatabix, but like you say, they are more processed, with more salt and sugar, so try not to have them everyday for breakfast and try some of the other choices instead.
      I will be uploading some more veggie options in the next couple of days, so keep checking back, but as for the chicken pitas – definitely not quorn. You could marinade some tofu or season some beans and use those instead. Roasted vegetables would work well as well, but would lower the calories of the meal so you would have to add something else to your lunch.

      As for the egg nests, basically it is a small piece of bread in a ramekin, topped with some vegetables with an egg cracked on top. Sprinkle a little cheese on top and bake in the oven. They go great with soup :)

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