There are some diets out there that tell you to eat 1,000 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.
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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. How many calories you should be eating differs for everyone. If you need extra calories in your plan, add another post workout snack or a bigger serving of a meal. 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Banana porridge made with 170ml skimmed milk, 30g oat and 1 small banana
- 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.
- 250g Fage 0% Greek Yogurt topped with whatever fruit you like and a slice of brown bread with 1 tbsp almond butter
- Scrambled egg (made with 2 eggs and 100ml skimmed milk) on 1 slice of brown bread with grilled mushrooms and tomatoes
- Breakfast Burrito using whole wheat wrap
- Grilled full English Breakfast
- Egg and Avocado Pizza
- 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
- 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.
- Sweet potato soup with 1 slice of wholemeal bread and some fruit for dessert.
- Mexican bean and tomato soup
- Oven baked falafel in a pita
- Marinated chicken skewers with rice/couscous
- Tuna Pasta Salad
- Salmon fishcakes and a salad
- 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).
- Homemade bagel with half a chicken breast, 1 tbsp extra light mayo, salad and an apple
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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)
- Frozen banana and a piece of fruit (not banana)