How It Works
The aim of this plan is to get you in shape by boosting your metabolism and improving blood sugar balance. If you have more than a few pounds to lose you can repeat this plan to reach your weight-loss goal. Meals are based around lean, protein-rich foods with plenty of colourful vegetables. Carbohydrates are limited in order to improve insulin sensitivity and encourage fat burning. Omega-3-rich foods are also included – these have been shown to improve the body’s ability to burn fat and support metabolism.
- Each day we have suggested breakfast, lunch and dinner options plus snacks. You can mix and match the meals suggested, but aim to include plenty of variety throughout the week.
- For maximum results aim to include three to four cups of green tea daily, which has also been shown to boost metabolism. Decaf green tea is available if you find caffeine difficult to tolerate.
- Drink six to eight glasses of water a day, including herbal teas, to keep you hydrated and energised.
- Eat at least three servings (120g per portion) of oily fish each week (examples include salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring).
- If you are a vegetarian, consume a tablespoon of flaxseed oil each day – you can add this to smoothies, dressings and dips but do not heat it.
- Cut the carbs – the easiest way to shift fat is to reduce your carbohydrate intake. That doesn’t mean no carbs, but basing meals around protein and vegetables with one serving of low glycaemic-index (GI) grains each day.
- Don’t go low fat – fat is very satisfying and the right types of it can also stimulate metabolism – so include plenty of oily fish with some nuts, seeds, avocado, olives and coconut oil each week.
- Snack only if you need to – depending on your exercise levels you may need one or two snacks. But make these optional – there’s no need to eat if you are not hungry.
- Ditch the sugar – use xylitol or stevia as a sweetener. Avoid energy drinks, fizzy drinks, squash and alcohol.
Breakfast: Matcha green protein smoothie
Blend up a handful of spinach leaves, ¼ cucumber, ½tsp matcha green tea powder, 100g pineapple (fresh or frozen), 1 scoop vanilla protein powder and 250ml water.
Lunch: Leek and celery soup
Cook together in a pan 1 chopped leek with 3 sticks chopped celery, ½ garlic clove, fresh herbs and vegetable stock, then purée to form a soup. Serve with 100g cooked chicken breast or tofu and a mixed salad.
Dinner: Pan-fried salmon fillet (120g)
With wilted kale, ½ tin puy lentils, steamed broccoli and a small baked sweet potato.
Snacks: Handful of nuts, ½ grapefruit
Breakfast: Raspberry chia pudding
Soak 2tbsp chia seeds in 200ml almond milk overnight. In the morning, blend with 50g raspberries then top with 1tbsp goji berries to serve.
Lunch: 2-egg omelette
With 30g feta cheese served with large mixed salad plus 1tsp flaxseed oil or omega oil and lemon juice.
125g turkey breast cut into pieces with a bag of stir-fry vegetables (fresh or frozen) flavoured with tamari, ginger and garlic.
Snacks: 100g Greek yoghurt, handful of blueberries
Breakfast: Soaked muesli
Soak 3tbsp oats in milk or almond milk with 2tbsp mixed seeds overnight. Top with 1 chopped pear.
Lunch: Chicken and pine nut salad
Chop 1 little gem lettuce and place in a bowl with ½ red pepper and ½ yellow pepper, sliced, a handful of radishes, sliced, 1tbsp pine nuts and 1 tomato, chopped. Top with 1 sliced chicken breast and drizzle with walnut oil.
Dinner: Grilled sea bass with salsa verde
Blend together a handful of parsley, coriander, 1tbsp capers, 1tsp Dijon mustard, 1tsp lemon juice and a little olive oil to form a paste. Grill a sea bass fillet until cooked. Top with the salsa verde sauce and serve with steamed broccoli and carrots.
Snacks: 1 apple, UGG paleo muffin (available from uggfoods.com)
Breakfast: 2 poached eggs
With grilled mushrooms and tomatoes.
Lunch: Courgette noodle salad with tofu
Use a spiraliser or potato peeler to make long noodles from a large courgette. Toss into a bowl with 1 shredded carrot, chopped cucumber, red pepper, tomato and 100g marinated cooked tofu chunks, and drizzle with tamari to taste.
Dinner: 100g chicken breast baked with roasted vegetables
For example, red pepper, aubergine, red onion, courgette, ½ sweet potato, all drizzled with a little olive oil and roasted in the oven for 30 minutes until tender.
Snacks: 30g cottage cheese with carrot sticks, 30g trail mix
Breakfast: Quinoa porridge
Cook 3tbsp quinoa flakes in milk or almond milk to form a porridge. Top with 1tbsp seeds, cinnamon and handful of blueberries.
Lunch: Braised lentil and butternut squash salad
Mix ½tsp Dijon mustard, 2tbsp red wine vinegar and a little olive oil. Roast 100g butternut squash cut into cubes until tender. Toss in a bowl with 125g cooked puy lentils, a bag of rocket and watercress leaves and 1 chopped tomato. Drizzle over the dressing.
Dinner: Pesto-baked cod
Mix 2tsp pesto with 1tbsp gluten-free breadcrumbs and a little lemon juice. Spread onto a 125g cod fillet. Bake in the oven and serve with steamed vegetables.
Snacks: Protein shake, ½ avocado on 2 oatcakes
Breakfast: Chocolate stress-busting smoothie
Blend together 1 banana, a scoop of chocolate protein powder, ½tsp maca powder, 60g mixed frozen berries and coconut water.
Lunch: Kale and chickpea salad
Use 100g chopped kale, sprinkle over a little garlic salt and massage in ¼ avocado until the kale wilts. Drizzle over a little lemon juice and toss in 150g cooked chickpeas, some cherry tomatoes and diced cucumber.
Dinner: Beef or tofu stir-fry
Use strips of lean steak or firm tofu (120g) and stir-fry with a bag of vegetables. Season with ginger, garlic and tamari, then serve with 30g buckwheat noodles.
Snacks: Handful of blueberries, 2 squares of dark chocolate
Breakfast: 150g Greek yoghurt or coconut yoghurt
Topped with 100g berries and 2tbsp mixed seeds
Lunch: Chicken, fennel and orange salad
Thinly slice ½ fennel bulb and toss in a bowl with a handful each of watercress, spinach and rocket leaves with 1 orange, segmented, plus 30g pine nuts and 120g cooked, sliced chicken breast.
Dinner: Prawn and veggie kebabs
Marinate 100g raw prawns with chunks of red pepper, cherry tomatoes and button mushrooms in a little olive oil and tamari. Thread onto a skewer and grill until the prawns are cooked through. Serve with a corn on the cob and large mixed salad.
Snacks: Berry protein shake, 2 oatcakes with nut butter
Breakfast: Nutty protein shake
Blend together 3 Brazil nuts, 250ml almond milk, 100g pineapple, a handful of spinach leaves and a scoop of vanilla protein powder.
Lunch: Mixed bean chilli
Simmer in a pan ½ chopped onion, crushed garlic, ½ chopped red chilli, 200g canned mixed beans, half a tin of chopped tomatoes, ½ chopped red pepper and 1 sliced courgette. Cook until tender. Serve with a large salad.
Dinner: Salmon nuggets
Cut 150g skinless salmon fillet into thick strips. Dip in egg and coat in ground almonds with a little parmesan cheese. Place on a baking tray and bake at 190°C for 20 minutes until golden. Serve with salsa and large mixed salad.
Snacks: 1 hard boiled egg and vegetable sticks, ½ grapefruit
Breakfast: Protein porridge
Cook 3tbsp porridge oats in water then stir in a scoop of protein powder and top with handful of fresh berries and yoghurt.
Lunch: Chicken salad with kelp noodles
Combine 1 sliced chicken breast with a handful of soaked kelp noodles, cucumber, tomato, beansprouts, sliced pepper and spring onions. Mix 1tsp almond butter, 1tbsp tamari, 1tbsp mirin and 1tsp honey with a little lemon juice, then toss into the salad.
Dinner: Grilled lamb with minted cucumber
Grill a lamb steak until cooked through. Mix ¼ chopped cucumber with natural yoghurt and handful of chopped fresh mint. Serve with steamed vegetables and a small baked sweet potato.
Snacks: 150g Greek yoghurt, 1 sliced apple with 1tsp nut butter
Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs
With wilted spinach and chopped tomatoes.
Lunch: ½ carton of New Covent Garden Soup Company bean or lentil soup
Serve with salad and 2 oatcakes.
Dinner: Olive-baked fish
Spread a little olive tapenade over a fish fillet. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked. Serve with steamed vegetables and 30g cooked wild rice.
Snacks: 2tbsp cottage cheese with celery sticks, protein shake
Breakfast: Protein pancakes
Mash together 1 small banana with 2 eggs and 1 scoop vanilla protein powder. Heat some coconut oil in a frying pan and drop spoonfuls of the batter into the pan. Cook on each side until golden. Serve with Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit.
Lunch: Smoked mackerel salad
Serve 1 cooked, smoked mackerel fillet with a large mixed salad and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil.
Dinner: Chilli chicken
Place ½ red pepper, ½ red chilli, 1tbsp red wine vinegar and 2tsp olive oil in a food processor and purée. Pour over a chicken breast then bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Serve with steamed broccoli and asparagus and a mixed salad.
Snacks: UGG muffin, 1 slice of melon
Breakfast: Slices of smoked salmon
With 1 scrambled egg and grilled tomatoes.
Lunch: Avocado, citrus, feta and bean salad
Place 2 handfuls of spinach and rocket leaves in a bowl. Top with ½ sliced avocado, 1 sliced orange, a handful of black olives, 30g feta and ½ a tin of cooked butterbeans. Mix together 2tsp olive oil and 1tsp red wine vinegar and drizzle over.
Dinner: Stir-fry tofu
Stir-fry 150g tofu with a bag of mixed vegetables, grated ginger, garlic and tamari. Serve with 30g wholegrain rice.
Snacks: Handful of blueberries, Nakd bar
Breakfast: Matcha green protein shake Blend 100g mango, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder with handful of spinach leaves, 250ml coconut water and ½tsp matcha green tea.
Lunch: Salad Niçoise
Place 120g tinned tuna, 2 steamed new potatoes, 5 olives, steamed green beans and a hard-boiled egg on a bed of mixed greens. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
Dinner: Turkey burgers with steamed green vegetables
Flavour 150g lean turkey mince with garlic and onion. Shape into patties and grill or pan-fry until cooked. Serve with a selection of steamed vegetables and a mixed salad.
Snacks: 2tbsp houmous with vegetable sticks, handful of strawberries
Breakfast: 100g cottage cheese with a wedge of melon and slice of ham
Lunch: Asian prawn courgette salad
Using a spiraliser or potato peeler, make long noodles from 1 courgette and 1 small carrot. Soak a small handful of Clearspring Sea Salad mix, drain, then add to the noodles and toss in 100g of cooked, marinated prawns and a handful of sliced cherry tomatoes. Mix together the juice of 1 lime with a little stevia or xylitol, add soy sauce, then toss into the salad.
Dinner: Roast chicken with steamed vegetables and potato wedges
Cut a small sweet potato into wedges. Toss in olive oil and season. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Serve with 120g roast chicken breast and steamed veg.
Snacks: Protein shake, 2 squares of dark chocolate
This article first appeared in Women’s Fitness