So you need to get your holiday body in a hurry, but there’s no time to sign up for a boot camp. Don’t despair! Boot camps may promise muffin-top shrinkage in just seven days – but there’s nothing to stop you channelling your inner Sergeant Major and whipping yourself into military shape at home. To help, we asked Boot Camp Spain – one of Europe’s best established health camps – to share their top-secret diet plan, exercise suggestions and recipes; everything you need to fight flab, fast. Here, then, are your marching orders for your hottest-ever summer body.

The Rules

  • Eat 1,500 calories or fewer per day, in three meals and two snacks.
  • Create a calorie deficit by increasing your daily exercise.
  • Drink plenty of water.

The Plan

Follow this plan for seven days as a one-off body boost or to kick-start a more sustainable eating plan.

Day 1

Breakfast: 2 tablespoons of porridge, soya milk and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup

Snack: 1 slice melon, 1 satsuma

Lunch: Chicken stir-fry (see recipe below), salad, steamed asparagus

Snack: Carrot sticks with 1 tablespooon of guacamole

Dinner: Tomato dahl (see recipe below)

Day 2

Breakfast: 1 slice rye bread, 8 grilled baby plum tomatoes, halved

Snack: Palmful of dried fruit and nuts

Lunch: 1 small grilled chicken breast with lettuce and radish salad, and roasted vegetables

Snack: 1 tablespoon of aubergine pâté (see recipe below) on 1 slice of Ryvita

Dinner: Grilled white fish with quinoa and steamed veg

Day 3

Breakfast: 2 tablespoons of porridge, soya milk and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup

Snack: 1 apple

Lunch: Herby lentil soup (see recipe below)

Snack: 1 orange

Dinner: Chickpea and butternut squash tagine (see recipe below) with mushroom and spinach salad and cabbage

Day 4

Breakfast: Fresh fruit salad, made with ½ banana, ½ apple and ½ pear

Snack: Palmful of dried fruit and nuts

Lunch: Chicken stir-fry (see recipe below) with mixed salad

Snack: 1 tablespoon of aubergine pâté (see recipe below) on 1 slice of Ryvita.

Dinner: Tomato dahl (see recipe below)

Day 5

Breakfast: Fresh fruit salad, made with ½ banana, ½ apple and ½ pear

Snack: Palmful of dried fruit and nuts

Lunch: Chicken stir-fry (see recipe below) with mixed salad

Snack: 1 tablespoon of aubergine pâté (see recipe) on 1 slice of Ryvita.

Dinner: Tomato dahl (see recipe below)

Day 6

Breakfast: 2 tablespoons of porridge, soya milk and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup

Snack: 1 apple

Lunch: Herby lentil soup (see recipe below)

Snack: 1 palmful of dried fruit and nuts

Dinner: Chickpea and butternut squash tagine (see recipe below) with brown rice, and mushroom and spinach salad

Day 7

Breakfast: 1 slice rye bread, 8 grilled baby plum tomatoes, halved

Snack: 1 orange

Lunch: Grilled chicken with lettuce and radish salad, and roasted vegetables

Snack: Carrot sticks with 1 tablespoon of guacamole

Dinner: Braised fennel with tomato, brown rice, broccoli and spinach

The Recipes

Fuel up with chef Tricia Bullen’s exclusive boot camp dishes

Tomato Dahl

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 10 large tomatoes, halved
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1tsp each turmeric, garam masala, chilli power, ground cumin
  • 1tbsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1 cup split yellow lentils

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Roast the tomatoes in the oven, then blend.
  3. Fry the onions, garlic and celery.
  4. Add the spices and salt and fry to a soft pulp.
  5. Add the bouillon powder, 3 cups of hot water and the lentils.
  6. Add the blended tomatoes and simmer until the lentils are cooked.
  7. Remove half of the lentils and crush with a hand blender, stir back into the dhal to serve.

Chicken Stir-fry

Ingredients (4 Servings)

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Fresh ginger (approx size of a 10p piece), peeled and chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Black pepper
  • 500g chicken breast, cut into small pieces
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 jar/packet of bean sprouts (approx 200g)
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 8 mushrooms
  • Large handful fresh spinach
  • 2tbsp soya sauce
  • Handful of almonds or cashew nuts

Method

  1. Fry the onion in a little extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Add ginger, chilli, garlic and pepper, then brown the chicken.
  3. Add the remaining veg and soya sauce and fry until cooked.
  4. Add the nuts and fry for 1 minute, then serve.

Herby Lentil Soup

Ingredients (4 Servings)

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cauliflower, broken into florets
  • Parsley leaves and stems, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1tsp dried dill
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2L vegetable stock
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils
  • Parsley, to garnish

Method

  1. Fry the onions in a little oil then add all the other indredients.
  2. Cook until all the vegetables are soft.
  3. Remove the bay leaves and blend the mixture with a hand blender.
  4. Top with torn parsley and serve.

Butternut Squash And Chickpea Tagine

Ingredients (2 Servings)

  • ½ butternut squash
  • 10 large tomatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Piece of fresh ginger (size of a sugar lump), finely chopped
  • ¼tsp each cumin seeds, white pepper, turmeric, ground nutmeg, ground cardamom, ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 250ml hot water
  • ½ tin chickpeas, drained
  • Handful fresh chopped coriander

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Cut the squash into large pieces (skin on) and place on a tray with the tomatoes.
  3. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and bake, removing the tomatoes when softened.
  4. Leave the squash in the oven for 30-45 minutes until fully cooked.
  5. Meanwhile, fry the onion, garlic, ginger and spices until soft.
  6. Chop the tomatoes and add, with the bouillon, water and chickpeas.
  7. Add the butternut squash when cooked, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. Serve with fresh coriander on top.

Aubergine Pâté

Ingredients (4 Servings)

  • 2 aubergines
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2tbsp tahini
  • Splash extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch chilli powder
  • Salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Prick the skins of the aubergines and bake for 45 minutes until soft.
  3. Leave to cool, then scrape the flesh out.
  4. Put in a blender with the other ingredients and mix until smooth.

The Exercise Regime

Try to squeeze in as much exercise as possible during the week, and challenge yourself to do the full routine at the weekend.

7-8am Circuits: sit-ups, press-ups, squats,  lunges

Breakfast and rest

9-10.30am Interval training: run/walk/cycle

Snack and rest

11.30am-12.30pm Aerobics, swimming or spin class

Lunch and rest

2-4pm Hike or cycling

Snack and rest

5-6pm Circuits: sit-ups, press-ups, squats, lunges

Dinner and rest

To find out more or to book your bootcamp, see bootcampspain.co.uk

This article first appeared in Women’s Fitness

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