The perfect diet plan – including chocolate & wine
The struggle is real right? When you’re trying to lose weight and you just wish someone would give you the perfect diet plan. Ideally we’d love nothing more than to have our own personal dietician with us 24/7 to guide us in the right direction and prep our meals for us but that isn’t going to happen so in the meantime…
Ta da – a perfect days’ food plan, for anyone who wants to eat well and control their weight while enjoying their food.
7am – Breakfast
Vegetable or fruit juice
The first step in creating a strong diet platform is to eat something early in the morning to help get your metabolism going. A vegetable juice made using a blender will retain as much fibre as possible and means that you get 2-3 servings of veggies in one glass. A great mix is a carrot, celery and beetroot, all are packed with antioxidants and are low in sugars and calories.
Veggie omelette with a slice of wholegrain toast
A portion controlled serving of wholegrain carbs in the form of toast or oats will help to fuel your muscles and control any sugar cravings throughout the morning, while the protein rich eggs will keep you feeling full until lunchtime. Adding an extra serving or two of vegetables is another simple way to add more nutrients and fibre into your day which will again help to keep you full through the morning.
Small cup of coffee or tea
A hit of caffeine early in the day is an easy way to boost metabolic rate and let’s face it, some of us can’t function without it! But the sugars in milk can quickly add up, try a smaller cup of your fave hot beverage and this will save you some extra sugars. As well as the tea or coffee, aim to drink another 500-600ml of filtered water throughout the morning to help keep you hydrated.
A perfect diet plan, with benefits
12pm – Lunch
Vegetable soup, half a salmon wrap, 500ml water & green tea
When you have enjoyed a protein and vegetable rich breakfast you should be full until late morning in time to enjoy an early lunch. Ideally the body needs at least 3-4 hours in between meals to allow the hormones that control fat metabolism to return to baseline levels. As such, skipping a mid-morning snack in favour of a filling, early lunch offers potential benefits when it comes to weight control.
Nutritionally, the perfect lunch will contain at least 2 servings of vegetables or salad, a serving of lean protein in the form of fish, chicken, or lean meat and a serving or two of good quality carbs for glucose control. Meals that offer this mix include a soup or salad with ½ sandwich; leftover pasta or brown rice stir fry; frittata and salad or an open warm salad bowl. While we traditionally turn to sandwiches, crackers or sushi for quick light lunch options, there is a lot to be said for enjoying a hearty, filling lunch early in the day to keep you full and fueled for several hours after eating it. Another lunchtime trick is to finish the meal with herbal or green tea to help cleanse the palate and provide some extra fluid and antioxidants.
3-4pm – Snack
Nut muesli bar, punnet of berries & 300ml water
A late afternoon snack serves a number of purposes — first of all, it takes the edge off any impending hunger so you are not tempted to snack but it also serves an appetite control mechanism to stop you bingeing when you walk through the door after a long day. For many of us, this part of the day is when we are most inactive and tend to need fewer carbs. For this reason, calorie controlled, protein rich snacks that contain controlled amounts of carbs are the key — cheese and crackers, nuts and fruit or a nut based snack bar or ball work well.
For those of you who work out after work, a more substantial snack of carbs and protein such as a tuna or salmon wrap; Greek yoghurt and fruit or an energy bar will help to fuel your body for another 2-3 hours until dinner time. Again sipping your way through another bottle of filtered water will support optimal hydration.
7pm – Dinner
Grilled fish fillet, roasted vegetables with olive oil, small glass of red wine, 300ml water
In an ideal world, we would eat our last meal of the day by 8pm at the latest to ensure that the body has 10-12 hours to fast. For most of us, dinner should be a light meal, to support both weight control and the fact that much of the evening is spent sedentary. A hand size serving of lean protein (150-200g, cooked), along with 2-3 cups of vegetables or salad is the key to success. Plain, light dinners in the week also allow for some extra indulgence come the weekend when you are more likely to eat out and consume extra calories. When it comes to carbs, whether you need any carb rich foods at dinner will largely come down to your dietary goals.
If your goal is fat loss, a dinner minus the pasta, rice and potatoes will support fat loss. If your goal is weight control, ½ – 1 cup carbs or a small glass or two of red wine will add another couple of hundred calories to your daily intake.
8pm – Snack
Herbal tea & 20g (2 squares) dark chocolate
Tea and coffee both contain caffeine which is not ideal to consume 5-6 hours before we sleep but herbal tea will offer you fluid minus any calories or caffeine. A couple of squares of dark chocolate is another way to enjoy a small treat after dinner without blowing out your calorie intake, although chocolate does contain some caffeine so watch your portions.
How amazingly easy does this diet plan sound? You get told when to eat and what to eat! What could be easier?