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Here is a very simple, easy diet plan. Tried and tested. Nothing drastic, just simple steps that could help you to say hello to a fitter and more healthy you.
Eat a little fat with every meal
Having a little fat with every meal does wonders for your energy levels and appetite. Fat has a proven satiating effect and you don’t need mountains of it to feel the effects. Add some ood fat to a salad by drizzling on olive oil or sprinkling over some chopped nuts or seeds.
Always eat breakfast
Avoid bread and cereal, which are sugary and high in refined carbohydrates; instead opt for a high-protein meal with some fat. Base breakfast around two eggs (they will keep you full for longer). They can be scrambled or baked, using coconut oil for cooking if necessary — or half an avocado and one egg with some spinach, or one egg with some meat such as a turkey breast and some spinach. You can have bacon but no more than once a week. Alternatively, make porridge with chia seeds and coconut milk with a dollop of coconut yoghurt and some fresh berries. Replace yoghurt with coconut yoghurt (it is very high in fat, so don’t have more than a dollop) which tends to be less highly processed and contain less sugar and additives than other yoghurts; and replace cream with coconut, rice or almond milk — which are easier on the digestive system than dairy. Eating fruit is fine but stay away from very sweet fruit such as mango and opt instead for low-sugar berries or grapefruit.
Try high-fat fish for lunch
A perfect lunch would be a 250g piece of oily fish (salmon, trout, tuna) or other fish (haddock). Oily fish that is high in fat, such as salmon, trout and mackerel, contain essential fatty acids which help to break down fat cells into the bloodstream, from where they can be burned off as energy. You could also try other proteins such as a single turkey breast drizzled with healthy fats like coconut, olive and walnut oil. You can add a green salad and as many green vegetables as you like. Avoid potatoes, pasta, rice and grains because they trigger a sharp rise in blood sugar, leading to faster fat storage.
Lamb, steak or cheese for dinner
Choose a source of protein (ideally different to the one you had for lunch) and add some fat, such as some grated parmesan, pine nuts or other nuts, with a large portion of green vegetables and a drizzle of a healthy oil such as walnut, coconut or olive oil.
There is no need to avoid meat. I particularly recommend lamb, which is full of healthy fats. About a third of the saturated fats in lamb are the healthy stearic acid, which has been shown in studies to improve cholesterol levels. Any lamb cut will do — I favour cutlets as they are quite small, so you can have two.
Other options could include sirloin steak or salmon steak. Ricotta and feta-based dishes are another possibility because they tend to be less highly processed than other cheeses and add flavour. You can have butternut squash or sweet potato mash as a side dish, rather than potatoes or grains. You can even make shepherd’s pie replacing potatoes with mashed sweet potato.
Breakfast could include eggs, bacon and avocado
Have three meals a day
Mealtimes are flexible but try not to eat too late in the evening. Avoid snacking. If you do find that you are hungry between meals, increase the amount of green vegetables you have with your meal
Cook with coconut oil
Coconut oil has soared in popularity in the past few years. It is made up of mostly of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which produce a host of health benefits. I recommend having up to four teaspoons of coconut oil every day, adding it to smoothies, tea or coffee. Stirring it into your black coffee is a fantastic alternative to a milk latte or sugary drink. I drink one of these most days. It’s also great for frying with. Use it to replace olive oil.
Eat eggs every day
Eggs are wrongly demonised for their fat and cholesterol content. However, a study by Finnish researchers earlier this year was the latest to confirm that eating eggs every day doesn’t raise the risk of heart disease. Indeed, even people with a genetic sensitivity to cholesterol were able to tolerate an egg a day in their diet.
Never eat sugar
When you eat sugar it causes a spike in your insulin levels. In a healthy, slim person, 40 per cent of the sugar they eat is converted to fat; in an overweight person up to 60 per cent of the sugar they eat is converted straight to fat and stored around the hips, stomach and thighs. Eating sugary foods alongside your healthy fats will simply exacerbate this process. The benefits from cutting out sugar are immense and immediate. You will feel less bloated, your energy levels will improve, and you will shed fat. The easiest way to start reducing it is to avoid all processed, packaged and refined foods.
Avoid trans fats
Not all fats are good and trans fats definitely need to be avoided. Food manufacturers often disguise trans fats as hydrogenated oil, hydrogenated vegetable fat and partially hydrogenated vegetable fat, so look out for them on food labels. Too many trans fats in the diet have been linked to higher blood levels of interleukin-6, which, studies suggest, increases your risk of heart disease. Trans fats can also reduce muscle tone and slow metabolism.
Always choose butter instead of margarine
Any other spreadable fat should be avoided at all costs. Margarine is often highly synthetic, made with cheap, low-grade oils and full of additives and colouring. This doesn’t mean that you can eat butter every day. I advise having one to two days off butter a week.
Yes, you should eat avocados every day (but only half)
I’m a big fan of avocados because they contain good fat and potassium, which can lower your blood pressure. Because they’re creamy and filling, they put a swift end to mid-afternoon hunger pangs. However, that doesn’t mean you should overdo it. Have half an avocado on its own as a snack or as part of a meal.
What to drink
Don’t drink fruit juices as these contain so much sugar, or have milk in your coffee or tea (caffeine is fine on this diet). Try to avoid alcohol, although one drink a day is allowed. Most importantly, to keep hydrated, make sure that you are drinking 2-3 litres of water a day.
Steak, cheese, eggs: what to eat each day
When you’re following this plan, remember to eat fat with every meal, increase the amount of vegetables you are eating if you feel hungry — and don’t skip breakfast. Lunch and dinner meal plans are interchangeable. Repeat the seven days when you have finished. At the end of a fortnight you will have lost up to two inches from your waistline.
Will you be trying this plan? Let us know!