Three Weeks to Summer Shorts Plan
By WLR Consultant Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD
Let's face it, the thought of stripping off the layers and revealing, pale, bare flesh is enough to make most of us a little anxious.
Scrubbing, buffing and a little fake tanning will help of course, but what about if you could go on your hol a good few pounds lighter? Most of us would feel better and have a bit more confidence on the beach.
So we asked our favourite dietitian Juliette Kellow for a plan to make the most of those last few weeks before the holiday, here's the plan.
Three Weeks to Summer Shorts is an easy-to-follow three-week eating plan that's designed to help you lose up to half a stone. Better still, it's suitable for most people.
You can add the Summer Shorts Plan straight into your Food Diary in WLR (take a free trial if you want to try this), once it's there you can easily change bits of it to suit your tastes whilst still keeping on track to lose the weight.
Whether you've come to WLR to lose weight for your summer holiday or want to kick start a longer-term eating plan to help you shift several stone, this 3 week plan provides an easy way to get started.
The plan will also be useful if you're already on the road to losing weight, but feel your motivation beginning to slip. The 3 weeks of focus will help you get back on track and leave you feeling inspired, as well as half a stone lighter!
So forget about hiding those bulges under long baggy clothes. Instead, start following our plan today and in just three weeks you'll feel cool, comfortable and confident in shorts, t-shirts and swimsuits.
Here's what to do...
- It couldn't be easier! Over the next three weeks, simply follow the daily menu plans. It's fine to swap the order around to fit in with your lifestyle - for example, you may prefer to start your diet with the meals given for day 3, followed by day 6 and so on.
- You may repeat your favourite daily menu in place of one of the others or swap individual meals from one daily menu to the next if you don't like some of the choices given.
- In addition to the daily meal plans, choose ONE snack every day. You may choose from either the SAVE (100 calorie) or SPLURGE (250 calorie) snacks - remember though, the more times you choose the SAVE option, the more weight you'll lose!
- Each day, have 275ml/½pint skimmed milk to use in tea and coffee, to drink on its own or to make into a smoothie using fruit from the menu plans. Milk is packed with calcium, needed for strong, healthy bones so it's important to have this every day.
- Remember, portion size matters! All teaspoon and tablespoon measurements should be level, one small can is equivalent to around 200g, and jacket potatoes should weigh around 175g/6oz.
- Add plenty of vegetables or salad to meals. You should eat five different servings of fruit and veg every day to boost your intake of fibre, vitamins and minerals. It's fine to sweeten fruit with a little artificial sweetener, if liked.
- Drink eight glasses of water each day, water really heps with weight loss. It's also fine to drink tea, coffee, herbal tea, and sugar free squashes.
- For even more focus on eating to get your body ready for the beach, see my holiday body diet tips.
How many calories does the diet provide?
Each daily menu, together with the milk allowance, adds up to 1,150 calories. Choosing a SAVE (100 calorie) snack takes this up to 1,250 calories; choosing a SPLURGE (250 calorie) snack takes it up to 1,400 calories.
It's up to you whether you choose SAVE or SPLURGE, but as a general guideline, if you have less than 1st to lose you should opt for the SAVE snack, while if you have more than 1st to lose, you should choose the SPLURGE snack.
Finally, as this is a short-term three-week plan, you may find it contains fewer calories than you've been having each day. Once you've completed the diet, you should go back to your usual daily calorie allowance recommended by WLR.
Daily Menu Plans
~ Day 1 ~
Breakfast: Toast with marmalade and fruit (v)
2 slices wholemeal toast with 2tsp of low-fat spread and marmalade. Plus a bowl of raspberries.
Lunch: Turkey sandwich, chocolate mousse and fruit
2 slices wholemeal bread filled with 6 slices wafer-thin turkey, 2tsp cranberry sauce and salad. Plus 1 pot low-fat chocolate mousse and 5 strawberries.
Dinner: Roast beef with fruit salad and cream
3 thin slices lean roast beef with 1 small ready-made Yorkshire pudding, 5 new potatoes boiled in their skins, vegetables, 1tsp horseradish sauce and fat-free gravy. Plus 1 bowl fresh fruit salad with 1tbsp single cream.
~ Day 2 ~
Breakfast: Muesli with fruit and yoghurt (v)
2tbsp unsweetened muesli with 1 pear and 1 small pot low-fat natural yoghurt.
Lunch: Ploughman's roll (v)
10cm/4in piece French bread filled with 4tbsp grated reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, 1tbsp pickle and salad.
Dinner: Baked chicken and roasted new potatoes with fruit and ice cream
Place 6 new potatoes in their skins in a roasting tin, brush with 1tsp olive oil and sprinkle with fresh rosemary. Place in a hot oven until cooked. Meanwhile, bake 1 skinless chicken breast in the oven. Serve the chicken and potatoes with steamed vegetables. Plus a bowl of raspberries and 1 scoop reduced-fat ice cream.
~ Day 3 ~
Breakfast: Bacon roll and fruit
1 small wholemeal roll filled with 2 grilled rashers lean back bacon and 1 tomato. Plus 10 grapes.
Lunch: Jacket potato with fruity cottage cheese (v)
1 jacket potato with 7tbsp cottage cheese, 2 pineapple rings canned in juice and salad.
Dinner: Spaghetti bolognese with salad
In a non-stick pan, dry fry 115g/4oz extra-lean minced beef, adding a little water to stop the meat sticking, if necessary. Add 1 chopped small onion, 1 clove crushed garlic, 1 sliced carrot and a few sliced mushrooms. Cook gently until the veg are soft. Add 1 small can chopped tomatoes, 1tbsp tomato purée, mixed herbs to taste and 150ml/¼pint beef stock. Simmer until cooked through and the sauce thickens. Serve with 150g/5oz cooked wholewheat spaghetti and salad.
You can get a PDF of the full 7 day plan including recipes with our fortnightly newsletter simply enter your email address (never shared).
~ Day 4 ~
Breakfast: Fresh fruit salad and yoghurt (v)
Fruit salad made from 1 small banana, 1 kiwi fruit, 2 pineapple rings canned in juice and 10 grapes with 1 pot low-fat natural yoghurt.
Lunch: Warm roast beef baguette
10cm/4in piece warmed French bread filled with 2 thin slices hot lean roast beef, 1 sliced tomato and 2tsp horseradish sauce. Serve with salad.
Dinner: Vegetable chilli with rice (v)
Spray a non-stick pan with a spray oil, heat, and fry 1 chopped small onion, ½ chopped green pepper, 1 sliced courgette and 2 sliced carrots, until soft. Add chilli powder to taste and cook for a few minutes. Add 1 small can red kidney beans, 1 small can chopped tomatoes, 1tbsp tomato purée and a little water. Simmer until heated through and the sauce thickens. Serve with 7tbsp cooked brown rice and salad.
~ Day 5 ~
Breakfast: Wholemeal scone and fruit juice (v)
1 wholemeal fruit scone with 2tsp low-fat spread and 1 small glass unsweetened orange juice.
Lunch: Minestrone soup, salad roll, chocolate mousse and fruit (v)
1 small can minestrone soup with 1 small wholemeal roll filled with salad and 1tsp reduced-calorie mayonnaise. Plus 1 pot low-fat chocolate mousse and 1 kiwi fruit.
Dinner: Lamb chop and new potatoes with fruit
1 grilled lean loin lamb chop with 6 new potatoes boiled in their skins, 2tsp mint sauce and vegetables. Plus 1 peach.
~ Day 6 ~
Breakfast: Apple muesli and milk (v)
3tbsp unsweetened muesli with 1 apple and skimmed milk.
Lunch: Salmon and watercress pitta with fruit
1 wholemeal pitta bread filled with ½ small can pink salmon, watercress, lemon juice and 1tsp reduced-calorie mayonnaise. Plus 10 grapes.
Dinner: Turkey in black bean sauce with noodles
Spray a non-stick frying pan or wok with a spray oil, heat, and fry 1 chopped small onion and 1 clove crushed garlic, until soft. Add 175g/6oz skinless turkey, cut into strips, and cook until brown. Stir in ½ sliced red and green pepper and fry until the chicken is cooked. Stir in 3tbsp back bean sauce and heat through. Serve with 1 layer wholewheat noodles, cooked according to the pack instructions.
~ Day 7 ~
Breakfast: Croissant and jam (v)
1 small croissant with 2tsp jam.
Lunch: Soup and toast with mousse and fruit (v)
1 small can carrot and coriander soup with 2 slices wholemeal toast. Plus 1 pot low-fat fruit mousse and 1 peach.
Dinner: Baked salmon with potatoes and vegetables
Place 1 salmon steak on a piece of foil and sprinkle with lemon juice. Wrap up the foil and bake in the oven until cooked. Serve with 3 new potatoes boiled in their skins and steamed vegetables.
It’s the practicalities that can often sabotage a diet. That’s why we’ve made this plan simple to shop for and prepare. If you use the plan in WLR you can produce a shopping list, swap meals around or substitute any that you don’t like. You can try it free.
~ Day 8 ~
Breakfast: Beans on toast (v)
1 slice wholemeal toast with 1tsp low-fat spread and 1 small can baked beans.
Lunch: Jacket potato with tuna and sweetcorn mayo
1 jacket potato with ½ small can tuna in water mixed with 1tbsp canned sweetcorn and 1tsp reduced-calorie mayonnaise. Serve with salad.
Dinner: Mushroom omelette, chips and salad with chocolate mousse (v)
Spray a non-stick frying pan with a spray oil, heat, and fry a large handful of sliced mushrooms, until soft. Beat 2 eggs with 1tbsp skimmed milk and pour into the frying pan. Cook until the egg is almost set. Top with 2tbsp grated reduced-fat Cheddar cheese and place under a hot grill until the cheese melts. Serve with 115g/4oz low-fat oven chips and salad. Plus 1 pot low-fat chocolate mousse.
~ Day 9 ~
Breakfast: Sultana cereal and juice (v)
5tbsp branflakes with 1tbsp sultanas and skimmed milk. Plus 1 small glass unsweetened orange juice.
Lunch: Tzatziki and pitta with fruit (v)
½ small pot tzatziki with 1 wholemeal pitta bread and crudités. Plus 1 small banana.
Dinner: Bacon and tomato pasta
Spray a non-stick frying pan with a spray oil, heat, and fry 1 chopped small onion, until soft. Add 2 chopped rashers lean back bacon and cook for a few minutes. Drain any excess oil, add 1 small can chopped tomatoes, 1tbsp tomato purée, 2tbsp sweetcorn, a pinch of basil and 1tbsp dry white wine. Simmer until cooked through and the sauce thickens. Stir in 6tbsp cooked wholewheat pasta, heat through and serve with 1tbsp Parmesan cheese and salad.
~ Day 10 ~
Breakfast: BLT sandwich
2 slices wholemeal bread filled with 2 grilled rashers lean back bacon, lettuce and 1 tomato.
Lunch: Avocado pitta pocket and yoghurt (v)
1 wholemeal pitta bread filled with shredded lettuce, ½ small avocado, 1 sliced tomato and lemon juice. Plus 1 pot fat-free yoghurt..
Dinner: Vegetable stir fry with salad and ice-cream (v)
Spray a non-stick frying pan with a spray oil, heat, and add a selection of chopped vegetables eg spring onion, red pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, courgette and mangetout. Stir fry for a few minutes, then add 1tbsp each of soy sauce and dry sherry and cook until heated through Serve with 7tbsp cooked brown rice. Plus 1 bowl fresh fruit salad with 1 scoop reduced-fat ice cream.
All evening meals can be easily scaled to serve 2 or 4. You can get recipe information, including how to prepare, in our free PDF of the full diet plan. Enter your email below and we’ll send you the plan now.
~ Day 11 ~
Breakfast: Cereal with milk and fruit (v)
2 Weetabix with skimmed milk and 1 small banana.
Lunch: Cheese and tomato on toast and fruit (v)
Toast 2 slices wholemeal bread on one side only under a hot grill. Top the untoasted sides with 4tbsp grated reduced-fat Cheddar cheese and 2 sliced tomatoes. Place under the grill until the cheese melts and serve with salad. Plus 1 pear.
Dinner: Ready meal and salad (v)
Cook a 400-calorie ready meal according to the pack instructions and serve with salad. Plus 1 apple.
~ Day 12 ~
Breakfast: Cereal with almonds and yoghurt (v)
5tbsp branflakes with 7 whole almonds and 3tbsp low-fat natural yoghurt.
Lunch: Ready-made sandwich or salad (v)
300 calorie ready-made sandwich or salad. Plus 1 apple.
Dinner: Steak and chunky chips
Cut 1 unpeeled potato into eight wedges, brush with 1tsp olive oil and sprinkle with paprika. Bake in the oven until cooked through and crispy on the outside. Meanwhile, grill or griddle 1 small lean rump steak, 1 tomato, 1 tomato and a few sliced mushrooms. Serve with the chips and salad.
~ Day 13 ~
Breakfast: Boiled egg, fruit juice and fruit
1 boiled egg with 1 slice wholemeal toast topped with 1tsp low-fat spread. Plus 1 small glass unsweetened grapefruit juice and 10 grapes.
Lunch: Chicken Caesar salad and fruit
Fill a large bowl with lettuce and top with 1 grilled skinless chicken breast, 5 canned anchovies and 1tbsp each of croutons, Parmesan cheese and reduced-fat Caesar dressing. Plus 1 kiwi fruit.
Dinner: Jacket potato with cheese and beans (v)
1 jacket potato with 1 small can baked beans, 2tbsp grated reduced-fat Cheddar cheese and salad.
~ Day 14 ~
Breakfast: Toast and peanut butter and fruit juice (v)
2 slices wholemeal toast with 2tsp peanut butter and 1 small glass unsweetened orange juice.
Lunch: Mexican-style jacket potato (v)
1 jacket potato with ½ chopped small avocado, lemon juice, 2tbsp salsa, 1tsp soured cream and salad.
Dinner: Chicken, apple and pasta salad
Mix 6tbsp cooked wholewheat pasta with 1 chopped grilled skinless chicken breast, 5 cherry tomatoes, 2 sticks chopped celery, 1 chopped apple and 2tsp reduced-calorie mayonnaise. Serve with a green salad.
If your calorie allowance to lose 2lbs a week is more than 1150, you can save some up to splurge a bit on a night out (do this easily with the calories history tool in WLR).
~ Day 15 ~
Breakfast: Soft cheese and strawberry bagel (v)
1 bagel filled with 2tbsp low-fat soft cheese and 4 strawberries.
Lunch: Chicken and coleslaw sandwich and fruit
Fill 2 slices wholemeal bread with 2 slices skinless chicken breast, 3tbsp reduced-calorie coleslaw and salad. Plus 1 apple.
Dinner: Vegetable fajitas (v)
Spray a non-stick frying pan with a spray oil and heat. Slice ½ red and green pepper, 1 courgette, a few mushrooms, 1 small red onion and 1 carrot into chunky pieces. Add to the pan, together with fajita seasoning to taste. Fry until the vegetables are soft and brown. Warm 2 flour tortillas, spread over 1tbsp guacamole and top with the vegetables. Wrap up the tortillas and serve with any remaining vegetables.
~ Day 16 ~
Breakfast: Scrambled egg on toast and fruit juice (v)
1 slice wholemeal toast topped with 1tsp low-fat spread, 1 egg scrambled and 1tbsp skimmed milk and 1 grilled tomato. Plus 1 small glass unsweetened orange juice.
Lunch: Salmon and pasta salad with fruit
Mix 5tbsp cooked wholewheat pasta with ½ small can pink salmon, chopped cucumber, watercress and 4tbsp fat-free plain fromage frais. Plus a bowl of raspberries.
Dinner: Ready meal and salad (v)
Cook a 400 calorie ready meal according to the pack instructions and serve with salad. Plus 1 apple.
~ Day 17 ~
Breakfast: Cheese croissant and fruit (v)
1 small croissant with 1tbsp low-fat soft cheese and a bowl of raspberries.
Lunch: Prawn and avocado salad with fruit
Serve a handful of peeled, cooked prawns with ½ small avocado pear, 1tbsp reduced-fat seafood dressing, salad and 1 small wholemeal roll. Plus 1 kiwi fruit.
Dinner: Cottage pie
In a non-stick pan, dry fry 115g/40z extra-lean minced beef until brown. Add 1 chopped small onion and 1 clove crushed garlic and fry until soft. Stir in 150ml/¼pint beef stock, 1tbsp tomato purée and 1tsp Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer until the gravy has thickened. Meanwhile, boil 1 large peeled potato, cut into chunks. When cooked, mash with 1tbsp skimmed milk. Transfer the mince to an oven-proof dish, reserving some of the gravy, and top with the mash and 1tbsp grated reduced-fat Cheddar cheese. Place under a hot grill until the cheese melts. Serve with vegetables and the remaining gravy.
Get your PDF for easy reference:
~ Day 18 ~
Breakfast: Fresh fruit (v)
10 seedless grapes, 1 slice honeydew melon, ½ mango, 1 small banana and 1 apple.
Lunch: Homemade Mediterranean pizza and salad (v)
Cut a 10cm/4in piece French bread in half lengthways and toast the uncut sides under a hot grill. Top the cut sides with 1tbsp tomato purée, ½ chopped red pepper, a few sliced mushrooms, 1 sliced tomato, 50g/2oz sliced reduced-fat mozzarella and a pinch of mixed herbs. Place under the grill until heated through and the cheese melts. Serve with salad.
Dinner: Creamy salmon and broccoli pasta
Place 8tbsp cooked wholewheat pasta in a pan with lightly cooked broccoli florets, ½ small can pink salmon and 3tbsp low-fat soft cheese with garlic and herbs. Heat gently (adding little water if necessary to stop the dish from sticking) until piping hot. Serve with salad.
~ Day 19 ~
Breakfast: Banana smoothie and fruit (v)
Blend 1 small banana with 150ml/¼pint skimmed milk and 1 pot low-fat natural yoghurt. Plus 1 peach.
Lunch: Ham, cheese and tomato omelette with salad
Make an omlette: spray a non-stick pan with a spray oil and heat. Beat 2 eggs with 1tbsp skimmed milk, 2 slices chopped lean ham and 1 chopped tomato. Pour into the pan and cook until the egg is almost set. Top with 3tbsp grated reduced-fat Cheddar cheese and place under a hot grill until the cheese has melted. Serve with salad. Plus a bowl of raspberries.
Dinner: Chicken salad with fruit salad and ice cream
Serve 1 grilled skinless chicken breast with 5 new potatoes boiled in their skins and salad. Plus 1 bowl fresh fruit salad with 1 scoop reduced-fat ice cream.
~ Day 20 ~
Breakfast: Poached egg on toast with juice and fruit (v)
1 poached egg with 1 slice wholemeal toast topped with 1tsp low-fat spread. Plus 1 small glass unsweetened grapefruit juice and 6 strawberries.
Lunch: Jacket potato with tuna chilli
1 jacket potato with ½ small can tuna in water mixed with 2tbsp kidney beans, ½ chopped green pepper and chilli sauce to taste. Serve with salad.
Dinner: Pasta and sweetcorn pesto (v)
Mix 8tbsp cooked wholewheat pasta with 3tbsp sweetcorn and 1tbsp red pesto. Heat until piping hot. Serve with salad.
~ Day 21 ~
Breakfast: Cooked breakfast
1 grilled low-fat sausage, 1 grilled rasher lean bacon, 1 grilled tomato, a few poached mushrooms and 1 poached egg.
Lunch: Hummus, salad and pita bread with fruit (v)
1 wholemeal pita bread with ¼ small pot reduced-fat hummus and crudités. Plus 1 small banana.
Dinner: Cod and prawn parcels with chocolate mousse and fruit
Place 1 cod fillet, a handful of peeled prawns, 1tbsp chopped fresh parsley, lemon juice and 1tbsp dry white wine on a piece of tin foil and wrap up to form a parcel. Place on a baking tray and bake until cooked through. Serve with 5 new potatoes boiled in their skins and steamed vegetables. Plus 1 pot low-fat chocolate mousse and 10 strawberries.
You can use the toools in WLR to swap things around and get loads of meal and snack ideas.
~ Save Snacks ~
- 2 crispbreads with 1tbsp low-fat soft cheese and 1 sliced tomato
- 1 sachet low-calorie instant hot chocolate drink and 1 small chocolate chip cookie
- 1 apple and 1 peach
- 1 small pot low-fat fruit yoghurt and 1 apple
- 1 toasted crumpet with 1tsp low-fat spread
- fruit salad made from 10 seedless grapes, 1 kiwi fruit and 10 strawberries
- 1 French Fancy
- 5 Jelly Babies
- 6 marshmallows
- 1 small glass red or dry white wine
- 2 single gins with slimline tonic
- 2 single vodkas with diet lemonade
- 1 bottle Diet Bacardi Breezer
~ Splurge Snacks ~
- 2 slices wholemeal toast with 2tsp each of low-fat spread and jam plus a bowl of raspberries
- 1 wholemeal pitta bread with 8tbsp reduced-calorie coleslaw and salad
- banana sandwich made from 2 slices wholemeal bread, 1tsp low-fat spread and 1 small banana
- fruit salad made from 1 small banana, 1 pear and 1 apple with 1 pot fat-free fruit yoghurt
- 1 wholemeal pitta bread filled with 1 grilled rasher lean back bacon and 2 sliced tomatoes
- 1 regular-sized bar of chocolate
- 1 wholemeal fruit scone with 2tsp low-fat spread and 1 sachet low-calorie hot chocolate drink
- 1 jam doughnut
- 1 small packet of crisps and a 2-finger Kit Kat
- 1 small croissant with 2tsp marmalade
- 1 toasted bagel with 2tbsp low-fat soft cheese and 1 sliced tomato
You can follow our Summer Shorts plan or use the planning tools in WLR to create your own diet plan - an interesting thing to do! Click the My Diet Plans button in your Food Diary - you can try it free for 24 hours