The Christmas decorations are back in the loft, the last few Quality Street have been taken into work and the fridge has been cleared of leftover turkey, clotted cream and brandy butter.
In fact, the only sign the festive season has actually taken place is the extra half stone bulging uncomfortably over your waistband. And that’s on top of the usual half stone you’re always trying to shift.
Fortunately, that’s where WLR comes to the rescue with this easy-to-follow six-week diet plan that’s designed to help you lose up to a stone and is suitable for anyone and everyone. Whether you’ve joined WLR to lose that post-Christmas bulge or want to kick start a longer-term eating plan to help you shift a whole lot more, this diet is guaranteed to suit you.
Why this plan will help you achieve a Happy New You for the New Year…
It’s realistic – you can expect to lose up to 2lb a week plus an extra couple of pounds in the first week. It might not sound much but it adds up to a stone in just six weeks. And losing weight slowly means you’ll be more likely to keep it off once you’ve lost it.
You don’t have to worry about counting calories – dietitian, Juliette Kellow, has done the hard work so you don’t have to. Each day provides 1,300 calories.
There’s little weighing or measuring – most quantities for food are given in easy-to-judge portion sizes.
It’s packed with protein-rich foods like lean red meat, skinless chicken, fish, eggs and low-fat dairy products. There’s good evidence that a good intake of protein can help keep you fuller for longer so it’s important to eat these foods regularly.
It’s low in fat, especially saturates (animal fats that are linked with heart disease). But it still includes heart-healthy monounsaturates like olive oil.
It includes foods with a low or medium glycaemic index (GI), like pulses, oats, fruit, veg, wholewheat pasta and bread. Foods with a low GI value keep blood sugar levels steady, so you don’t get carb cravings and have the constant munchies.
It’s rich in wholegrains, including wholegrain breads, oats, wholewheat pasta and brown rice. These foods contain fibre, which helps to keep you fuller for longer.
It’s packed with calcium-rich low-fat dairy products, which help to keep bones strong.
It contains plenty of iron-rich foods like lean red meat, oily fish, eggs, pulses, green leafy veg and fortified breakfast cereals. These foods help to keep blood healthy and prevent a condition called anaemia.
Best of all, it contains all your favourite foods and allows a daily treat whether that’s chocolate, a glass of wine, a packet of crisps, a few biscuits or a gin and tonic!
Here’s what to do…
Every week, WLR will provide a new selection of meal plans: breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and treats. All you have to do is choose one of each every day.
As well as your meals, snacks and treats, have 300ml skimmed milk to use in tea and coffee or to mix with some of the fruit from the daily meals to make a smoothie. Alternatively have two small pots of fat-free fruit yoghurt.
If you can’t be bothered to cook or need to grab a meal or snack on the move, choose something with a similar calorie count such as a sandwich, salad or ready meal (look at the packaging to find the calorie content). Allow 250 calories for breakfast, 350 calories for lunch, 400 calories for dinner and 100 calories each for snacks and treats.
You don’t have to eat all of the food recommended for each meal in one sitting. For example, you could save a piece of fruit or a pot of yoghurt for later in the day.
Fill up on veggies – you can eat most in unlimited amounts except for higher-calorie potatoes, parsnips, peas, sweetcorn, baked beans and other pulses.
Drink plenty of water – have at least eight glasses a day. It’s also fine to drink herbal and fruit teas drink and smaller amounts of coffee, tea and diet or sugar-free soft drinks.
The menus are devised for one person. For two servings, double the quantities recommended.
All tablespoon and teaspoon measurements should be level where 1tbsp = 15ml and 1tsp = 5ml.
*WLR diet plans are designed to produce a healthy weight loss of 1-2lbs per week, based on UK Health Department estimates of average daily calorie needs for men and women in the UK. Of course, not everyone's needs are 'average', so predicted weight loss will differ from person to person. For a more accurate idea of how many calories you need as an individual, you can use the WLR tools free for 24 hours here