Three Weeks to Summer Shorts Plan
By 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 with the summer body 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 diet that's designed to help you lose half a stone (7lbs / 3.5kg). 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.
Summer Shorts Plan Overview Video
You can get a PDF of the full 7 day plan including recipes with our newsletter simply enter your email address (never shared).
How to Lose the Most Weight in 3 Weeks
How much it's possible to lose will depend on your starting weight. Heavier people will lose weight more quickly on this plan because of the relatively low number of calories in comparison to what's needed for maintenance.
You can maximise weight loss by burning up some extra calories through exercise, or simply moving more. (Think pacing around the kitchen while you're waiting for the kettle, or always using the upstairs loo etc.)
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 diet 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!
How to Lose a Stone
If you want to use this easy diet plan to lose a stone, most people will need to follow it for 6 or 7 weeks. It's very healthy and has plenty of variety to help you stick to it.
Heavier people may find it only takes a month or so, for the reason stated above.
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 more 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: Bitesize Shredded Wheat (v)
40g Bitesize Shredded Wheat with milk (from allowance) topped with 20 raspberries. Enjoy with a 150ml fresh orange juice.
Lunch: Turkey and Salad Sandwich
2 slices wholemeal bread filled with 4 slices wafer-thin turkey, 1tsbp salad cream (light) and salad. Plus 1 pack Baked Crisps.
Dinner: Tasty Beef Tacos
Dry fry 100g extra lean mince until browned, add vegetables and ½ pack taco seasoning and 2-3tbsp water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Squeeze in 1tsp lime juice. Serve in 2 taco shells topped with ½tbsp guacamole each.
~ Day 2 ~
Breakfast: Dippy Eggs with Asparagus (v)
2 boiled eggs with 12 steamed asparagus spears.
Lunch: Jacket Potato with Cottage Cheese and Pineapple
200g baked potato topped with 100g reduced fat cottage cheese and 2 sliced pineapple.
Chop ½ aubergine, ½ courgette, ½ pepper and toss in 1tbsp olive oil, add 6 cherry tomatoes, crush over the garlic, then roast in the oven (190C) for 20mins. Serve over 75g whole wheat pasta (uncooked weight) and garnish with chilli and basil leaves.
~ Day 3 ~
Breakfast: Fresh Fruit Salad + Toast with Peanut Butter
Make up a fresh fruit salad with 80g cherries, 6 strawberries, 1 kiwi and 1 satsuma. Plus toast 1 slice of wholemeal bread and top with 1tsp peanut butter.
Lunch: Philadelphia and Smoked Salmon Open Sandwich + a Banana
Top 1 slice wholemeal bread with 1 mini tub Philadelphia light, 2 slices smoked salmon and chives. Enjoy with 10 green olives and a banana.
Dinner: Beef Burger in Brioche Roll
Season 100g extra lean beef mince and form into burger. Fry the burger in ½tsp olive oil. Serve in a toasted brioche burger bun with lettuce, sliced tomato, red onion and 1tbsp tomato ketchup.
You can get a PDF of the full 7 day plan including recipes with our newsletter simply enter your email address (never shared).
~ Day 4 ~
Breakfast: Summer Berries Fruit Salad with Granola
Top 20g blackberries, 10 raspberries, 6 strawberries and 50 blueberries with 20g crunchy granola.
Lunch: Cheese and Salad Bagel
Fill 1 wholemeal bagel with 1 slice Edam cheese and salad.
Dinner: Salmon, New Potatoes and Asparagus
Place 120g salmon fillet on a piece of foil and drizzle with 1tbsp low fat balsamic dressing. Wrap up the foil and bake in the oven until cooked. Serve with 100g boiled new potatoes and asparagus spears. Enjoy with 60g French stick.
~ Day 5 ~
Breakfast: Wholemeal Fruit Scone with Raspberry Jam (v)
Top 1 warmed wholemeal fruit scone with 2tbsp raspberry jam. Enjoy with a 150ml fresh orange juice.
Lunch: French Stick with Cottage Cheese and Olives
Top 3 slices of french stick with 100g reduce fat cottage cheese and 6 black olives. Plus 10 almonds.
Dinner: Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Cous Cous
Chop ½ aubergine, ½ courgette, ½ pepper and toss in 1tbsp olive oil, add 6 cherry tomatoes, crush over the garlic, then roast in the oven (190C) for 20mins. Serve over 50 cous cous (uncooked weight).
~ Day 6 ~
Breakfast: Muesli with Raspberries, Blueberries and Almonds
40g muesli with milk (from allowance) topped with 50 blueberries, 20 raspberries and 5 almonds.
Lunch: Tuna, Avocado and Salad Tortilla
Fill 1 wholewheat tortilla wrap with 1 small can tuna, ½ avocado, ¼ pepper, sliced red onion and 1tbsp low fat balsamic dressing.
Dinner: Egg Fried Rice with Sugar Snap Peas
Cook 60g jasmine rice, drain and cool. Heat 1tsp olive oil in wok, add garlic and rice. Once heated through, move rice to one side, add 1 beaten egg and scramble. Mix with rice, add spring onions and 1tbsp light soy sauce. Serve with 80g steamed sugar snap peas.
~ Day 7 ~
Breakfast: BLT Sandwich
Fill 2 slices toasted wholemeal bread with 2 rashers grilled back bacon, 1 sliced tomato, lettuce and 1tsp reduced calorie mayonnaise.
Lunch: Ham and Salad Pitta
Fill 1 wholemeal pitta bread with 4 slices wafer thin ham, 6 cherry tomatoes, lettuce and 1tbsp reduced calorie salad cream.
Dinner: Vegetable Stir Fry with Rice
Heat 1tsp olive oil and stir fry ½ sliced yellow pepper, 40g broccoli florets, 40g mange tout, ¼ red onion, 25g edamame beans and a handful of sliced mushrooms, add ½ pouch stir fry sauce and heat through. Serve with 50g brown rice (dry weight).
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: Muesli with Yoghurt and Peach
Top 50g muesli with 100g low fat natural yoghurt and 1 sliced peach.
Lunch: Minestrone Soup with a Wholemeal Roll
Heat 1 can of minestrone soup and serve with a wholemeal roll.
Dinner: Quick Pasta Bolognese
Dry fry 100g extra lean minced beef until browned. Add chopped vegetables (½ carrot, ½ stick celery, ¼ onion) to pan with ½ can chopped tomatoes and 1tsp tomato puree. Once cooked serve with 75g whole wheat pasta (dry weight).
~ Day 9 ~
Breakfast: Croissant with Summer Berries
1 warmed croissant with 1tbsp raspberry jam and summer berries.
Lunch: Ryvita with Philadelphia + Banana
Top 4 Ryvita crispbread with 1 mini tub Philadelphia and spring onions. Enjoy with a banana.
Dinner: Chicken and Salad Tacos
Fry 1 sliced chicken breast in 1tsp oil until opaque, add ¼ pack fajita seasoning, cook until browned and cooked through. Serve in 2 warmed taco shells with ¼ can black eyes beans, salad, 1tsp sour cream each.
~ Day 10 ~
Breakfast: Boiled Egg and Soldiers + Glass of Juice
1 boiled egg with 1 slice of wholemeal toast with low fat spread. Plus 150ml grapefruit juice.
Lunch: Ready-made sandwich or salad + Apple
A 350 calorie ready made sandwich or salad, of your choice. Plus an apple.
Dinner: Prawn Skewers with Rice and Salad
Thread 150g king prawns on skewers, brush with 1tbsp sweet chilli sauce and grill or bbq. Serve with 60g brown rice (dry weight) and cucumber, tomato and red onion salad.
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: Strawberry Jam on Toast
2 slices wholemeal toast topped with 2tsp strawberry jam, plus 6 strawberries.
Lunch: Peach, Stilton and Walnut Salad
Top 80g rocket leaves with 1 sliced peach peach, 30g crumbled Blue Stilton, a few slices red onion and 3 walnut halves. Drizzle with 1tsp low fat dressing. Enjoy with a 150ml fresh juice.
Dinner: Stir Fried King Prawns with Noodles
Heat tsp groundnut oil in wok, add ½ clove garlic, 100g king prawns, 1 chopped pepper and 1 finely sliced carrot. Stir fry until browned, add 2 spring onions and ½ pack stir fry sauce sauce. Serve with 1 block egg noodles.
~ Day 12 ~
Breakfast: Weetabix with Banana Cereal with almonds and yoghurt (v)
2 Weetabix with milk (from allowance) topped with sliced banana.
Lunch: Waldorf Salad with Sourdough Bread
Top 4 lettuce leaves with 1 sliced apple, 2 sliced stalks of celery and 6 walnut halves. Mix 1½tbsp reduced calorie mayonnaise with ½tsp lemon juice to make a dressing. Serve with 1 slice sourdough bread.
Dinner: Chicken Breast with Potatoes and Corn on the Cob
Grill or BBQ 1 chicken breast (glazed with 1tsp honey), 1 corn on the cob and 6 cherry tomatoes. Serve with 180g baby new potatoes.
~ Day 13 ~
Breakfast: Crunchy Nut Cornflakes with Banana and Summer Berries
30g Honey Nut Cornflakes with milk (from allowance) topped with 1 sliced banana, 10 raspberries and 25 blueberries.
Lunch: Houmous with Crudites and Breadsticks
3tbsp reduced fat houmous with carrot sticks and cucumber batons (made from 1 carrot and ¼ cucumber). Plus 4 breadsticks.
Dinner: Sizzling Chicken Fajitas
Heat ½tbsp olive oil in a pan until piping hot. Add 1 sliced chicken and stir-fry over a medium heat until brown and thoroughly cooked. Add ¼ pack fajita seasoning, ½ sliced red pepper and ¼ sliced red onion.. Stir-fry until the seasoning coats everything. Add a squeeze of lime juice. Fill 1 wholemeal tortilla with chicken / vegetables and top with 1tbsp soured cream.
~ Day 14 ~
Breakfast: Toast with Almond Butter and Banana + Raisins
Top 1 sliced toasted wholemeal bread with 1tbsp almond butter and 1 sliced banana. Enjoy with 2tbsp raisins.
Lunch: Grilled Peach Caprese Salad and Pumpernickel Bread
Make a salad from 1 grilled sliced peach, 1 sliced tomato, ½ ball reduced fat mozzarella and 5 basil leave. Enjoy with 1 slice of pumpernickel bread.
Dinner: Gnocchi with Asparagus, Olives and Pesto
Mix 125g gnocchi (cooked weight) with 1tbsp pesto sauce, 4 steamed asparagus spears, 6 cherry tomatoes, 6 black olives and 1tbsp grated parmesan.
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 rather than adding snacks. (Easy to do in WLR).
~ Day 15 ~
Breakfast: Toast with Marmalade + Raspberries
Top 2 slices wholemeal toast with 1tbsp marmalade each. Serve with 80g raspberries.
Lunch: Houmous with Crudites and Pitta
3tbsp reduced fat houmous with 1 toasted wholemeal pitta, cucumber batons (made from ¼ cucumber) and ½ sliced pepper.
Dinner: Spinach and Tomato Omelette
Make an omelette from 2 eggs cooked in 1tsp olive oil. Fill 90g baby spinach and 6 sliced cherry tomatoes. Serve with 1 slcie sourdough bread.
~ Day 16 ~
Breakfast: Pitta with Scrambled Egg
Scramble 1 egg with a little milk (from allowance). Serve in 1 toasted wholemeal pitta bread. Enjoy with 150ml fresh orange juice.
Lunch: Cheese and Vegetable Quesadillas
Heat through ¼ chopped red pepper, ¼ can sweetcorn and 25g frozen peas. Warm 1 wholemeal tortilla in a pan, sprinkle half with 30g reduced fat cheese, top with cooked vegetables. Fold over other half of tortilla, turn over so both sides are browned and cheese is melted. Serve with 4tbsp salsa.
Dinner: Tofu and Vegetable Kebabs with Garlic Baguette
Prepare 125g tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes, drizzle with 2tbsp low fat dressing and leave to to marinate (20mins or overnight). Thread tofu onto skewers with 6 cherry tomatoes, ½ pepper, ½ courgette, and ½ red onion. Grill and serve with 60g French stick, lightly toasted and rubbed with cut garlic clove.
~ Day 17 ~
Breakfast: Kiwi and Mango Yoghurt Pots with Chia Seeds
Soak chia seeds in milk (from allowance) as per packet instructions. Mix with 100g low fat Greek yoghurt. Make up pots with 2 peeled and sliced kiwis, layered with chia yoghurt mix and topped with mango chunks (from ½ mango).
Lunch: Vegetable and Houmous Wraps
Fill 1 wholemeal tortilla wrap with 2 tbsp houmous and vegetable crudites (made from ¼ cucumber, ½ carrot and ½ yellow pepper).
Dinner: Quick Pasta and Meatballs
Season 100g extra lean beef mince and form into 6 meatballs. Dry fry until golden brown and cooked through.. Add 1 crushed clove garlic, ¼ finely diced onion, 1tsp balsamic vinegar, 1tsp tomato puree and ½ can chopped tomatoes. Bring to boil and simmer until thickened to liking. Serve with 75g whole wheat pasta (dry weight).
Get your PDF for easy reference:
~ Day 18 ~
Breakfast: Summer Berry Smoothie
Make a berry smoothie using 100g low fat natural yoghurt, 20g blackberries, 50 blueberries, 10 raspberries and 6 strawberries. For a creamier smoothie add 1 banana (or save to eat as a snack).
Lunch: Ready Made Sushi
250g pack of Ready Made Sushi from supermarket (approx 400 calories)
Dinner: Stuffed Peppers with Cous Cous
Prepare 30g cous cous (dry weight). Combine 6 sliced ½ clove crushed garlic, black olives, 3 sliced sundried tomatoes, 30g feta cheese. Season to taste. Slice 1 red pepper in half and fill each half with the cous cous mixture. Drizzle each half with ½ tsp of olive oil. Cook at 200C for 15 minutes, or until piping hot all the way through. Serve with 50g baby spinach leaves.
~ Day 19 ~
Breakfast: English Muffin with Jam and Fresh Strawberries
1 toasted English muffin with 2tbsp strawberry jam. Plus 6 strawberries.
Lunch: Pasta with Pesto and Tomatoes
75g whole wheat pasta (dry weight) mixed with 1tbsp pesto sauce, 6 cherry tomatoes and 1tbsp parmesan cheese.
Dinner: Poached Egg and Avocado on Toast
1 slice wholemeal bread topped with 90g baby spinach, 25g peas, ½ sliced avocado and 1 poached egg. Enjoy with 150ml fresh orange juice.
~ Day 20 ~
Breakfast: Egg and Bacon with Toast
4 grilled slices streaky bacon with 1 dry-fried egg and 1 slice wholemeal toast.
Lunch: Tzatziki with Pitta and Crudites
4tbsp tzatziki with 1 wholemeal pitta and vegetable crudites (made from 1 carrot and ¼ cucumber). Plus 1 banana.
Dinner: Lasagne Ready Meal
400 calorie ready meal of your choice.
~ Day 21 ~
Breakfast: Banana Smoothie
Smoothie made from 2 bananas, 100g low fat natural yoghurt and milk (from allowance)
Lunch: Ham and Cheese Omelette with Cherry Tomatoes
Omelette made from 2 eggs cooked in 1tsp olive oil, filled with 30g reduced fat cheese and 4 slices wafter thin ham. Serve with 1 tomato and 1 slice wholemeal bread.
Dinner: Honeyed Chicken Breast with New Potatoes and Salad
1 grilled chicken breast glazed with 1tsp honey. Serve with 180g baby new potatoes and salad (made from 4 lettuce leave, ¼ cucumber, 6 cherry tomatoes and 1tbsp low fat dressing).
You can use the toools in WLR to swap things around and get loads of additional calorie-counted 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
More Easy Diets to Follow
- The Working Person's Diet Plan
- Supermarket Chefs are wlr's super easy diet plans - great if ready meals suit you. We currently have plans for Tesco, Waitrose, M&S and Sainsbury's
*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
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