The Working Person's Diet Plan
By Dietitian Juliette Kellow BSc RD
Dream job but nightmare figure? Dietitian Juliette Kellow comes to the rescue with a diet plan designed to help working women – and men – lose weight with minimum effort and maximum results…
Whether we work in an office, are constantly on the road or spend days in schools or hospitals, losing weight and working can be more than a challenge.
Working life can have a serious impact on our waistline. Afternoon chocolate runs, business lunches, office biscuits and nearby vending machines can all pile on the pounds.
Demanding bosses, impossible deadlines and an out-of-control workload can leave us feeling stressed and tired. Meaning we’re more likely to skip breakfast and/or lunch and grab high-calorie snack foods to cheer ourselves up and give us a much needed injection of energy.
We can’t just blame what happens between 9am and 5pm for our need to lose weight either.
After a hectic day at work, many of us simply don’t feel like spending time in the kitchen cooking a healthy dinner.
The result: we resort to convenience food or order a takeaway, and relax with a few glasses of wine.
Meanwhile, lots of late nights in the office, or simply being exhausted, can mean we end up ditching all thoughts of exercise and end up slouching on the sofa in front of the TV.
Lack of sleep in itself can have a detrimental effect on weight loss, see Dr Usman's article on how sleep can affect weight loss.
Losing weight when you’re working full time can be too much like hard work. Having to shop for weird and wonderful ingredients, making packed lunches and spending hours in the kitchen when you get home all add to your ‘to do’ list.
Good news then that our diet plan is especially designed to be simple, quick and easy.
You don’t need to spend hours of time on a complicated diet to lose weight, here's plan that’s designed specifically for people who work all day.
If you'd like a more personalised daily diet plan, take our free trial with all the hard work done for you!
All the breakfasts and lunches can either be bought or are ready in a matter of minutes. Plus, every dinner is ready from kitchen to table in less than 15 minutes. But the best bit – this plan should help you lose up to a stone in six weeks!
Here’s why this diet is perfect for you if you work…
√ You can grab breakfast or lunch on the run if you don’t have time to prepare something at home.
√ You won’t need to spend hours preparing healthy meals when you get home from work – all our dinners are ready in less than 15 minutes.
√ You can still enjoy the occasional office treat – whether it’s biscuits, chocolate or a piece of birthday cake.
Here’s what to do…
- Every day, make up your daily calorie allowance by choosing meals from the following list. You should always have one breakfast, lunch and dinner each day.
- Use the treats and energy-boosting snacks to make up extra calories if you have a high daily calorie allowance.
- As well as your meals and snacks, have an extra 275ml skimmed milk each day to drink on its own or to add to tea and coffee. Allow an extra 100 calories for this.
- Add extra salad or veg to meals to help fill you up.
Choose one each day
- 1 small banana, 1 kiwi fruit and 1 pot fat-free natural yogurt. (195 calories)
- 1 apple, a handful of grapes, 1 orange and 1 nectarine. (220 calories)
- 2 slices wholemeal toast with 2tsp each of low-fat spread and honey. (240 calories)
- 1 wholemeal fruit scone with 2tsp low-fat spread and a handful of grapes. (245 calories)
- 6tbsp branflakes with 1tbsp raisins, raspberries and skimmed milk. (245 calories)
- 3tbsp unsweetened muesli with skimmed milk and 1 apple. (250 calories)
- 2 slices wholemeal toast with 2tsp peanut butter and 1 small banana. (285 calories)
- 2 Weetabix with skimmed milk and strawberries, plus 1 small glass of orange juice. (285 calories)
- 2 slices wholemeal toast with 2tsp each low-fat spread and marmalade, plus 1 nectarine. (290 calories)
- 1 skinny latte, 1 reduced-sugar cereal bar and 1 small banana. (300 calories)
Choose one a day
In the office
All these lunches take no more than a few minutes to prepare before you leave for work – or simply buy your lunch.
- ½ carton fresh minestrone soup with 1 small wholemeal roll. Plus 1 orange. (285 calories)
- Salad topped with 1 sliced skinless chicken breast and fat-free dressing and 1 wholemeal pitta. (300 calories)
- 1 wholemeal pitta bread with half a 200g tub tzatziki, crudités and 1 nectarine. (310 calories)
- 1 small wholemeal roll filled with 2tsp low-fat spread, 1 slice lean ham and salad. Plus 1 pot fat-free fruit yogurt and 1 small banana. (315 calories)
- 4 oat crackers with 2tbsp low-fat soft cheese and salad. Plus 1 pot fat-free fruit yogurt. (315 calories)
- Ready made sandwich, wrap, roll or salad (check the label for calories) and 1 apple (250 calories).
- 1 small box sushi and 1 large tub ready made fruit salad (check the labels for calories)
Out to lunch
Combine a starter and main course to make up your calorie allowance
- Large mixed salad – without dressing. (40 calories)
- Smoked salmon with salad leaves. (80 calories)
- Prawn cocktail – without the seafood dressing. (100 calories)
- Bowl of vegetable, carrot or minestrone soup. (110 calories)
- Rocket and parmesan salad – without dressing. (130 calories)
- Grilled or roasted vegetables – without dressing. (150 calories)
- Melon or figs with parma ham. (160 calories)
- Tomato and mozzarella salad – without dressing. (190 calories)
- Grilled fish with salad or vegetables. (250 calories)
- Fish pie with vegetables. (350 calories)
- Grilled skinless chicken breast with salad or vegetables (400 calories)
- Starter sized portion of pasta with chicken or fish in a non-creamy sauce (400 calories)
- Cottage pie with vegetables. (450 calories)
- Grilled lean steak with salad. (500 calories)
- Tuna nicoise salad – without the dressing. (500 calories)
- Greek salad without the dressing and a small piece of bread. (500 calories)
Choose one a day
- Vegetable gnocchi made from ¼ pack (around 125g) fresh gnocchi, steamed veggies and ½ jar low-fat tomato sauce. Serve with 1tsp Parmesan and salad. (360 calories)
- Chicken couscous made from 8tbsp couscous cooked according to the pack instructions, 4 sliced spring onions, lemon juice, black pepper, coriander and 1 small skinless chicken breast. Serve with salad. (390 calories)
- 1 grilled lean loin lamb chop with 5 minted new potatoes, 1tsp low-fat spread, vegetables and 1tsp mint sauce. (395 calories)
- 1 large jacket potato with half a 200g tub tzatziki and salad. (400 calories)
- Omelette made using 1tsp sunflower oil, ½ small red onion, a handful of mushrooms, ½ red pepper, ½ green pepper, ½ courgette, 3 eggs, 1tbsp skimmed milk and 2tbsp grated reduced-fat Cheddar. Serve with salad. (415 calories)
- Chicken stir fry made from 1 small skinless chicken breast, 1tsp sunflower oil, 1tsp Chinese five spice powder, 1 small bag ready-prepared stir-fry vegetables and a dash of reduced-salt soy sauce. Serve with 1 layer noodles. (475 calories)
- Steak sandwich made from 150g grilled fillet steak, 15cm piece granary bread and salad. (525 calories)
- 1 large jacket potato topped with creamy salmon made from ½ can pink salmon mixed with lemon juice, black pepper and 2tbsp crème fraiche. Plus 1 apple. (530 calories)
- Tuna and sweetcorn pesto made from 175g cooked wholewheat pasta with 1tbsp pesto sauce, 1 chopped tomato, 2tbsp sweetcorn, ½ small can tuna in water and lightly steamed broccoli. Serve with 1tbsp grated Parmesan cheese and salad. (555 calories)
- Beef fajitas made from 1tsp sunflower oil, 100g lean beef, 1tsp fajita seasoning, ½ sliced red and green pepper and 1 small red onion. Serve with 2 warmed flour tortillas, 1tbsp each of guacamole, grated reduced-fat Cheddar and salsa and salad. (655 calories)
- Small pack of raspberries (20 calories)
- 1 small pot low-fat fruit yogurt (60 calories)
- 1 small banana (75 calories)
- 1 slice wholemeal toast with 1tsp low-fat spread and a scrape of Marmite (95 calories)
- 1 small pot fat-free fruit yogurt and 1 peach (110 calories)
- 2 oatcakes with 2tbsp cottage cheese and 2 sliced tomatoes. (165 calories)
- Third of a tub (about 100g) reduced-fat hummus and crudités (170 calories)
- 1 wholemeal pitta filled with 1 slice lean ham and salad (175 calories)
- 6tbsp branflakes with skimmed milk (190 calories)
- ½ carton fresh bean soup (200 calories)
- 1 small choc chip cookie (55 calories)
- 1 single measures of spirits with slimline or diet mixers (50 calories)
- 1 chocolate digestive biscuit (90 calories)
- 1 small glass dry white or red wine or champagne (100 calories)
- 1 small packet reduced-fat crisps or savoury snacks (about 100 calories)
- 1 scoop reduced-fat ice cream (105 calories)
- 1 jam doughnut (250 calories)
- 1 small slice sponge cake (250 calories)
- 1 small bar of chocolate (check label for calories)
*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 use the Diet Planning tools in WLR to make sure your diet is healthy, balanced, and contains the right amount of calories. Start a 24 hour Free Trial