Protein is so important whilst dieting, it increases satiety- imagine not feeling hungry on a diet! Your blood sugar levels will be balanced throughout the day which will stop the 11 o’clock biscuit cupboard raid at work. Your energy levels will be maintained so you have energy at the end of a long work day to get out and exercise. Combine your new best friend, protein, with some fibre and you are one step closer to a satisfying eating plan. Add in the following 3 day meal plan and you will be losing weight and feeling great in no time.
Starting your day off well should help get your blood sugar levels off to a good start. Starting with a meal that will allow your blood sugar to gradually increase and decrease should reduce cravings and help weight-loss.
- Porridge oats, made with milk- add chia seeds and berries once cooked. Chia seeds contain protein and essential fats.
- Omelette filled with vegetables (peppers, mushrooms, spinach, feta cheese, onions, tomato)- experiment. The protein in the egg will keep you satisfied
- Baked beans (Whole Earth- organic and no added sugar) on wholemeal or rye toast. Baked beans provide the protein in this meal.
Lunch doesn’t have to be boring or the standard sandwich. Get creative with your lunch so you look forward to eating it. Choose lots of vegetables and fibre and utilise the resources you have at work. Fridge, microwave, cafeteria etc.
- Green salad (lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, cucumber, avocado, tomato, peppers, papaya, pineapple- be creative). Add a protein of your choice- grilled chicken, mackerel, tuna, sardines, prawns, beef strips, lentils, beans, hard boiled egg, pine nuts, chickpeas, quinoa, olive oil salad dressing .
- Wholemeal pita filled with salad and hummus or guacamole or chicken, feta and tomato. Hummus is made of chickpeas, an excellent source of vegetable protein.
- Sandwiches – always use whole wheat bread (not brown bread), choice of filling to include protein- tuna, prawns, egg and cress, chicken, cottage cheese. Add in some salads, grated carrot etc to fill you up.
Get your family involved in the dinners you are having. This means you dont have to cook two meals, the family are getting a healthy dinner and you are more likely to stick to your eating plan when everyone else is participating.
- Loaded soups – soups full of protein and vegetables e.g. Bacon and lentil, Chicken and vegetable, potato leek and lentil, clam chowder, Butternut and almond, Minestrone, oxtail. Home made or bought in a carton/ box
- Grilled chicken/ fish with steamed vegetables and wholegrain rice
- Chicken stir fry including lots of vegetables (lightly fried in olive oil with tablespoon of water)
Snacks should be eaten when you are hungry, don’t feel that you should eat a snack just because its conventionally ‘snack time’.
- A small pot of organic natural yogurt (Yeo Valley or Rachel’s) with fresh fruit. The natural yoghurt should be full fat and provide the protein.
- A boiled egg- preferably free-range and organic, this can be sliced and combined with mayonnaise (full fat again)
- A piece of fruit with a small handful of mixed nuts and seeds (for example pumpkin, sunflower, walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts). The nuts provide the protein and the fibre in the fruit increases satiety.
You will sometimes feel like something sweet whilst your body adjusts to the reduction in carbohydrates and sugar. These choices will satisfy the sweet cravings while still sticking to your eating plan.
- Yoghurt, berries, nuts and honey
- 2 blocks dark chocolate (80%) and a handful of almonds
- Baked apples with cinnamon and walnuts
To follow an eating plan and not get bored, it’s important to mix and match and not get stuck in a routine. Eating should be enjoyable. Don’t deprive yourself, if you feel hungry, have a protein rich snack. Drink 2L of water everyday, get moving and get healthy!