The waistline-shrinking low GI diet you’ll actually want to follow

Shed excess Christmas weight in just four weeks with nutritionist Angela Dowden’s diet plan...

Year by year, we start to lose small amounts of muscle, which slows the metabolism and can make weight loss harder.

Falling oestrogen levels during the menopause also means that our bodies tend to reshape – with fat redistributing from the bum and thighs to the stomach area.

But now you can shift that stubborn belly fat in one month with this easy, step-by-step guide:

How it works:

  • This diet has low-GI (glycaemic index) foods to stabilise blood sugar and target stomach fat.
  • It’s calorie controlled yet packed with filling and nutritious foods.
  • The plan is rich in high- bre wholegrains and monounsaturated fats to help counter a flabby waistline.
  • It includes protein at every meal to help curb your appetite and prevent muscle loss.

What to do:

  • Choose one breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, varying your choices.
  • Drink an extra glass of semi- skimmed milk or plant milk alternative (calcium-fortified) in addition to any already mentioned in the meals.
  • Snacks aren’t included in this plan, so try to space out your meals. If you need a snack, have a handful of prawns, two celery sticks spread with a little light soft cheese or an apple.

Breakfasts

✢ 2 poached eggs on steamed spinach with 1tsp olive oil and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

✢ Porridge made with 40g oats and 250ml skimmed milk, topped with raspberries.

✢ 1 slice of wholegrain toast, spread thinly with 1tbsp tahini or peanut butter. 2 satsumas.

✢200g baked beans on 1 slice of wholegrain toast.

✢ 1 boiled egg and 1 slice of wholemeal toast spread with a light scraping of butter and Marmite. Half a 540g can grapefruit in fruit juice.

Lunches

✢ 300g New Covent Garden Lentil And Bacon Soup with 1 slice of wholemeal bread spread with 30g light soft cheese and tomato. Small banana.

✢ 2 slices of wholemeal bread filled with 2tsp reduced-fat mayo, 75g tuna in brine and as much salad as you can pack in. 100g 0% Greek yogurt and a slice of cantaloupe melon.

✢ A medium jacket potato topped with 1 boiled egg, mashed, mixed with 2tsp reduced-fat mayo and cress. Serve with salad.

✢ 1 wholemeal wrap lled with 1⁄4 mashed medium avocado, 1 small grilled skinless chicken breast, diced, and lots of tomato and rocket.

✢ 85g reduced-fat houmous served with 1 toasted wholemeal pitta, cut in strips, and cherry tomatoes. 100g 0% Greek yogurt and raspberries.

Dinners

✢ Stir-fry 3tbsp canned chickpeas in 1tsp oil; add 150g straight-to-wok noodles and 100g prawns. Wilt in half a bag of rocket and add soy sauce to taste. A bowl of strawberries with one squirt of light aerosol cream.

✢ Grill a white fish steak wrapped in a slice of Parma ham and serve with 200g ready-made sweet potato mash and broccoli. Bowl of fresh fruit salad and 3 squares of 70% cocoa dark chocolate.

✢ Fry 1⁄2 courgette, 1⁄2 red onion and 1⁄2 red pepper in 1tsp oil. Pour over 2 beaten eggs whisked with 1tbsp skimmed milk and cook until set. Top with 2tbsp grated Cheddar and grill until the cheese is melted. Serve with lots of salad dressed with 1tbsp balsamic vinaigrette.

✢ Serve 3 slices of roast chicken with 2 homemade roast potatoes, a pile of vegetables and gravy made from granules. 1 apple.

Make the most of your sleep

  • To get the most out of your diet plan, rest is essential. Aim to get at least seven hours’ sleep a night, and turn off screen and electronic devices for half an hour before bed. A lack of shut-eye makes you too tired to exercise and also disrupts the balance of key hormones that control appetite, which explains why you often feel hungrier when you haven’t slept.
  • Our activity levels can decline without us realising it in our forties and fifties, so keep on top of your movements with the free Active 10 app – it helps you build 10 minutes of brisk walking into your daily routine.
  • New research gives scientific backing to lavender oil acting as a sedative – so sprinkle a few drops on your bedding for a good night’s sleep.
  • Try investing in sensitive skin- friendly bedding like DermaTherapy (£129.95 for a double, dermatherapy bedding.co.uk) – the fabric is lighter than cotton, tempering irritation and improving your quality of sleep.

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