When you've fallen off the healthy eating wagon, it's tempting to think the only way to make up for indulgence is to eat salad and vegetables for a day or two. Wrong!
Now you can make up for diet excesses with a simple, science-based one-day smoothie diet. As well as shifting any gained fat, you'll be giving your body a real boost to make it even more efficient at burning calories.
Starving yourself may seem like it does the trick after a weekend of excess, but it's incredibly unhealthy to put your body under that kind of pressure, and in the long run it slows down your metabolism and means it's even harder to stay in control of your weight. You have to be sure when you lose weight it's fat you're losing, not muscle. It's the muscle tissue that makes a difference to how you burn calories.
When you deprive yourself, you lose muscle tissue and that means you slow down your metabolism. So it's best to be easy and gentle on your body, which means sticking to some delicious smoothies for 24 hours can be a good idea.
However, before following this 24-hour diet it's important to consider your own health needs, and if you have any concerns, consult your doctor before embarking on such a plan. Remember, not all plans suit everyone.
Our one-day shake diet, devised by dietitian Nigel Denby, feeds your body with protein and nutrients to make sure you don't lose any muscle tissue, and can make you even more efficient at burning fat. You can use our plan every week to regularly lose between 1-2lbs. So whether you want a quick fix to a naughty weekend or an easy-to-follow long-term weight-loss plan, look no further!
The 24-hour smoothie diet
Here are the rules
- Decide which day you're going to use as your shake day and get all the ingredients in you need.
- Don't be tempted to miss out any of your shakes - starving yourself is definitely counter-productive.
- On your shake day, just have your three shakes and two litres of water - no tea, coffee, alcohol or snacks.
- Don't kid yourself you can eat whatever you want all week and then use the one-day shake diet to put everything right. You need to eat healthily six days a week and use the one-day shake diet to boost your weight loss. You can use the one-day shake diet occasionally to make up for an indulgent weekend.
- Don't be tempted to buy in smoothies - these are full of sugar, and you need all the nutrients and protein in the homemade shakes to help maintain your muscle tissue.
How to get going:One day a week, choose three different shakes - one for breakfast, one for lunch and one for dinner. That's it!
One-day shake recipes for the smoothie diet
To make all the shakes, just put all the ingredients into a blender and blitz for 30 seconds until smooth
Green extreme 200g low-fat Greek yogurt handful of ice cubes ½ cucumber 1 carrot, sliced 1 kiwi, peeled 2 handfuls of washed baby spinach
Breakfast booster 30g protein powder 1 banana handful of sultanas handful of almonds handful of porridge oats 200ml skimmed milk
Mediterranean magic 30g protein powder ½ avocado 2 large tomatoes 1 red pepper, deseeded handful of fresh basil handful of ice cubes
Blue velvet 200g low-fat Greek yogurt 2 handfuls of blueberries 2 stoned plums 1 banana handful of spinach handful of ice cubes
Summer cooler ½ cucumber 1 stick of celery ½ avocado 30g protein powder handful of fresh parsley handful of ice cubes
Berry bliss 1 kiwi, peeled 200g low-fat Greek yogurt 2 handfuls of strawberries, hulled 2 handfuls of raspberries handful of porridge oats ice cubes
And for the rest of the week, eat daily:
- At least 5 servings of veg - leaves, tomatoes, beans, brassicas - avoid potatoes and starchy veg
- 3 servings of fruit
- 2 servings of wholegrains, ie, 1 thin slice wholemeal bread, 2 Ryvita, 4tbsp porridge oats, 2tbsp wholegrain pasta or brown rice, or 2 oatcakes
- 2 servings of 200ml semi-skimmed milk, a non-dairy alternative or low-fat yogurt, 150g hard cheese or 200g cottage cheese
- 2 servings of 150g chicken (skinless), 200g fish or shellfish, 1 egg, 200g beans or pulses, 50g unsalted nuts, or 150g lean red meat (no more than twice a week)
- Have no more than 200ml wine, ½pt beer or one measure of spirits per day, and always have two alcohol-free days per week