Shaping up for the party season
Reported January 15, 2009
Get a trim waist for this season’s belted fashions with our easy 14-day diet and fitness plan devised by Amanda Ursell and Matt Roberts
HOW IT WORKS
Forget must-have bags and towering heels. The most coveted accessory, as the festive season approaches, is a small waist reminiscent of bygone Hollywood glamour, as revived by Dita von Teese, Scarlett Johansson and Kelly Brook. A nipped-in, belted waist is the focal point for many party dresses. If you’d like to wear yours with style, why not try our waistline regimen?
It’s a two-week diet and fitness plan which, if followed and then repeated for two weeks, should shift 8lb-10lb and take several inches off your waistline.
The meal options are for one serving and provide 300-400 calories. You are allowed mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks, as well as a half a pint of skimmed milk over the day (see box below right). This amounts to a daily intake of about 1,200-1,400 calories. This may be quite a bit less than you are used to.
Men should include an extra 20g of pasta in pasta dishes and a few more slices of bread, as well as an extra snack. Women aiming for fast results can skip the snacks. Take a multivitamin and mineral supplement to ensure all nutritional bases are covered and give you an extra spring in your step as you get into the party mood.
What to drink
You should have two litres of fluid daily, but avoid fizzy drinks. Enjoy teas and coffees, but have four or fewer a day. Avoid alcohol except for two units at weekends.
Use your loaf
Opt for granary, rye, sourdough or a rough wholemeal type of bread. All are low on the glycaemic index (GI), meaning they leave you feeling fuller for longer.
Bowl of vegetable crudités with 3tbsp (100g) of tzatziki; 1 crumpet with 1tsp of peanut butter; an oatcake with an apple; 25g of cheese; 1 Babybel cheese and a satsuma; 6 almonds; 30g bag of mixed fruit and nuts; 1 100g pot of crème caramel.
Research links regular consumption of low-fat dairy foods to a lower risk of accumulating fat around the waist. Hence my recommendation that you have half a pint of skimmed milk daily.
Research from the US suggests a connection between diets rich in fibre and smaller waists. So opt for brown pasta, brown rice etc, and do your best to eat five servings of fruit and veg daily.
Choose any one of these
Oat flakes with grated apple and cinnamon
Grate an apple, sprinkle in a little ground cinnamon and mix well. Then add to 50g of oat flakes in a bowl. Serve with cold skimmed milk, according to taste, and a blob of plain fromage frais on top.
Thick winter berry shake
Put 100g of fresh or frozen berries in a blender with a banana, 150ml of skimmed milk and a small low-fat yoghurt. Blend well. The more bubbles you generate, the more filling it will be.
Oatcakes and cheddar
For a quick breakfast on the move, have three oatcakes and 40g of cheddar with a few slices of a ripe pear.
Bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms
Grill a 50g rasher of lean back bacon. Serve with a grilled tomato drizzled with a little balsamic syrup, which you can find in many supermarkets, a large grilled flat mushroom brushed with some olive oil and seasoned, and a slice of toast.
Poached eggs with ham
Lay two pieces of ham (50g) on top of a slice of toast. Top with a poached egg and serve with a grilled tomato.
Winter fruit salad
Put the zest of an orange, a stick of cinnamon and 4-6 cloves in 200ml of water. Bring to the boil, then add 300g of mixed dried fruit and the juice of a lemon. Allow to cool and keep in the fridge overnight. This will be enough for four servings. Spoon a quarter of the mix into a bowl and serve with a small low-fat yoghurt of your choice.
Cook 40g of oats with 200ml of skimmed milk on the hob or in the microwave. Chop up one dried ready-to-eat apricot into small pieces and mix into the porridge, finishing with a teaspoon of toasted chopped hazelnuts (optional) over the top.
Have a croissant (about 68g in weight from a supermarket multipack) with a bowl of fresh fruit salad sprinkled with a few toasted almonds.
Toasted currant loaf
Start with half a grapefruit sprinkled with a teaspoon of granulated fruit sugar. Currant loaf is low GI, so have two slices spread lightly with butter.
Chilli scrambled eggs
Lightly brush a pan with oil and quickly fry a chopped fresh chilli, including the seeds. Add two eggs and scramble. Serve with a slice of toast and a small glass of fruit juice.
Two slices of toast spread with a teaspoon of chocolate spread, topped with a layer of fromage frais and slices of peach.
Latte and malt bread
A small latte or cappuccino with skimmed milk, two slices of malt loaf and an apple.
Hot bananas and fruit compote
Peel a banana, lay on some foil and sprinkle with a little orange juice and brown sugar. Grill for 5 minutes and serve with fresh apricot compote and an apricot yoghurt.
Greek yoghurt and prunes
150g of full-fat Greek yoghurt with 100g prunes canned in own juice and an apple.
Have one of these and a piece of fruit
Spoon around 100g of guacamole into the middle of a wrap. Add a teaspoon of salsa and top with shredded lettuce,some chopped cucumber and a chopped spring onion (optional). Wrap up and serve.
Either use a 300ml can or carton of mixed bean soup, or buy one from a coffee shop and serve with a piece of bread.
Sardines and parsley toasts
Break down 100g of drained sardines canned in oil with a fork. Add the chopped white sections of a spring onion and some peppers. Spread on a slice of toast, grill and serve with chopped tomatoes and seasoneing.
Baked potato with prawn salad
Bake a potato (in oven or microwave) or buy from a sandwich bar. Have filled with prawns mixed with extra-light mayonnaise and chopped tomatoes and ground black pepper.
Brie and grapes
Make a sandwich using 40g of Brie and two slices of bread spread with extra light mayonnaise. Serve with a small bunch of grapes.
Beef and horseradish roll
Open a roll (50g) and spread with a teaspoon of horseradish sauce. Add some shredded iceberg lettuce and slices of tomato topped with 80g of lean roast beef. Season and serve.
Roasted vegetable salad
Buy a tub of roasted vegetables and add two tablespoons of canned drained chickpeas on top. Drizzle over some balsamic vinegar and serve with a slice of bread or toast.
Turkey and cranberry sandwich
Make a sandwich (or order from a sandwich bar) using some cranberry sauce spread on the bread, topped with about 80g-100g of roasted turkey, crunchy lettuce and cucumber. Season and serve.
Salmon and couscous
Buy a tub of ready-prepared couscous (about 100g, or make your own). Add 50g of cooked salmon, chopped flat-leaf parsley and ground black pepper; serve with cherry tomatoes.
Beans, tomatoes and mushrooms
If you are lunching at a local café, order baked beans on a slice of toast with a serving of grilled tomatoes and mushrooms.
For an unbeatable classic, mix 100g of tuna canned in oil with chopped spring onions, a tablespoon of sweetcorn and some chopped tomatoes. Use to fill a pitta bread and serve.
Have a 300ml large serving of piping-hot lentil soup with a roll.
Chicken and tabbouleh
Buy a tabbouleh salad (100g) or make your own using 50g of bulgar wheat. Mix in chopped spring onions, fresh mint, chopped cucumber and 100g of chopped roasted chicken.
Bagel with smoked salmon and ricotta
Spread one half of a bagel with a tablespoon of ricotta cheese. Top with about 50g of smoked salmon. Save the other half for another day and have it toasted, for example, with soup.
Choose any one of these
Mushroom and shallot omelette
Add a teaspoon of oil to a frying pan and sauté 100g of sliced button mushrooms and 4 thinly sliced shallots for 5 minutes. Set aside. Whisk 2 eggs with a dessert spoon of water and season. Pour into a non-stick pan and mix gently with a wooden spoon as it cooks to make an omelette. Add mushrooms, shallots and a pinch of dried thyme to one half and fold over. Serve with a salad of lamb’s lettuce mixed with 60g of sliced avocado and drizzled with balsamic syrup (available in supermarkets).
Lemon sole and mangetout
Lightly dust about 150g of lemon sole fillets with flour. Heat a pan with a tiny knob of butter and a little olive oil. Cook for a couple of minutes on either side, season and serve with new boiled potatoes (150g) and steamed mangetout.
Fillet steak with rocket and cherry tomatoes
Lightly pan fry or grill a steak (100-120g). Leave it to rest. Mix chopped rocket with a handful of cherry tomatoes and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Lay the salad on a slice of toasted sourdough bread followed by the steak. Serve.
Thread 150g of cubed extra-lean pork on to skewers alternating with chunks of onions, peppers and slices of courgettes. Brush with olive oil, season and grill until cooked through, turning every few minutes. Serve with a warm pitta bread filled with salad and tomato salsa.
Warm bacon and broad bean salad
Add a teaspoon of oil to a frying pan and gently fry 50g of very lean back bacon. After a few minutes, add a chopped de-seeded chilli and continue to fry for 3-4 minutes. Add a clove of crushed garlic and cook until it changes colour. Add 175g of frozen broad beans. Turn up heat and cook the beans for five minutes or so and set aside. Take a romaine lettuce, shred and stir into the beans. Drizzle with balsamic syrup.
Linguine with asparagus
In a frying pan, heat a teaspoon of olive oil and sauté half a finely sliced red onion and 6 spears of chopped thin asparagus (save the tips for later). After 3-4 minutes, add a little crushed garlic and continue to cook, taking care not to burn the onion. Add 6 finely diced tomatoes along with a tablespoon of chopped basil. In salted boiling water, cook 70g of linguine, drain and add the saved tips. Then put the pasta in with the asparagus and toss together. Serve with a green salad, drizzled with balsamic syrup.
Chicken and prawn stir-fry
Add 1 tsp of olive oil to a wok and fry 100g of cubed chicken breast over a medium heat. After 5 minutes, add half a crushed garlic clove, a finely chopped green chilli and 2-3 cooked broccoli florets. Sauté for another 7-10 minutes and add 60g of cooked wholegrain rice, a little soy sauce, and 6 cooked and peeled small prawns. Stir for a few minutes. Add 2 chopped spring onions and serve.
Sautéed fillets of mackerel
Ask your fishmonger to clean and fillet 100g of mackerel. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a frying pan, lightly flour the fish and and cook it over a medium heat for about 3 minutes each side. Add the juice of a small lemon, sea salt, black pepper and 1 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley. Serve with steamed mangetout and new potatoes.
Pasta with clams
Put a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan and sauté a thinly sliced garlic clove and half a green fresh chilli, including the seeds. Once the garlic turns golden, add 100g of thoroughly washed fresh clams (do not use open clams). Put a lid on the pan, toss for a few minutes and set aside. Cook 70g of spaghetti in boiling salted water and drain. Put the pan back on the heat. Once the oil sizzles, add the pasta. Garnish with chopped flat-leaf parsley and season with black pepper. Serve with a tomato and red onion salad.
Grilled tuna with crushed butter beans
Drain and rinse 150g of butter beans. Place half in a blender with half a cup of chicken stock and blitz until crushed but not puréed. Set aside. In a frying pan, heat 1 tsp of olive oil and add half a finely chopped garlic clove and a sprig of rosemary. When the garlic starts to turn golden, add the remaining butter beans and sauté for 5 minutes, then add the crushed beans to the pan, stir, and cook for a few more minutes. Season with sea salt and black pepper and set aside. Brush a 100g tuna steak lightly with oil, season and grill for about a minute each side depending on how you like it. Serve with the butter beans and a green salad.
Bucatini with mushrooms and red wine
Sauté half a small chopped onion. Add chopped garlic and 70g of sliced mushrooms. When soft, add 80ml of red wine. Briskly reduce. Add 80g of tinned tomatoes, bring to the boil, season and add a tbsp of chopped fresh basil. Simmer for 20 min. Cook 70g of bucatini and serve with a mixed leaf salad.
Simple lamb hotpot
Put 100g of extra-lean cubed lamb in an oven-proof dish. Layer in half a sliced onion, 1 star anise, 60g sliced carrots, 25g sliced leeks, 15g sliced button mushrooms. Season, add 100ml of vegetable stock and cover. Cook in a preheated oven at 180C (gas mark 4) for 45 min. Serve with boiled new potatoes.
Sweet potato and refried beans
Pre-heat oven to 180C (gas mark 4) and cook a 180g sweet potato for 45 minutes. Then fill with 150g of canned refried beans, a dash of Tabasco and black pepper. Serve with a large green salad.
Chickpea, onion and chilli stew
Sauté a small sliced onion in 1 tbsp of oil, with chopped fresh chilli and crushed garlic. Cook until softened. Add 150g of drained chickpeas and sauté for 2 min. Add 100ml of chicken stock, a sprig of rosemary and simmer for 10min. Add 100g of lean ham and serve with boiled carrots and freshly chopped parsley.