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They may be famous for cheese and chocolate, yet the Swiss are officially the slimmest in Europe.
So what’s their secret? After studying the Swiss way, diet expert Monica Grenfell has come up with this two-part diet plan that’ll help you lose a stone in a month.
The diet is easier than you think – and you don’t need to eat mountains of muesli to get slim.
You’ll do an easy detox-type diet in the first week and then a maintenance diet in the second week.
The Swiss say, ‘Build a better body, cell by cell.’ Instead of simply thinking about the eating process and what food tastes like, they focus on feeding their bodies with anti-ageing foods such as yogurt and grape juice.
To the Swiss, everything is achievable through good diet. And they are right – many weight problems are caused by comfort – or binge-eating, which leads to physical and mental health problems and then back to more comfort-eating. Soon problems like IBS set in – and the cycle continues.
A plan for life
Once you’ve been on the Woman’s Own Lose A Pound A Day Diet for a month, your body will be strong and resilient. A fried potato or cake won’t make any difference and doesn’t count as cheating.
The important thing to remember is that all meals are enjoyable – from vegetables to chocolate – as long as it does something good for your body. It’s habitual bad eating that will put you back to square one. You will know when you’ve gone too far as your body, face and hair will tell you – you might sleep badly, feel low or your periods might be erratic. So don’t worry about the odd indulgence, just don’t make it a habit!
Protein portion control
Too much protein makes the body acidic, resulting in energy crashes and overeating. Although we all need 45g protein a day for cell growth, maintenance and repair, most of us get too much. Portion size is the answer, and the Lose A Pound A Day Diet controls protein portions.
The secret Swiss ‘shot’
The Swiss are keen to get their ‘shots’ of pure fruit juice, and many restaurants have different shots lined up for customers to choose from. Seen as a pre-meal cleanse for the system, they also take the edge off your appetite. I recommend red grape juice for its high vitamin content.
The health benefits of the Lose A Pound A Day Diet
– Detoxifies: a high-fibre, low-calorie intake will help expel as many toxins as possible
– Regulates: nourishes good bacteria in your body and relieves food allergies
– Maintains: constant cell turnover means you are literally growing a new and healthier body
Stock up on:
- Plenty of vegetables, including roots
- Organic chicken and turkey, no more than 100g, twice a week
- Lean red meat, 100g, once or twice a week
- Eggs – 2 a week
- Soya milk and yogurt, a little, several days a week
- Cheese, daily
- Rice – 2 tbsp per meal, 2 or 3 times a week
- Pasta – twice weekly
- 2 tbsp olive/sunflower oil, daily
- All fruits (not after 4pm)
- Wholegrains – couscous, oats, quinoa, etc
- A few nuts, twice a week
- Non-chlorinated water
- Fresh fruit juices
- Red grape juice (try Welch’s) – as a shot before meals
- 1 cup of coffee in the morning and a glass of wine in the evening (if you want)
- Small glass of Andrews Liver Salts in the evening or morning, to help cleanse the liver
Get rid of:
- White sugar and flour
- Biscuits and cakes
- Mayonnaise and salad cream
- Ketchup and brown sauce
- All sweets
- Non-organic and cured meats
- Tortillas, crackers and crisps
You’ve done your shopping, now do the diet!
Lose a pound a day meal planner
The first week is a Swiss-style detox that’ll help eliminate the first 5lb of waste, then nourish your system.
1/2 grapefruit or small glass fresh ruby grapefruit juice 30g oats cooked in water with a date added while cooking
1 small apple Cup of coffee or green tea
1 apple or carrot
Steamed vegetable platter – any amount of sliced vegetables, plus 1 small potato, boiled and sliced with a splash of oil and balsamic vinegar
1/2 avocado or 1/2 apple
Shot of grape juice 300ml bowl of fresh spinach soup A plate of steamed broccoli (any amount) with 1 medium potato, boiled and sliced and oil and vinegar to dress
As day 1
1 slice Swiss cheese
Shredded raw vegetables (any amount) including beetroot and carrot. Oil and vinegar, to dress
As day 1
300ml spinach soup, as da y 1 Roast 100g butternut squash and 100g sweet potato in 2 tbsp olive oil. Add handful of spinach, sea salt and herbs just before serving
Breakfast, mid-morning and lunch, as day 2
Shot of grape juice 300ml bowl of spinach soup, as day 1
180g sweet potato baked and mashed with a little oil, small corn on the cob or steamed whole courgettes, with oil and vinegar for dipping
Breakfast, mid-morning snack and lunch as day 1
Shot of grape juice 300ml bowl of soup Steamed Brussels with shredded cabbage, dressed with oil and vinegar, 1 sliced sweet potato and 3 tbsp steamed basmati rice
250ml ruby grapefruit juice 30g oats cooked in water, plus a date 1 sliced banana 1 slice of organic white bread with 1 tsp natural fruit preserve
Lightly steamed vegetables with sprinkling of sunflower seeds
2 rye crispbreads with olive oil spread
Sh ot of grape juice
300ml bowl of spinach soup 180g baked potato with large portion steamed broccoli and 30g cheese (optional)
As day 5, replacing banana with a pear and bread with a pot of soya yogurt
1 apple or carrot
Steamed vegetable platter, as day 1 3 tbsp grapes and grated apple in 3 tbsp plain yogurt
1 rye crispbread with 2 tsp fruit preserve
A shot of grape juice 300ml bowl of spinach soup 1 slice of white bread with olive oil spread, mixed roast vegetables of your choice,
served with 3 tbsp steamed rice
As day 5, adding a boiled egg
5 Brazil nuts
As day 6
1/2 avocado or 1 apple
A shot of grape juice 300ml bowl of spinach soup, a white roll with olive oil spread and 30g mild soft cheese and a steamed vegetable platter of your choice
Well done! You should be feeling highly energised now. Get lots of fresh air and drink plenty of water – not forgetting your liver salts!
Well done for getting through week 1! Now you can start the second part of the Woman’s Own Lose A Pound A Day Diet
Lose a Pound a Day Diet: Week 2 – The Maintenance Plan
You’ve done really well to get through week 1 and you’re probably feeling thinner, fitter and more energised. I don’t want you to have gone through that wonderful detox only to return to your bad old ways.
In week 2, The Maintenance Plan, you can put an end to bad habits and poor nutrition and can expect to lose around 10lb in two weeks.
Here’s how to keep up a healthy regime that’s designed to last a lifetime!
What to remember
Keep to the basic principles of the diet, always have a healthy mid-morning or afternoon snack and eat vegetables or salad at lunchtimes.
You can now add more protein to your dinners (but portions must be small, only 100g-150g)
Have a good, filling breakfast, such as a small bowl of Swiss Bircher Muesli – see recipe below
Some alternatives to the dinners
150g baked or grilled cod or salmon fillet, with as many steamed greens as you like
Fillet steak, grilled, with as many roasted vegetables as you want and one small boiled potato
Pan-fried chicken or turkey breast, served with roasted vegetables
2 poached eggs on 1 slice white toast with olive oil spread
Swiss Bircher muesli recipe
Created by Dr Bircher-Benner in the 1890s, this muesli is nutritious, filling and tasty!
Makes enough for three days. Store in the fridge
- 150g porridge oats
- 75g dried cranberries, blueberries or sultanas
- 200ml fresh orange juice
- 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 100ml natural yogurt
- 25g flaked almonds, toasted
- 2 apples
- 2-4 tbsp clear honey
Place the oats and berries or sultanas in a bowl and pour on the orange juice. Leave in the fridge overnight.
Next morning, stir the coconut, yogurt and almonds into the oats mix. Only grate in the apple when you are about to eat it.
Transfer to bowls and drizzle with honey to taste
250ml ruby grapefruit juice
3 tbsp Swiss Bircher Muesli (see recipe above)
1 slice rye bread, toasted, with 2 tsp pure fruit spread
6 cucumber and carrot sticks with 1 dsp houmous
Steamed vegetable platter. Unlimited broccoli, carrots, courgettes and peppers in an olive oil and vinegar dressing
1 rye crispbread with 2 tsp honey or soft cheese
Small glass red grape juice
300ml spinach or celery soup
Mixed roasted vegetables, toss with sea salt and olive oil
1 medium sweet potato, baked
1 banana baked
As day 8
Shredded vegetable salad, including limitless carrots, cabbage, courgettes, beetroot. Add 1 tbsp sunflower seeds and 2 tbsp vinaigrette
1 small chicken breast, roasted or pan-fried, sliced, serve hot or cold
Small bowl of stewed fruit
Small glass red grape juice
180g (cooked weight) pasta with 3 tbsp chilli oil added when
cooked and 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese sprinkled over
Bowl of mixed stir-fried vegetables
Glass of red wine
1/2 grapefruit 3 tbsp Swiss Bircher Muesli (see recipe above)
1 small carton natural yogurt A slice of white bread spread with 1/2 a mashed banana
Bowl of salad with shredded raw vegetables, cold roasted vegetables and an oil and vinegar dressing. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts
Small handful cashew nuts
Shot of grape juice Stir-fried vegetables and brown rice with 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese or vegetables and pasta in a tomato sauce Glass of red wine
250ml grapefruit juice 3 tbsp Swiss Bircher Muesli (see recipe above)
1 boiled egg
Plate of roasted vegetables, including one medium potato, with oil and vinegar dressing Baked apple with sultanas
6 cucumber and carrot sticks with 1 tbsp houmous
Shot of grape juice 250ml bowl spinach soup 180g pasta (cooked weight) in chilli oil with parsley and 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese with unlimited steamed spinach 2 pecan cookies Glass of red wine
As day 11, but have 1 banana instead of 1 apple
1 slice rye crispbread with 2 tsp honey
As day 11 but have 1/2 mango instead of the baked apple
1 carton natural yogurt
Shot of grape juice 250ml spinach soup Pitta bread full of mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and basil or half a baguette, drizzled with olive oil and topped with 2 slices mozzarella and 1 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, grilled 2 squares Swiss chocolate Glass of red wine
As day 12
1 slice rye crispbread with 2 tsp honey
Shredded vegetable salad, as day 10. Add 1 tbsp Parmesan shavings
1 carrot or 1 apple
Shot of grape juice 250ml spinach soup 180g tagliatelle ribbons (cooked weight), tossed in olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice and 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts, with unlimited roasted vegetables 2 squares Swiss chocolate Glass of wine (optional)
As day 10
Plate of steamed vegetables with oil and vinegar dressing and 3 boiled new potatoes
2 plums or 1 carrot
Shot of grape juice 250ml spinach soup Stir-fried vegetables with brown rice 2 squares Swiss chocolate
Where to next?
– More easy diets