The Fast and Easy Diet

If dieting drops down your to-do list the busier you get, Monica Grenfell’s minimum-effort, maximum-results diet is for you…

How it works

The golden rules

1 Take time
However short your time, always sit down to eat. If you’re really pushed, have half your lunch now and save a yoghurt and fruit for an hour later, rather than rush it.

2 Make savvy food swaps
Choose brown bread and rice for slow-release carbohydrate and longer lasting energy.

3 Include stress-fighting foods

Choose foods that calm the side effects of stress – use garlic in cooking, chop a stick of celery in your salad, snack on a handful of almonds and sunflower seeds.

4 Eat protein at every meal

This diet is designed to keep blood sugar levels stable by giving you enough protein in each meal to reduce the temptation to snack.

5 Make sure you eat enough to fill you up

Choose bulky low calorie foods such as soup or a large salad rather then low fat crisps that won’t leave you feeling satisfied.

The diet

Breakfasts – 
Ready in 2 mins

The healthiest, quickest breakfast is cereal and milk. Don’t guess portions; choose variety packs and sachets of Oatso Simple and sugar-free cereals like Special K, Shredded Wheat, Weetabix, sugar-free museli, All Bran and Bran Flakes, Porridge, Rice Krispies or Corn Flakes. Also, choose skimmed or semi-skimmed milk to save fat and calories.
* Individual box of cereal, 250ml semi-skimmed milk, small tin fruit.

Lunches – 
Ready in 5 mins

Choose one each day, all 300-400 cals

* Any wholemeal sandwich with sliced tomato and lettuce. Low-fat fruit yoghurt.

* 300ml fresh veg soup with 1 slice wholemeal bread. Apple or banana.

* 2 Ryvitas with Philadelphia soft cheese. Bunch of grapes and 1 small carton fresh orange juice. 

* Sliced banana and 12 grapes folded into 3 tbs fromage frais, 1dsp nibbed hazelnuts. Easy to take in a tub. I finger of Twix. Bottle of flavoured water.
* Slice of bought quiche, with salad. Carton Hartley’s jelly with fresh fruit.

3-Step Perfect Lunchbox

Filling, 350 cals and will help you stick to your diet when you’re on the go.
1. Make a sandwich: 2 slices wholemeal, granary or rye – cut off the crusts. Fill with 80g cold meat or 2 eggs or 80g tuna or 30g cheese

2. Add as much vegetables and salad as you want in a Tupperware to eat raw

3. Add 1 low-fat yoghurt, 1 piece of fruit, either small packet of nuts and raisins or a Chocolate chip rice cake.

Dinners – 
Ready in 5-25 mins

Choose one each day, all 400-500 cals

* Jacket potato with 30g cheese or cottage cheese or small tin tuna or flaked salmon or hard-boiled egg, serve with salad.

* Birds Eye Simply Fish with layered, microwaved vegetables.

* Baked beans, 30g cheese, tuna or egg on 2 slices wholemeal toast.
* Weight Watchers prawn curry with rice and salad.

* Individual frozen chilli con carne or Moussaka with rice and salad.


* Ready made fresh fruit salad
* 1 pot of low-fat Ambrosia rice pudding or custard
* 1 pot low fat fruit yogurt


Keep them with you in your bag so you won’t be tempted to grab a chocolate bar when hunger strikes.

* Chocolate-chip rice cake
* Yoghurt break bar
* Banana

* Apple

* Raisins

Your weekly shopping list

These are all guide amounts – you may have some things left over, depending on which meals you choose

Fruit and veg 

* 10 apples

* 5 bananas

* Pack cherry tomatoes

* 3 bags of mixed salad leaves

* 5 cartons of layered vegetables

* 4 pack baking potatoes

* Grapes


* 5 pints skimmed milk

* Individual cartons of fresh orange or grapefruit juice with bits (for fibre)

* Large tub low-fat fromage frais
* Bag of ready-grated Edam cheese

* Large tub cottage cheese (with chives, pineapple etc, to taste)

* Tub low-fat Philadeplhia soft cheese
* Olive oil spread (for sandwiches)
* Individual cheeses e.g BabyBel

* Carton fresh veg soup (carrot and coriander or like, to taste)

* Variety pack low-fat fruit yoghurts

* 6 large eggs


* 2 slices ham

* 1 slice any quiche to taste
* 2 slices cheddar cheese (or buy a bag of grated)
* Pack of ready-cooked salmon flakes


* Vogel soya and linseed loaf or Own brand wholemeal/granary loaf
* Pack Ryvita Multigrain

* Chocolate chip rice bakes

Cereal aisle

* 12-sachet Oatso Simple, original

* Variety packs of sugar-free cereal

Tinned section

* 3 small tin Baked beans
* 3 pack tuna in spring water
* Portion-sized tins of fruit – grapefruit, peaches, plums and rhubarb

* Individual Hartley’s jellies with fresh fruit


* 2 packs Simply Fish

* 2 Count On Us or Weight Watchers meals Extras
* 4-pack individual low-fat Ambrosia rice

* 4-pack individual low-fat custard
* 50ml bottles flavoured water

* Pack of plain nuts – hazelnuts, walnuts, to taste

* Chocolate chip rice cakes

* Yoghurt break bars