The Fast and Easy Diet

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  • 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

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