Slim Down With This Seven-Day Weight Loss Program

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If your well-thought-out fitness plans have taken a bit of a back seat recently, we’ve got just the remedy. This seven-day weight loss program is the perfect way to get back on track.

How It Works

This seven-day food plan is designed to shift fat by creating a calorie deficit of about 500 calories a day. The average woman needs 2,100 calories a day just to maintain her weight – this plan is around 1,600 calories, so you’re ‘saving’ 500 calories a day. That may not sound enough to get you looking fab in your swimsuit, but thanks to the low-GI carbs you’ll have plenty of energy to burn even more calories as you work out, while the diuretic foods will help to reduce bloat and water retention, pep up a sluggish digestive system, and flatten your tummy.

Add in some high-intensity cardio and toning workout and you’ll be in great shape in no time! For the interval training, use the percentages listed in the workouts for your level to guide your energy expenditure as you train. Think of 100% as your maximum effort, 75% as moderate, steady state and 65% as being active rest.

Day 1

Food

Breakfast: 2 eggs, scrambled, with 1 thin slice wholemeal toast (no butter)

Morning snack: 1 apple, 6 almonds.

Lunch: 1 baked salmon fillet on mixed leaves with 2 teaspoons oil/vinegar dressing and 1 wholemeal roll, no butter

Afternoon snack: 1 low-fat yoghurt with ½ pack of blueberries

Dinner: Chicken tikka masala made with 1 skinless chicken breast, spices and 3 tablespoons fat-free Greek yoghurt. Serve with 1 cup cooked brown rice

Workout

Beginner: Interval training. On the treadmill, 2 mins work (85%)/1 min recovery (65%) x 10. Plus 3-4 upper body, lower body and core exercises

Intermediate: Interval training. On the treadmill, 2.5 mins work (85%)/1 min recovery (70%) x 10. Plus 5-6 upper body, lower body and core exercises

Advanced: Interval training. On the treadmill, 3 mins work (90%)/1 min recovery (70%) x 10. Plus 7-8 upper body, lower body and core exercises

Day 2

Food

Breakfast: 1 Weetabix with ½ pack strawberries, 2 tablespoons fat-free Greek yoghurt and a drizzle of agave nectar or honey

Morning snack: 2 sticks celery with 2 tablespoons low-fat cottage cheese

Lunch: Small baked sweet potato with ratatouille and 25g crumbled feta cheese

Afternoon snack: 2 satsumas, 2 Brazil nuts

Dinner: Pork stir-fry made with 100g lean pork, and a handful each of sugar snap peas and baby sweetcorn. Toss through a simple sauce: mix together some soya sauce, ginger, garlic and chilli in equal quantities. Serve with 1 cup cooked wholemeal noodles

Workout

Beginner: Rest day

Intermediate: Rest day

Advanced: Any cardio, 1 hour (80%)

Day 3

Food

Breakfast: Porridge made with 40g rolled oats, 275ml skimmed milk, 25g raisins and 2 teaspoons agave nectar or honey

Morning snack: 1 slice melon chopped and wrapped in 2 slices prosciutto (fat trimmed off)

Lunch: ½ carton bacon and lentil soup

Afternoon snack: 1 pear, 25g cheese

Dinner: Quorn Bolognese with 100g Quorn and 1 cup cooked wholemeal spaghetti

Workout

Beginner: Any cardio, 30 min (75%). Plus 3-4 moves

Intermediate: Interval training. Bike, 30 secs work (100%)/20 secs recovery (65%) x 10. Plus 5-6 moves

Advanced: Interval training. Bike, 20 secs work (100%)/10 secs recovery (75%) x 12. Plus 7-8 moves

Day 4

Food

Breakfast: French toast made with 1 slice wholemeal bread, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon skimmed milk and pinch of cinnamon, served with ½ carton berries

Morning snack: 1 cup instant miso soup

Lunch: Chicken and avocado wrap made with 1 wholemeal tortilla, 1 skinless chicken breast and ½ avocado. And add 1 teaspoon oil/vinegar dressing.

Afternoon snack: 1 small bunch grapes, 1 Babybell lite

Dinner: 1 skinless cod fillet, baked, served with steamed spinach and carrots

Workout

Beginner: Rest day

Intermediate: Walk 1 hour (plus incidental walking)

Advanced: Rest day

Day 5

Food

Breakfast: Beans on toast with 1 small can low-sugar baked beans and 1 slice wholemeal toast

Morning snack: 2 carrots with homemade tzatziki, (fat-free Greek yoghurt, mint and cucumber)

Lunch: One can tuna in spring water, 1 boiled egg, ½ can anchovies, drained and blotted, salad leaves and 2 teaspoons oil/vinegar dressing

Afternoon snack: 2 oatcakes, 1 slice lean ham and mustard

Dinner: Tiger prawn kebabs and quinoa tablouleh. Six prawns marinated in garlic, herbs and lemon juice, served with 1 cup quinoa

Workout

Beginner: Interval training. Bike, 30 secs work (100%)/30 secs recovery (65%) x 10. Plus 3-4 moves

Intermediate: Interval training. Any cardio, 3 mins work (80%)/1 min recovery (70%) x 8. Plus 5-6 moves

Advanced: Interval training. Any cardio, 3 mins work (90%)/1 min recovery (70%) x 10. Plus 7-8 moves

Day 6

Food

Breakfast: American pancakes made with 1 egg, 30g ½ white, ½ wholemeal flour, 150ml skimmed milk. Serve with ½ pack blueberries

Morning snack: 1 apple, 6 almonds

Lunch: ½ carton pea and ham soup

Afternoon snack: 2 squares dark chocolate

Dinner: Grilled 100g lean steak with a sauce made from tomatoes, courgettes and onion, with 1 cup cooked brown rice

Workout

Beginner: Rest day

Intermediate: Rest day

Advanced: Any cardio, 1 hour (80%)

Day 7

Food

Breakfast: 1 English muffin, toasted, split and spread with 2 teaspoons peanut butter

Morning snack: 2 celery sticks, 2 tablespoons cottage cheese

Lunch: 1 baked sweet potato with vegetarian chilli

Afternoon snack: 1 pear, 6 walnut halves

Dinner: Stuffed pepper, made with 1 pepper cored and filled with a mixture of 1 chopped tomato, 1 slice wholemeal bread, crumbed, 1 beaten egg and 50g feta cheese

Workout

Beginner: Any cardio, 30 mins (75%)

Intermediate: Any cardio, 40 mins (80%)

Advanced: Rest day

This article first appeared in Women’s Fitness