If the holiday season has left you feeling heavy, bloated, and ready to make a change...try this rock-solid action plan to purify your body and kick off your New Year's diet resolution with a BANG! My 7-day diet cleanse will melt away fat, banish bloat, crush cravings, and leave you feeling refreshed, energized, and slim!
Based on the guidelines in my brand new book, Your Inner Skinny, these no-nonsense weight loss strategies are 100% safe and effective, so you're guaranteed to see a dramatic drop on the scale in just one week. I've provided three easy, delicious meal options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and your daily snack below. Learn the rules of the game (my "do's and don'ts"), then mix and match one meal from each category to create your menus for 7 straight days of pure, clean eating.
Get ready to cleanse your system and blast away fat...and reveal a happier, healthier, more confident YOU!
1. DON'T add sugar, other natural sweeteners (including honey, agave, and stevia), or artificial sweeteners to anything. Sugar, honey, and other calorie-containing sweeteners add 60 calories per tablespoon to your day's intake, so you'll save considerable calories by cutting out the sugar you typically add to your coffee, tea, cereal, beverages, yogurts, etc. Artificially sweetened foods may not have the calories of sugar-sweetened foods, but they keep sweetness on our taste buds and our minds. I recommend cutting out all added sugars (real and artificial) for at least a week to help you break free of your compulsion to eat sweet foods. Then, minimize your intake going forward.
2. DON'T add salt to anything. Eating foods with a lot of added salt causes you to retain water, which drives up the number on the scale and makes you feel uncomfortable. Part of my week-long cleanse is getting rid of salty foods that promote bloating.
3. DON'T eat starches with dinner (including bread, rice, pasta, peas, beans, corn and potatoes). People tend to overeat starches for a number of reasons: these foods have great mouth feel, it's hard to estimate portions, they're some of America's favorite comfort foods, and they're calorie-dense. People are especially conditioned to overeat these foods at dinner. By making them totally off-limits, you don't have to cut yourself off mid-meal (after you've already primed your tastebuds).
4. DON'T drink alcohol. Alcohol adds a lot of empty calories to your diet, plus it lowers your inhibitions so you're more likely to veer off plan and make unhealthy food choices. By cutting out the alcohol, you'll give your liver a well needed break and you'll have firmer resolve to stick with the rest of the diet's "do's and don'ts."
1. DO eat on a schedule and enjoy three meals and one snack each day.
2. DO drink lots of water throughout the day, including two 8-ounce glasses before lunch and two 8-ounce glasses before dinner. (These before-meal waters should be consumed up to 30 minutes before eating.) Enjoy as much additional water as you want during meals and throughout the day.
3. DO enjoy "water alternatives" in unlimited quantities at any point during the day. These include: coffee or tea with 1% or skim milk only, seltzer (plain and naturally flavored), sparkling water, club soda, or water with lemon/lime/orange wedges.
4. DO begin dinner with a healthy appetizer: a large tossed salad (with 2-3 tablespoons reduced-calorie dressing); a bowl of broth-based non-starchy veggie* soup; or any plain vegetable such as a sliced cucumber, red pepper sticks or green beans.
5. DO indulge in non-starchy vegetables* in unlimited quantities at any time throughout the day, particularly when you get hungry between designated meal and snack times.
6. DO engage in 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise everyday (walking is fine).
*Non-starchy vegetables include: asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, green leafy vegetables, eggplant, green beans, mushrooms, okra, onion, peppers, radishes, snow peas, tomato, and zucchini
• Cereal and Skim Milk: 1 cup whole grain cereal (any brand 150 calories and 3+ grams fiber per 1-cup serving) + 1 cup skim or 1% low-fat milk + ¾ cup berries or ½ banana (or enjoy an orange or ½ grapefruit on the side instead).
• Oatmeal with Fruit and Yogurt: Half cup plain, dry oats (or 1 packet instant oats) prepared with water and topped with ½ cup fresh berries, or 2 tablespoons raisins, or half sliced banana. Plus, enjoy a 6-oz container of nonfat plain, flavored or Greek yogurt on the side.
• Egg White Omelet with Fruit: Egg white omelet (4-5 egg whites) with any combination of non-starchy vegetables and 2 tablespoons reduced fat cheese plus one of the following fruits on the side: ½ grapefruit, one orange, ¾ cup berries, ½ banana, ½ cup grapes.
• Large Entrée Salad: Top a large bed of lettuce with 5-ounces grilled chicken or fish and any non-starchy vegetables (avoid cheese, croutons, nuts, and dried fruit in your salad). Dress with two dashes of olive oil and unlimited balsamic vinegar or 2-3 tablespoons reduced-fat salad dressing.
• Open-Faced Turkey Sandwich: 4 ounces turkey breast on one slice whole wheat bread (leave off the top slice), layered with optional lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, roasted peppers, and mustard. Enjoy with lots of raw or steamed non-starchy veggies on the side.
• Turkey Burger on Greens: 5-ounce turkey burger on a bed of mixed greens (unlimited amounts) with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mustard, salsa, and/or ketchup. Enjoy with lots of raw or steamed non-starchy veggies on the side.
Remember to start dinner every night with a large tossed salad (with 2-3 tablespoons reduced-calorie dressing); or a bowl of broth-based non-starchy veggie soup; or any plain vegetable such as a sliced cucumber, red pepper sticks or green beans.
• Grilled Chicken Parmesan with Broccoli: 5-ounce grilled chicken breast topped with 2 tablespoons marinara sauce and 1 ounce part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese (broil or microwave just until cheese is melted). Serve with unlimited amount steamed broccoli (or any other non-starchy veggie) on the side.
• Fish with Sautéed Spinach: 5-ounce broiled or grilled fish fillet (wild salmon, tilapia, haddock, and cod are all good options) seasoned with 1 teaspoon olive oil, lemon juice, and any herbs/spices. Serve with unlimited amount of spinach, steam or sautéed with 1 teaspoon olive oil (or cooking spray) and optional minced garlic (or substitute any other non-starchy veggie).
• Dinner Veggie Stir-Fry: 5-ounces chicken, lean steak, pork tenderloin, or shrimp (or 8-10 ounces tofu) plus unlimited onions, carrots, mushrooms, peppers, and/or any other non-starchy veggies sautéed in 1 teaspoon canola oil (or cooking spray). Drizzle with up to 2 tablespoons bottled low-sodium Teriyaki sauce.
SNACK OPTIONS (Enjoy 1 each day)
• 1 orange or apple + 1 string cheese
• 6-ounce container nonfat yogurt (plain or flavored) topped with ½ cup berries or ½ sliced banana, or 1 tablespoons chopped nuts, or 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
• ½ cup non-fat or low-fat cottage cheese + unlimited bell pepper strips (or any other non-starchy vegetables)