Get party ready in five days

Our simple diet plan will help you look fabulous without cutting back on nutrition, writes Louise Pyne

THOSE chunky winter layers may have been hiding a multitude of sin, but the festive season means stripping off the jumpers and slipping in your LBD or favourite party gúna.

If you really want to up the wow factor, try our five-day party diet fix. It’s aimed at detoxifying, banishing water retention and boosting skin radiance.

The idea is that you start the diet on a Monday and by the time the weekend arrives, you’ll feel amazing.

As you know, we don’t believe in fad diets, so this plan isn’t strictly about weight loss, but more about de-bloating and sculpting your body in the right places so you look your best in your party frock.

We’ve focused the diet on de-bloating foods — to get rid of any excess water that you may be holding onto — along with fibrous foods to fill you up so you don’t feel hungry between meals.

There are also a few rules to follow to ensure you get the best results.

Plus, we’ve also outlined some key foods with super benefits that we’ve packed into the diet for maximum nutrition.

DAY 1: MONDAY

Breakfast

Spicy eggs in avocado:

  • Cut an avocado in half and scoop out the stone.
  • Crack an egg into each avocado half and season with paprika.
  • Bake for 15 minutes at 180C until the egg white is set.

Morning snack

  • 50g red grapes and 1tbsp cashew nuts.

Lunch

Chicken salad

  • Steam one chicken breast and cut into pieces.
  • Dice one celery stalk, 50g red grapes and 30g cucumber and combine in a bowl with the chicken.
  • Add 70g Greek yogurt and combine well. Garnish with 1tbsp chopped coriander.

Afternoon snack

  • A protein bar.

Dinner

Chickpea and kale stew

  • Dice ½ an onion and one garlic clove.
  • Sauté in 1tsp olive oil and add half a chopped sweet potato and cook until soft.
  • Add half a tin of chickpeas, 100g kale, 2tbsp tomato purée, ½tsp cinnamon and 1tsp paprika.
  • Serve with 30g brown rice.

DAY 2: TUESDAY

Breakfast

Gingerbread porridge

  • Combine ¼tsp ground ginger and a pinch of ground cloves with 50g oats.
  • Add 120ml semi-skimmed milk and cook.
  • Top with 2tbsp blueberries and 1tsp flaxseed.

Morning snack

  • 2 oatcakes with 1tbsp houmous

Lunch

Tuna salad

  • Combine one small can of tuna in brine with ½ a packet of watercress, 50g sweetcorn, 1 large tomato diced, 30g shredded cucumber.
  • Dress with 1tbsp olive oil and serve with 1 small wholemeal pitta bread.

Afternoon snack

  • 1 apple and 1tbsp Brazil nuts

Dinner

Cauliflower patties with salad

  • Grate 300g cauliflower and place in a bowl with 30g chopped mozzarella and 2tbsp chopped parsley.
  • Beat 1 egg and add to the cauliflower mixture.
  • Shape into patties and pan-fry until golden.
  • Serve with a large green salad.

DAY 3: WEDNESDAY

Breakfast

Cinnamon chia pudding

  • Stir together 40g chia seeds, 180ml coconut milk,¼tsp ground cinnamon and¼tsp ground ginger.
  • Place in the fridge overnight and in the morning add a dash of milk and top with three chopped strawberries and 2tbsp blueberries.

Morning snack

  • Two wholegrain rice cakes topped with 1tbsp cottage cheese, 10g shredded cucumber and a diced tomato.

Lunch

Smashed avocado and butter bean salad

  • Place ½ an avocado, ½ a tin of butter beans and the juice of ½ a lemon in a bowl.
  • Mash with a fork.
  • Dice 1 large tomato, ½ a small cucumber, 2 celery stalks and a carrot and top with the smashed avocado mixture.
  • Top with 1tbsp coarsely chopped mixed nuts and 1tbsp chopped parsley.
  • Toss well to combine.

Afternoon snack

  • 1 banana topped with 1tbsp mixed nut butter

Dinner

Salmon with greens

  • Grill 1 salmon fillet and serve with 100g steamed kale, 50g peas and 50g green beans.

DAY 4: THURSDAY

Breakfast

  • 1 wholemeal bagel topped with 1tbsp nut butter.

Morning snack

  • Protein smoothie made with 250ml semi-skimmed milk, 1 banana, 1tbsp flaxseed and 2tbsp berries

Lunch

Roasted veggie and houmous wrap

  • Cut 1 yellow pepper and½a courgette into strips and place on a baking tray with 4 cherry tomatoes.
  • Bake in the oven at 180C for 30 minutes.
  • Spread 1tbsp hummus on a wholemeal tortilla.
  • Add the roasted vegetables, fold the wrap in half, then cut into two.

Afternoon snack

  • Small packet of plain popcorn

Dinner

Spinach-mushroom omelette

  • Halve five cherry tomatoes and sauté in a frying pan.
  • Add 100g spinach and 2 beaten eggs.
  • Sprinkle in 30g diced mozzarella and serve with a green salad.

DAY 5: FRIDAY

Breakfast

Banana and nut butter sandwich

  • Two slices of wholemeal bread topped with 1tbsp nut butter and one small mashed
  • banana made into a sandwich.

Morning snack

  • 1 boiled egg and ½ an avocado.

Lunch

Roasted sweet potato and quinoa salad

  • Dice one sweet potato and bake in the oven at 180C.
  • Meanwhile, cook 50g quinoa and combine with 4 halved cherry tomatoes, 15g shredded tomato and 2tbsp red kidney beans.
  • Top with 1tbsp chopped parsley, 1tsp olive oil and the juice of ½ a lemon.
  • Afternoon snack 1 pear and 1tbsp cashew nuts.

Dinner

Courgetti and turkey stir-fry

  • Spiralise or grate one large courgette.
  • Meanwhile, sauté one onion and one garlic bulb, both chopped, 1 diced turkey breast and½ a packet of stir-fry vegetables.
  • Add 1tbsp soya sauce, the juice of½a lime and 1 chilli, finely sliced.
  • Top with 1tbsp cashew nuts and serve with the courgetti.

The basics

1. FILL UP ON LIQUIDS

Along with water, herbal teas are a de-bloating lifesaver and are a good addition to your daily water quota. Fennel and peppermint work as a post-dinner digestif, while nettle helps to remove water retention.

2. SHOP WISELY

Scan the five-day diet and make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need. Scour your cupboards to check which ingredients you already have and then head to the shop to buy the others in advance.

3. GET KITTED OUT

Make sure you have all the basics you need for cooking from scratch. A set of saucepans, a high-speed blender and a set of baking trays are essential.

SUPER SUPPLEMENTS

1. BetterYou Multivit Oral Spray

A healthy body means it’s easier to keep the weight off, and this handy easily absorbed spray contains 14 essential nutrients to keep energy levels topped up, €11.99, Holland & Barrett, nourish.ie.

2. Bioglan Bio Daily Cleanse

Detox with this lime and mint flavoured drink, which contains aloe vera and milk thistle for a happy liver, €22.49, Holland & Barrett.

3. Pro-Ven 25 Billion Bacteria

With four different strains of bacteria, this probiotic supplement helps to keep digestion working properly, €14.99, Boots stores.


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