There’s nothing like a summer holiday to motivate you to get into shape – but has time run out for you to try a beach body diet plan?
How many of us suddenly take up exercising and dieting with new zeal only a few short weeks before heading off, just to shed a couple of kilos?
But sometimes life gets in the way, right? Our good intentions don’t go to plan and we end up feeling conscious rather than confident in our swimsuits!
So we’re coming to the rescue with this 48-hour emergency beach body shape up. Our plan focuses on a strict, but healthy, diet to get you looking and feeling kilos lighter.
You can follow it over any two days, but it’s perfect for a weekend when there’s more time to prepare meals and exercise. Start on a Saturday morning, and by Monday, you’ll be on your way to feeling like a beach babe…
Step 1: Prepare to bare
Yes, it’s a last-minute plan, but preparing ahead will give maximum results. Here’s what to do…
Cancel all social functions
This plan won’t work if your weekend is packed with braais and dinner dates. Once the wine’s flowing and the food starts coming, your good intentions will dissolve, so avoid temptation!
Plan your meals
Buy all the ingredients beforehand so you can start immediately on Saturday morning.
Get ready to work out
Over the weekend, you should fit in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity – like brisk walking, slow swimming, or a game of doubles tennis – where your heart rate and breathing increase.
Write a timetable
Include meals and exercise sessions so you know exactly what you’re doing and when.
Don’t binge on Friday
Have sensible meals and avoid alcohol. A hangover on Saturday means you’ll be doomed to failure before you’ve even started!
Step 2: Your weekend detox starts here…
What you eat this weekend will likely be different to normal! Effectively, it’s a two-day detox – but a healthy one to provide nutrients to boost your energy and nourish your skin. Check the rules, then follow the plan.
• Bread and pasta cause bloating in some people, so we’ve swapped them for wheat-free, nutrient-packed carbs such as sweet potatoes, oats and quinoa. Don’t skip them – they provide energy for exercise.
• Space all of your meals evenly throughout the day to prevent bloodsugar levels from dropping, hunger pangs kicking in, and carb cravings.
• Avoid alcohol, coffee, tea and fizzy drinks – instead, drink still water, and herbal and fruit teas.
• Don’t add any type of sugar – honey, coconut sugar, agave syrup or carob syrup. They all have a similar kilojoule content to regular sugar.
• Skip the salt cellar and flavour food with herbs, spices, citrus zest and juices, garlic, ginger, chillies and flavoured vinegars.
Poached egg and avo on cauliflower 2cm-thick slice of cauliflower sprayed with avo oil, sprinkled with dukkah and roasted for 30 minutes. Top with ½ small avo and 1 poached egg. or
Berrylicious smoothie bowl made by blending 1 frozen banana, 2 handfuls frozen berries, 4tbsp low-fat plain yoghurt. Top with a handful fresh berries.
1tbsp unsalted almonds or 4 walnut halves
Asian prawn bowl
Boil 50g brown rice and fry 100g raw prawns with garlic, chilli and ginger in a little olive oil.
Mix the rice and prawns with 1 sliced bell pepper, 3 sliced spring onions, a handful ready-to-eat bean sprouts and dressing made from 1tbsp each hot water, fish sauce, lime juice and 1tsp sesame oil.
Mexican baked sweet potato
A 200g baked sweet potato filled with 3tbsp canned red kidney beans mixed with 1 tomato, 4 spring onions, and red chilli and coriander to taste. Top with 1tbsp low-fat plain yoghurt.
1 handful grapes and 1 peach
Fruit salad made from 1 slice spanspek, 8 strawberries and 1 nectarine.
Tofu kebabs with rice
Thread 100g cubed tofu onto skewers with ½ chopped red and green bell pepper, and ½ sliced courgette. Spray with olive oil, sprinkle with dukkah and grill. Cook 50g brown rice, and serve with kebabs and 3tbsp low-fat plain yoghurt. Plus 1 handful mixed berries.
Vegetable and cashew stir-fry Stir-fry made with 2tsp veg oil, garlic and ginger to taste, 1 small pack stir-fry veg, 1tsp gluten-free tamari and 1tbsp toasted cashew nuts. Cook 50g brown-rice noodles and serve with the stir-fry. Plus 5 strawberries.
Fruit salad made from 1 nectarine, 1 slice spanspek and 1 kiwi, with 3tbsp low-fat plain yoghurt and 1tbsp toasted oats.
Porridge made from 3tbsp oats and 200ml unsweetened coconut milk, with 2 handfuls raspberries and 1 slice spanspek.
4tbsp low-fat plain yoghurt mixed with 1 handful blueberries. or A shake made by blending 2 handfuls mixed berries and 1 kiwi fruit with 200ml unsweetened coconut milk.
Cook 50g quinoa, then toss with 1 small, skinless grilled chicken breast, a handful each of baby spinach and mangetout, 3 radishes, 1 tomato, fresh basil and mint, and a splash of balsamic.
Avocado and tomato oatcakes 3 oatcakes topped with ½ small avocado mashed with 1 diced tomato, garlic, fresh chilli and lemon juice to taste. Plus 1 nectarine.
1tbsp unsalted sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
2 sticks celery filled with ½ avocado mashed with garlic, lemon juice and fresh chilli to taste.
Omelette made from 1tsp veg oil, 1 small onion, ½ courgette, 1 sliced boiled sweet potato and 2 eggs, served with mixed leaves drizzled with balsamic.
1 small salmon fillet roasted with ½ courgette, ½ red and green bell pepper, 2 handfuls butternut cubes, 2tsp olive oil and fresh herbs. Plus 1 slice spanspek.