Posted by: jowanderer | May 24, 2008

The Deadline Diet – Part 2

May 23, 2008

The Deadline Diet – Part 2

Fruit smoothies allowed during diet.

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Fruit smoothies

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In the second part, follow Times Nutritionist Amanda Ursell’s pick’n’diet and Fitness Expert Matt Robert’s easy exercises

After two weeks of following the plan, not only will you be feeling lighter but, hopefully, you’ll be looking it too. This week I’ve added some vegetarian options to make my recipes even more healthy and varied. I hope you feel motivated to continue the diet, but should you need a little extra encouragement then why not jot down the benefits you have felt over the past 14 days. Try visualising your ever-improving shape and how you will look if you continue to eat well and exercise. As well as the short-term benefits, think of the long-term ones. If you can keep good habits for a month, you can keep them for life.


How It Works

The meals have been planned to help women shed 2lb (900g) a week. If you are a man following the plan, you will need to add a few extra slices of bread or slightly increase the size of your servings of pasta or rice with your dinner and have some extra fruit.

You can choose to have the same breakfast every day, although to get a good variety of nutrients, and avoid bordeom, mix and match a few of the ideas. At lunchtime you can make sandwiches (using multigrain or sourdough bread), salads and soups to take with you or simply pick up our suggestions from your local supermarket or sandwich bar (see overleaf). Dinners have been dreamt up to keep your taste buds happy while taking care of your waistline.

If you want to swap some of the lunches and dinners around, or repeat some of your favourite dinners and leave a few out, then feel free. The key is that this plan fits in with your lifestyle because we want you to lose pounds, not your joie de vivre.

In addition to the breakfast, lunch and dinner suggestions, try to have half a pint of skimmed milk a day (or light soya milk fortified with calcium – see drinks box overleaf). You can have this in teas and coffees, as a cappuccino, or trade in half of your milk for a yoghurt if you prefer.

Each day try to choose options that include a couple of servings of fruit and at least three good portions of vegetables, to make up your five a day. Over to you. Tuck in and get active, and watch your body change before your eyes.


Grapefruit with cottage cheese

Peel a pink grapefruit and cut into segments. Combine with 150g of plain cottage cheese, a chopped apricot and 1 tsp of sultanas. Drizzle 1tsp of runny honey over it. Serve chilled or place under a grill until warmed through.

Fruit and nut cereal

Serve a 40g bowl of All Bran or bran flakes with skimmed or 1 per cent fat milk and top with a grated apple and 1 tsp of your favourite chopped nuts or seeds. Pumpkin are particularly tasty.

Breakfast super blend

Blend 100g of strawberries, a ripe peach (remove stone), 150g skimmed milk, 1 tbsp of oat bran and 1 tsp of runny honey. Blitz to your preferred consistency and drink. The more bubbles you can introduce when blending the more filling this smoothie will be. Serve with a handful of chopped almonds.

Berry and ricotta breakfast wrap

Warm a tortilla wrap under the grill. Spread with 100g of ricotta cheese and a handful of sliced strawberries. Sprinkle with chopped toasted hazelnuts. Fold the sides, roll up and eat.

Sausage roll

Grill two reduced-fat sausages and serve in a small granary or wholemeal roll. Serve with mustard or tomato ketchup, whichever you prefer.

Boiled eggs

Eat a couple of satsumas and then boil two eggs. Serve with a slice of granary or sour dough toast.

Latte express

Grab a large or grande latte made with skimmed milk from a coffee shop and have with a large banana.

Cereal with fruit

Have two Weetabix topped with a blob of plain fromage frais and sprinkle with blueberries.


Have a truly continental start to the day with a slice of ham and a slice of cheese such as Gruyère, along with a slice of rye toast. Serve with fresh slices of tomatoes.

Yoghurt with fruits

Mix three of your favourite fruits, such as a chopped pear, slices of peach and some berries, with a plain yoghurt. Sprinkle with wheatgerm and serve.


Buy a pot of ready-to-serve porridge (Sainsbury’s). Just add cold milk and microwave or hot milk, stir and serve or make it at home, with 40g of oats and 200ml of skimmed or semi-skimmed milk. Have with a small banana to keep you going until lunchtime.

Kipper on toast

Have a grilled kipper with toast and a grilled tomato. This is quite salty, so drink lots of water with your breakfast to stop you feeling thirsty.

Poached egg and mushrooms

Grill some large flat mushrooms and serve with a poached egg and a slice of sourdough toast.

Cereal with fromage frais

Pour a bowl (about 40g-50g) of mini Shredded Wheat and serve with cold milk topped with a blob of plain fromage frais and 1 tsp of toasted almonds sprinkled over.


Beef and rocket sandwich

Make with two thin slices of extra lean beef. Try to use multigrain or sourdough bread which keeps you feeling fuller for longer. You can spread horseradish on the bread as well, if you like things extra hot.

Baked potato with salad

If making at home, remove centre of potato and mash with lemon juice to make potato moister. Try to avoid butter. Serve with a big green and tomato salad and a drizzle of Balsamic vinegar.

Couscous salad

Buy a supermarket tub of ready-to-eat couscous salad (look for one that is about 300 calories). Mix in some pieces of cooked chicken (only about 100g) and eat with some cherry tomatoes.

Wholemeal pitta with guacamole

Have a small wholemeal pitta bread with half a tub of guacamole (about 125g) along with some vegetable crudités

Minestrone soup

Buy a serving of minestrone soup from a sandwich shop and have with a chunk of wholemeal or rye bread.

Rollmop herring salad

Have a salad made up for you in your local salad bar. Opt for your favourite salad ingredients and have with some rollmop herrings and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Tortilla wrap with hoummos

Take a tortilla wrap and put a heaped tablespoon of hoummos in the middle. Add a handful of salad leaves. Wrap up and serve with lots of vegetable crudités.

Carrot and coriander soup

Buy a carton of carrot and coriander soup from the supermarket. Heat up and serve with a roasted turkey sandwich (look for one with about 300 calories).

Chicken kebab

Buy a chicken shish kebab and have in a pitta bread with lots of salad. Avoid the garlic mayonnaise.

Rice salad

Buy a tub of rice salad (about 200 calories per serving) from the supermarket and crumble in about 50g of feta cheese. Serve with cherry tomatoes or carrot sticks.

Baked beans on toast

Have baked beans on two slices of wholemeal toast with grilled tomatoes and grilled mushrooms at your local café.

Prawn sandwich

Make a prawn sandwich with 50g of prawns and a reduced-fat salad cream and lots of iceberg lettuce and freshly ground black pepper. Alternatively, buy a 300- calorie ]prawn sandwich from a supermarket.

Mixed bean salad

Make it at home from a can of drained mixed beans such as red kidney, borlotti and butter, or buy it from a supermarket ready-made. Serve with a drizzle of good quality balsamic vinegar and a slice of granary bread.

Mackerel salad

Make a mackerel salad, which you can whip up quickly at home or have made in a sandwich shop. Mash canned mackerel with vinegar and serve on granary toast.


Salad Niçoise

Mix 1 tsp of olive oil, 2 tsp of white wine vinegar and 2 tsp of finely cut spring onion. Cut 4 new boiled potatoes into quarters and add a handful of steamed, cooled French beans, a chopped tomato and 50g of canned tuna in spring water (drained). Season, top with a quartered hard-boiled egg, two black olives and serve.

Spicy bulgur wheat with apricots

In a saucepan add a little oil then 50g of bulgur wheat and half a finely chopped onion. Cook gently for a couple of minutes and add a pinch of ground cinnamon, 25g of raisins and 50g of apricots. Mix well and add 300ml of vegetable stock. Turn the heat to low. Cover with a lid and let the bulgur wheat absorb all the liquid (about 6 mins). Shred a little spinach from a large pack and a bunch of fresh basil leaves. Add the greens, with 50g of canned butter beans, to the cooked bulgur wheat. Mix thoroughly and add ½ tsp of chilli sauce and the zest and juice of ½ lemon. Steam or boil the rest of the spinach. Place cooked bulgur wheat on a plate with cooked spinach and grate over a little nutmeg for extra flavour.

Red kidney bean pulao

Wash 5 tbsp of basmati. Heat a saucepan, brush lightly with oil and add half a cinnamon stick, a clove and 2 green cardamom pods. Cook for a minute. Add half a chopped onion and fry gently for 2 mins. Add tsp of grated fresh ginger, a pinch of chilli powder and turmeric, a clove of crushed garlic and tsp of garam masala. Follow with 60g of frozen peas and 60g of cauliflower florets. Continue to cook gently and then add a sliced carrot and a sliced courgette. Add the rice and 80g of kidney beans. Stir gently, add ½ tbsp of lemon juice and 1 tbsp of freshly chopped coriander, a little salt and 300ml water. Bring to the boil then turn down and cover with a lid. Leave for 12 to 15 mins till all the water has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. Leave for 5 minutes before serving.

Crushed sweet potato and salmon

Boil 180g of peeled sweet potato for 20 mins. Season a 100g salmon fillet with some paprika pepper and grill (6 mins). Crush the cooked potato with 1 tsp of grain mustard, 1tbs of parsley, a finely chopped spring onion, a tbsp of fat-free salad dressing and a little salt and pepper to taste. Pile the sweet potato mash on to a plate. Put the salmon on top and serve with chicory or iceberg lettuce drizzled with balsamic glaze.

Smoked haddock chowder (serves 2)

Bring 300ml of chicken stock (fresh or made with an organic cube) to a simmer; add 1 tbsp of canned or frozen sweetcorn and 150g of canned, drained white beans such as cannellini. Simmer for a further 3 mins. Then add 100g of flaked smoked haddock and simmer for a further 5 mins. Season with pepper, add 75ml of skimmed milk and 1 tbsp chopped parsley. Heat through.

Thai cod

Cook 70g of noodles according to packet instructions. Brush a saucepan lightly with oil, add 1 dsp of green curry paste and fry for one minute stirring continuously. Add 100g of reduced-fat coconut milk and bring to the boil. Stir in 100g of fresh cod and 1 tbs of frozen peas and simmer gently for about 3 minutes. Season with 1 tsp of fish sauce; draw off the heat and sprinkle over some chopped coriander. Serve immediately with noodles.

Tagliatelle with crab, rocket and avocado

Remove the core from 2 or 3 tomatoes. Chop them and mix with a handful of chopped rocket, 60g of ripe chopped avocado, 100g of canned crab (drained); 1 small crushed clove of garlic, a little dried chilli flake, a little sea salt and black pepper to taste and 1 tbsp of balsamic glaze. Mix together and set aside. Cook 70g of tagliatelle in salted boiling water. Drain, add pasta to the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly and serve.

Fillet steak with Olives and Watercress

Take 100g of thinly sliced fillet steak. Brush each piece with a little olive oil and set aside. Combine 4 Greek olives, pitted and chopped, 1 ripe tomato diced, 1 tsp of fresh oregano leaves in a bowl. Season and drizzle with balsamic glaze and set aside. Heat a griddle pan and sear the beef quickly, so it is still pink in the middle. Serve with the tomato mix and a handful of watercress and rocket. Have with three or four cooked new potatoes that have been sliced and finished off under the grill, a low-fat way of making “sautéed” potatoes.

Beefsteak tomato filled with tuna

Cut the top of a beefsteak tomato and scoop out the insides. Mix 100g of tinned tuna (in spring water) and add a finely chopped spring onion, 3 chopped pitted black olives, ½ tbsp of chopped fresh parsley, 1 tbsp of low fat yoghurt, 1 tsp of runny honey, a 1 tsp of Dijon mustard and some seasoning. Mix well and fill the beefsteak tomato. Put the top back on and serve on a bed of lettuce with warm wholemeal pitta bread.

Turkey and broccoli stir fry

In a non-stick frying pan or wok heat 1 tsp of olive oil and sauté 70g of broccoli and 150g of pre-cooked turkey breast cut into small pieces for 2-3 minutes. Add a finely chopped small green chilli and a clove of crushed garlic, sauté for a further 3-4 minutes. Add 70g of pre-cooked basmati rice. Season and sauté until the rice is heated through. Serve with a tomato and spring onion salad, drizzled with a little balsamic glaze and season with a little herb salt.

Chicken kebabs in pitta

Separate each layer of a quarter of an onion. Thread 150g of chicken breast cut into cubes on to skewers and alternate with chunks of green pepper, cherry tomato and onions, and brush very lightly with oil. Place under a grill until the chicken is cooked through, turning every couple of minutes. Warm a pitta. Unthread the chicken and veg, pop into the pitta and serve with 1 tbsp of tzatsiki. You can make your own tzatsiki by mixing grated cucumber with low-fat plain yoghurt and cayenne pepper.

Grilled pork escalope with parsley and mustard mash

Boil 150g of sweet potato (peeled and chopped) until soft. Season 100g of lean pork. Mix 1 tsp runny honey with 1 tsp of Dijon mustard and spread on pork. Grill the pork until it is cooked through, turning every couple of minutes. Drain potato and mash with milk until smooth. Season with salt and cayenne pepper and 2 tsp of Dijon mustard. Remove pork from grill. Add a handful of chopped parsley to the mash and serve topped with the pork, surrounded by your choice of steamed vegetables.

Veggie sausages with spring onion mash

Boil 200g of potatoes, steam some broccoli (as much as you feel like eating) and grill three Quorn sausages. Drain the potatoes and mash with milk until smooth. Season, stir in a finely chopped spring onion. Serve topped with the sausages and with the broccoli on the side.

Quick haddock

Put 150g of haddock into a saucepan, season and pour over 100ml of skimmed milk. Heat until almost boiling then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve with 150g of boiled new potatoes in their skins, mixed with a tbsp of pesto sauce and lots of freshly steamed greens.


During the day stick with water as much as you can – tap, sparkling or still mineral.

You can have teas and coffees, but try to stick to no more than four a day. Once these are used up, try herbal or rooibos teas, which are caffeine-free.

Avoid all sugary drinks, fruit smoothies, milkshakes and fruit juices.

While you are losing weight, give up alcohol during the week and stick to only two units at the weekends. This is equivalent to two 125ml glasses of low-alcohol wine (about 9 per cent, Marks & Spencer stocks these) or two half pints of lager or beer, or two standard shots of spirits with low-calorie mixers. This may sound draconian, but it is only for four weeks.



Having worked hard at building your fitness levels over the past 14 days you should be feeling as if you have a spring in your step. The first part of this 28-day workout (visit was designed to get your heart and lungs working at a moderate level. This week you can challenge yourself with new activities and increase the length of time you exercise. You may feel a little tired, but this is your body’s way of adjusting and coping.


How It Works

For simplicity, think of your exertions on a 1-10 scale: 1 is totally at rest; 10 is completely exhausted. When you are doing the cardiovascular workouts – jogging, cycling, swimming or power walking – work out at an intensity of 8/9 so you are really pushing yourself. There are also exercises to ensure that all your muscles are as active as possible: this will raise your metabolism, the rate at which your body burns calories.

You can do all the exercises in your home or in the park, so there can be no excuses to skip sessions. And they should take only 30 minutes. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and try to spend 5-10 minutes after each session stretching the big muscles. For my full stretching routine, log on to the Health Club and click on the Library (

Try to stick to the plan; you will feel so much better for it.

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Play a sport, if possible. It is a good way to make your exercise more sociable rather than working alone. Perhaps try something new with a friend, such as badminton, tennis or, if you have children, you could try a game of touch rugby with them. The variety keeps you motivated and tests your body in different ways. Spend 45-60 minutes keeping your working rate moderate to high.


Try to run, power walk or cycle for 30 minutes at a medium to high pace, whether in the gym or outside. Then work your abdominals with the following routine:

Crunches A similar movement to a sit-up, but as you bring your upper body off the ground bend your legs and bring your knees towards your head; 30 repetitions (reps).

Oblique bridge Lie on your side and raise your body off the floor using your arm and your feet to support you. Your body should be straight with your back, hips and legs in a straight line. Try to hold for a minute.

Repeat both 3 or 4 times.


The ideal exercise is a swim. Try to use interval training, using a pattern of two lengths fast and one length slow for 25-30 minutes. If you can’t go swimming, cycle or run for the same period, and, if possible, try to include some small hills so that you create a varied workload for your heart and lungs.


You can give your heart and lungs a rest, but I want you to work on toning key areas.

Squats 25 reps.

Step-ups 15 reps each leg.

Press-ups 15-20 reps.

Crunches 30 reps (see Day 2 for technique).

Tricep dips Sit on the edge of a seat or bench with your legs straight out in front of you. Place your hands on the edge of the seat and slowly move your bottom a couple of inches away from the seat, taking your body weight on to your arms. Lower your bottom towards the floor by bending your arms and then raise back up. If you find it difficult, bend your knees; 15-20 reps.

Go through the routine in order and then rest for 2 minutes before repeating 2-3 times.


Sports day again. Do the same activity as on Day 1 and keep trying to improve your skills. If you practise regularly, the better you will become and the more you will want to play. The more you play, the fitter you will become.

If you want to try something radical, what about dry-slope skiing. Learning to ski is physically demanding, but can be done at any age. My own parents learnt to ski at 60.


If you are going to the gym, try the rowing machine. Row for 500m, rest for 2 minutes, and then repeat for 4 or 5 rowing spells.

Alternatively, power walk, cycle or run outside. If you are cycling, aim for 40 minutes at a constant speed; if walking, find a hill to walk up and down at a fast pace; and if you are running, run for 2 minutes and then fast-pace walk for 2 minutes, for 30 minutes.

For the exercises below, see Day 2.

Crunches 1 minute

Oblique bridge Hold for a minute.

Repeat exercises three or four times.


Try to walk at a medium pace for 60-90 minutes. This should feel as if it is relatively easy and you can carry on a conversation throughout. Try to walk with a friend or partner; it is always much easier to go for longer if you have someone to share the experience with. Try to stop every 15 minutes and use a park bench to do the following:

Step-ups 15 each leg.

Press-ups 20 reps.

Tricep dips 20 reps (see Day 4).

Day 8

Exercise your muscles to create some tone and strength.

Chest press Lie on the floor with your arms straight out in front of you, with a weight in each hand – a full water bottle or a dumbbell. Slowly lower the weight towards your chest bending your arms at the elbow as you do so. Slowly return to the starting position; 15 reps.

Press-ups 20 reps.

Lateral raises Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees and elbows slightly bent. Holding a weight in each hand, with palms facing inwards, slowly raise arms up and outwards until hands are at shoulder level. Hold for a second and lower to start position; 15 reps.

Leg press Balancing on one leg, pull your tummy muscles in and slowly lower your body towards the floor, bending your knees and sticking your bottom out, as if you were going to sit on a chair. Maintain a straight back and as you reach the sitting position, squeeze your bottom muscles before returning to the start position. For added intensity hold a weight in each hand; 15 reps.

Squats 20 reps.

Body raises Lie on the floor face up, with your arms by your side, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. As you squeeze your bottom, slowly raise your hips and the lower section of your back until your body is a straight line from knee to shoulder. Return to the starting position; 25 reps.


Arrange your sports exercise and try to play for longer. If you did 40 minutes last time, why not extend to an hour? As your skills improve, your ability to play for longer increases.

If you have children, and sports day is around the corner, why not practise some of the races with them. Sprinting races, wheelbarrow races or even mini-relay races (boys vs girls perhaps), will get all the family working hard.

DAY 10

Power walk, cycle or run outside. If you are cycling, go for 50-60 minutes at a constant speed. If you are walking, find a hill to walk up and down at a fast pace, and if you are running, try to run for 3 minutes and then fast pace walk for 2 minutes, for 40 minutes.

If you are going to the gym, use the rowing machine. Row for 750m, rest for 2 minutes, and then repeat for 4 or 5 rowing spells.

For the exercises below, see Day 2 for the technique.

Crunches 40 reps.

Oblique bridge Hold for 40 seconds.

Repeat the exercises 3 or 4 times.

DAY 11

Today is a mini rest day, but don’t just sit around. Try to do some gardening, or go for a walk at a leisurely pace, or do a physical job that you had been putting off for a while (clear the cellar, shift those boxes, paint the fence, etc). General activity is always important in terms of maintaining a healthy heart and will also help to alleviate any stiffness that may be in your muscles, having worked hard over the past few weeks.

DAY 12

Exercise your muscles today, to create some tone and strength. For the exercises below, see Day 8 for the technique.

Chest press 15 reps.

Press-ups 20 reps.

Lateral raises 15 reps.

Leg press 15 reps.

Squats 20 reps.

Body raises 25 reps.

Repeat the exercises 4 times.

DAY 13

If possible, swim for 40 minutes. Break the swimming down into small spells using different strokes. You could do breaststroke for 6-7 minutes, crawl for 6-7 and back stroke for 6-7, taking a rest of a couple of minutes between each section. Good variety in your swimming will allow more muscles to be worked during the whole routine and also to stop you from going slightly crazy just counting endless lengths using one style. Otherwise, jog for 40 minutes.

DAY 14

Short and sweet. Run, cycle, fast-pace walk, or if you are in the gym, use the cross-trainer or rower. Exercise at a high pace for 25-30 minutes and allow yourself to test the fitness that you have spent the past four weeks creating. You can keep your level at a 7-8/10 consistently, and don’t be afraid to push it up now and again to 9/10 and then use an active recovery to regain your composure. When you have become truly fit you will relish the chance to test yourself during your regular run, or any other cardiovascular exercise, as you know that the short-term discomfort of being tested doesn’t last long, but the euphoria of recovering and keeping going lasts beyond just your workout.


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