The Dreaded Diet!!


As I have mentioned, probably several times, I follow the 5:2 diet. I am a creature of habit however I do sometimes get a little bored of the endless soup, stir fries and salmon that I eat on "2" days and so I decided it was time to try something new. This is a recipe which I found in the Daily Mail and it took around 30 minutes.

Ingredients for 2 people:

30g chorizo, finely chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp smoked paprika
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper
Handful of coriander, roughly chopped, to serve

Heat a medium-sized pan and gently fry the chorizo to release it's colour, oil and flavour. 

Add the onion and garlic and cook gently until they have softened (about 5 minutes).

Add the butter beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, paprika and sugar. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add 2 tablespoons of water or a little more, if the pan starts to look a little dry.

Finally serve between 2 bowls with some chopped coriander.

This comes to a total of 249 calories per portion - I weighed the two bowls so I made sure each portion was equal. As I was sharing it with my daughter, Arabella, she added some crusty bread and goat's cheese to bulk out her portion. I really enjoyed it - it certainly did not feel like diet food and was really tasty and filling. Arabella was not so keen - too many onions  - but it wasn't the worst thing she had eaten apparently!!

Don't scrimp on the coriander, it really makes the dish. A great recipe for a "2" day.



I have mentioned in previous posts that I follow the 5:2 diet / the fast diet - it is the first time I have ever managed to stick to an eating plan which makes it impressive as I have been on a diet on and off since I was a 10 years old! My family used to very kindly tell me it was "puppy fat"!

Thankfully my daughter has a completely different body type to me (tall and skinny) but still I do not like to talk about diets, calories or fat in the house so when I have a fast day (500 calories) I need to be very careful about it. 

Last night I cooked this fish dish for myself but for my daughter I topped the fish with pesto and she had the olives and tomatoes on the side (she is not a fan of capers). It took about 15 minutes maximum and was very simple.

Ingredients for 2 people:

200g green beans
2 pieces of skinless cod or haddock (around 300g)
Olive oil or fry light 
1 tsp rosemary, chopped
30g green olives, pitted and quartered
2 tsp capers
8 cherry tomatoes, diced
Half a lemon, juiced

Preheat the grill and season the fish. Cook according to the instructions - mine took 12 minutes under a medium grill.

Prepare the tomatoes, capers, rosemary and olives.

About 5 minutes before the fish is ready, boil the green beans and then drain.

Then either spray some fry light (or if you are not counting calories add a tablespoon of olive oil) into a frying pan and add the olives, rosemary, tomatoes and capers for a couple of minutes. Season.

Squeeze in the lemon juice and let it bubble for a minute.

Then serve with the fish sitting on the beans and spoon over the sauce.

Such a pretty plate….and it was extremely fresh and tasty too. Very surprising as it is only 185 calories. I think the capers were the secret ingredient, they go so well with fish. Next time I might add some extra vegetables like peas and add some new potatoes for Arabella or Pascal but to be honest, it was pretty perfect as it is.


Last week I did a post about the 5:2 diet / the fast diet and some of my low calorie recipes. One thing I find very tough on my "2" days is not having any sweets or chocolate as I have to stick to foods that are really low in calories… salad, soup, fish and fruit. One of my lovely friend's Caroline recently sent me this recipe for banana ice-cream - basically if you freeze a banana and then whizz it in a blender it becomes ice-cream like - I thought this sounded too good to be true so I had to give it a go.

Ingredients for 1 person:

1 ripe banana

Cut it into coin sized pieces - you don't have to be accurate but try to keep them as even as possible.

Put the bananas in an air tight container like this Tupperware or a freezer bag.

Freeze the banana pieces for at least 2 hours but ideally overnight if you can.

Put the frozen banana pieces in a food processor and start to blend.

Keep blending and the banana will look crumbly or smashed. If necessary scrape down the food processor so it is all at the bottom by the blades.

Keep blending and the banana will become gooey, mushy, porridge-like and then suddenly the magic will happen!! It will become creamy and soft. Keep blending for another minute so completely lump free.

If you are saving it til later, put it back in an air tight container in the freezer and freeze until you are ready to eat. If you are an impatient piglet like myself, just pop it back in the freezer in a bowl for 15 minutes or so….you want it solid like traditional ice cream. Enjoy!

I had this on a 2 day and it definitely hit the spot when I was craving something sweet. My banana was about 80 calories. If you are not counting calories, you can add several mix-ins to make it even sweeter such as a spoonful of nutella, a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, a handful of chocolate chips or a dollop of nutella, a tablespoon of cocoa powder or half a teaspoon of cinnamon or ginger….the list is endless! You would add these after the banana has become smooth and creamy and before you refreeze. 

This is no Ben & Jerry's but I have to say it was better than I thought - I will definitely be making it for my vegan sister when she next comes round….without nutella obviously!



As I have mentioned in some previous blog posts I follow the 5:2 diet. This means that for 2 days of the week I just consume 500 calories (600 for a man) and then rest of the time I eat "normally"….by normally I mean around 2000 calories a day (2400 for men). When I originally started this diet, I didn't lose anything but that was because I thought you could literally eat what you want on the "normal" days and so was going food crazy - this is not the case, if you consume a lot more that your recommended amount, this diet won't have the correct effect.

The diet is based on intermittent fasting which not only helps you lose weight but also allows you to enjoy a wide range of health benefits such as improvements in your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and insulin sensitivity. 

The weight loss is slow, around a pound or two a week, however it is consistent. I have been doing it since January and it is the only diet I have ever stuck to properly…..and I have been dieting for nearly 25 years!!! 

Right - the days of 500/600 calories aren't easy but actually they are not too bad. I keep myself going by thinking of what I can eat the next day….chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! The funny thing is the next day you feel so good, you don't want to stuff yourself with sugar. I am having a "2" day today and I am dreaming of eating my Millionaire Shortbread for breakfast but I know I won't….I will probably have an apple.

The one thing that is hard on a "2" day is adding variety to your meal plan and also I don't want my daughter to know that I am cutting my calories so I try to eat as normal as possible. I eat a lot of soup, eggs, salads, fish, fruit and stir fry. Then I add potatoes or pasta or something to Arabella and Pascal's meals. If you are happy to eat ready made food, supermarkets do a wide range of meals for 300 calories but I prefer to make everything as fresh as possible.

Here are some of my regular meals for a 500/600 calorie day:

1. 60g smoked salmon, 2 large eggs scrambled with a dash of skimmed milk, salt and pepper and a few chives. Fry Light (one calorie spray) is my secret weapon - it prevents me ever having to use oil. Total calories = 270 calories

2. 120g salmon fillet with 150g broccoli and 10ml soy sauce. I bake the salmon and broccoli in the oven at 180 C for 15 minutes and add a squeeze of lemon to the fish. Total calories = 288 calories.

3. 130g fresh tuna and 160g broccoli. We sprayed the tuna with some Fry Light and then put it on the barbecue for a couple of minutes each side and roasted the broccoli as before. Total calories = 239 calories.

4. 600g New Covent Garden wild mushroom soup. I eat the whole carton and it is very filling. Total calories = 162 calories.

5. 280g mixed mushroom stir fry with a packet of Slim Pasta spaghetti and 15ml soy sauce. The Slim Pasta is from Whole Foods or Holland and Barrett - it is a poor substitute for noodles or spaghetti but it is only 40 calories so does come in useful! Once again I used Fry Light for my wok. Total Calories = 210 calories.

6. I love a salad - here I have added 75g of roasted garlic and parsley prawns, 70g of lambs lettuce & rocket, 5 cherry tomatoes, 20g reduced fat feta cheese and 30ml of pizza express house dressing. Total calories = 266 calories.

7. A ham omelette made with 2 medium eggs and a few slices of wafer thin ham and of course….Fry Light. Plus some cucumber on the side. Total calories = 195 calories.

I always save my meal for the evening so I can eat with my family. For the rest of the day I will have a coffee with skimmed milk when I wake up (12 calories) and then I will snack on fruit such as a pink lady apple (47 calories), a nectarine (43 calories), a plum (25 calories). I also adore the miso soup sachets which are only 18 calories and every night I have a chocolate highlights drink which is just 40 calories….my treat! Celery and cucumber are good to eat as well as they are low cal and I drink a lot of water and herbal tea. 

I will add more meals as I go on - I haven't weighed myself for a while so I can't tell you exactly how successful this diet has actually been but my clothes are fitting better and I feel good. It is strange but I even look forward to my "2" days as I have a tendency to over eat at times and it keeps me on the straight and narrow. 

Right now back to dreaming of sugar!!



The reason for my silence recently is that I have been following a new diet. I am one of those people who are really good at being bad and pretty good at being good but I can never find that happy medium! Since Christmas I have been on a roll - far too much naughtiness - sweets, chocolates, wine, burgers, cheese - the list is endless! I realised it was time to rein it in before I become the size of a house!! Plus all my jeans were becoming so tight and I was finding it hard to breath if I had to sit down in them!!

I decided to use the diet delivery service Nourished ( which is based in Fulham but delivers all around the country - the company offer 4 different healthy diets delivered to your door so you can find one which caters exactly to your needs. 

There is "The Damage Limitations Diet" which will help you when you have overdone partying and you want to "trim that tummy, manage those moobs and firm up the thighs"!

Next is "The Good Intentions Diet" - this is what I did and it is a calorie controlled and nutritious diet that is designed to get the weight off and keep it off (a current necessity for me). I have done it a couple of times in previous years and it has always been successful.

The third diet is "The Peak Performance Diet" and this will be tailored to your exact needs in order to get you into peak performance, whether you are running a marathon or doing a triathlon (certainly not me unless you count running to the wine shop).

Finally there is the "Hey, Where's Mine Diet?" - here Nourished will deliver 7 suppers so your partner can eat the same as you and not feel left out!

There is also "Nourished Nippers" where you can order healthy, nutritious meals for your little ones. This is really useful if you want your kids to eat well but don't have time to prepare home cooked meals every night.

To order your diet, you can speak to the CEO Nicci or go through the website Your diet will arrive on a Tuesday morning is a cool bag and you are given a menu and instructions as to what food you put in the fridge, what goes into the freezer and how long everything takes to cook. It could not be more simple….even I could follow it!!

Here is a copy of the menu for my week on the diet:

Breakfast on the first day is organic macca muesli with skimmed milk. I am not really a breakfast person but I did enjoy this….a good start. There are 4 different types of muesli / porridge - the organic macca muesli, an organic goji and cranberry, an organic rich muesli and finally an organic apple porridge. You mix them with 0% Greek yoghurt or skimmed milk (the only things you have to buy).

There is a 4 week rolling menu for "The Good Intentions Diet" and I was on week 3. Below is a day's food. You also receive a packet of Nairns biscuits for each day however my darling fiancé Pascal ate them all over tea with a couple of friends!!! Charming - talk about supportive!!

On average the breakfast is 200 calories each day, lunch is roughly 350 calories, the biscuits are 100 calories and supper is 550 calories - this is all approximate but it adds up to 1200 calories each day. Men are on more calories than women (1500) and they receive an extra cereal each day and an oat cake.

Lunch the first day is a salad and boy was I impressed - it was a Bang Bang Chicken salad filled with chicken, noodles, lettuce, spring onions, cucumber and the most amazing dressing. It was a generous portion and I was so busy stuffing it in I ended up wearing some of it!! I would be happy to order it in a restaurant.

Supper was a Naked Burger with Secret Salsa which included mushrooms, peppers, tomato, celery and onion. You put the unopened pouch in a saucepan of simmering water for 12 minutes. 

I have to say this was the first ever burger I have had without cheese!! Of course I missed it (I would be lying if I said I didn't want to smother it with copious amounts of stilton) however it was still very enjoyable - good quality meat and the salsa has a kick to it which adds to the flavour. It certainly didn't feel like diet food and I went to bed that night strangely satisfied.

The next day was organic goji and cranberry with 0% Greek yoghurt and then lunch was a Leek and Cauliflower soup with which you empty out into a saucepan and heat for around 5 minutes. Leek and cauliflower soup is not something I would normally choose - I love leeks and cauliflower but normally I would add some kind of cheesy sauce to them. However they worked really well together - the soup was thick, filling and warming and had a little spice added.

Supper was free range chicken and mixed bean chilli - like before you put the unopened pouch in a pan of simmering water for 15 minutes (as it tells you on the menu) and then cut the pouch and serve. This was tender chunks of chicken with beans, tomatoes, celery and chillis and even though I am pretty scared of anything spicy I enjoyed it and polished the whole lot off. The portion is extremely generous and I was full when I was finished. Having not had sugar for 2 days, the cravings had started so I resorted to a peppermint and liquorice tea - I don't know what I did without herbal teas!!

By now I am starting to feel that my stomach is flatter and less boated and I am less sluggish.

Before bedtime I take day 3's food out the freezer so it is defrosted for the next day….day 3 is an exciting day as it is pasta…a very rare occurrence on a diet!

Breakfast is organic rich muesli with 0% Greek yoghurt, followed by Chana Masala - I have no idea what this is but it tasted delicious - chickpeas are the main ingredient however it has a curry taste to it….I think it is actually better than most things you would get in a curry house, certainly healthier! When the weather is as horrendous as it is at the moment, you couldn't ask for a better lunch - it actually felt quite indulgent.

By this point I was cursing Pascal and his friends for eating the biscuits!!

Supper was a favourite - whole wheat penne pasta with a fresh tomato and basil sauce. You cook both separately for 12 minutes and then mix together. You can imagine my initial reaction to the pasta - no cheese??? not even a little??? Apparently not. I was apprehensive as to whether I would be able to eat it and I shocked myself. I even enjoyed it - you could really taste the basil in the sauce and Arabella kept on stealing mouthfuls much to my annoyance. 

I am not saying in the future I am never going to add cheese to pasta, because of course I will, but maybe I won't be so heavy handed and this has shown me that other flavours can be enjoyed even when they are not covered in cheese!! A revelation to such a cheese lover like myself. 

One of the other good things about this diet is they offer you a work out programme which can be viewed by the website - it is only 20 minutes so perfectly manageable however it is not compulsory and you will still lose weight without it. I continued to do my bikram as I am obsessed and despite being on less calories I still felt energised as I was eating a lot healthier than usual.

Three days down - four to go. I will continue tomorrow but so far so good. I do not feel like I am on an actual diet as there is no starvation here however I am missing actually cooking. I have learnt from this that it is good to add a bit of a kick to your food as that helps speed your metabolic rate and I am surprised that I actually miss cheese more than sugar. I feel good for myself and am eager to continue….



As I mentioned in my previous blog post, it is not the sugar I miss while on this diet, surprisingly it is the cheese….and er picking at crisps and hummus! I didn't think I ate that many crisps….obviously I do…

That said these final four days have not been too hard.

Day 4 included organic apple porridge with skimmed milk which I really enjoyed - I would happily buy this in the supermarket for Arabella and I, much healthier choice than the kids' sugary cereals on offer. Lunch was Nicci's Roasted Aubergine and Chestnut Mushroom soup. The soup was good - less thick than the others and not bitty like some mushroom ones can be - I am not a fan of Covent Garden's Mushroom soup!! As the soup is such a good-size portion, it takes longer to eat so you recognise you are full by the end which obviously doesn't happen when I shove a packet of crisps down me.

Supper was Lamb Fricassee which was my favourite of the whole week. Lamb, peas, broad beans, mint, carrots and celery with a delicious stock sauce. I really enjoyed it. I was feeling slightly annoyed as Arabella was tucking into Baked Eggs with Cheese & Ham and it looked so yum but in the end I was more than happy and satisfied with my meal.

At day 5, I had reached the weekend and was starting to find it more difficult. All I wanted was a glass of wine, crisps and hummus, saucisson, a wedge of Camembert.…but I was feeling good so was inspired to continue…the feeling of healthiness is quite addictive…I hope it lasts!! Plus Nicci is always there to talk to and spur you on if you feel like you are going to crack. This was an important day for me as it showed I could survive a weekend day with no naughtiness….something that never ever happens….and probably won't happen again!!

For lunch I had Spicy Vegetable and Noodle Soup - this was jam packed with red and green peppers, noodles, bean sprouts, green beans and onions all in a vegetable broth and obviously with a pinch of spice.

Supper was fillet of bream with tomatoes, olives and capers and this was delicious - much better than I expected. The capers really added to the flavour and the fish was perfect. I will try and recreate this recipe at home and I will be very very proud if I can….I think even Pascal (Mr Anti-Fish) would like it!

My jeans are starting to feel loser - my grey jeans that I have been struggling to squeeze into recently are much more comfortable so that puts a big smile on my face. My skinniest blue jeans can also do up but give me a massive muffin top so obviously more work to do! 

Breakfast on day 6 is the goji and cranberry with yoghurt again and then lunch is a Puy Lentil and Brown Rice Hotpot. This is not really a soup and is more of a meal and it is so full of lentils, rice and lots of veg - carrots, onion, celery - it was very filling and really hit the spot.

I ate Danny's Famous Catalan Chicken for supper which was chicken with walnuts and apricots in a thick tomatoey paprika sauce. I really adored the sauce, chicken and nuts but I have a phobia about fruit with food so left the apricots out (first time I left something on the diet)!!

The Spinach and Parmesan soup on the last day was not photogenic but it tasted delicious, you could really pick out the flavours and as before it tasted much better than the Covent Garden soups I tend to buy (I once read that soup eaters are thinner than non soup eaters so buy a load whenever I go to the supermarket)! 

The last supper - Vegetable Biryani - I felt like I was actually having a proper curry filled with an array of veg - it definitely rounded the diet off well. This time Arabella was most jealous and now she wants to go for an Indian!!

The diet is finally over and it was a success! I lost 4.5lbs in 7 days and the food was delicious, healthy and filling. Yes I craved wine, cheese, crisps and chocolate but it was pretty easy to ignore as you are not starving. It was very easy to follow and time efficient….no shopping for hard to find ingredients or cooking complex meals, and judging by the testimonials on the website I am not the only one who has benefited from the diet. 

I have also learnt that I certainly pick far too much between meals and I definitely need to watch my portion size for suppers especially….I seem to think I need to eat the same amount as a giant…

You do not lose the weight amount that you do in the previous diets I have posted but this is far easier, healthier and a more long term weight loss. I will definitely do this diet again in the future (preferably with Pascal on partner's suppers and Arabella on Nourished Nippers) and would recommend it to anyone who is serious about losing weight - a fool proof way to shed those unwanted pounds…and who doesn't want that?!

For further details:

Tel: 01932 864226



I don't think anyone would be surprised to know that my How To Lose A Stone In One Week Diet is the most popular blog post….who doesn't want to lose weight?!! It's my lifetime goal and I'm proud to say that sometimes I have reached my "ideal' weight' but then I can never sustain it as I am too much of a piglet.

Lots of people have asked about the vegetarian option which I haven't done as I am not veggie. I would suggest you could just replace the meat with quorn or fish however the diet might not be as effective as it is all about chemicals. I expect you will still lose a lot of weight though as it is very restrictive (700-800 calories a day). 

I searched for a vegetarian diet online and found this as an alternative. I hope it helps. It is a lot more complicated than the original diet as there is more cooking involved and it also has more calories but it will still help with weight loss. If anyone does give it a go please let me know how you get on & I will try & persuade myself to give it a go sometime.

Good luck everyone and I hope it goes well!!

(Include a glass of fruit juice with each option)
190g of reduced-sugar and reduced-salt baked beans with 60g grilled mushrooms and 65g grilled tomatoes followed by a 125g pot of diet bio yoghurt with 120g stewed prunes.(306cals, 2.2g fat) 

1 portion of brown rice salad with chickpeas (mix together 50g canned chickpeas, 100g canned tomatoes, 1tsp Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, a dash of Tabasco, 30g onion, 1/2 clove garlic, 200g boiled brown rice and 1tbsp fresh basil).(376cals, 4.3g fat) 

(Follow each option with a piece of fruit)

Beetroot, fennel and lemon risotto with aubergine salad
1 portion of beetroot, fennel and lemon risotto served with 1 portion of grilled aubergine salad. (547cals, 20g fat) 

(Include a glass of fruit juice with each option)
1 serving of baked summer fruits served with a 125g pot of plain very low-fat fromage frais, followed by a slice of sesame Ryvita topped with 150g sliced apple and 2 tsp lemon curd. For the summer fruits bake 60g raspberries, 70g peach, 50g strawberries and 40g blackberries in a slow oven for 30 minutes. (285cals, 2.8g fat) 

1 bowl (250g) of canned potato and leek soup with 80g French bread. (346cals, 8.9g fat) 

(Follow each option with a piece of fruit)Ratatouille and baked potato
1 portion of Romanian ratatouille served with 1 medium (180g) baked potato. (591cals, 20.4g fat) 

(Include a glass of fruit juice with each option)

1 bowl (30g) Weetaflakes, topped with a handful of raisins and 125ml skimmed milk, followed by a glass of banana and strawberry smoothie (whizz 60g fresh strawberries and 250ml cold skimmed milk in a blender with 100g chopped banana; top with ice). (336cals, 0.9g fat) 

100g baked tofu burger served with 120g baked yam, 120g tomato and onion salad with 7g fat free dressing For the tofu burger recipe (serves 4), you need 350g firm tofu, 1 medium onion, chopped, 45g chopped leeks, 75g rolled oats, 20ml soya sauce, 25g breadcrumbs, handful of coriander leaves, chopped. Mix all ingredients together, season with celery salt and pepper, shape into burger shapes and bake at 180C/350F/gas mark 4 for 20 minutes.(408cals,10g fat) 

(Follow each option with a piece of fruit) 

Carrot and orange soup and broccoli flan. 1 bowl (300g) of carrot and orange soup, followed by 1 slice (120g) of wholemeal broccoli flan served with 1 baked yam (130g) and 1 portion of green vegetable medley. For the carrot and orange soup you’ll need 500g grated carrots, 1 litre of water, 1 medium onion, chopped, 60ml unsweetened orange juice, salt and pepper, a handful of chopped coriander, 20ml single cream or creme fraiche. Put the main ingredients in a pan and bring to boil, simmer for 1/2 an hour or until carrots are soft. Liquidise, season, garnish with coriander and cream. Serves 4. (568cals, 20.9g fat)

(Include a glass of fruit juice with each option)

1 bowl (30g) unsweetened tropical muesli with 125ml skimmed milk, followed by a slice of multigrain rye crispbread topped with 30g sliced fresh pineapple and 15g reduced fat cottage cheese. (270cals, 3.4g fat) 

1 portion of rice noodles with Quorn, followed by 100g mixed fruit salad. For the noodles, add 270g cooked rice noodles to 300ml miso-flavoured stock (miso paste is sold in supermarkets) and garnish with 90g Quorn fillets, shredded, 110g pak choi, 60g sliced carrots and 10g sliced spring onions. Season with Shoyu (low-salt soya sauce). (363cals, 5.5g fat) 

(Follow each option with a piece of fruit)

Vegetable moussaka, plus yoghurt dessert
1 portion of vegetable moussaka, followed by 1 pot (125g) of diet bio yoghurt with 120g stewed prunes. For the vegetable moussaka you’ll need 500g aubergines, thinly sliced, 120g corn oil, 225g onions, thinly sliced, 5g garlic, crushed, 225 chopped mushrooms, 280g cooked red split lentils, a handful of torn basil leaves, 2 bay leaves, 25g tomato puree, 250g tomatoes, sliced, 500g boiled potatoes, 500g white sauce made with skimmed milk, 2 small eggs and 150g grated mature cheddar cheese. Fry the aubergines with half of the oil and drain. Fry the onions and garlic in the remaining oil and add the mushrooms, lentils and tomato puree. Now add the bay leaves and basil leaves, season, cook for 5 minutes and spread onto the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Layer with aubergines, followed by the tomatoes and then the potatoes. Beat the eggs into the white sauce and pour over the potatoes; sprinkle over the cheese and bake at 180C/350F/gas mark 4 for 25-30 minutes. (Serves 4).(560cals, 21.2g fat)

(Include a glass of fruit juice with each option)
1 bowl of instant porridge (made with 1/4 pint skimmed milk) topped with 60g fresh chopped strawberries, followed by a bowl of fig, melon and banana salad with crystallised ginger (mix 100g sliced banana, 55g halved figs, 100g chopped honeydew melon and 10g chopped crystallised ginger together; chill until ready to eat).(307cals, 2.5g fat) 

1 serving of pea and pumpkin curry with 175g steamed Thai fragrant rice.(392cals, 7.5g fat) 

(Follow each option with a piece of fruit) 

Quorn korma and rice. 1 portion (250g) of shop-bought Quorn korma served with 1 portion (180g) of boiled Basmati rice and a tomato and cucumber salad (145g).(591cals, 18.4g fat) 


(Include a glass of fruit juice with each option)
2 slices (72g) of wholemeal bread topped with 30g reduced-fat cottage cheese and 40g canned pineapple chunks, followed by a bowl of crunchy tropical fruit salad (mix together 25g sliced papaya, 30g sliced kiwi fruit, 30g pineapple chunks and 1/2 passion fruit; top with 15g unsweetened muesli, lightly toasted under a medium grill for 5 minutes). (288cal, 3.4g fat) 

150g boiled wholemeal spaghetti, served with 85g tomato and garlic pasta sauce and 15g Parmesan cheese, followed by a small serving (100g) of canned rice pudding topped with 30g fresh strawberries.(377cals, 10g fat) 

(Follow each option with a piece of fruit) 

Beanburger pitta pocket. 1 grilled beanburger (180g) served inside a large wholemeal pitta bread, stuffed with 90g mixed salad leaves and topped with a tablespoon of low-fat Greek yoghurt flavoured with a squeeze of lime juice. For the beanburger recipe (for the beanburger you’ll need 270g canned pureed red kidney beans, 20g vegetable oil, 90g finely chopped onion, 1 clove of crushed garlic, 90g grated carrots, 75g oatmeal, 1 tbsp Vegemite, a handful of basil leaves, torn. Fry the onion in half of the oil until brown, add garlic and the remaining ingredients. Form into 8 burgers, brush with the remaining oil and grill under a high heat for 5-7 minutes turning halfway during cooking.(559kcals, 12.9g fat) 

(Include a glass of fruit juice with each option) 

Any of the above breakfast meals

1 bowl (300g) canned lentil soup, followed by 1 plain toasted bagel (70g) filled with 30g hummus and 40g grated carrots.(352cals, 5.8g fat)

(Follow each option with a piece of fruit) 

Chickpea curry and salad. 1 portion (280g) of chickpea curry served with 2 chapattis (110g) and a green salad with yoghurt-based dressing.For the chickpea curry you’ll need 1 large onion, chopped, 2 garlic cloves, crushed, one and a half tbsp vegetable oil, half a tsp chilli powder, 1tsp ground cumin, half tsp ground coriander, half tsp ground ginger, 250g chopped canned tomatoes, 20g tomato puree, 650g boiled or canned chickpeas, 450ml vegetable stock. Fry the onions until soft, add garlic and spices and cook for another 4-5 minutes over a medium heat. Add the other ingredients and bring to the boil, cover and then simmer for 1 hour. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. (Serves 4).(576cals, 17.5g fat)

Snacks (twice a day)
Bio yoghurt - any flavour (125g contains 68 calories, 0.1g fat) Dried fruit - any kind (60g mixed dried fruit contains 160 calories, 0.2g fat) Vegetable crudites with low-fat soft cheese (30g celery, 30g carrot and 30g Tesco Healthy Eating Light Soft Cheese contains 49 calories, 2g fat) Fruit - any kind (80g banana contains 76 calories, 0.2g fat; 160g mango contains 91 calories, 0.3g fat; 112g apple contains 53 calories, 0.1g fat) Popcorn (30g contains 68 calories, 0.8g fat) Malt loaf (35g contains 108 calories, 0.8g fat) Breadsticks (30g contains 118 calories, 2.5g fat) Pumpernickel bread (33g contains 73 calories, 0.3g fat) Rye crispbread (30g contains 96 calories, 0.6g fat) Tesco Healthy Eating Currant Bun (55g contains 142 calories, 2.5g fat) Fruit teacake (40g contains 110 calories, 0.9g fat)

It does sound a lot more exciting than the original diet as it is a more varied, plus it is probably healthier as it contains a lot of fibre, veg & carbs however as I said before I do not know what the weight loss would be. You are eating 1200 calories a day rather than about 700-800. You could try exercising with it & burning off the extra calories or just try and stick at it for longer. I did a diet of 1200 calories a day & I lost 8 lbs in 2 weeks and Pascal lost 14 lbs in 2 weeks.

Good luck & please leave a comment if you try it!!



Like the exercise tab, the diet one has remained empty for a few months now, despite the fact that I am constantly thinking about weight and how to lose it....the problem is I never really do anything about it other than exercise like a mad woman. I just love my food too much.

According to one of my gym instructors the perfect body is 70% food and only 30% exercise - I know that you should eat three healthy meals a day and everything in moderation but that doesn't work with me because I love to gorge, booze and eat naughty things - sometimes many times throughout the day!

However it does get to the point sometimes (more often than I would like) when I have overdone it and need to shed a few pounds/kilos/stones. I am uncertain whether I should recommend this diet and it should probably come with a health warning as you are able to lose a lot of weight very quickly! 

Pascal did a full week and lost 14 pounds in 7 days, one of my bff's has done it this week and lost 7 pounds in three days and I did a few days once and lost 5 pounds in 3 days. Crash dieting at it's best!!! 

It is obviously not a long term answer and you are more than likely to gain some of the weight back but it is the perfect solution if you want to lose weight fast - I like to do it if I have a special event or holiday coming up and I want to look as thin as possible or if I am trying to shrink my appetite.

The best thing is it is not particularly far as diets go...and I have done quite a few in my time - the south beach diet, the juice diet, the Dukan, Atkins, starvation, .....the list is endless. My best friend and I have been talking about our weight everyday for 20 years and we still aren't bored of the subject (although our other halves definitely are)! In fact writing this is actually making me hungry and want to eat kettle chips but NO!

Anyway James Duncan's diet was designed to help people crash lose a stone for operations in a week:

11 slice dry toast

with 1 grilled tomato OR tinned tomatoes
Fresh fruit - any amount2 hard boiled eggs

Salad & grapefruit

1 boiled egg
Grilled chicken with tomatoes

Grilled steak


1 boiled egg
Fresh fruit - any amount2 grilled lamb chops

Salad & grapefruit
41 slice dry toastFresh fruit - any amount2 hard boiled eggs

Salad & grapefruit
51 slice dry toastFresh fruit - any amountFresh fish

61 glass grapefruit juiceFresh fruit - any amountGrilled chicken

Carrots & grapefruit
7Scrambled eggs

Grilled or tinned tomatoes
2 poached eggs

Grilled steak


Their Rules

  1. No alcoholic drinks.
  2. Permitted drinks: Black coffee, tea, lemon/grapefruit juice without sugar.
  3. No milk, butter or fats.
  5. Abstain from all not included in diet. Eat what is shown or go without.
  7. No substitutes allowed. The basis of the diet is chemical, not the quantities.
  8. Lunch and dinner may be swapped but only on the same day.

James's Tips

  1. The grapefruit sourness is a lot more bearable with pink grapefruit. Also, if you have a sweet tooth normally, bear in mind that grapefruit sweetens a lot in the last stages of ripening.
  2. I am used to eating like a pig, and thus had a lot of “empty stomach - must fill” type feelings. Drinking lots of water filled me up temporarily.
  3. If you are desperate for flavour on some of the blander dishes, add a little lemon juice. On the list of allowed drinks and can pep up things nicely.
NB: This is not my diet, I merely transcribe; do not sue me if you die - James. I second this!!

Here are some pictures of my meals from the diet:

I have to say it starts off well with a breakfast of toast and tomatoes which is actually quite tasty & the diet is good in that you are eating proper meals each day which you need to cook & prepare (albeit they are a bit bland). I really went to town on the fresh fruit and had mango, melon, apple, cherries, grapes and berries. I was not so keen on the grapefruit but you get used to it and it is better than a slim fast shake!! You cannot cheat as it will ruin it - the whole diet is chemical as it says so you need to stick to it exactly.

Of course it is not a walk in the park but it is not impossible and you do get results fast. I sometimes just do the first two days as a little detox but in all honesty sticking to a diet for just 7 days isn't too horrendous. I didn't exercise like normal when doing this as I did not have the energy!!

Let me know how you get on if you do this - as I mentioned I love to chat weight - that and food are really my favourite topics of conversation & I can wax lyrical for hours!!

Right now - where are those kettle chips?!!!

NB. Since I posted this nearly six months ago I have had many questions regarding making changes to the diet and substitutions…..the answer is no! If you don't eat fish or lamb chops or something, the diet rules that you should leave the item out. However if you want to make a substitution, you obviously can (it is your choice after all) but the diet won't be as effective (you may not lose the full 14lbs). You are also not allowed fizzy drinks or sweeteners even if they are calorie free. If you are vegetarian, I would replace the meat for high protein items like quorn or eggs, I unfortunately don't know the average weight loss with this as I am not a vegetarian. I hope that helps!!!


  1. hi! i'm thinking of doing this next week as i'm off on holiday and want to look my best - i'm pretty slim anyway, but love booze chocolate and fried things haha so this sounds pretty awful, but i like the idea that it's just a week.. i was just wondering about portion size - 'chicken' for dinner is a little vague... i imagine it means one chicken breast, right? if you could give me a few pointers that would be lovely!

  2. Day 1 .......herbal tea and tomatoes on a dry slice of toast ......painful ....hopefully worth it. ( Holly)

  3. Day two....boy am I hungry. Will swap my salad for warm oriental salad with mushrooms etc.

  4. I cant wait to start this its sounds fab , since having my 3rd baby ive put on 2 stone and desperate to get back into my size 12s id love to lose about 35lbs , oeooke on here and done wonderfull although I have a question ... if you skip the meal cos you dont like it can you fill up on black coffee and water ?

  5. How come this is different to the site on my phone I cant see ant replys

    1. Hi Jo,

      If you search for the diet through the blog archive on the right hand side of the page - you will see all the comments and replies. It is under October 2013. I hope that helps??

  6. Loving this diet, done three days and lost 6lb my stomach has on occasion groaned like mad and an early night is recommended , but really needed a kick start, I love grapefruit and eggs so that helped !

    1. That is brilliant - well done you - very inspiring! Congrats :-)

  7. Hi, I am about to start this diet however I am unable to eat or drink grapefruit due to some medication I take is their an alternative? Thank you

    1. There isn't an alternative I am afraid so I would just leave it out. Good luck!! x

  8. This is great! I've started it yesterday and can already feel a slight difference! Thank youu :)

    1. That is great - stay positive and keep yo the good work. Good luck x

  9. Hi Emma, I'm on my 4th day and have gone past the hunger stage and am now finding the diet easy. I started at 15st2lbs and want to be 13st and I have lost 8lbs so I'm on track for the stone in a week. I have done the cabbage soup diet in the past so am used to sticking to rules; this is so much better though! I am assuming bananas aren't allowed as a fruit, is that a fair assumption? Many thanks, Mike

    1. Hi Mike,
      Well done on the weight loss so far - that is great. You are correct about the bananas, they aren't allowed. Good luck with the last few days :-)

  10. Starting this on Monday can't wait to see the results. When it says grapefruit is this one full grapefruit or halve

    1. It is one full grapefruit. Good luck with the diet.

  11. I'm a vegetarian but eat eggs...can I have eggs as per the diet and add the vegetable option instead of the meat from the vegetarian diet...

  12. Another thing...are we allowed salt.when you say black coffee and tea and green tea,are we allowed a little milk in our tea?

    1. I would try that - you aren't able to add milk I am afraid. Good luck!

  13. Hi Emma,
    Can you tell me if you have to eat the grapefruit as a whole food or can you juice it? Also I take a good quality multi vitamin can I continue to take that while on the week diet?


  14. Hi Chris,

    Sorry I have not been able to reply sooner but I can only respond to comments on my laptop not my phone. I would recommend eating the grapefruit whole rather than juicing it and I don't know about the multi vitamin. I don't think it will make a difference but if you are at all concerned I would just not take it for a week.
    Good luck!

  15. Hi,

    I just stumbled across this blog after a random Google search and 40 minutes later I am still engrossed in your past posts. It's lovely to read about someone who's as obsessed about food as me (I'm a total pig - if I'm out in a restaurant I'm looking at my husband/friend/relative's plate wondering if they're going to the loo any time soon so I can steal some of their food). Love your work! Rebecca x

    1. Hi Rebecca,
      Thank you for your kind words - we sound very very similar!!! There is nothing like a good meal!! I hope you continue to read and enjoy my blog xxx

  16. Hi! Thank you for posting this!
    Just a few questions:
    - can you add spices like salt, pepper, herbs?
    - when it says salad, what kind of salad, can you add salad vegetables such as cucumber, tomato?
    - when it says grilled chicken or grilled tomato, does it have to be grilled or can you also microwave it for example or add the tomato on your scrambled egg?
    - can you swap the poached egg for any other egg preparation like boiled?
    -Can you eat any fruit except bananas?

    Thank you so so much!

  17. Hi,
    Yes to spices and pepper - no to salt as it makes you retain water.
    Any lettuce, cucumber, tomato, celery, onion, garlic is good.
    Microwave or grill is fine - just don't add any oils or butter or anything.
    Any egg prep is fine.
    Any fruit but bananas are fine.

    Good luck

  18. Hello, I think I may try this for the LBD at the Christmas Party.. I am coeliac so do you think I could have the gluten free bread instead of normal bread and tomatoes?

  19. Hiya,
    I have been on this for the last five days and I must say I've lost half a stone with another two days left to go. I did deviate twice I must admit. The results have been very immediate and the diet itself is very easy to follow. I almost enjoy it had it not been for the single dry toast mornings.
    The diet described above and in James Duncan's site do not state that bananas are excluded and I've been having a single small banana with my fruit lunches. My heart sank when you wrote 'any fruit but bananas' - I will exclude them the next time I do this diet. I'm even thinking of extending it a bit because I've actually enjoyed the whole process...
    Thank you so much for sharing this.. I must say losing weight has never been so pleasurable.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Aimee,
      Pleased to hear you got on so well with the diet - I don't think eating bananas is the end of the world however it'll be interesting to see if you do the diet again and avoid them, whether there will be more weight loss. Congratulations on your weight loss and good luck in the future xx

  20. Hey, I want to try this but don't eat eggs. Any suggestions for an alternative?

  21. Hey i did this diet and lost 11lbs - first diet i enjoyed doing.. thanks for sharing x

  22. I haven't lost anything :(((

  23. I did whats nstructed on the diet menu but unfortunately no change. I drank 2 litres of water everyday and today is my 6th day doing this diet. Even the first 3 days I worked out too, burned almost 900 calories each day. I had Dr's appt on the first day of the diet and checked my weight at dr's surgery. I just bought a new scale and checked my weight but got very heart broken as I didn't see any change whatsoever. Is there any reason why I haven't lost anything? Any suggestions please

  24. I started this diet today (Wednesday) and its now lunch time and it's going okay. I'll let you know how I'm getting on later in the week!

  25. How do I eat after 7 day plan

  26. The 7 days I enjoyed doing want to carry on loosing how do I do that please

  27. How do you eat after diet without piling all your weight on

  28. Hi Emma,

    I have done this diet before hand and it worked great for me. However, I was never told about BANANAS! Ahhhh! Why is this?

    Just a couple of questions:
    - Can you have sweet potato in the salad?
    - Instead of boiled eggs can I whisk two eggs together and stick in the oven to make a omelette?
    - Is stir fry allowed?
    - Is chewing gum allowed? Or Mints?

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  31. When it says toast, is it white bread or brown? And also technically peppers are fruit so can I eat them at lunch time with my other fruits

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