Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Flat Tummy Diet Part 2: Preparation

~ Note:  I am not a nutritionist or doctor so please seek medical advice before embarking on any new diet or exercise regime! ~
Ok, so just to reiterate (in my opinion) this part of the dieting process is key and not to be rushed.

I will be following the principles used in Kate Adam’s Flat Tummy Club Diet which follows a 21 day ‘kick-start’ approach followed by maintenance and adjustments where necessary depending upon how much weight you’d like to lose. 

In addition to this I will be using the My Fitness Pal app to track calories and keep me mindful of what I am eating and using tips and recipes from fellow bloggers (Can you stay for dinner? and Nosh and Nourish being a couple of my favorites), Pinterest, magazines (such as Zest Magazine) and a great book I found on my shelf at home: The Diet Doctors Inside and Out.

Ok so let’s get started.  I would say once you’ve got past the contemplation stage (see Flat Tummy Diet Part 1) you will need at least a week of preparation before you start your diet.

During this week really think about what you eat, how active you are and why you want to diet in the first place.  Be mindful of portion sizes and remember that extra spoon of sugar or cream on your hot chocolate.  Remember the aim is not to necessarily change your behaviour this week but to raise awareness and get you mentally ready for the next 21 days (and beyond!).

Ellie’s top tips for successful preparation:

  • Keep a food and activity diary
  • Be honest
  • Clear out your cupboards and don’t buy any unhealthy foods for your fridge/cupboard i.e. a huge slab of chocolate that will only be an unwelcome temptation when you start your diet
  • Start researching new foods and recipes to try
  • Plan your meals and snacks and make a shopping list
  • Look at potential future challenges and how you’d handle them
  • Tell your friends, colleagues and family (make a fun no cake zone sign for your desk)
  • Write the main reason you’re doing this on post-its and locate in key trigger areas – I had ‘bikini’ written on a post-it on my computer at work which I looked at every time the biscuits were being passed round!
  • Hop on those scales and face the music!  Note down your current weight, measurements if you wish and how you feel
  • Write down your target(s) and put somewhere visible
  • Be confident – you can do this!
  • Get excited – this is just the beginning!

I like to move it, move it….

Whether you think of exercise as friend or foe the fact of the matter is, it’s very good for you.  For me personally I can be quite fit but unhappy with my weight and only really lose weight by eating healthily BUT a combination of the two definitely gets the best results.

If you currently don’t exercise at all please do not go mad and throw yourself into a full on fitness routine without at least taking prior medical advice.  Not only will you most likely lose all motivation very quickly and find your new routine unsustainable but you could do yourself some serious injury.  Slowly but surely is the best way to go.

This also goes for sporadic exercisers – if you haven’t done it for a while it’s unlikely that you will be at the same level you were when you stopped! 

Then there’s the honed exercisers – why not try a new sport?  Bootcamp? Shake it up a little and remind those muscles how to work and ache!

Plus remember to put exercise into your diary and commit to it.  Even if t's just for 10mins. 

I’m somewhere inbetween sporadic and honed in the fact that I do exercise regularly but I’m also quite lazy so really need to push myself to see results.  Having an aim helps.  Watch this space for my 10k training plan coming soon!

Yummy foods

Ok, part of the preparation is to think about alternative healthy food options and to write our shopping list ready to start our diet.  I'm really not the best chef but here are some basic ideas:
  • Fruit and veg (think outside the box (carrot sticks and hummus), frozen is still good) 
  • Nuts (unsalted)
  • Wholegrain/brown bread, rice and pasta
  • Skimmed or semi-skimmed milk
  • Fish – fresh, frozen or tinned
  • Ryvita or rice cakes (with chocolate spread = yummy evening treat)
  • Dark chocolate (personally I like the fruit and nut kind)
  • Lean meat
  • Eggs (scrambled, poached, boiled)
  • Soup
  • Salad
  • Cous cous
  • Yoghurt


  • Confectionery, including biscuits and crisps
  • Ready meals
  • Alcohol (sorry!)
  • White bread and pasta
  • Fizzy drinks

Just a note here, I’m not a fan of banning anything completely.  It’s all about portion control and making the right choices.  Do you really need that mound of grated cheese on top of your spaghetti?  Bread for lunch so no bread with dinner etc. Small changes can go a long way. 

Ok so now we’re (hopefully) feeling a bit more optimistic about embarking on our 21 days of Flat Tummy Dieting.  Our cupboards are full of healthy yummy foods, we know what we’re going to eat for the next week, banned cakes from the house and put our targets up in plain sight.

For 21 days (starting Monday 8th July) I will be aiming for a net consumption of 1,200 calories a day (using exercise as a negative).  Work out your aimed calorie count here.   I have chosen this number of calories based on the calculator but also from previous experience of following this diet.  Please do not set your calorie aim too low!  If you are struggling to exercise on this amount of calories make adjustments as necessary but I would say for these 21 days reduce the exercise rather than up the calories too much. 

Breakfast:  300
Snack:  50
Lunch:  300
Snack:  50
Dinner:  500
Snack:  100
Exercise: - 100 minimum

= 1,200

After the 21 days I will then up my calories to a more manageable level – remember this is a kick-start only!  But also remember this is a long-term health change.

Week 1 plan coming soon!  Wish me luck and let me know your thoughts.  Why not join me?  Would love to hear from you :)

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