Worried about holiday weight gain? Don’t be! Use this 4-day diet plan designed by our founder, Joy Bauer exclusively for Life & Style Magazine.
Whether you’ve already gone into calorie overload this Holiday season or are planning to, I’ve got the solution for you: A four-day diet that allows you to nibble nearly all day long and lose a significant amount of weight.
How is that even possible? The secret is strategic snacks.
Of course, not just any old snack will do (there’s a reason you don’t hear about “The Potato Chip Diet!”). You have to choose nutritious, calorie-appropriate bites that offer the right amount of satiating protein, heart-healthy fats and/or fiber-rich, energy-boosting carbs. Then you have to space these nutritious nibbles out over the course of the day so your blood sugars remain steadied and you’re left feeling fresh and focused. If you do this, your snack habit will actually help you control appetite, cut calories—and drop a dress size in no time.
It couldn’t be easier: Simply eat six snacks—one every two to three hours—per day. I’ve included some delicious and healthy options from my new food company, Nourish Snacks. In fact, if you’d rather swap in different Nourish goodies (say Monkey Love or Holy Habanero) or add additional Nourish Snacks in place of the DIY snacks listed on the plan, go for it! Also, you can mix and match snacks from any day, and enjoy them in whatever order you’d like. Find a favorite snack? Go ahead and repeat it.
There are only two other guidelines: Drink two cups of water with each snack and feel free to enjoy unlimited coffee and tea (skip the cream and sugar; adding low-fat milk is fine).
That’s it! You could take off as much as five pounds after four days. Use this plan to get party-ready or post-festivities to get back on track. Ready to slim down? Get snacking!
Nourish Snacks Cinn-Sational: Cinnamon-spiced apples and almonds [150 calories]
Celery with Peanut Butter: Spread celery stalks with 2 level tablespoons of peanut butter or other nut butter [200 calories]
Chocolate Protein Pudding: Combine 6 ounces nonfat plain, vanilla, or Greek yogurt with 1 packet light hot cocoa mix [200 calories]
Spicy Turkey-Lettuce Wraps: Layer a few large lettuce leaves with 4 ounces turkey breast, and top each turkey-lettuce combo with a spread of spicy mayo (mix 1 tablespoon light mayo with a few dashes of hot sauce). Roll up and enjoy. [180 calories]
Veggies and Hummus: Unlimited non-starchy veggies (like cucumber slices, bell pepper sticks, grape tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and sugar snap peas) with 1/4 cup hummus. [190 calories]
Parmesan Popcorn: Lightly spray 4 cups of light popcorn with an oil mister and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. [175 calories]
Banana-Berry Smoothie: Combine 3/4 cup skim milk (or soy or unsweetened almond milk), 1/2 cup sliced banana, 1 cup frozen berries and 3 to 5 ice cubes in a blender and blend until smooth. [190 calories]
Nourish Snacks Mr. Popular: Half-popped corn kernels dusted with sea salt [190 calories]
Edamame: 2 cups edamame in the pod with sprinkling of sea salt [200 calories]
Tomato-Cheese Rice Cakes: 2 rice cakes, each topped with sliced tomatoes and 1/2 ounce lite cheese [160 calories]
Nuts: 1/2 cup pistachios in the shell, about 60 nuts [200 calories]
Cucumber Hummus Tea Sandwich: Lightly toast 2 slices reduced-calorie, whole-grain bread and top each with 2 level tablespoons hummus and thinly sliced cucumbers. Cut each slice into four triangles and enjoy open-faced. [200 calories]
Peanut Butter and Apple Slices: Slice 1 apple and serve with 1 level tablespoon natural peanut butter or other nut butter [190 calories]
Seeds: 1/2 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds in the shell [190 calories]
Celery with Cream Cheese: Spread celery stalks with 6 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese [190 calories]
Homemade Whole-Grain Trail Mix: Combine 1/2 cup whole-grain cereal (like Cheerios) with 2 tablespoons raisins (or dried cranberries or cherries), 1 tablespoon nuts and 1 teaspoon semisweet chocolate chips [200 calories]
Greek Yogurt and Fruit: 6 ounces nonfat plain or flavored Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup berries or 1/2 sliced banana [155 to 200 calories]
Hummus Deviled Eggs: Cut 2 hard-boiled eggs in half, scoop out yolks and add 2 teaspoons hummus to each with an optional sprinkle of paprika or hot sauce [170 calories]
Mango Green Tea Smoothie: Brew a green tea bag in 4 ounces of water for 3 minutes; let cool to room temperature. Combine tea, 1/2 cup fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt, 1 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks and 3 to 5 ice cubes in food processor and blend until smooth. [190 calories]
Pumpkin Pudding: Combine 6 ounces nonfat vanilla yogurt with 1/2 cup canned 100% pumpkin puree and sprinkle with cinnamon [190 calories]
Fruit and Nuts: 1 orange with 20 almonds [200 calories]
Guacamole with Chips: 2 tablespoons guacamole served with 1 ounce whole-grain tortilla chips [190 calories]
PB-Banana-Chocolate Freeze: Cut a banana lengthwise, spread a total of 2 teaspoons natural peanut butter (or other nut butter) on each side and sprinkle on 1 teaspoon semisweet chocolate chips. Place banana back in original position, cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for 4 hours. [200 calories]