With chillier weather comes the need for our favourite comfort foods. But filling, warming food needn’t come at a cost to your waistline, especially when you start following this healthy comfort food diet
Try out this satisfying meal plan from nutritionist Angela Dowden, nutritionist and author of The Pocket Guide to Vitamins, that will help you shed the weight.
Try out this 7-day diet plan of delicious, healthy comfort food dishes that will help you shed that winter weight:
Why it works
The diet is controlled to no more than 6,300kJ per day for steady weight loss. But thanks to the high-protein meals, it won’t leave you hungry or reaching for sugary snacks between mealtimes.
Drinking 300ml of low-fat milk daily also helps bump up your protein consumption to curb hunger pangs.
Each dish is designed to be both filling and served piping hot, so you’ll be more likely to stay on track with your diet and, most importantly, achieve that satisfying, warming feeling when it’s cold outside.
Read more: 7 classic dinner dishes by celebrity chefs
Follow the rules below and you can lose up to 3kg in four weeks:
- Choose one breakfast, lunch and dinner each day and pick one daily snack from the selection below.
- Drink 300ml low-fat milk every day, which you can use in teas and coffees, or just have by itself.
- Vary your choices to ensure nutritional variety.
- Make sure your vegetable portions fill half of your plate.
Snacks (Pick one per day)
- 25g handful of any raw nuts
- 40g chunk of Cheddar cheese
- 1 banana and 15 red grapes
- 60g reduced-fat hummus and 2 breadsticks
- Small bag of popcorn and 1 apple
- 3 golf-ball scoops of melon with 3 Parma ham slices
- 120ml dry wine (limit to once or twice a week)
Your healthy comfort food diet plan
Here are five days worth of meals and snacks to help get you inspired…
Breakfast: 2 medium poached eggs and grilled tomatoes on 1 slice of wholewheat toast.
Lunch: Bean and ham broth (serves 2). Boil 125g green beans, 50g carrots and ½ a leek (all finely sliced) in 425ml stock for 5-7 min. When just tender, add 50g shredded cooked gammon (or shredded pork chops) and chopped parsley. Serve with a 60g slice of ciabatta. Plus 1 apple.
Dinner: Chicken chilli (serves 2). Brown 75g chicken mince in 2 tsp oil with ½ a red onion, 1 garlic clove and ½ a red pepper. Add ½ can of tomatoes and ½ can of kidney beans. Simmer for 20 min. Season with pepper, mustard and chilli powder. Serve with salad leaves, baby tomatoes and 2 tsp olive oil.
Breakfast: One sachet of instant oats and 1 chopped banana.
Lunch: Chilli wraps. Heat leftover chilli (see Day 1 dinner), serve in a wrap, with slices of red and yellow peppers.
Dinner: Curry (serves 2). Sauté ½ an onion with 10g chopped root ginger, 3 garlic cloves, 1-2 tsp garam masala, and a pinch of chilli powder, ground coriander, and ground turmeric. Add 2 chopped, skinless, boneless chicken thighs. Brown over a medium-high heat. Add water to cover the chicken. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer until meat is cooked.
Breakfast: Two warmed ready-made crumpets with 3 tbsp frozen berries (pop in the microwave to defrost), 1 tbsp double-cream plain yoghurt and stevia sweetener.
Lunch: Tuna pasta salad. Add 50g cherry tomatoes to 120g chilled pasta with ¼ of a red onion, chopped, ½ tin tuna and salad. Add 1 tbsp oil, garlic, to taste, and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar.
Dinner: Fish and chips. Oven-bake 1 hake fillet, skin removed. Serve with 100g oven-baked chips and a cup of peas.
Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with low-fat milk and 1 tsp butter, and grilled mushrooms.
Lunch: Baked sweet potato topped with 2 tbsp warmed, canned black beans, 1 sliced tomato, 1 tbsp crème fraiche and fresh coriander leaves.
Dinner: Burger and wedges. Grill 1 beef patty; serve with 165g oven-baked wedges, tomato and rocket.
Breakfast: 2 chicken sausages, grilled, in a pita with sliced tomato.
Lunch: Ready-made minestrone soup. Serve with 1 wholewheat roll, 30g soft cheese and slices of cucumber.
Dinner: Carbonara (serves 2). Fry 2 slices of chopped lean back bacon and courgette batons in spray oil until the bacon is cooked and courgettes golden. Whisk 5 tbsp fat-free cream cheese and 2 egg yolks. Cook 150g pasta and drain, then mix with the egg mixture, bacon and courgettes.
Days 6 & 7
Repeat any two days of your choice.