Little black dress diet - shed 10lbs in a month

Apparently 6 million of us have kept a little black dress in the wardrobe for over 12 years! Dying to fit back into yours for Christmas? We have just the diet...

A survey by M&S revealed that 6 million of us keep our little black dresses for over 12 years. If you're dying to fit back into your favourite LBD, try our emergency 10-day diet to help you lose 10 pounds and feel like Audrey Hepburn in this iconic picture from 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffanys.

Originally devised for people who need to lose weight for health reasons, this no-alcohol Little Black Dress Diet helps you lose weight without exercise (opens in new tab), using food combinations (eg you can't mix protein and carbohydrates) to help you quickly look great in that LBD.

Just like the cabbage soup diet (opens in new tab) as well as our exante diet (opens in new tab), and the military diet (opens in new tab), this is a short-term diet that works fast. (opens in new tab) For a longer-term approach to weight loss, we'd recommend the Mediterranean diet, (opens in new tab) the Noom diet (opens in new tab), and the 16:8 diet (opens in new tab) plan.

What is the Little Black Dress Diet?

It's a 10-day plan devised by nutritional consultant Michael van Straten for people who need to lose weight quickly for health reasons. But he admits there's no reason why you shouldn't use it now and again for an emergency Little Black Dress moment. Followed religiously, you could lose up to 10lb in 10 days!

How does it work?

The LBD diet is loosely based on the idea of food combining. The basic idea is that you don't mix protein and carbohydrates, or starch, in any meal. Some experts believe this helps our body digest food easily and so avoids weight gain. As well as following the meal plans, you're advised to take certain vitamins and herbal tonics to boost your immunity (opens in new tab). You're also told to give up alcohol (opens in new tab) which in itself will probably help you lose weight.

Anyone who wants to lose a lot of weight quickly. People who enjoy cooking meals from scratch.

What are the drawbacks?

The first three days are extremely low-calorie so you might find these hard going.

Several of the meals are quite time-consuming to make.

All the ingredients are of a high quality so this plan could be expensive.

What do you do?

Follow the meal plans as accurately as possible. Each day, there's breakfast plus one light meal or snack and one main meal.

If you're out during the day, there are packed lunch options to choose from although take care to eat either protein or starch based lunches.The menus below will give you an idea.

As well as the food, make sure that you take 3 tsp a day of the Swiss herbal tonic Bio-Strath elixir to boost your natural immunity and 1 Genesis vitamin and mineral pill.

Drink an extra 1 litre of water in addition to your normal drinks and stay off the alcohol if you want to shift those pounds.

Day 1 on the Little Black Dress Diet

Breakfast: 1/2 large melon. Light meal or snack: Vegetable soup or carrot and celery juice. Raw vegetable salad with brown rice and olive oil and lemon juice dressing Main meal: Mixed salad, any cooked green vegetables with a well-rinsed can of beans (not baked) and 1 tsp olive oil

Day 2

Breakfast: Freshly juiced apple and carrot or fresh orange Light meal or snack: The rest of yesterday's soup, salad, baked sweet potatoes. Main meal: Salad, cooked green vegetables, cooked cauliflower sprinkled with grated cheese and browned under the grill

Day 3

Breakfast: A cup of hot water mixed with soya milk and 2 tbsp treacle. 2 slices of wholewheat bread and butter Light meal or snack: Large selection of fruit with raisins and dates Main meal: Salad, cooked green vegetables, wholewheat pasta and tomato sauce

Day 4

Breakfast: 1/2 grapefruit, 1 apple, natural yogurt with a little honey and chopped nuts Light meal or snack: Baked potato with butter or 1 tbsp sour cream and chopped fresh herbs, coleslaw, 1 ripe sweet pear Main meal: Vegetable and cheese casserole: Wash and slice 1 green, 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, 2 courgettes, 3 tomatoes, 1 large onion and 2 cloves garlic. Rub casserole dish with olive oil. Add vegetables in layers, sprinkling each layer with a little olive oil and chopped parsley and basil. Cover with foil and bake at 180C (gas mark 4) for 45 mins. Remove foil, sprinkle with 2 tbsp grated Parmesan and return to oven until cheese is golden. Serve with steamed broccoli and have 1 orange for pudding

Day 5

Breakfast: Porridge made with water and 1tbsp single cream, 1 slice wholewheat bread or toast with a little butter. Light meal or snack: Winter salad: Mix shredded white cabbage, orange juice, 4 soaked dried apricots and 2 tbsp chopped walnuts. Top with a dressing of 2 tbsp natural yogurt, 2 tsp runny honey and grated lemon rind. Stewed apple cooked with cinnamon and cloves.

Main meal: Watercress Soup and grilled spiced chicken. Allow 1 skinned chicken breast per person and cook extra as this is delicious cold the next day. Chop onion and garlic and put in bowl with natural yogurt. Heat 1 tsp each coriander and cumin seeds for 2 mins. Crush and add to yogurt with half a tsp chilli powder. Pour over chicken and leave for 1 hour to marinate. Grill the chicken 10 mins each side, basting occasionally with marinade. Serve with steamed leeks and carrots.

Day 6

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with mushrooms, orange juice Light meal or snack: Pumpkin soup with wholewheat roll and butter. Watercress, avocado and celery salad Main meal: Houmous with celery, carrot, and fennel sticks. Grilled trout stuffed with lemon slices, baby spinach and steamed green cabbage.

Day 7

Breakfast: Grapefruit juice, stewed apples sprinkled with flaked almonds, natural yogurt Light meal or snack: Mushroom risotto with a tossed green salad, a ripe sweet pear. Main meal: Stir-fried lean lamb cut into thin strips with a packet of mixed stir-fry vegetables. Sticks of celery and an apple

Day 8

Breakfast: Muesli with a sliced banana and a little single cream Light meal or snack: Large baked potato with baked beans, chicory and watercress salad. Main meal: Shop-bought carrot soup, cod with yogurt crust. To make the cod, pour a large carton of natural yogurt into a blender along with 1 choppedonion, 2 cloves peeled garlic, 3 tbsp coriander seeds, 2 tbsp fresh mint, 2 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp dried dill, 2 tsp paprika, a pinch of nutmeg and 2 tbsp chopped parsley Whizz together Put 4 cod fillets into dish, pour over sauce and put under a very hot grill until a crust forms on the fish Serve with mixed salad

Day 9

Breakfast: Dried Fruit Compote with 1 tbsp Greek yogurt Light meal or snack: Hot wholemeal pitta filled with houmous, spring onions, tomato and lettuce. A bunch of grapes and 1 banana. Main meal: Half a grapefruit, poached salmon, cauliflower puree and a tossed green salad.

Day 10

Breakfast: 2 rashers lean grilled bacon with 1 scrambled egg, mushrooms and large grilled tomato Light meal or snack: Winter Salad as before, 1apple. Main meal: Small avocado and prawn salad. Roast lamb with most of the fat removed and cooked with plenty of garlic and rosemary, puree of turnips and carrots. Celery sticks and selection of cheese.

Packed lunches

You should aim to keep packed lunches made up of either protein or starch which means old favourites like ham and cheese sandwiches are out.

These packed lunch ideas are based on either starch or protein and are simple substitutes for the light meals or snacks in the daily diet plans.

Starchy packed lunches Wholewheat pitta pocket stuffed with cucumber, tomato, watercress, black olives, lettuce and a dribble of olive oil.Raisins and nuts Wholewheat sandwiches with hardboiled egg-yolks mashed with mayonnaise, slices of cucumber and cress. 2 oatmeal biscuits, 1 banana A thermos of thick vegetable soup with a wholewheat roll or rye crackers with butter Carrot salad with raisins and nuts, 1 banana Rice Salad, a rye crispbread and a ripe sweet pear Sticks of carrot, celery, fennel and cucumber along with sprigs of cauliflower Tatsiki for dipping and a wholewheat roll with butter.

Protein-packed lunches Plain cottage cheese, 1 apple, a hardboiled egg, chunks of carrot, celery, cucumber, fennel Cabbage, celery, apple and grated Gruyere cheese salad Orange or grapes, 25g (1oz) roasted almonds, yogurt. Chopped vegetables with guacamole, a carton of stewed apple with Ginger with 2 tbsp yogurt Mixed nuts A piece of cold roast chicken or slices of cold roast turkey breast, apple, celery and peanut salad, grapes Natural yogurt, sticks of celery, a piece of hard cheese, 1 apple, date.

Charlotte is founder and Editorial Director of The Forty-Five. The former NME Editor has written for goodto.com, The Face, Red and Marie Claire. With 15 years experience in journalism Charlotte has covered most bases when it comes to content people want to consume.