Nut and muesli diet - feel fuller for longer and lose weight

Slimmers normally avoid nuts like the plague as they're so high in calories. But, eaten in the right way, they could be your best friend when it comes to battling the bulge, according to natural health expert Michael van Straten.

nut and muesli diet

What does the nut and muesli diet involve?

The nut and muesli diet involves - you've guessed it - eating plenty of nuts and muesli. Slimmers normally avoid nuts like the plague as they're so high in calories. But, eaten in the right way, they could be your best friend when it comes to battling the bulge, according to natural health expert Michael van Straten. He has devised this week-long diet that uses nuts and muesli to help you lose up to half a stone while still providing your body with everything it needs.

How does it work?

Nuts are a super-rich source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids that will help keep your heart healthy. They also contain protein and vitamin E to help make your skin glow. Most nuts, but especially peanuts, have what is called a low glycaemic index (GI). This means they are broken down into sugars very slowly giving you a steady stream of energy. The muesli will keep you feeling fuller for longer and so help you avoid dangerous cravings for sweet things. It will also give you protein, vitamin C and loads of B vitamins to feed your nervous system.

Who is the nut and muesli diet good for?

People with big appetites. Both nuts and muesli will make you feel full for a long time.

What are the drawbacks?

You need time to prepare your muesli every evening. Obviously, anyone allergic to nuts should not attempt this diet.

What do you do?

First read these five easy rules then follow the seven-day meal plan.

1. You must eat everything on the list for every day. 2. You can switch whole days around or swap meals a day but do not pick and mix meals from different days. 3. You must drink at least 1 - 2 litres of water every day. 4. Whatever exercise you normally do, you must add a brisk 20 minute walk every day that ends up with you slightly out of breath and sweating. 5. If you're vegetarian, you can use any vegetable protein alternative in meat and fish recipes.

During the diet you may also drink weak Indian, China or herb teas without milk and with a slice of lemon if you like. If you normally drink more than four cups of coffee a day, you'll probably have a headache after the first 24 hours without caffeine. This will stop by day three and is helped by drinking the water. Avoid painkillers unless you're desperate.

Every day you must have a large bowl of muesli as one of your meals. You can have this for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Michael Van Straten advises you prepare your muesli exactly as it's prepared at the famous Bircher-Benner Clinic in Zurich where it was invented. It certainly beats just pouring milk on it!

1. Put four heaped tablespoons of good sugar-free muesli, like Jordans, in a bowl. Add orange or apple juice and stir to a mush. 2. Add a small carton of low-fat bio yoghurt and a teaspoon of runny honey. Stir again, cover and put in the fridge before you go to bed. 3. Before eating, add a tablespoon of single cream, stir thoroughly, then add any fresh seasonal fruits (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, mango, or whatever else is in season).

Now you're ready to start following the seven-day plan for the nut and muesli diet.

Day 1

Breakfast: Large bowl of muesli

Lunch: Wholemeal pitta filled with houmous and mixed salad, 1 large peach.

Mid-afternoon snack: 50g (2oz) unsalted peanuts

Dinner: Stir-fry of mixed vegetables and chicken breast, served with rice noodles and a salad of grated raw carrot and chunks of fresh melon sprinkled with a few chopped fresh mint leaves

Evening snack: Small bunch of grapes

Day 2

Breakfast: 2 slices wholemeal toast, 1 spread with 2 tsp peanut butter, the other with a banana

Mid-morning snack: Mixture of dried ready-to-eat prunes and apricots

Lunch: Large bowl of muesli

Dinner: Fillets of plaice pan-fried in a little olive oil and a small knob of butter with any green vegetable, boiled potatoes and tomato and onion salad. For dessert, make a kiwi and mango smoothie. Put chopped peeled mango and kiwi into a blender, add 2 tbsp of thick Greek yoghurt and half a pint of soya milk then whizz till smooth.

Day 3

Breakfast: Large bowl of muesli

Lunch: Ham or cheese and raisin sandwich. Spread a thick slice of raisin bread with a tablespoon of peanut butter, add a slice of lean ham or cheese, top with another slice of raisin bread. Small punnet of strawberries.

Mid-afternoon snack: Any fresh fruit with a carton of low-fat bio yoghurt.

Dinner: Pasta with tuna fish and spring onions. While pasta is cooking according to the packet instructions, put 4 chopped spring onions in a pan with a little olive oil and sweat gently until soft. Drain a can of tuna, flake into pan and continue cooking till warmed through. When pasta is ready and drained, serve in individual bowls adding tuna and onions mixture. You should also eat a large mixed salad drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkled with sunflower seeds. Any low-fat bio or fruit yoghurt

Day 4

Breakfast: 2 poached eggs, a poached tomato, 2 slices wholemeal bread thinly spread with butter

Mid-morning snack: Small pack of mixed nuts and raisins

Lunch: A large bowl of muesli

Dinner: Chicken with thyme and lemon (recipe included), packet rice, a peach and a ripe pear

Day 5

Breakfast: Half a grapefruit, peanut butter and banana smoothie. To make this, place 200ml semi-skimmed milk, 1 banana and 2tbsp peanut butter in a blender and whizz till smooth

Mid-morning snack: Glass of orange juice and an apple

Lunch: Large bowl of muesli

Dinner: Pitta bread pizza (for recipe, read on), a large bowl of chopped raw vegetables with a tsatsiki dip (yoghurt, mint, garlic and chopped cucumber), selection of dried ready-to-eat apricots, dates and walnuts.

Day 6

Breakfast: Large bowl of muesli

Lunch: Large bowl of vegetable soup, an open sandwich of a thick slice wholemeal bread, 2 thin slices Edam cheese and 1 sliced tomato.

Mid-afternoon snack: Small bag of unsalted peanuts

Dinner: Grilled tuna steak with new potatoes, mushrooms and green beans, a green salad dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice dressing. Small punnet strawberries.

Day 7

Breakfast: Half a grapefruit, 2 boiled eggs, 1 thick slice wholemeal toast thinly spread with butter

Mid-morning snack: Small packet of mixed nuts and raisins

Lunch: Large bowl of muesli.

Dinner: Chicken kebab (grilled skewers of alternate cubed chicken breast, red and green peppers, red onion and button mushrooms with satay sauce (for recipe, read on), boiled rice and green salad

Chicken with thyme and lemon

Serves: 1

1 tbsp wholemeal flour 1 tsp dried thyme 2 chicken thighs 50ml (2fl oz) milk 1tbsp rape seed oil Juice of half a lemon

1. Heat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Mix flour and thyme in a large bowl. Dip chicken in milk then roll in flour. 2. Heat the oil in a pan, fry chicken till brown all over, put chicken on wire rack in a roasting tin, squeeze over the lemon juice. Cook in oven for 15 minutes.

Pitta bread pizza

Serves: 1

1 wholemeal pitta 1 sliced tomato Sprinkle of fresh or dried oregano 1tbsp grated cheese Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the grill and toast pitta on one side for 1 min. 2. Turn over, arrange a layer of tomatoes, sprinkle with oregano, add the cheese, drizzle on the oil, return to the grill till bubbling (approx 2 mins).

Satay sauce (to accompany the chicken kebabs)

1tsp olive oil 1 chopped onion Chilli powder to taste 1tsp tomato puree 4tbsp crunchy peanut butter 200ml (7fl oz) semi-skimmed milk

1. Fry the onions in the oil until soft. 2. Mix tomato puree, chilli powder and 2tbsp water then add to onions. 3. Add the peanut butter and milk and stir till it thickens. Add the hot sauce to the kebabs. Refrigerate


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