Blitz your bloke’s belly without him realising – and you’ll slim too!
Has your man gone from hunk to Homer Simpson recently? Beers, belly and, well, a beer belly? We hear ya. But forget trying to introduce granola and goji berries for brekkie – he’ll see through that faster than you can shout “rabbit food”. You need to sneak in shape-up grub and get him slim on the sly. And while you’re there, why not sort out your own beach bod too? Say hello to the His ’n’ Hers Harcombe Diet. Invented by nutritionist Zoë Harcombe, it’ll help both of you shed those extra pounds for your hols.
“Men don’t do hunger and get miserable at the mere mention of the word ‘diet’,” says Zoë. “I knew my plan needed to include the kinds of foods a man would normally eat, but with tweaks that will have him eating better, not less.” Women can expect to lose 5-7lb and men 7-10lb in just one week – making this one act of deception he’ll love you for!
His ’n’ hers diet dos & don’ts
The idea behind this plan is that you should not feel hungry. Salads and veg (not potatoes) are “free foods”, so you can both eat as much of them as you like.
Make sure you drink lots of water, and encourage him to down herbal teas, decaff tea and coffee (he’ll never notice the difference) without milk or sugar.
If you’re struggling, snack between meals on natural yoghurt, crudités (try raw carrots, celery and peppers), hard-boiled eggs or cold meat, but try to get used to eating only three main meals a day.
Replace any meal that you don’t like with any other option in the plan, but don’t eat more than one rice/porridge-based meal per day unless you’re vegetarian, in which case you’re allowed two “carb” meals and one egg-based meal a day.
Plain or ham omelette, made by whisking 2-3 eggs (depending on how hungry you are) until fluffy, then add ½tsp mixed herbs and some ground black pepper. Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan, pour in the mixture and add the chopped ham (if using). Cook slowly until it becomes firm.
Roast chicken lunch box. Make it look delicious by laying the roast chicken breast or leg on top of a large salad selection (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, celery, and grated carrot).
Steak/chicken/tofu stir-fry. Try using courgettes, baby sweetcorn, carrot batons, strips of pepper, and shredded cabbage (any veg except potatoes). Serve with brown rice instead of white – it’s even more filling, and yummy.
Porridge made with water (if you make it for him, he’ll never guess it’s not milk in there).
Chef’s salad containing a large mix of leaves, grated carrot, grated beetroot and lots of colourful vegetables, plus cold cuts of meat and hard-boiled eggs.
Bake your favourite large whole fish, such as trout or mackerel, and serve with chargrilled vegetables.
Bacon and eggs. Check that the bacon has no added sugar – avoid additives ending with “ose”.
Salad Niçoise – a tin of tuna or a tuna steak on a bed of salad. Add hard-boiled eggs and anchovies if you like.
Vegetarian curry with brown rice (see the recipe for butternut squash curry, right). If one of you likes it extra-hot, make two pans and add more chilli and curry powder to the second.
Natural bio yoghurt topped with strawberries.
Frittata – make an omelette in the morning (or the night before) then add chopped meat and/or leftover vegetables and serve cold, cut into slices, with salad.
Roast chicken or rolled shoulder of pork with a selection of vegetables, but no potatoes.
Scrambled eggs (no toast). Optional bacon on the side.
Cold brown rice salad (a good portion of brown rice with lots of chopped extras, such as peppers, spring onions, celery, and anything else you can find in the fridge. Add chicken/pork strips from last night’s dinner if needed.
Any meat or fish steaks such as rump or tuna steak – whichever you prefer – with plenty of vegetables and salad.
Boiled eggs with crudité soldiers (such as carrots, celery, and peppers).
Pork or lamb chops, grilled and served with a selection of vegetables.
Rice pasta (find it in the gluten-free section of supermarkets) with home-made tomato sauce (see recipe, right). Again, you can cook it in two pans and make one with added chilli if you like.
Porridge or brown rice cereal.
Roast lamb, pork, beef or chicken and a selection of vegetables – but no Yorkshire pudding or roast spuds.
“As you like it” platter – leftover cold meat, crudités, tinned fish and hard-boiled eggs – just dip into what you both fancy.
Butternut squash curry
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 3 onions, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2tsp each turmeric, cumin, paprika, coriander, chilli powder, curry powder (medium or hot)
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 100g block creamed coconut
- 1kg mixed vegetables, peeled and diced (cauliflower, courgettes, broccoli, carrots etc)
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
Heat the olive oil in a large pan then gently fry the onions and garlic until soft. Add the spices and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Blend the mixture with a hand blender until smooth. Return to the heat and stir in the creamed coconut until dissolved. Add the veg and put the lid on to the pan. Simmer gently for 30 minutes, or until the veg are cooked through.
15-minute tomato sauce
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 chilli, chopped and deseeded (optional)
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2tsp of basil (ideally fresh)
- Salt and ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan until it sizzles. Fry the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes or until soft, then add the chilli (if using). Next add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a few minutes. Stir in the basil, salt and pepper, simmer for a further few minutes, then serve.
● BOOK OFFER Buy a copy of Zoë’s book Stop Counting Calories & Start Losing Weight from Theharcombediet.com for £9.99 and get The Harcombe Diet For Men (worth £7.99) for free until July 7, 2012.