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Speak to any yo-yo dieter and they’ll tell you that they’ve tried it all. From the maple syrup diet to the baby food diet and everything in between. If it promises weight loss success, they’re sure to have ticked it off their list.
Luckily in amongst the array of fad diets, there are some true gems. And among those is the popular G Plan diet. The 21-day gut-focused plan reveals why stubborn fat and dodgy digestion and more may result from an unbalanced gut. It then shows you how re-nourishing the gut with the right foods could help give your system the vital kick-start it needs.
That’s not to mention a steady 1-2lb loss each week alongside a host of other benefits from clearer skin to fewer cravings!
So what is the G Plan diet, and why is it important?
You hold over 100 trillion microbes in your body, which mostly reside in the large intestine. And it’s found that if there’s something off with your microbiome (the collective name), you may be feeling the effects.
Specifically, an unhealthy gut could be linked to IBS, heart disease, depression, diabetes, and some cancers, including colon. A healthy gut can cut the risk of these diseases, and could even aid in weight loss.
The G Plan diet aims to rebalance your gut health.
There are three phrases in the plan designed to rest, repair and nourish the gut and kick-start your system. And the good news it, is that you don’t have to give up those occasional treats.
The first phase is the rest phase, which takes you back to basics and only gives you foods your gut loves. The second is the re-wild phase, which introduces more diverse foods. And the third is ‘re-balance’, which is when you can introduce a few treats back into your diet whilst still following those gut-friendly recipes.
Here are some of the core principles of the plan in a nutshell:
- Try to stick to three meals a day.
- Add in more probiotic foods to your diet, such as yoghurts with live bacteria and yeast. Fermented foods such as kimichi and kefir, and kombucha, a tea, are also great options.
- Cut down on processed foods, which aren’t great for the bacteria in your gut.
- Vegetables should make up at least half of your plate at every meal.
- Your protein intake should be palm-sized.
- If you do need a snack, don’t have more than two a day. The aim is to eliminate grazing. If you’re hungry between meals, try drinking a glass of water or a herbal tea.
And to whet your appetite we’ve included some delicious recipes from the plan. Enjoy!
Raw Chocolate Brownies
These brownies are sweetened with dates, which are lower on the glycaemic index (GI) than sugar, meaning they won’t cause the same blood sugar spike. They’re also high in fibre, potassium, iron and antioxidants. A portion is 1 brownie.
What you need:
- 10–12 servings
- 100g (3½oz) whole almonds with skin
- 250g (9oz) Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 2 tablespoons set raw honey
- 75g (2½oz) cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
- 50g (1¾oz) pecan nuts, chopped
What you need to do:
- Place the almonds in a blender or food processor and blend until you have a coarse powder.
- Add the dates, honey, cocoa and salt and mix until all the ingredients have combined into a sticky ball of dough.
- Turn the dough out into a bowl, add the chopped pecans and knead them in.
- Line a 20-cm (8-inch) square baking tin with baking paper, turn the mixture into it and press it down with your fingers until it forms an even layer.
- Chill for 30 minutes in the freezer (for faster chilling), then remove and score into 10–12 squares. Return to the freezer for a further 30 minutes until solid.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 4 weeks.
Chilli Con Carne
Capsicum is the active ingredient in chilli peppers that can help raise metabolism. Don’t use too much if your tummy is super-sensitive. We’ve served our Chilli Con Carne with brown rice, which is a great source of fibre, fresh spinach for an extra nutrient hit, and natural yogurt which is richin probiotics to boost the levels and diversity in your gut. If you find you’re bloated or windy after eating rice, keep the portion small or swap it for grated, steamed cauliflower or a baked sweet potato, which your body may find easier to digest. Save half the Chilli for lunch tomorrow.
What you need:
- 1 teaspoon harissa paste*
- 2 red peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 80g (3oz) feta cheese, crumbled
- Courgette, grated 1 x
- Tomato, diced 1 x
- Handful of chopped basil x 1
- sea salt flakes and pepper
- green salad, to serve
- Your choice of protein:
- 120g (4½oz) salmon fillet
- 120g (4½oz) chicken breast
- 200g (7oz) canned green lentils, rinsed and drained
What you need to do:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4.
- Rub the salmon fillet or chicken breast, if using, with the harissa paste and leave to marinate for 30 minutes. Transfer to an ovenproof dish, cover and bake the chicken for 25 minutes or the salmon for 15 minutes, until cooked through.
- Slice the tops off the peppers and scoop out the seeds. Place in an ovenproof dish, drizzle with oil and bake for 10 minutes.
- At the same time, spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 5–7 minutes, stirring from time to time, until golden.
- Place the pine nuts in a mixing bowl with the feta, courgette, tomato and basil. Season to taste and mix well. If using lentils, stir them into the vegetable mixture with the harissa.
- Remove the peppers from the oven and stuff with the feta mixture. Take care – they’ll be hot! Return the peppers to the oven and bake for 10–15 minutes.
- Serve one stuffed pepper with your chicken or fish, if using, accompanied by a green salad.
- Allow the other pepper to cool, then cover and store in the refrigerator overnight, and enjoy for lunch tomorrow with a mixed salad.
Extracted from The G-Plan Diet by Amanda Hamilton & Hannah Ebelthite
Will you be trying the G Plan diet? Let us know what you think!