Fitness Expert Danni Levy has developed a new eating plan called the Pyramid Diet which promises to help you lose pounds every week and it’s already a hit with celebs.
Imogen Thomas tried the diet at one of Danni’s bootcamps in Marbella and Daybreak’s Anna Williamson lost a stone on it — going from a size ten to a six.
Zoe Tyler from Loose Women dropped even more, down from a 16 to a 12.
The plan is in a three-day cycle. Day one is high carbs so you can eat almost as much as you like. On day two you limit your intake of carbs and on day three you cut them out altogether.
And so long as you are careful about what you order, you can even have a curry or Chinese takeaway.
Danni says: “The Pyramid Diet is a rotational eating plan which offers a structured, lifetime approach to food.
“It is probably the most balanced diet to date and works on a principle of varying the amount of carbohydrates we eat. Contrary to popular modern belief, depriving your body of carbohydrates can actually lead to a significant slow-down in your metabolism. So you rotate your carbohydrate consumption to keep the metabolism elevated.
“Carbohydrates are not the enemy. Severe carb-depletion can lead to fatigue, nausea, mood-swings, breakdown in muscle tissue, weakness, dizziness and bad breath.
“If that’s not enough to convince you to include a healthy amount of carbs in your diet, you need to know that most weight-loss achieved by cutting carbs is simply water-loss.”
However, Danni does advise cutting out all processed carbs, including white bread, doughnuts and white pasta. Sugar is also banned. She says: “Before you dial the local pizza delivery, I’m afraid to say a meat-feast and chips or a hot dog with onions is not on the menu. Processed carbs are strictly forbidden.
“But there are lots of foods you can enjoy. You can still have a roast dinner, a curry or a Chinese.
“Think of the Pyramid Diet as a little like interval training on a treadmill. Most of us would prefer to alternate three minutes’ running with three minutes’ walking for half an hour than do 30 minutes’ solid running.
“Think of the no-carb day as the sprint, the low-carb day as the jog and the high-carb day as the walk in the park.”
Stick to it and Danni believes most of us would lose at least 4lb a week.
“It’s not the 7lb a week some diets promise,” she says. “But if you stick to the plan, it will stay off. It can also be tailored to suit your lifestyle.
“If you normally go for a Chinese on a Friday night, make that your high-carb day. But if you normally cook a Sunday roast, make the end of the week your high-carb day. You have to make it work for you.”
The good news is the diet shouldn’t only help you shed pounds. Cutting out sugar will reduce your risk of life-threatening diseases including diabetes and heart disease, you’ll have more energy and a better night’s sleep.
Danni’s top tips
CUT OUT SUGAR: Banish anything with added sugar from your kitchen. Sugar encourages the body to store fat.
STAY HYDRATED: Drink at least eight glasses of water a day to enable your body to metabolise fats effectively. It’s not uncommon to think you’re hungry when actually it’s thirst your body is suffering from, so drink a glass of water before each meal to avoid over-eating.
CUT OUT SALT: Not only does excess salt contribute to high blood pressure and heart problems, it also contributes to fluid retention.
GO EASY ON BOOZE: The lower your alcohol intake, the easier it will be to lose weight. Alcohol contains seven calories per gram and these calories will be burned first by your body. So calories from fat and glucose will not be used until the energy from alcohol has been burned off. But you don’t have to cut it out altogether. There are some health benefits from drinking red wine.
WATCH TEA AND COFFEE: Fluids often get overlooked where diets are concerned. But a 250ml serving of skimmed milk contains 11g of net carbs and these all add up when you’re drinking tea and coffee throughout the day.
CHINESE: Plain spare ribs, chicken satay or clear chicken soup are all good choices for starters. For the main course, the best options are beef, chicken or fish with a soy or black bean sauce and steamed veg. Lychees for dessert. NO white rice or noodles.
INDIAN: Chicken tikka kebab, chicken tikka masala, jalfrezi, curried vegetables.
BANISH foods with added sugar, including sweets, ice cream and fizzy drinks. Also ban crisps, white pasta, white bread, pizza, sugary breakfast cereals, foods high in saturated fatty acids such as butter, cream and full-fat cheese; breaded chicken and croutons.
THIS is a high-carbs day. You can eat 1g of carbohydrate per pound of bodyweight, so if you weigh 10st (140lb), your allowance for the day is 140g.
DANNI SAYS: Most of you will find Day 1 of the three-day cycle by far the easiest and the most enjoyable.
Your carb intake will be relatively high and you should feel comfortably satisfied all day. There’s no need to feel guilty – after all, carbohydrates are the only form of fuel used by the brain, so you’re also stocking up on a good healthy dose of brain food.
The Pyramid Diet is all about choosing the right carbs to put into your body, not cutting them out of your life.
Example meal plan
BREAKFAST: Made with 40g porridge oats with a dash of cinnamon (20g).
SNACK: Wholegrain rice cakes with natural peanut butter (20g).
LUNCH: Chicken breast with 100g brown rice and salad (30g).
SNACK: Banana (30g).
DINNER: Salmon, broccoli and sweet potato (25g).
DESSERT: Fruit salad (15g).
BREAKFAST: Two slices of brown toast with natural peanut butter (30g).
SNACK: Small fruit-salad pot (20g).
LUNCH: Tuna and bean salad pot (10g).
SNACK: Natural Greek yogurt pot (5g).
STARTER: Smoked salmon platter with brown bread (25g).
DINNER: Sirloin steak with vegetables, mushrooms and tomatoes (10g).
PUDDING: Organic Chocolate cookies (8g).
THIS is a low-carbs day. You can eat 0.5g per pound of bodyweight, so if you weigh 10st (140lb) your allowance is 70g.
DANNI SAYS: I’ve often been asked what the point of low-carb day is. There are several good reasons for slotting the low-carb day in between the two extremes.
Day 2 allows for enjoyment without over-indulgence. Low-carb is the best day for exercise. They are the only days on which you are advised to perform both cardiovascular and resistance exercise.
Although there is an upper carb limit in place, you are by no means obliged to hit it. But go too low and you will simply be re-living no-carb day. It is essential you do not do this, as the Pyramid Diet is a three-day cycle and it is not intended as a no-carb regime.
Example meal plan
BREAKFAST: Fruit and fibre yogurt pot (16g of carbohydrate).
SNACK: Half a cup of cottage cheese and fresh fruit (20g).
LUNCH: Tuna and egg salad (0g).
SNACK: 30g cashew nuts (5g).
DINNER: Chicken breast with cajun sweet potato, broccoli and spinach (25g).
DESSERT: Almond butter cookies.
BREAKFAST: Two slices of granary bread with a 4-egg omelette (25g).
SNACK: Apple with low-fat cottage cheese (10g).
LUNCH: Good-carb stir-fry with chicken (2g).
SNACK: Natural live Greek yogurt (8g).
DINNER: Salmon fillet with green beans and cajun sweet potato (25g).
THIS is called a no-carbs day but really everyone can have up to a total of 20g – but no more.
DANNI SAYS: If the idea of having no carbs makes your palms sweat, please relax. You will find your body adapts to the high, low, no-carb cycle naturally and will crave fats and protein on Day 3, so you should find it relatively easy to cut out stodgy carbs such as bread, rice, pasta and potato every third day.
You’re not expected to be a dietary nun and for this reason you have an allowance of 20g of carbs on no-carb days, excluding green, fibrous vegetables which are unlimited.
Don’t exceed 20g whatever you weigh. Cheat just a tiny bit and you won’t keep your body guessing.
Because you won’t be consuming calories from carbohydrates, you will need to increase your intake of fats and proteins.
If you drink tea or coffee with milk you will need to take this into consideration. An average hot drink with a splash of skimmed milk will give you around 1g of carbs. Because your body will be in fat-burning mode, you are encouraged to make the most of no-carb day.
Remember, your body’s insulin levels will be low, which will allow for super fat-burning, so why not take a swim or go for a long brisk walk?
Example meal plan
BREAKFAST: Four egg-white omelette with mushrooms and spinach (0g)
SNACK: Smoked salmon-stuffed avocados (2g)
LUNCH: Chicken and vegetable stir-fry (5g)
SNACK: Cottage cheese with celery to dip (0g)
STARTER: Grilled tiger prawns (0g)
DINNER: Cod steaks with garlic and saffron aioli (2g)
THE Pyramid Diet, by Danni Levy, (£12.99) is out now.
Check out Danni Levy’s luxury bootcamp – www.5starbootcamp.com
*article taken from www.thesun.co.uk