The diet for those with limited time

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Louise Hay
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If you don't have much time, eat healthily and balanced can become a business, especially if your goal is lose weight. In fact, weighing food, counting calories and sticking to very strict menus requires commitment, organization and ... many precious minutes. So it's easy to end up falling back on ready meals anything but light and repetitive menus that in the long run bore the palate and push you in search of comforter foodie super-energetic.



The winning solution? The one proposed here by the doctor Barbara Asprea, dietician in Milan and author of 200 menus for weight loss. "You don't have to spend hours in the kitchen to prepare healthy and light recipes," she says with conviction.

«Just follow a simple rule: insure yourself in 3 main meals of the day carbohydrates (which are found mainly in cereals and fruit), proteins (of which legumes and derivatives, eggs, cheeses, fish, meat are rich), fats (especially the "good" ones, contained in extra virgin olive oil olive, seeds and dried fruit) and finally the Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants of fresh vegetables ».

Below you will find a schedule for weekdays (Saturday included), or those in which you have to cope with many different commitments. Here are some simple ones rules to be respected always, in addition to some useful tips, to be able to nourish yourself lightly without sacrificing taste.


The single plate: an aid to the clock and the balance

The foods needed by a healthy (and Mediterranean) diet they can also be grouped into a single course. “Take a dinner plate and fill it halfway with le vegetables, preferably seasonal and of a different color: in fact, each color corresponds to different substances, all essential for your well-being », explains Dr. Asprea.



«In a quarter you have the cereals, focusing at least once a day on wholemeal ones, in grains or in the form of pasta, bread, flakes. From a nutritional point of view they are richer than refined ones: they provide higher doses of fiber, vitamins E and B group, iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc. Furthermore, they have a higher percentage of "good" fats. The so-called pseudocereals, such as quinoa, buckwheat or amaranth, are also excellent.

Alternatively, you can indulge yourself potatoes or chestnuts (1-2 times a week) and only occasionally fruit, because it has a high load of simple sugars ». Then complete the main course with proteins: «The best are those guaranteed by meat, even better if white and lean (chicken, turkey, rabbit), and those contained in eggs, milk, yogurt.

Ok also al fish, which should be brought to the table at least twice a week: it also ensures many essential Omega 3 fatty acids, beneficial for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, as well as B vitamins and important minerals such as for example phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron, selenium and iodine ”, continues Dr. Barbara Asprea.

Which then invites you not to forget i vegetable in your menu: «Soybeans and beans have proteins of lower biological value, which are however improved by combining them with those of cereals».


Quick cooking (and nutrient savers)

Choosing the right cooking is also fundamental for the success of this diet. "To halve the preparation time and preserve the nutritional principles of grains, use the"absorption cooking". Calculate for example 2 glasses of water for each glass of barley or spelled. By cooking the cereal it will swell, keeping vitamins and minerals inside, ”suggests the dietician.



«For whole grains, the times also depend on the single food: the cous cous it is ready in 5 minutes, basmati rice, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat in a quarter of an hour. For the other varieties, it is better to boil them the night before and then store them in the refrigerator (they keep well for a couple of days).

Before eating them, it will be enough for you sauté them in a pan for 2-3 minutes and season them as you like ». You can do the same with dried legumes, to be boiled after the essential soaking (for the times, read the information on the label). "Remember that the peeled ones (peas, lentils, broad beans) cook faster and, if you use the pressure cooker, they are tender in about ten minutes », Dr. Asprea continues.

«Pasta, on the other hand, cook it al dente: you will gain a few minutes and in addition you will slow down the passage of sugar in the blood, preventing spikes in blood sugar which in the long run can favor diabetes ». Vegetables, on the other hand, are better cut into chunks and steamed, so you avoid wasting too much time and giving up some of their properties.

Alternatively, you can sauté them with a drop of water. As for meat and fish, to cook it first, it favors cooking in foil: «You will preserve vitamins and minerals, obtaining tasty dishes without adding fat».


Avoid wasting and not just time) with the freezer 


To meet the needs of those who are always in a hurry, the food industry offers ready meals always new. And valid: «Remember that in general i frozen foods among the preserved foods those that best maintain the quality of the fresh counterparts », says Dr. Giorgio Donegani, food technologist.

However, take a look at the ingredients to verify that they respect the rules of our diet as much as possible. AND use the freezer also to keep the sliced ​​bread: "Buy what you need for a week and divide it into plastic food bags in the right portions for every breakfast, lunch or dinner on the menu.


Just take it out of the freezer 30 'before eating it to make it soft again », Dr. Asprea finally advises. 


The rules to follow to lose weight immediately

1. To season or cook prefer extra virgin (or evo): you can use 3 teaspoons (equal to 15 g) for both lunch and dinner.

2. Consume vegetables at will: the minimum recommended quantities are 100 g for those in leaves, 200 g for the others.

3. Choose i cereals which you prefer: if you don't like the ones on the menu, you can replace them respecting the quantities.

4. Sunday you choose: since you have time, create the menu you like best. However, respecting the basic rules. 

1 Monday

Breakfast: low-fat white yogurt (150 g) with sugar-free muesli (30 g).

Snack: 1 apple.

Lunch: Basmati rice (60 g) seasoned with sesame seeds, oil and soy sauce + white fish fillets (100 g) + mixed salad.

Snack: carrot juice with ginger.

Price: seitan burger and grilled radicchio with pumpkin cream (see here recipe).

2 Tuesday 


Breakfast: cow or vegetable milk (150 ml) with 30 g of oat flakes, a few raisins and 1-2 nuts.

Snack: citrus juice.

Lunch: pasta and beans (50 g of pasta and 150 g of cooked legumes) + mixed salad.

Snack: hot infusion + some pistachios.

Price: smoked tofu (80 g) or grilled chicken breast (100 g) + slices of baked pumpkin with rosemary + 1 pear.

3 Wednesday


Breakfast: barley coffee + wholemeal bread (30 g) with 1-2 teaspoons of forest fruit compote + 1 small banana.

Snack: fruit-only smoothie.

Lunch: spinach risotto (60 g of grains) with parmesan flakes (30 g) + carrot salad with sunflower seeds.

Snack: hot infusion + 2-3 sesame crackers.

Price: vegetable soup with wholemeal croutons (40 g) + mashed boiled chickpeas (150 g) and steamed herbs 



4 Thursday 


Breakfast: Almond milk (150 ml) with muesli (30 g) of whole grains and 1 apple.

Snack: green tea + some carrots.

Lunch: thick soup of saffron vegetables with 30 g of barley + mixed salad + 1 hard-boiled egg.

Snack: 2-3 nights.

Price: strips of turkey breast (100 g) sautéed with carrots, leeks and fresh ginger + wholemeal bread (40 g).

5 Friday


Breakfast: soy yogurt (150g) with rice flakes (30g), 1-2 chopped nuts and 1/2 teaspoon of cocoa powder.

Snack: citrus juice.

Lunch: creamy millet with spinach and carrot julienne (see here recipe).

Snack: hot infusion + 2-3 sesame crackers.

Price: chickpea and bean soup (50 g each weighed cooked) and spelled (40 g) + grilled porcini mushrooms with garlic and parsley.

6 Saturday 


Breakfast: 1 milk smoothie (100 ml), apple and oat flakes (30 g).

Snack: citrus juice.

Lunch: wholemeal linguine with ricotta and sautéed fennel (see here recipe).

Snack: green tea + 1 square of 70% dark chocolate.

Price: pumpkin soup with toasted sunflower seeds + sole rolls (130 g) baked in foil with sage and white wine + spinach sautéed in a pan with pine nuts and raisins. 


  • Diet: tips and fast recipes if you are short on time


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