Everything you need to follow the Summer 2018 Healthy Diet Plan. Find the menu chart, all the recipes for the week, handy shopping lists and more.
Welcome to BBC Good Food's Healthy Diet Plan for Summer 2018! This page contains everything you need to follow the plan. Scroll down or click the links below to get started. Looking for the vegetarian plan? We have a separate page just for you.
Whether you're aiming to lose weight, increase your energy levels or just glow with health, our brand-new Healthy Diet Plan is here to help. Discover seven days of brand-new recipes that have all been triple-tested and rigorously nutritionally analysed to ensure that you're getting all the nutrients you need to look and feel fantastic.
At BBC Good Food we believe that the healthiest way of eating is focused around whole, natural foods, and our diet plans are no different. All the recipes are packed with healthy fats, lean protein and slow-release carbs, as well as minimising processed products. We've also included a variety of meaty, vegetarian and vegan recipes throughout the week.
The results? You can expect to cut down on added sugar, increase your energy levels, improve your digestion, lose excess weight and support your immune system.
Use the chart below to see your weekly menu at a glance. To get the most from the plan, we recommend eating the breakfasts, lunches and dinners in the order set out in the chart. This means that each day will deliver a balance of protein, fat and carbs, helping to manage hormonal and blood sugar levels, as well as optimal nutrient levels each day. You'll also achieve all five of your 5-a-day and keep within the recommended Reference Intakes (RI) for fats, protein, sugar, salt and kcals while following the latest guidance on your intake of 'free' sugars. As with any lifestyle or diet change, if you have any concerns or health issues we would encourage you to check with your GP before embarking on our plans.
If this is a new way of eating for you, our registered nutritionist, Kerry Torrens, suggests you begin by introducing some of the recipes a day or two before starting the full seven days. This will allow your digestive system time to adapt to the more fibre-rich foods we’ve included. To help you supercharge your results, read Kerry's six tips to make the most of the plan.
To help you get organised, we've designed a handy shopping list so you can buy everything you need in one shop – just remember to check the packets for sell-by dates to make sure they'll last until the end of the week.
Download the printable shopping list.
Our plan covers breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves two people for seven days (sometimes with leftovers for another day on the plan) — although the recipes can be easily scaled up or down. If you're vegetarian or would rather eat less meat, we have a vegetarian plan just for you.
Get the vegetarian Healthy Diet Plan recipes.
Calcium, vitamin C, one of 5-a-day, vegetarian
Add a little sweetness to your mornings with these easy fruit and yogurt pots. If you're not eating porridge at this time of year, this is a good way to include oats in your diet and still enjoy their heart-friendly benefits. This recipe makes four servings – enough for two people on two mornings.
Low-calorie, one of 5-a-day, vegetarian
Pancakes on a healthy eating plan? You'd better believe it! We've packed the batter with wholemeal flour, cinnamon, milk and banana, then whisked up the egg whites separately to give them a delicious fluffy texture. Blueberries are rich in anthocyanins, which studies have linked to improved memory and heart health. They taste really good too!
Healthy, three of 5-a-day, folate, fibre, vitamin C, gluten-free, vegetarian
This is a really satisfying breakfast or weekend brunch, packing in plenty of smoky paprika flavour and satiating protein from the eggs. This recipe makes enough for two breakfasts, so eat one the morning you make them and pack away the rest for another day. Mushrooms are a useful source of zinc, a key nutrient for supporting the immune system and maintaining healthy skin.
One of 5-a-day, calcium, vitamin C, folate, fibre, gluten-free, vegetarian
This green smoothie is packed with goodness, including strawberries, spinach, avocado, yogurt and orange. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, so it is best absorbed when eaten with some fat or oil. Avocados are naturally rich in vitamin E and good-for-you fats, making them the perfect combination for adding a creamy texture to this smoothie. This super quick and easy breakfast option is portable too – simply pop into a bottle or flask and take to work.
Healthy, low-calorie, two of 5-a-day, folate, fibre, vitamin C, iron, vegetarian
This makes a quick, delicious veggie lunch ideal for the weekend. Wholemeal spaghetti is a much better choice than the white, refined variety – wholemeal is nutrient dense, supplies energising B vitamins and will help keep you fuller for longer. If you're veggie but want to add the optional cheese on top, use a vegetarian variety of hard cheese.
Five of 5-a-day, healthy, low-calorie, vegan, folate, fibre, vitamin C, gluten-free, vegetarian
They say to eat a rainbow – how about fitting it all onto one plate? Pack in an amazing five of your 5-a-day in this super healthy lunch, delicious griddled inside or seared on a barbecue. This lunch provides a good balance of nutrients too.
Healthy, three of 5-a-day, low-calorie, low-fat, folate, fibre, vitamin C, iron, vegetarian
So much more than just a delicious midday meal, this soup is packed with spinach and bursting with nutrients, including protective plant compounds called carotenoids which are important for our skin, hair, eye and bone health. Serve with a side of rye bread to mop up every last drop.
Healthy, low-calorie, folate, fibre, vitamin C, three of 5-a-day, iron
Get ahead during the week with this simple meal prep idea. Make one base then top with different ingredients so you have two very different tasting lunches. We've paired avocado, tomato, basil and olives for one flavour, then chickpeas, beetroot, mint and orange in the other. Supplying slow-release energy to see you through the afternoon, these lunch bowls also provide an impressive three of your 5-a-day.
Healthy, three of 5-a-day, low-calorie, low-fat, vitamin C, folate, fibre, gluten-free
Serve up a plate full of sunshine flavours with this turmeric chicken and tasty slaw supper. This recipe makes enough for dinner on one night, with leftovers stored in the fridge to pop in a lunchbox for another day. Lean chicken breasts cook in next to no time if lightly smashed to make them thinner. These would also cook quickly on a barbecue if you want to eat outside.
Healthy, low calorie, folate, two of 5-a-day, gluten-free
Meatballs on a healthy diet menu? Yes please! Choose lean pork mince to keep the saturated fat in this dish down, then add grated courgette to help make the mixture really juicy and tender. We've added a creamy sauce and a flavour-packed salad for a dinner you'll look forward to all day. You're welcome.
Healthy, low-calorie, low-fat, folate, iron, fibre, three of 5-a-day, gluten-free
We've combined crisp lettuce, new potatoes, green beans and peas with a punchy, herby dressing, then topped with juicy, sliced fillet steak. Peas are a useful source of iron and fibre, including soluble fibre, which helps regulate cholesterol levels and keep your blood sugar level in check.
Healthy, low-calorie, calcium, folate, vitamin C, iron, four of 5-a-day, gluten-free
Chickpeas, spices and eggs all work really well together to make this fabulous savoury cake, served in wedges with an Indian-style salad. Chickpeas contain magnesium, which we need for healthy bone structure and energy production.
Healthy, low-calorie, low-fat, iron, folate, fibre, vitamin C, three of 5-a-day
This super quick supper uses wholegrain spaghetti, topped with a punchy, flavourful sauce – a great way to add low-fat and high-protein white fish to your diet. Cod provides stress-busting B vitamins and magnesium, and tastes lovely too.
Healthy, low-calorie, low-fat, calcium, folate, fibre, vitamin C, iron, omega-3, two of 5-a-day, gluten-free
Pack your evening meal full of fresh, seasonal vegetables with this fuss-free fish dish. Trout is an oily fish that supplies beneficial omega-3 fats, which may help alleviate inflammatory conditions, reduce the risk of heart problems and promote healthy skin and nails. It's perfect finished with a slice of lemon and our homemade sauce, using bio yogurt and plenty of herbs.
Everyone has different needs and lifestyle requirements, which is why our plans are easy to adapt. If you find you are hungry or you would like to increase the daily calories, try adding our healthier snacks and sweet treat suggestions. These recipes are all based around whole foods and keep the processed ingredients to a minimum.
If you want to mix up the menu so you can follow the plan in the longer term, or you don't like a particular dish on the menu, you can swap it for one of our extra Healthy Diet Plan dishes, which all follow the same nutritional guidelines as the recipes in this plan. Please bear in mind that adding snacks or swapping recipes will alter the overall calories and recommended daily intakes for the day.
About the Healthy Diet Plan
The calories you need on a daily basis vary depending on your age, height, weight, sex and activity levels. There are numerous calculators you can use online to determine your optimum calorie intake but we’ve based our daily menu plans on no more than 1,500 calories. For the average female, who is moderately active, this should generate a shortfall allowing for steady and controlled weight loss. For those who are hungry on the plan, require a higher calorie intake or are happy with their weight, take a look at our healthier snacks and sweet treat ideas. As with any lifestyle or diet change, if you have any concerns or health issues we would encourage you to check with your GP before embarking on our plans.
A note on fat
Fat is in most of the foods we eat – meat, fish, nuts, seeds and grains as well as dairy and eggs. Obtaining fat from these whole foods is a healthier way of getting this essential macronutrient. We need fat for healthy skin, to boost our mood and improve concentration, as well as for a well-functioning immune system. Our recipes include full-fat rather than processed low-fat ingredients, like yogurt, and extra virgin cold-pressed oils rather than refined ones. That’s because all fats are not equal; we should avoid processed, refined fats and oils and limit (but not exclude) our intake of the saturated variety.
A note on dairy
We've used full-fat milk and whole bio yogurt in our recipes. These contain around 4% fat and because of this, are richer in essential fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. If you prefer the taste of semi-skimmed milk and reduced-fat yogurt or you've been advised to reduce your sat fat intake, you can swap for these. You'll still reap the benefit from the calcium and protein that dairy contains, but be aware that the fat-soluble vitamins will be reduced.
A note on sugar
We’ve used naturally sweet ingredients like fruit, dried fruit and sweeter-tasting veg, like beetroot, so we can slash the amount of added ‘free’ sugars in our recipes.
Please email any questions about the recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll do our best to help.
All health content from BBC Good Food is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. Any healthy diet plan featured by BBC Good Food is provided as a suggestion of a general balanced diet and should not be relied upon to meet specific dietary requirements. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider.