If you’ve avoided eggs for years because you thought they were high in cholesterol, or think they’re just a muscle-building protein food, it’s time to change the way you think. The British Nutrition Foundation now says that very little of the cholesterol in eggs finds its way into the bloodstream, and the protein in eggs helps you feel full for longer, helping reduce your hunger pangs and lose fat. They’re also rich in nutrients including selenium, choline and vitamins D and B12, and a medium-sized egg has fewer than 80 calories.
With this in mind, nutritionist Jennifer Bowden (thinkingnutrition.co.nz) has devised a meal plan based on simple, tasty egg recipes.
Monday Breakfast: Sweet berry porridge: cook 50g rolled oats with 200ml skimmed milk. Serve with 50ml cold milk, 70g raspberries, 1tsp honey. 1 slice of wholegrain toast with Marmite.
Lunch: 2 wholemeal pittas stuffed with 4 falafel patties, shredded lettuce, onion, tomato and 1tbsp sweet chilli sauce.
Snack: 10 small rice crackers with 30g low-fat cheese and small handful almonds.
Dinner: Salmon flan with salad. 130g unsweetened yoghurt with grated apple.
Daily total: 1,991 calories, 247g carbs, 95g protein, 70g fat.
Tuesday Breakfast: Fruit crunch: mix 130g canned peaches, 4 chopped strawberries and 4 chopped dried apricots. Top with 150g natural yoghurt, a handful of pumpkin and sunflower seeds and a swirl of honey.
Snack: Small bran muffin.
Lunch: Top a plate of shredded iceberg lettuce with 100g canned tuna, 1 chopped tomato, 200g canned chickpeas (drained) and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Snack: A glass of milk and a handful of carrot sticks.
Dinner: Chicken Caesar salad.
Daily total: 1,956 calories, 204g carbs, 160g protein, 62g fat.
Wednesday Breakfast: Berry smoothie: blend 1 banana, 70g raspberries, 150ml skimmed milk, 100ml natural yoghurt, 1tsp honey, 1tbsp sunflower seeds and 20g rolled oats.
Lunch: Toast 1 wholemeal bagel and fill with 50g roasted chicken, lettuce, ¼ of an avocado, diced onion and 1tbsp sweet chilli sauce.
Snack: Glass of milk. Small handful of almonds and dried apricots.
Dinner: Spanish tomato tortilla.
Daily total: 1,918 calories, 226g carbs, 124g protein, 59g fat.
Thursday Breakfast: Soak 45g rolled oats in 80ml apple juice overnight. Serve with 1 grated apple, 1tbsp sunflower seeds, 1tbsp chopped almonds and 150g natural yoghurt.
Lunch: Mix 150g cooked pasta, 60g broccoli, 60g green beans, 1 chopped tomato, 100g drained canned salmon, 1tbsp olive oil, 1tbsp balsamic vinegar and basil.
Snack: 250ml skimmed milk. 12 rice crackers with 2tbsp hummus.
Dinner: Grilled chicken with German potato salad. 130g canned peaches with 150g low-fat fruit yoghurt.
Daily total: 1,947 calories, 232g carbs, 132g protein, 67g fat.
Friday Breakfast: 2 slices of wholegrain toast topped with 1tbsp peanut butter and 1 chopped banana. 250ml skimmed milk with 1tsp cocoa.
Snack: 2 plums.
Lunch: 2 wholemeal pittas stuffed with 150g cold roast beef, shredded lettuce, spring onion, tomato and 1tbsp basil pesto.
Snack: 250ml skimmed milk. Carrot sticks with hummus.
Dinner: Mushroom and cheese tortilla.
Daily total: 1,943 calories, 212 carbs, 119g protein, 70g fat.
Saturday Breakfast: Muesli topped with 6 strawberries, 150g natural yoghurt and 125ml skimmed milk.
Lunch: Sushi (6 medium rolls), medium skimmed-milk latte and a cereal bar.
Snack: 250ml skimmed milk. 10 small rice crackers with 2tbsp hummus.
Dinner: Beef fried rice.
Daily total: 1,899 calories, 228g carbs, 118g protein, 58g fat.
Sunday Breakfast: 2 slices of wholegrain toast topped with 200g baked beans, 2 grilled bacon rashers and 1 grilled tomato. Glass of apple juice.
Snack: 2 plums.
Lunch: 1 medium-sized tortilla wrapped around 100g cold beef, shredded lettuce, 1 chopped tomato, diced spring onion, 2tbsp basil pesto and 20g grated low-fat cheese.
Snack: 12 rice crackers. 250ml skimmed milk.
Dinner: Bean niçoise salad. 100g tinned fruit salad with 150g natural yoghurt.
Daily total: 1,989 calories, 283g carbs, 128g protein, 40g fat.
For more great weight-loss plans, go to our weight-loss meal plan section.