How to drop a dress size without dieting...
Weight-loss expert Tina Murphy tells Deirdre Reynolds why faddy diets don't work and how to really shift the pounds
A Dublin mum has revealed how you can eat yourself thin in 2015.
More than 80pc of women have already packed in their New Year's resolution to shape up, a new survey by Debenhams found this week.
But weight-loss expert Tina Murphy urged slimmers here not to resort to fad diets to get back on track in February.
"At this time of year, there an awful lot of 'quick fix' diets around," says mum-of-one Tina, founder of the hit 'Run with Tina' eight-week running programme.
"I've heard of people going on three-day liquid diets to try and lose the weight they put on over Christmas.
"The problem is, as soon as you start eating normally again, you put the weight back on within a week."
"I feel bad for people who are so desperate to lose weight that they'll try anything," she adds.
"I get emails from girls asking, 'Are these diet pills safe?'
"But you don't need to resort to all these tricks to lose weight."
In her new book, Slim with Tina, out now, the no-nonsense fitness coach reveals how to drop a dress size without dieting.
"It's really about going back to basics," says Tina, who previously struggled with her own weight after being diagnosed with an underactive thyroid.
"The main thing is to stop eating junk food and processed food - sugar being the worst - and just eat healthy, home-cooked food.
"I got the idea for the book at my running classes," she explains.
"Every night, I would hear women saying, 'What diet are you doing now?' or 'You should try this one'. "The focus was always on losing weight rather than health."
Sweet Potato Chips, Chocolate-Covered Almonds, Green Smoothie and Chia Seed Pudding are just some of guilt-free recipes featured in the latest Irish lifestyle guide.
"The absolute key to healthy eating is being organised," advises Tina, "especially if you work full-time.
"At the weekend, plan what you're going to eat for the next week, do your shopping and pre-prepare as many meals as possible."
"Snacks are where most people fail, so stock up lots of healthy dried fruit and nuts."
And transforming your mindset is the key to transforming your figure, reveals Tina: "Although I've never been really big, I've struggled with my weight for most of my life.
"People think that losing weight will make you happy, but it's only when you learn to be happy that you actually start losing weight.
"Your weight does not determine your value as a human being," she adds.
"The biggest change is changing your attitude."
'Slim with Tina: The Easy Way to Lose Weight and Keep it Off' is out now, €14.99.
Tina's three-day meal plan
Breakfast - Green smoothie (handful of spinach, 300ml water, 2 celery stalks, 1⁄4 pineapple, 1 apple, 1 small banana)
* Lunch - Simple frittata (1 tsp coconut oil, 1⁄4 pepper, 1/2 courgette, 1 red onion, 2 eggs, salt and pepper, handful of spinach, 100g cooked chicken)
* Dinner - Bean, lentil and quinoa hotpot (see recipe) DAY TWO
* Breakfast - Fresh muesli (½1/2 tbsp seeds, 1/2 tbsp chopped nuts, 1/2 tbsp oats, 1/2 tbsp raisins, 1/2 tbsp milled chia seeds or flaxseeds, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 3 tbsp plain yoghurt, fresh berries or chopped fresh fruit)
* Lunch - Quick chickpea salad (see recipe)
* Dinner - Homemade spelt pizza (Base: 200g spelt white flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp milled chia seeds, 2 tbsp olive oil, 120-150ml warm water. Toppings: tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, sliced mushroom, sweetcorn, etc)
* Breakfast - Blueberry pancakes (150g gluten-free flour mix, 1tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 egg, 125ml plain yoghurt, 165ml water, 1 ripe banana, handful of fresh blueberries, 1 tsp coconut oil)
* Lunch - Leek and potato soup (1 tsp coconut oil, 2 leeks, half a small onion, 1 garlic clove, 250g potatoes, 1 litre vegetable stock, salt and pepper)
* Dinner - Chicken and cashew nut stir-fry (200g cooked rice noodles, 2 chicken fillets, 1 tbsp coconut oil, 3 spring onions, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp ginger, handful of tender stem broccoli, 1/2 red pepper, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tbsp tamari sauce, 2 tbsp water, 2 tbsp cashew nuts)
Each day, choose two snacks - one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon - from the following:
* 2 Chia seed and cacao energy balls
* Carrot, celery sticks, pepper slices or sugar snap peas dipped in hummus
* Oatcakes with nut butter
* Natural yoghurt with berries, nuts and seeds
* Handful of nuts
Tina's healthy recipes
Quick chickpea salad
* 400g tin chickpeas, drained
* 1 avocado, chopped
* 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
* 1 small red onion, finely chopped
* Handful of baby spinach leaves
* Small handful of fresh coriander
* Freshly ground pepper
* 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
* 1 tbsp olive oil
1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the vinegar (or lemon juice) and olive oil. Pour over the salad and mix well.
Bean, lentil and quinoa hotpot
*1 tbsp olive oil
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1 red pepper, diced
* 1/2 courgette, finely chopped
* 100g red lentils
* 500ml water
* 2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
* 7 peppercorns
* 1 tsp fennel seeds
* 1 tsp coriander seeds
* 2 carrots, diced
* 400g tin mixed beans (in water), drained
* 100g quinoa
* 400g tin chopped tomatoes
* Tender stem broccoli (about 6 stems)
* 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
* Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the onion for five minutes.
2. Add the garlic, red pepper and courgette and continue cooking for one minute.
3. Add the lentils, water, bouillon powder, peppercorns, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, carrots and beans. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
4. Add the quinoa, tomatoes and broccoli. Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes.
5. Season with the lemon juice and
6. Remove from the heat and stir
in the chopped coriander.
7. Serve on its own or with a spoonful
of natural yoghurt.
Chia seed and caco energy balls
* 150g (1/2 cup) almond butter
* 1 tsp cinnamon
* 150 ml (1/3 cup) maple syrup (or honey)
* 1 tbsp milled chia seeds
* 1 tbsp milled flaxseed
* 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
* 2 tbsp oats
* Sprinkle of desiccated coconut
1. Heat the nut butter, cinnamon and maple syrup in a pan for about a minute, until it softens and is easy to blend.
2. Add all the other ingredients and mix well. If the mixture is runny, let it cool and stiffen for a while.
3. Roll the dough into small balls.
4. Coat with desiccated coconut (optional).
5. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.