27 October 2016Last updated

Features | People

Ask the expert: a diet plan with a cheat meal, please!

You can learn to cheat clean even when you’re on a holiday

3 Jul 2016 | 04:25 pm

I’m currently on a diet. Can you suggest a flexible diet plan that can be easily followed when I’m away from home and that allows me to have a cheat meal occasionally.

I know people who postpone their trips and vacations just because they are on a diet. This mentality doesn’t work if you want to make your diet your lifestyle. You can learn to cheat clean even when you’re on a holiday. Here’s what you can do:

Have a protein-rich meal first thing in the morning. Preferably egg whites, because you will be having fat in many other forms through the day. So eat an omelette of egg whites with a lot of veggies, or a bowl of fruit with a lot of nuts if you’re a vegetarian.

Keep your breakfast nutritionally correct. A heavy breakfast is a must to keep you fuelled up until lunch. Then comes the indulgent fun part.

For lunch, have your cheat meal. You should eat what you feel like – pizza, pasta, a dessert or a buffet. But one thing: make sure you have a black coffee 20 minutes before you have this meal. Black coffee increases the speed of gastric emptying. Which means you absorb fewer calories.

If you want to be a bit more careful and eat less of your cheat meal, have a portion of veggies or a salad before you start this meal so that you will feel full faster and won’t be tempted to eat too much.

For dinner try and keep it super light, based on what you’ve eaten at lunch. A soup, a vegetable stir-fry, a chicken salad or even just a grilled chunk of meat with some greens should be fine.

This plan gives you the space to cheat and indulge, but at the same time it makes sure your day starts off on a protein-rich note and ends on a light healthy meal.

Got a problem?

Email your queries to


Rashi Chowdhary

is a nutritionist, an inch-loss expert and a certified diabetic educator. She can be contacted on 050 181 5030.