The 3-day Diet is an easy way to try intermittent fasting

Rainbow veggie rosti with avocado, tomatoes and dukkah. Picture: Rob Palmer
Rainbow veggie rosti with avocado, tomatoes and dukkah. Picture: Rob Palmer

Victoria Black and Gen Davidson believe the Superfast Diet is one of the easiest diets around. Yes, they developed it, but it's how both women got their lives back on track.

They first met in the 1980s, ironically becoming friends while they were working in a Gloria Marshall Figure Salon, but the middle years crept up, as did the kilograms, and both women weren't content with life.

After a few years apart they caught up for lunch.

"Gen waltzed into that cafe looking like Little Miss Radiant in her skinny pants and I said ... 'What's going on here?'," Black says.

Davidson had been doing intermittent fasting with great success, the 5:2 approach where she would eat normally for five days and reduce calorie intake to 500 two days a week. She had lost 30 kilograms.

In 2018 the pair launched the SuperFast Diet program and website and since then thousands of people have joined the community. And the kilograms are dropping off.

Now they've developed The 3-day Diet. Which simplifies things even more. It all starts with your "magic number" - your total daily energy expenditure or TDEE.

Men: (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) - (5 x age in years) + 5

Women: (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) - (5 x age in years) - 161

Then on four days a week you eat "normally" or 100 percent of your TDEE. The three days a week you eat 50 percent of your TDEE. It's good to alternate your on and off days.

The 3-day Diet: Alternate-day fasting made super-easy, by Victoria Black and Gen Davidson. Macmillan Australia, $34.99.

The 3-day Diet: Alternate-day fasting made super-easy, by Victoria Black and Gen Davidson. Macmillan Australia, $34.99.

But there's no need to get caught up in the numbers under this program.

"Why overthink something that's already been overthought to the extreme?" they write in the book The 3-Day Diet.

"Food doesn't need to be so complicated. A little common sense and a few basic guidelines go a long way."

"Happily, there is a super-simple way to guide your portions and ensure you're getting the right balance of macronutrients without overthinking things, reaching for the calculator every time you get hungry or using seven different apps.

"We call it the 1, 2, 3, 4 approach, because it's a very simple four-step approach that essentially makes balancing every meal as easy as child's play."

To split your 1000 calorie allowance on any day, remember those recommendations:

100 calories for snacks

200 calories for breakfast

300 calories for lunch

400 calories for dinner

They also suggest another no calorie-counting approach, which sits literally in the palm of your hand.

"If you're keen to incorporate the 3-day diet without having to think too hard about counting calories or weighing food, you can use the 1, 2, 3, 4 handful approach to manage your portions.

"Generally speaking, 100 calories of the right type of foods (think nuts, berries, veggies, lean protein) tends to equal about a handful. Two hundred calories is around two handfuls, 300 calories is about three handfuls ..."

Use the palm of your hand to estimate red meat servings, the size of your hand out flat to estimate white meat and fish servings, the end of your thumb to estimate oil, sauce and butter serving sizes.

Main meals (lunch and dinner) can comprise approximately:

1 palmful of protein

2 handfuls of veggies

3 no more than of your plate of clever carbohydrates (see below)

4 teaspoons maximum for fat, butter and oils

What the heck are clever carbs?

Clever carbs are the smarter, more talented siblings of the refined carbohydrate. Modern refined carbs - pasta, white rice, bread - are simple carbohydrates that have been processed to remove all the good bits such as fibre, vitamins and nutrients. Clever carbs, on the other hand, are more than just carbohydrates because they are way more nutritious and can help you reach your goals by giving you more energy, more satisfaction and maximum bang for your calorie buck. They incorporate everything from starchy and root vegetables, such as pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, peas and corn, to wholegrains, such as oats, bran and dark rye, linseed and soy, legumes, such as beans, lentils and split peas, and wholegrain pasta and noodles, along with brown rice like basmati or Doongara. When you incorporate carbs into your diet, make them clever carbs and you'll notice a big difference in how you feel, how much energy you have and how much weight you lose.

  • The 3-day Diet: Alternate-day fasting made super-easy, by Victoria Black and Gen Davidson. Macmillan Australia, $34.99.
  • superfastdiet.com
Gen Davidson and Victoria Black. Picture: Simona Janek

Gen Davidson and Victoria Black. Picture: Simona Janek

Rainbow veggie rosti with avocado, tomatoes and dukkah

No, you absolutely don't need to head down to the local cafe to get yourself a winning brunch pic - simply whip together this rainbow rosti. This gorgeous meal is full of healthy fats and plenty of fabulous fibre. For a protein hit, add an egg for just 80 calories extra.

Ingredients

1 avocado, sliced

200g cherry tomatoes, halved lengthways

1/3 cup Thyme-ly mustard dressing (see below)

1 zucchini, coarsely grated

300g peeled, seeded and coarsely grated Kent pumpkin

2 carrots, coarsely grated

1 egg yolk

1 small bunch chives, thinly sliced

olive oil cooking spray

1/3 cup (75g) hummus

1 tbsp pistachio dukkah

fresh herbs and lemon wedge, to serve (optional)

Method

1. Gently toss together the avocado, tomato and Thyme-ly mustard dressing in a bowl. Season and set aside.

2. Wrap the grated zucchini in a clean tea towel and ring dry, then transfer to a bowl. Stir in the pumpkin, carrot, egg yolk and chives. Season well.

3. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and spray lightly with oil. Divide the mixture into eight, and spoon four portions into the pan, shaping into rounds and pressing down firmly until each round is about 1 cm thick. Cook for four to five minutes each side until cooked and golden. Remove from the pan and cook the remaining four rosti.

4. Serve the rosti with the hummus and the tomato mixture, and sprinkle with dukkah and herbs, if using, and a lemon wedge, if using.

Family additions: Serve with fried, hard-boiled or poached eggs and thick buttered toast.

Calorie boosters: Add 1 hard-boiled or poached egg (80cal) or 1 toasted sandwich thin (99cal).

Serves 4. 173 cals per serve.

Thyme-ly mustard dressing

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup dijon mustard

2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Place the ingredients in a screw top jar and season with pepper. Put the lid on tightly, then shake vigorously to combine. Use or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week, shaking before use.

Makes 1 cup. 35 cals per serve (2 tbsp).

Make-ahead deconstructed falafel salad

Make-ahead salads make for easy lunches. Picture: Rob Palmer

Make-ahead salads make for easy lunches. Picture: Rob Palmer

Combine 3/4 cup well-rinsed canned chickpeas, 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, 1/2 cup mint leaves, 1/2 cup basil leaves, 2 thinly sliced spring onions, 2 chopped tomatoes, 1 chopped Lebanese cucumber and 2 tablespoons Thyme-ly mustard dressing in an airtight container. Season and chill overnight.

Serves 1. 258 cals per serve.

Make-ahead egg and soba noodle salad

Combine 1/2 cup cooked soba noodles, 2 halved hard-boiled eggs, 100 g steamed baby green beans, 2 thinly sliced celery stalks, 1/2 thinly sliced red capsicum and 2 tablespoons Tamari-ginger drizzle in an airtight container. Season and chill overnight.

Serves 1. 296 cals per serve.

Tamari-ginger drizzle

1/2 cup tamari

1/4 cup mirin

finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes

1 tbsp finely grated ginger

Place the ingredients in a screw top jar and season with pepper. Put the lid on tightly, then shake vigorously to combine. Use or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week, shaking before use.

Makes 1 cup. 47 cals per serve (2 tbsp).

Friday night flatbread pizzas

Friday night flatbread pizzas. Picture: Rob Palmer

Friday night flatbread pizzas. Picture: Rob Palmer

Pizza. Must we say more? We love pizza, and the fact it is always a recommended and well-loved 3-day diet meal staple makes us some pretty happy campers. You'll never need to dial Domino's again!

Ingredients

4 large wholemeal flatbreads

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

4 pieces roasted capsicum, cut into thin strips

4 pieces roasted eggplant, cut into thin strips

250 g baby tomatoes, halved

200g Danish feta, crumbled

1/4 cup Thyme-ly mustard dressing (see above)

mixed salad leaves, to serve

basil leaves, to serve (optional)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. Sprinkle each flatbread with the onion, capsicum, eggplant, tomato and feta. Bake two flatbreads at a time, directly on the oven shelf, for 10-12 minutes until the bases are crisp and the tops golden.

3. Transfer to serving plates and drizzle with the Thyme-ly mustard dressing. Serve with mixed salad leaves and basil, if using.

Family additions: Sprinkle grated mozzarella over the pizzas before baking.

Calorie boosters: Serve sprinkled with 1 teaspoon chopped toasted pecans. 47 cals

Serves 4. 339 cals per serve.

Mango fro-yo pops

Mango fro-yo pops. Picture: Rob Palmer

Mango fro-yo pops. Picture: Rob Palmer

Say hello to our favourite new sweet delight. Not only are these goodies vegan, they are also nutrient-dense, full of healthy fats thanks to the creamy coconut yoghurt, and packed with immunity-boosting properties! Hot tip: dip your frozen pop into melted dark chocolate.

Ingredients

1 cup natural coconut yoghurt

2 tsp natural vanilla extract

200g chopped fresh mango

Method

1. Whisk the yoghurt and vanilla until smooth in a large bowl.

2. Process the mango in a small food processor until smooth. Fold into the yoghurt mixture to form a ripple effect.

3. Spoon into six 3/4-cup (180ml) ice pop moulds. Tap firmly to release any air bubbles. Insert the sticks.

4. Freeze for four hours or until set firm. Release from the moulds and serve immediately.

Family additions: After releasing frozen pops from the moulds, dip in melted vegan chocolate, then roll in finely chopped toasted mixed nuts.

Calorie booster: Add 1 teaspoon toasted chopped almonds to each mould before spooning in the mixture, or drizzle each pop with 1/2 teaspoon melted vegan chocolate after releasing from the mould. 30 cals

Makes 6 ice pops. 64 cals per serve.

This story COVID kilos creeping on? Try fasting with The 3-day Diet first appeared on The Canberra Times.