The Zero Sugar Diet, is a healthy, tasty, easy-to-follow eating plan – created by David Zinczenko, the former editorial director of Men’s Fitness in the US – designed to bring your hormones into balance, assist liver function and take away food cravings while delivering rapid weight loss.
Generally speaking, it works by doing one thing very, very effectively: drastically lowering your sugar consumption while boosting your fibre intake.
The Zero Sugar Diet requires lots of whole foods like fruits, vegetables and unprocessed grains; lean, healthy, satisfying, sugar-free foods like eggs, turkey, chicken and fish; and just the right amount of sugar-free good fats, like guacamole.
The dishes here – a sampling of a full day’s worth of food found in the Zero Sugar Diet book – replace simple carbs with high-fibre foods, so try them and you’ll see your belly starting to flatten within days. You’ll also feel more energised. Are you in? We thought so.
Breakfast: Yogurt With Fruit And Nuts
Aside from, say, a bowl of cornflakes, you’re looking at the easiest meal on Earth to make. Simply combine ½ cup of both blackberries and raspberries (around 70g of each), ¼ cup (40g) bran-based cereal, 1tbsp sliced almonds and ½ cup (120g) plain Greek yogurt – and eat! It’s a meal with a paltry 231 calories, 12.8g natural sugar (the good kind), 13.7g fibre and a whopping 14.7g protein.
Lunch: Prawn, Mushroom And Goat’s Cheese Flatbread
A filling lunch with plenty of flavour. Sauté 150g sliced mushrooms, a small chopped red onion, 225g peeled prawns and ½ cup (75g) chopped pumpkin seeds. Brush the flatbread with olive oil, sprinkle on herbes de Provence and arrange spinach leaves in a layer on the bread, then pile on the onion mix and crumble 60g goat’s cheese on top for just 240 calories, 0.5g natural sugar and 7.2 g fibre.
Dinner: Seared Tuna And Spinach
Simple and beautifully Mediterranean. Sear a fresh tuna steak in extra virgin olive oil for three minutes, and serve it on a salad of spinach, black beans, fresh peas, chopped walnuts and parmesan. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and you’ve got 580 calories, 4.6g natural sugar, 14.6g fibre and 18.2g protein. If you’ve already trained that day, you can wash it down with a glass of pinot noir (122 calories) – you’ve earned it.
Dinner: Steak With Green Beans And Asparagus
Brush a 200g sirloin with olive oil and grill on high heat six to eight minutes each side until done to your liking. Put 1 cup (125g) green beans and ½ cup (65g) asparagus on a double layer of foil, drizzle with 1tbsp olive oil, fold to make a sealed package and grill for ten to 15 minutes. Serve on ½ cup (120g) cooked bulgur wheat, sprinkle with chopped walnuts and lemon juice and congrats: you’re looking at 680 calories, 3.6g natural sugar and 33.5g protein.
Snack: Raspberry Almond Smoothie
As should be clear from these recipes, the Zero Sugar Diet is fine with a little sugar… as long as it’s the natural kind (from fruit) and comes with enough fibre to offset it. This 98-calorie smoothie – made with ice and 1 cup each fresh raspberries (140g) and unsweetened almond milk (250ml), plus 1tsp unsweetened cocoa powder – has the perfect ratio: 5g sugar to 9g fibre.