eat fruit instead of dessert

Step 5: Translate it

Once you know how much energy your body uses on an average day, and whether you wish to lose a quarter or half a kilo a week, you can translate your 7,350 or 14,700 kJ weekly shortfall to food. Too hard? Dr McMillan has created a visual system using number of daily serves and portions (based on a regular meal plate). Under the aptly-named Plate Model, the number and composition of serves are matched to 15 energy levels based on the amount of weight you want to lose. These plans contain serves equal to around 5,500 kJ to 6,000 kJ – the quota Dr McMillan says serves weight loss goals of two to five kilos.

The beauty of the model is that it’s more flexible than Gumby. Going to a pasta restaurant? Spend all your carb serves on the spaghetti. Feel deprived if you don’t have dessert? Save your fruit for the end of the day. If that’s too much freedom, skip the decisions and simply follow a pre-made meal plan (B).