Join me here for the 3 week guide to a better body ready for SUMMER with tips from Marie Claire 2011.
FITNESS 8-minute fat burner
HOW OFTEN? Do this workout three times a week in weeks one and two.
THE FORWARD LUNGE With feet hip-width apart, lunge forward so your front shin is perpendicular to the floor. Repeat 12 times on each leg.
PUSH-UPS Lie facedown on the floor. With hands flat on the floor at either side of your chest, rise up on to your hands. Leave knees on the floor if a full push-up is too tough to start with. Lower yourself almost to the ground, keeping your body straight and weight forward, then lift yourself back up. Repeat 20 times.
LUNGE JUMP Place hands on hips and lower into a lunge. As you rise, jump and land back in the lunge position. Repeat 10 times on each leg.
SQUAT With feet shoulder-width apart and arms straight out in front, bend with your backside out as if sitting on a chair, then push up through your heels and return to a standing position. Repeat 20 times.
TRICEPS DIP Sit on a bench, grab hold of it on either side of your thighs and place your feet flat on the floor. Shift forward and lower yourself towards the floor by bending from the elbows in a reverse push-up. Repeat 20 times.
BURPEES Start in a push-up position, lower yourself as if doinga push-up, then, as you push yourself up, jump your feet in and stand up. Repeat 20 times.
Fast Fitness Cardio "On the days that you’re not doing the eight-minute fat burner, do 30 minutes of cardio," says James Duigan. "Remember, cardio on its own, or for too long, increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can encourage the body to lay down weight around the middle."
HOW OFTEN? Do the following routine twice a week for the first two weeks.
Three minutes brisk walking.- Two minutes moderate jogging.- One minute fast sprinting.
Do the above four times and finish with six minutes of brisk walking.
Skinny Stretches "Stretching is essential for toning and lengthening the gluteal muscles and hamstrings," advises Duigan.
HOW OFTEN? After each workout.
BUTTOCK STRETCH Lie on your back, knees bent. Place your left ankle on your right knee, reach under your left calf, and grasp your right shin. Pull towards you for 10 breaths. Change sides and repeat.
HAMSTRING STRETCH Sit on the floor with one leg out straight. Place the sole of your other foot against your opposite inner thigh. Reach forward over the straight leg as far as possible. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.
Fill Up On...
Dark leafy greens: Pack your plate with vegies, and make baby spinach, kale and watercress the pick of the bunch: they're full of nutrients that will speed up your metabolism and calm you down. Miso soup: The complex carbo-hydrates in this soybean-based broth will fill you up, and if you are feeling sluggish or nauseous (which can happen when changing your eating habits), this is sure to soothe your stomach.
Quinoa: This complex carbohydrate is high in protein, free from gluten, full of minerals and a great substitute for the refined carbs you might feel you can't live without – you can!
Lean protein: Fresh fish and tofu are high in filling protein, low in fat and full of the essential fatty acids that will make you glow. A serve should be the size of your hand.
Cut Back on...
Alcohol: Drinking doesn't mix with weight loss: alcohol's empty kilojoules play havoc with blood-sugar levels and make you hungrier. If you want to indulge, have one red wine, or vodka with soda water and fresh lime, three times a week.
Dairy: Keep full-fat cow's milk, cheese and creamy foods to a minimum.
Refined carbohydrates: White bread, pasta, rice, pastries and anything sugary will make you feel lethargic, moody and, ultimately, hungrier.
Red meat: There's no need to cut out this form of protein completely, but make it a treat, not a staple.
A serve should be the size of your palm.
What To Eat When
It's not just what we're putting on our plates, but when and how that can help or hinder our healthy-eating efforts, explains Janella Purcell. "Our metabolism and digestion can handle different types and quantities of food at certain stages of the day. In the morning, you need complex carbohydrates to give you the energy you need for the day ahead. In the evening, you need less energy, so avoid having a big dinner," she says. "Breakfast like a queen, lunch like a princess, dinner like a pauper: make that your motto. Have your biggest meal in the morning, made up of protein and/or carbs. Eggs are great, try quinoa or go for a rye or spelt sourdough bread. At lunch, have some grains (like brown rice)and legumes (like beans) and/or a palm-sized serving of lean protein and plenty of vegetables. At night, have a small amount of protein and veg, and eat before 8pm."
It's easy to overeat when we're rushing our meals. "Eating is not the time to be multi-tasking," says Purcell. "Be present and aware: look at the meal you've spent time preparing, think about the colours and where the ingredients have come from. Eat slowly, and chew. By doing
this, you'll be more aware of when you're reaching a point where you've had enough. Stop when you feel about two thirds full; when you could still eat more, but you aren't hungry any longer."
Join me here next Tuesday for Week 2.