FITNESS Morning Cardio:
Short bursts of cardio first thing in the morning will boost your metabolism.
HOW OFTEN? Do the cardio routine from week one on three days this week.
This 10-minute circuit will increase muscle mass and challenge muscles without causing stress to the body.
Do the following exercises in the evening on days that you have completed the cardio workout in the morning. Complete the circuit three times. Rest for 45 seconds after each one of the circuits (see week one for the instructions).- 12 squats with a 15-second hold when thighs are parallel to the ground.- 12 push-ups.- 12 squat jumps (lower your body into a squat, then push through your heels and spring up vertically).- 12 forward lunges.- 12 tricep dips.- 12 lunge jumps.- 12 burpees.- Two minutes of star jumps.
- Skinny stretches, as per week one, for five minutes.
Lactic acid is a waste product that builds up in muscles, making them feel stiff and sore. When you clear it out, you will move more freely and exercise better.
HOW? Have a deep-tissue massage this week to make the most out of this plan. Also, get adequate rest in this final phase. Never work out for more than five consecutive days.
While you want to get rid of saturated, trans and animal fats, it's important to remember to include enough good fats in your diet. Not only will they help keep you fuller for longer, but they'll make your skin glow and your hair shine. Research suggests that regularly eating small amounts of mono-unsaturated fatty acids – a type of good fat found in foods such as almonds, seeds, avocados, olives and olive oil – could actually help our bodies to burn fat. Purcell recommends up to one tablespoon a day of tahini, avocado, flaxseed or olive oil to top up your levels.
Yes, chocolate. Dark chocolate contains two compounds that can lower stress: anandamide, which binds to receptors in the brain known to bring feelings of euphoria, and phenylethylamine, naturally found in our nervous system and released in the brain when we fall in love. Eat up to three squares of chocolate with a cocoa content of 70 per cent this week. Purcell advises a raw version, as the cocoa's enzymes will be better preserved.
Foods with a bitter taste will aid the digestion of fat and reduce bloating. "When the tastebuds that recognise bitter foods are triggered, the nerves responsible for the production of digestive juices and bile kick in," says Purcell. "Try rocket, watercress, artichoke, parsley, fennel, mint and fresh beetroot."