Lose Weight

Burn off the excess fat and build some lean muscle

Serious about getting in shape in 2017? Hire a personal trainer in London to speed up your progress.

Take some time to browse through the weight loss advice on this page, and follow the links to other pages for more detail. Don't fall for the crash-diets or weight loss pills which are marketed by unscrupulous companies. Aim to lose weight slowly and safely through healthy eating and regular exercise. That way you'll lose weight and keep it off. The weight you'll lose will be excess body-fat, in contrast to crash diets where the weight you lose is primarily muscle, vital glycogen stores, and water.

While many people struggle to achieve a healthy weight, others go to the extreme of wanting to lose weight at all costs, until they become underweight. This is not healthy. Remember, everyone needs some body-fat, and the drive to eliminate all fat from your diet is very dangerous. The media instill the image of size-zero as the ideal shape, which many girls and women strive for fruitlessly. I think it's fantastic that the singer Adele (with her incredibly successful song Hello) is a slightly larger size, because it shows women and girls that you can be happy and healthy and successful without being excessively skinny.

Whatever you do, don't fall for the starvation diets which restrict calories to 500-600 calories per day. The cast of the film In the Heart of the Sea, starring Chris Hemsworth and Benjamin Walker, were put on this diet to become skinny for the role of starving sailors, and it's not a healthy look. The weight you lose is as much muscle and vital glycogen stores as it is fat, and it's very damaging to your health. The cast of this film were under strict medical supervision when crash-dieting for this role.

Common-sense fat loss tips from top blogger Ayesha Curry

One of the best blog posts about weight loss I've ever read was by the popular blogger Ayesha Curry. She called it "My Diet Alternative" and started by saying that in her opinion the whole concept of dieting is a giant fad.

Her advice in a nutshell: portion control (stick to moderate portions, don't binge), switch to healthier options (if for instance you normally eat white rice, switch to brown rice), drink plenty of water, don't skip breakfast (and make it a healthy breakfast), have healthy snacks between meals so you're not starving come meal-time, go organic, and take a multi-vitamin daily.

Review: Swimsanity HIIT/Weight Loss Classes

Swimsanity classes in London

(FREE instructor training to 100 PT's/coaches in UK)

Swimsanity workout is a new aqua class created by sports scientists/swim coaches Paul Taaffe and Theo Chatziolos at SLL (Swimming Lessons London swim school) which aims to smash your old perceptions (slow-paced, older aged, all female) of water/aqua aerobic workouts. Swimsanity is neither girly nor easy, as you'll discover. The classes are designed to suit swimmers and non-swimmers alike.

So many guys (and girls) are too embarrassed to attend water aerobics classes, because they dont see it as masculine or even effective. Swimsanity classes are fast paced, use equipment such as hand paddles & pilates bands to increase resistance, & are structured around High Intensity Interval Training principles (HIIT).

With Swimsanity you'll get a tough all-body aerobic and resistance workout. You'll benefit from the post-exercise burn effect, where your major muscle groups keep burning fuel even after the workout, a highly effective way to lose weight.

The Swimsanity team encourage mixed group aquatic participation, improve water confidence, and teach swimming strokes techniques as a by-product of the exercise drills. You'll learn the kicks and arm-pulls for various swimming strokes, and sculling techniques. It's a great way to get into swimming without your swim ability ever being questioned or exposed, so no embarrassment factor.

For the past 3 months, Swimsanity have been running test classes in London on  a bi-weekly basis, and classes filled immediately. The interest has been so overwhelming that to get the class out to the general public quickly, Swimsanity will be offering training (free) to ETM (exercise to music) instructors, swim teachers and PT's, starting jan 2015. Those trained will be given license to deliver the sessions anywhere in the UK.

For instructors, this is a modern aged Aqua class that can really change the face of aqua-aerobics. Gyms and health-clubs will certainly want to try it, so being Swimsanity-trained provides an excellent way of offering something new to healthclubs and leisure centres.

Swimsanity classes can also be delivered on a 1-2-1 basis, so can be sold as part of a PT session package. For swim teachers, the classes encourage swimming uptake, which should generate more 1-2-1 swim clients.

For more information or to get involved, visit the Swimsanity website, see the link below.

Visit www.Swimsanity.co.uk for more information.

Burn off excess fat in 2017 and get in shape for your summer holiday

Are you sick to death of those stubborn excess pounds of body-fat in the form of beer belly, spare tyre, man boobs (if you're a man!), thunder thighs, bat-wings around the upper arms, and flabby bum? Read on.  Do you want to tone up and get in shape, look more attractive, feel comfortable showing off your body on the beach this summer, and be able to fit into your favourite clothes? Keep reading...

Here's a provocative question: how serious are you about losing weight? Most London personal trainers shy away from offending their clients with questions like this, but sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.

The question implies that people are lazy and go no further than wishful thinking. From years of experience with my personal training clients, I would argue that it's more to do with lack of self-belief, and misconceptions about fat loss.  Most people say they're serious about losing weight, but are you aware of what it takes, and prepared to do what it takes to get lean? And I'm not talking about unhealthy short-cuts like weight-loss surgery or diet pills. I'm talking about losing weight healthily, and getting fit at the same time.

(Health warning: Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, won't get you fit. Nor will it enable you to develop a healthy relationship with food. Gastric bands, gastric sleeves, and gastric bypass are very dubious methods of losing weight, and leave you malnourished because you can't physically get enough vital nutrients into your digestive system).

flat stomach (what the Americans call a washboard stomach) and lean toned physique can be yours if you persist with healthy eating and regular exercise. The first thing you need to do is put a stop to all those ludicrously restrictive diets (ie most of the commercial diet plans). And while you're at it, throw away any weight loss pills you might have bought. They're full of amphetamine-like chemicals and diuretics to cause dehydration and trick you into thinking you've lost fat. They'll wreck your health.

"The positive effects of appropriate exercise and sound nutrition take time to accrue, which is why people find it difficult to stay the course."

Mike Mahler, a leading personal trainer in the United States, is the man behind this quote and it's so true.

I'm a keen follower of Dr Aseem Malhotra, a cardiologist at the Royal Free Hospital in London. He's a member of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Obesity Group, and he's an expert on obesity and how to tackle it. I really respect his clear vision and ethos when it comes to the state of the nation's health.

The only sustainable route to healthy weight loss is to combine all the key elements of optimum nutrition, regular exercise and healthy lifestyle.

It's worth repeating again: avoid commercial diets and diet pills like the plague. They harm your health and they're unsustainable. There are adverts around the end of Christmas holidays and the beginning of the new year which try to persuade you to blend packets of weight-loss powders as a substitute for healthy meals. Avoid these crash-diets like the plague! The best weight-loss method is long term healthy eating and regular exercise, particularly resistance exercise, which builds muscle and burns fat. For every pound of lean muscle you build, your resting metabolism shoots up another 35 calories per day.

You've probably heard the old saying: "people will do anything to lose weight, as long as it doesn't involve healthy eating or exercise". Don't let that be you!

If you're on a tight budget, or simply want great value for money, why not kick-start your weight loss with 2 weeks intensive online nutrition coaching to get you on the path to some serious weight-loss for just £50.00 ?  Click here to contact me. and I'll send you the detailed questionnaire and food diary form. You can complete 14 days worth of food diaries, and I will analyse them, and recommend changes to your eating habits. You'll find that the act of keeping a food diary makes you more conscious of what you're eating, and actually helps you change your eating patterns to healthier options

Make better use of your TV time, and exercise in front of the TV at home? Check out this huge range of home exercise equipment. For instance there's a fantastic floor-based punchbag called Slam Man, on sale through the fitness equipment online store Sweatband, great for home-cardio and strength building too, and lots of fun. At the very least you'll need a yoga mat and some dumbbells.

If you're looking for a London personal trainer for one on one personal training sessions in the privacy of your own home or garden, to help you lose weight and keep it off, simply click the link. One of the things I love about being a personal trainer is the chance to dispel myths about fitness and weight loss. I was personal trainer to a client in London SW7 who had spent most of her adult life on strict diets, with rapid weight gain in between each diet. I was able to convince her never to go on a diet again, and just eat healthily as part of her normal life. She now enjoys her food and maintains a healthy weight.

I recently came across a great YouTube video about Nordic Walking in London, featuring Nikki, a personal trainer in Wanstead Park, east London, and Epping Forest area. She runs group courses in Nordic Walking, and you can contact her on mobile 07989 938242. This is a great form of exercise for heart and lungs, and burns more calories than simply walking without poles. It activates key postural muscles, particularly in the upper back, lower back and glutes. Walking outside in the park and forest, it's a great stress-reliever as you connect with nature and the great outdoors. It's recommended that you get professional instruction in the technique of Nordic Walking, to ensure you don't do more harm than good.

A question my personal training clients ask me a lot is "can you lose weight by simply doing cardio such as running, rowing, cycling, treadmill?" The answer is that you'll certainly lose some fat by doing cardio exercise if you do it consistently and with sufficient intensity, but an even more effective way to burn fat is add some resistance exercise (weights like dumbbells and barbells and resistance machines, even body-weight exercises like pressups) to build muscle. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate 24 hours a day, and you'll burn fat faster than if you only do cardio. I'm not saying don't do cardio, it's important for your heart and lungs, but cardio alone is not the fastest route to fat loss.

When you're choosing a personal trainer in London, ask them what's the best exercise to lose weight. if they tell you that cardio is the only route to fat loss, find another personal trainer.

Find a Fitness Buddy in London

One great way to lose weight is to have a fitness buddy to train with. A fitness buddy will motivate you, keep you on track, encourage you, hold you to account, and make your whole fitness journey a lot more fun. You'll also find that when you encourage someone else to get fit, it boosts your own motivation to get fit too.

Why limit yourself to just one fitness buddy? Get several fitness buddies and before you know it you'll have a new circle of like-minded friends you can rely on to achieve your fitness goals. If you rely on just one fitness buddy, you'll have nobody to go to the gym with or play tennis with if they fall ill, go on holiday, or just can't make it that day. Keep adding to your circle of fitness buddies. A strong social network of people all pursuing the same goal is a very powerful thing.

One of the biggest barriers to losing weight is often your existing friends, who unwittingly (or even deliberately) hold you back from leading a healthy and active lifestyle. Going to watch a movie, eating out at a restaurant, spending the afternoon at the pub with friends, all these are fun to do, but not so good if that's all you're doing. If your friends are fitness buddies too, you can socialise and get fit at the same time.

And if you eat out with fitness buddies, you can encourage each other to choose healthy menu options. By socialising with your fitness buddies, you can turn peer pressure into a positive force, rather than the usual negative force it so often is (particularly when it comes to partying too late, drinking too much and eating junk food).

Healthy Recipes

This Week's Recipe has a new tasty low fat recipe every week, each with full breakdown of calories, protein, carbohydrates, fibre and fat, so you know exactly what you're getting. Remember, if you want to lose weight safely and healthily, don't skip meals, and don't resort to crazy diets.

Fat Loss Tips

Here are a few basic principles to get you started on the road to your ideal weight:

  1. Weigh yourself. Write down your weight. Then set yourself a target to lose weight at a rate of 2lbs per week until you've reached your ideal weight. Work out how long it will take to reach your target. And write down your goal date for attaining your ideal weight.additional image

  2. Tell your friends and family about your goal, and tell them how important it is to you and why. Ask them to support and encourage you all the way. And plan a celebration with them for your goal date. This is a powerful psychological tool. It puts everyone around you on notice that they should encourage you towards your goal. It also gives you the prospect of a reward upon reaching your goal, the celebration. Imagine how proud your friends and family will be when you've reached your target weight. Imagine how proud of yourself you'll be.

  3. Cut out as much saturated fat  and refined foods from your diet as possible. That means cheese, roast potatoes, sweets, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, junk food, takeaways, cream, ice-cream, fatty desserts. More importantly, eat more of the healthy foods, and choose ones you like. There is an abundance of gorgeous fruits, vegetables, lean steak, lean chicken, fish of dozens of varieties, and healthy sources of carbohydrate like cous-cous, bulgar wheat, wholewheat spaghetti, sweet potatoes, porridge. And between meals, snack on nuts and seeds.

  4. Exercise more. Get active! Walk, choose a sport and play with friends, go to the gym. Take every opportunity to get more active every day. Remember - the best form of exercise for losing excess body fat is resistance training with weights. This builds muscle. And muscle raises your metabolism, so you're burning more body fat 24 hours a day. Contrast this with cardio training where you only burn (some) fat while you're actually training and perhaps for a couple of hours afterwards (if you've trained intensively enough, which most people don't). If you're not training with weights, your chances of burning fat are severely compromised. You do need cardio exercise for strong heart and lungs though.

  5. A personal trainer will be able to advise you on the right balance between cardio and resistance exercise, to help you lose weight and keep it off.

How to Fight Obesity

If you're a male over 30% body fat, or female over 40% body fat, you're classed as obese. This should be a call to action to get your weight down to within a healthy range. As a personal trainer in London I've helped several obese clients lose a lot of weight, and although it's not always an easy journey following my advice on exercise and eating (and often stress management, sleep, and a whole range of lifestyle changes) it's always worthwhile.

It sounds like a cliche, but as Winston Churchill said in one famous speech, "never, never, never give up." So if you're struggling with weight loss, and feel like you'll never lose weight and keep it off, whatever you seem to try, send me an email and I'll help point you in the right direction. There's also a weight loss buddy option in the Fitness Buddy network, it's free to join, (and unlike many social networks, totally free to use) so click the Fitness Buddy tab in the main menu and join now.

Your Weight-Loss FAQ's

Is it better to eat low fat spreads like margarine rather than butter?

I would recommend you avoid butter, margarine, and bread too (which is what people mainly spread butter and margarine on!). The big brand margarines like Flora no longer contain trans fats, which is an improvement, but they do contain palm oil, which is high in saturated fat. Palm oil, and coconut oil, are in a rare category of vegetable oils, being high in saturated fats, whereas most vegetable oils are low in saturated fat (and high in unsaturated fats).

How fast can I safely lose weight?

I recommend around 2lbs per week as a safe rate of weight-loss. If you're obese, your initial weight-loss can be a little more than this (up to 4lbs a week) but it's better to lose weight steadily and keep it off, rather than a crash diet with rapid weight loss then have it all pile on again when you come off the diet.

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