We hear from 'the figure magician'
Not for nothing is Louise Parker called the ‘figure magician’. With her eponymous Method, wife and mother-of-three Louise, 40, has slimmed down and shaped up thousands of bodies from Oscar-nominated film stars, royals and city movers and shakers to ordinary chaps like you and me. I met Louise two years ago when the fat around the middle of my formerly slender figure was beginning to defeat me. Within three weeks of following her eating plan – adding in targeted exercises and walking, walking, walking – my blobby bits were disappearing fast, my digestion was better than it had ever been and I had bags of energy. I slept more soundly and – oh joy! – I could do up the zip on my favourite frock.
The Louise Parker Method, which Louise has honed over two decades of running her fitness company (www.louiseparker.uk.com), aims to give everyone the wherewithal to be ‘fit, happy and free’.
As well as (delicious) food and exercises, she has advice on tackling stress and insomnia, and designing the lifestyle you really want.
Now, Louise has written down all of her wisdom in her first book Lean for Life. It details a six-week programme to transform your body (just in time to slip into your bikini) and a maintenance plan to help you stay that way for ever.
I asked Louise for her tips to get us all started. (I am about to do the six-week plan again for a summer top-up.)
• Give up the mindset that you are ‘going on a diet’. You still want to be doing 80 per cent of the programme in five years’ time. That’s the path to total body transformation.
• Start once and don’t stop. The body responds quickly when you turn on that fat-burning tap and keep it dripping.
• Plan your meals, but keep it realistic so it becomes your ‘new normal’. Have fresh food delivered – you’ll save time and waste less.
• Plan your workout times and aim to hit them. If life gets in the way, just do something – even eight minutes of toning as your bath runs.
• Eat little and often: three meals and two snacks (keep whole almonds in your bag to tide you over), each with a little protein, fat and low GI carbs (eg, vegetables).
• Sip, sip, sip. Optimum hydration supports optimum fat-burning, reduces hunger and is the best skin secret. Start your day with a half pint of warm water and the juice of a fresh lemon.
• Don’t write off the day because you ate a biscuit – simply move on. Remember, perfection doesn’t exist.
* The Louise Parker Method: Lean for Life by Louise Parker (Mitchell Beazley£20*)
WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: www.coeliac.org.uk
According to the charity Coeliac UK, around one per cent of the UK population suffer from the symptoms of coeliac disease, which include bloating, diarrhoea, nausea, wind, constipation, tiredness, hair loss, anaemia and sudden or unexpected weight loss. The condition is caused by the immune system reacting to gluten – a protein mainly found in wheat, barley and rye – and is treated by excluding gluten for life. Sadly, only 24 per cent of sufferers are diagnosed correctly (the process starts with a simple blood test by your ] GP). Many are misdiagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, and the average diagnosis time is 13 years. Coeliac UK ’s campaign ‘Is it coeliac disease?’ aims to reach the half a million undiagnosed sufferers and raise awareness.
Coeliac Awareness Week 9-15 May 2016
BOOST THAT BURN
Natural fat-burning supplements can help boost your metabolism (the rate your body burns calories). I notice the difference when I regularly take CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and green tea before breakfast with a probiotic for digestion and general health. Pharmacist Shabir Daya recommends Lamberts Performance CLA (£15.95 for 90 capsules), Lamberts Green Tea (£15.65 for 60 tablets) and Mega Probiotic ND (£19 for 60 capsules).