Your beach body prep plan
Dear readers, it is truth time. Last summer I had gained a few inches around my waist, tummy and hips. I was a bit floppy, a little squishy and definitely not toned. The zip on my favourite pink frock wouldn’t close and my jeans had been relegated to a dark corner. I told myself it was only to be expected as the years went past and pretty well gave up hoping to change. Then diet and fitness expert Louise Parker offered to help me acquire a more shapely, toned figure, with more energy and strength. Very encouraging shifts began after a couple of weeks of sticking to Louise’s delicious diet and simple exercise regime, formulated with her team of registered dieticians and fitness experts.(Eight months on, I follow it 80:20 to keep up the results.)
I couldn’t be more grateful. Getting into my cossie this summer is a different story and the zip on my frock positively glides up. There are other benefits: my digestion is greatly improved, I sleep through most nights (having woken in the small hours for years) and, because my blood sugar is stable, I feel much calmer.
So I wanted to share Louise’s method with you. The science-based programme involves eating three meals a day with two snacks, all high in protein and vegetables with good fats at every meal, plus a power-walking workout six days a week (four if that’s impossible, but you will see quicker results with six).
Being a hard-working mother means that Louise, 40, is realistic about the programmes she prescribes. As Sandi Toksvig, who Louise coached to lose four stone, wrote in Good Housekeeping, ‘Everything she said sounded like good sense – and she makes me laugh.’
First I did a week’s food and exercise diary. (It’s worth starting yours now so that you can identify patterns.) ‘Aha!’ said Louise gleefully when she read mine, ‘you work at your desk on Mondays and Tuesdays and don’t really move. That means your metabolism gets sluggish.’ So daily brisk exercise became a priority. Now my husband and I take off around the park most mornings, following Louise’s power-walking workout with boosters. (Lots more information and videos on Louise’s website, www.louiseparker.uk.com.)
Diet-wise, I mostly scored well, but Louise’s forensic eye pinpointed ‘sneaky sugars’, mainly from tonic water, which she says is loaded with sugar, plus the not-so-odd biscuit and piece of cake. I have found that eating as she advises means I don’t crave the sweet stuff.
Overall, I learned that, for me, sneaky sugars plus slower metabolism due to insufficient daily exercise equals floppy bod. But I can promise that, whatever age and stage you are, if you follow Louise’s Beach Body Plan (we'll feature this on the site, next week) you can wave goodbye to flab and flaunt your shapely new figure this summer.
THE BACK-FRIENDLY BACKPACK with 15% discount
My chic Knomo Bathurst backpack has changed my life, allowing me to walk all over town without aching shoulders and back. I’m constantly asked where it can be bought, so hooray, Knomo is offering YOU (and Beauty Bible) readers a 15 per cent discount on the Bathurst, usually £99, until 30 June, making it £84.15. Order at www.knomobags.com, quoting MAIL15.
SAVE MORE THAN £10 ON FAT-BURNING SUPPLEMENTS
Louise Parker recommends taking two fat-burning supplements before breakfast: CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and green tea, plus 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, £18.50 for 60 capsules. Victoria Health (www.victoriahealth.com, 0800 3898 195) is offering YOU readers a Beach Body Plan discount price of £40 for all three products (one month’s supply), saving £10.10.
THE SUPER-SLICK SPORTSWEAR WITH 10% DISCOUNT
Manchester-based online brand Zaazee (recently nominated Virgin StartUp of the week) offers well-cut, good-quality, great-value sportswear for women in Supplex, a thick, soft, stretchy fabric, which is also breathable and washes well. There is a core range of tops, capris, hoodies, bras and accessories in black or white and jewel brights. YOU readers (and anyone reading this on the Beauty Bible site can claim an exclusive 10 per cent discount until 30 June; order online at www.zaazee.co.uk, quoting ZZMAIL10.