Keeping on top of my weight is a constant battle for me a) because I love food and b) because I love fashion (and my skinny jeans), yet they don't always go hand in hand. So it's all about the balancing act. However......this year I've decided to do less of the violent weight swings and try to get back to my ideal weight and, revolutionary as this may seem to my body, MAINTAIN it.
Key to this is exercise, and less food but more often. Little and often are my key words both with diet and exercise. So for the exercise first:
100 squats carrying 2kg weights. You can do arm lifts with them at the same time if you're feeling energetic so you'll be working your bum/legs/arms at the same time. This takes literally 4 minutes first thing. 4 minutes! I do it just before I get dressed while I'm watching BBC World News.
100 crunches. I do these in the evening and it takes about 4 minutes again - no time at all. Hook your feet under something if you can and go for it. If your legs are straight it works the upper tummy muscles and if the knees are bent it works the bottom to get rid of that pot belly (if you're reading this you probably have one so yes! this applies to you and me both).
I try to get to Pilates twice a week. I go to Vita Pilates (@VitaPilatesUK) in Chelsea - they have reformers which are AMAZING! It should hurt and be difficult to do. If it's not then you're either not doing it right, don't have a good instructor, or are so fit you should be in the final stages of Olympic training by now. You will curse and think vile things about the instructor the entire time but afterwards I promise you you'll be glad you did it. It's only an hour!
Running or very brisk walking. This is GREAT. Really gets the blood pumping and it will make a difference to your legs. Even just 30-40 minutes on a Sunday morning will make all the difference in the world (it had better, my bikini body is counting on it). Just think of all those cute shorts you want to wear this Summer - that's what I'm thinking about. A LOT.
Claire (Follow her on Twitter @supergymchick) is amazing and gives loads of fantastic tips on diet and exercise that are easy to understand, practical and honest. Also if you live in London near Chelsea you should do even just one training session with her. She can show you a quick 20 minute workout that you can do daily which you'll actually see results from. When I was getting married she got me into fantastic shape and I want to get back there for Summer. I'm determined! Claire's website is http://www.club-training.com/choose/find-a-trainer-detail.aspx?uid=16137.
Then for the food. This is the hard bit. It's key to not let yourself get so hungry that you pig out! I'm done this thousands of times. I have a few scoops of low fat yoghurt (Rachel's Organic and Onken are my favourites), a rice cake or a Ryvita with a thin layer of peanut butter or low fat ricotta cheese to keep me going and take the edge off during the day or between meals. Don't just eat for the sake of it, ask yourself if you really are hungry or just bored. Also if you are hungry, drink as much water as you can before you eat to fill you up.
Breakfast is either porridge with skim milk or low fat Greek yoghurt - both with honey! Lunch is something of the above to keep me going during the day, and a homemade soup (watercress, broccoli, onion or parsnip soups are good) for the evening. If I have a dinner to go to I order what I want but try not to eat the lot unless I'm really hungry or it's a mouse-sized serving. Bread.....don't even go there but if you have to try not to eat the whole basket. If I'm at home I'm always in danger of snacking so keep dried apricots, prunes and dates handy. I also always have a packet of rice cakes around.
I'm going to carry on like this till I drop 10 pounds. It's key to start now to start training your mind and getting your body used to it otherwise you know what's going to happen - we'll get an early Spring and suddenly it's be dazzling sunshine in March and we'll all be freaking out about exposing our arms and legs too soon and will go into starvation panic to try to shed the pounds. So trust me, this way is better!
To get me kick started I'm going to do a juice detox with Purifyne Home Delivery Detox Plans www.purifyne.com I love a good juice detox - they make your skin look great and help you shed a few pounds quickly to get you started. See my previous blog for juice diet recipes!