I've struggled with my weight all my life. I vaguely recall being perfectly content with my figure for about three weeks in 1996, but like many women, I've perpetually and unsuccessfully been on a diet and looking for the next health and fitness miracle that will get me into a size 10 again.
I've recently managed to lose almost three stone - with at least two more left to go - and I thought I'd share my methods for shredding the fat. Although if the past is anything to go by, talking about my success publicly will inevitably be the catalyst for losing my mojo and putting it all back on.
Watch this space, but in the meantime, here are my top health and fitness tips:
1. EXERCISE OUTSIDE YOUR HOUSE
I know exercise can be a dirty word to lots of us. My natural state is sloth and it's a coin toss which I love the most, my bed, my sofa with big cosy blanket of an evening, or my Netflix account filled with catch up Grey's Anatomy and Orange is the New Black, or my current flavour of the month, Dinner Date (oh, the irony!) But having bought every piece of gimmicky exercise equipment going, and an array of rubbish DVD's that the chubby starlet leading it has most likely had to starve herself to lose the weight to record, I've realised that it's impossible to properly shred weight when you are within reach of the remote control and the cupboard full of your kids packed lunch treats.
Go for a run, go to a class or join the gym. Aside from the obvious exercise benefits and the feel good factor (no, really, those endorphin things work), it removes the threat of the fridge for a few hours. It's also harder to give up when other people can see you.
2. DON'T FALL FOR THE BREAKFAST MYTH,
It's a lie that we've been 'fed' my Mr Kellogg, the money-grabbing so and so. Eating a bowl of cereal in the morning is akin to eating a bag of crisps sprinkled in sugar. And we wouldn't do that, would we?
I've never been on friendly terms with breakfast. I'm not hungry that early, I'm usually running around like nobody's business to get to work on time and get the kids to school. If I do start eating, it invariably unleashes an out of control beast that wants to eat all day. If you do need something to get you going in the morning, stick with a protein heavy breakfast (see point 4)
I recently began an eating pattern called intermittent fasting, which has been subject to a lot of positive research in the last few years and is gaining more and more popularity. People freak out when they hear that I don't eat breakfast and sometimes don't eat lunch but in actual fact, I still eat my whole calorie allowance, I just eat more satisfying meals when I do.
Intermittent fasting works best when you...
3. ...LIFT HEAVY WEIGHTS
Not girly weights, proper weights. By all means, get your cardio in too but nothing will get your metabolism burning fat as lifting as heavy as you possibly can.
Intermittent fasting is also the logical extension of...
4. ...EATING A PROTEIN HEAVY DIET.
Not in a Dr Atkins, 'let's have a fry up every day' way, but choosing to eat good quality meat and not being afraid of natural fats and nutrient dense clean foods. The Paleo diet has seen a massive spike in uptake and popularity in recent years. Scientific evidence that this clean, unprocessed and most importantly nutritious way of eating provides us with optimum health benefits are in direct comparison to multi-billion low and synthetic fat industry that us girls are enslaved to, that's evidently achieving nothing except making us fat.
5. DON'T BE SUPER-STRICT
I still eat out. I still rock a buffet on occasion; I still drink too much wine. But if I do, I draw a line in the sand and I work out like the clappers the next day to work it off.
7. FINALLY, DRINK LOTS
Of water, diet coke and bourbon -my three secret fat loss weapons. Sensible types however, may want to stick simply with the water.