by Steve Halsall
A Celebrity Personal Trainer
There are no secrets to losing weight.
Seventeen years as one of the UK’s top trainers, this week I was faced yet again with a hopeful smile and literally the weight of expectation aimed at me.
‘Can I have a body like Jess Ennis’, was the request of my new NW London yummy mummy, desperate to keep up with the Prada clad school run fasionistas. I found myself explaining that genetics, dedication, passion, commitment and the magic word ‘consistency’ are all part of every day for our golden girl Jess.
It is not fluke that people who eat well, train hard and dedicate time and energy in all the key areas of well-being tend to feel and look great. They have boundless energy and appear years younger than their peers.
Having taken hundreds of people of all ages, shapes and sizes on a journey to better health, weight loss and improved self-confidence, I have never prescribed a sachet of powder, counted a calorie, given points or even suggested bacon, cheese or steak for breakfast. None of this is sustainable, balanced or very real.
Without doubt the best and only way to lose weight and look fantastic is to get into a positive routine. Basically, you have to change things slowly in your routine that don’t freak you out so much that you revert back to the old you. This is why people fail time after time; they try and change too much too soon. Creating goals is obvious and important however it is not where you are in three weeks, it is where you are in three years that counts.
Jess Ennis did not become the superhuman she is over night. It has taken many years of discipline and focus. Mrs NW London is no different, she would have to create good habits that stay with her forever, rather than a quick fix solution which only lasts a week and makes her feel miserable.
Ultimately, feeling fit and well is like anything worth having. You have to take control, take responsibility and remember you and only you can change you.
Weight loss, which is sustainable, can only be achieved by making time for progressive exercise, eating better and most of all enjoying the process.
Who said it has to be difficult? It is after all, habit changing and self-motivation that ultimately brings rewards.
Life after all is for living, but having trained A-listers, heads of industry and many desperate housewives, I can say beyond doubt that health is wealth. Having the tools to manage stress, enjoy what you have created and slip a pair of trainers on and go for an hour run are simple pleasures, which anyone can aspire to.
Everyone’s journey is unique and different and it would be wrong to throw out gross generalisations on such a complex personal subject. But if there are five things you should all do to look and feel like a champion, take a look at these:
1. Always eat breakfast, a breakfast that has protein in it. To sustain energy, moderate blood sugars and give the feeling of being full.
2. Allocate time to exercise, this is sacred time and nothing gets in the way of this.
3. Get outdoors, enter a 5k race, then a 10k, then a half marathon, everyone can run, everyone.
4. Food is mood. I’m stating the obvious here and hundreds of books, blogs and opinions have all said the same thing. You are what you eat. Never have we had so much choice and availability of food; no excuses, eat natural, eat till you are full, chew your food and learn to cook, no excuses.
5. Avoid mindless exercise classes that are neither progressive nor any good. Real changes to your body will only happen if you create real intensity. Think about it, you are changing the total physiology of yourself and that is not going to happen shaking your hips in a Zumba class.
Remember, Jess Ennis has, to the best of my knowledge never done a Zumba class.