IF you prefer dieting to exercising away unwanted pounds, you are not short of options. But which of the varied approaches is the one for you?
Sun nutritionist Amanda Ursell says: “Here is a selection of five of the best different ways to approach slimming in 2013. There is something for everyone.”
INTERMITTENT FASTING: The Fast Diet
This approach to weight loss hit the nation when a Horizon programme was aired back in August with the presenter Michael Mosley.
He shed almost a stone in five weeks by eating normally for five days out of seven, and then eating just 600 calories a day for the remaining two.
As well as losing weight, Mosley’s cholesterol levels went down and his blood glucose levels improved.
Now he’s written a book on the subject with journalist Mimi Spencer called The Fast Diet. Due out in February, it can be pre-ordered on Amazon for £5.99 and is published by Simon & Schuster.
Mosley says there is evidence that eating well, but not much, also helps to extend life expectancy (at least in animals) by helping to reduce levels of growth hormone.
A typical fasting day involves having scrambled eggs and ham with black tea for breakfast, lots of water during the day and grilled fish with vegetables at night.
Rather than dieting, hypnotherapist Claire Benson believes hypnotherapy can empower you so you call the shots over food, rather than food controlling you.
Benson has distilled her experience and knowledge into her new book, Weightogogo.
At £7.20, it is available from Amazon and has a Kindle version too. It is based on a 66-day programme, which comes with free downloads that you listen to while relaxing and exercising.
The 66 days is not just a random number. It takes this long, says Benson, to successfully form habits that help you stop over-eating, eat well and feel confident about food.
After completing the course, you should be in control around food and successfully losing weight.
STRAIGHT-FORWARD CALORIE REDUCTION: The FAB Diet
The FAB Diet is due out on January 3 and is Rosemary Conley’s latest diet book. FAB comes from the words Fat Attack Booster diet and the book claims you can lose two stone in seven weeks when following it.
Weight reduction ... Slimsticks
Like all Conley’s previous diets, there is no reinvention of the wheel here. She simply finds new ways to repackage the fact that in order to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories.
The FAB diet covers all bases, offering a choice of cutting calories either with a low-fat plan, a low-GI plan, high-protein meals or vegetarian option. Again, as with all of Conley’s diets, if you stick with them, they work.
The book costs £6.99 and is published by Random House.
HUNGER REDUCTION: Slimsticks
Earlier this month the European Food Standards Authority made all makers of slimming pills and potions remove weight-loss claims from their packaging — unless they have sufficient proof that their product does help you shift pounds.
Slimsticks is a new product which has just been launched in Boots throughout the UK.
It is a mix of natural konjac fibre and Fabuless (oat oil and palm oil) and CAN claim to be proven to help you “reduce your weight”, “eat less” and “manage your weight”.
The konjac fibre gives a feeling of instant fullness, while the Fabuless gives a longer lasting feeling of fullness that kicks in a few hours later.
A pack of 30 sachets of Slimsticks powder costs £24.99. You take three a day by mixing with warm water.
DELIVER TO YOUR DOOR DIET: Diet Chef
Delivery ... Diet Chef
Diet Chef deliver three meals plus snacks to your home for about £7.50 a day. Although you have to add your own fruit and vegetables, which bumps up the overall expenditure, it is one of the most cost-effective and safe delivery diets, in my view.
The system works out how many calories you need to enable you to lose up to 2lb a week, based on your starting weight.
Diet Chef meets all the best practice standards set by the Department Of Health for weight-loss diets. The programme also teaches you to focus on lifestyle changes, to think of food in a more balanced way and to learn techniques in case you fall off the wagon.
Breakfasts include granola or porridge, lunches minestrone soup or chicken and bean salad, and dinners feature the likes of lasagne or hotpot.
2013 FITNESS TRENDS
SUN fitness expert Nicki Waterman says: “These are the trends that I predict will be shaping the way we work out in 2013.”
Fitness ... next year's trends
What is it? A 30-minute hot body blitz class based around two key components – strength training and plyometrics. Going hard at these provides an incredibly high intensity of training to have you sweating, panting and probably aching the next day.
What is it? A 30-minute group treadmill class that teaches you speed, incline and intervals, making jogging a much more effective and enjoyable workout. It’s far more sociable and time-efficient than doing it alone.
What is it? A 30-minute core strengthening class that tightens and tones, improves functional strength and prevents injury. The workout consists of exercises that both isolate (such as crunches or leg extensions) and integrate (for example standing balance or hovers) key muscles. It’s a quick, efficient and challenging workout.
Where can I do it? nuffieldhealth.com.
What is it? A challenging 30-minute class of one-minute exercises efficient enough to change your body completely. The workout is based around a 15in-diameter ball that you can stand, kneel, sit or plank on, pick up, throw, or use as a weight. There are several variations of all the exercises in the class meaning that you will never get bored or lose motivation.
Where can I do it? virgin-active.co.uk.
What is it? A form of tennis that can burn up to 600 calories per hour, providing a unique take on the traditional game – high energy moves on a tennis court. The workout is set against a soundtrack of fun-filled, fast-tempo music which adds a party atmosphere to a fantastic full-body workout.
Where can I do it? david-lloyd.co.uk.
What is it? Think bikram yoga, but for pilates. The hot pilates class was offered by Boutique Sport, a London-based concept which provides free bi-monthly fitness events for women in and around London in addition to larger annual events such as Boutique Run.
Where can I do it? boutiquesport.co.uk.
What is it? A 30-minute indoor cycling workout where you ride to the rhythm of powerful music. Working your bum, legs and tummy, you’ll take on the terrain with your inspiring team coach who will lead you through speed-work of hills, flats, mountain peaks, time trials, and interval training.
Where can I do it? david-lloyd.co.uk.
What is it? A fusion technique that combines exercises from yoga, pilates, calisthenics, dance and the aerial arts. The AntiGravity Hammock enables you to distribute your weight between the floor and the silk swing apparatus to create a complete workout.
Where can I do it? the-chelseaclub.com.
What is it? The workout, based on near-Olympian feats of strength such as thrusters, snatches and dead lifts, is also an example of the current trend for women to lift heavy weights. And because progress is easy to measure and satisfying, we predict more will gravitate toward the sense of accomplishment that comes with performing your first unassisted pull-up.
Where can I do it? map.crossfit.com.
Core-tex ... whole body workout
What is it? The 20-minute express Core-Tex Fast Class is designed to work your whole body, especially your core. There are no traditional abdominal exercises but during each exercise the muscles of your core will automatically engage. The fast class is designed around four sections – mobility, strength, interaction and challenge.
Where can I do it? virgin-active.co.uk.
What is it? A 15-minute compact group workout that uses the power of high-intensity interval training to create a total body challenge to rival many hour-long classes. You’ll do drills such as high-knee running or side planks for 20 seconds, rest for ten seconds and move right into the next 20-second drill. Not for the faint-hearted.