It’s just eight weeks until midsummer’s day so if you’ve been planning to shed surplus pounds gained over winter then delay no longer. To help you on your way, we’ve asked two experts in weight loss to give us their top tips. And, if all else fails, learn how to look your best in the new summer fashions even if you don’t have the body you want. HILARIE STELFOX reports
MOST of us approach spring and summer carrying a few extra pounds gained over winter.
Which makes it unfortunate that the new season’s fashion are more revealing and less forgiving than cold weather clothes.
But with two months to go before the summer solstice, there’s still time to get into shape and look forward to sunny days and the holiday season.
Fitness consultant Chris Ball, who runs his own gym in Elland, says the thought of summer holidays always causes an influx of new clients: “You get a mad rush in January when people are making their New Year’s resolutions, then again in May/June when they want to get a beach body,’’ he said. “They leave it quite late.”
Chris, a sports performance coaching graduate from the Carnegie faculty of Leeds Metropolitan University, takes the scientific approach to diet and fitness.
He believes that simply cutting calories is not enough.
He explained: “What people have got to understand is that when you diet you lose water, muscle and fat and that the less lean tissue you have (muscle) the less your body is able to burn your calorie intake.
“As people get older weight doesn’t come off as easily and they tend to slow down so they end up storing more of their calorie intake as fat.”
He says the solution is to force the body to use its fat stores for energy and increase lean tissue through moderate, regular exercise.
“A brisk walk every day is probably enough,’’ he said. “You don’t need to be overdoing it.’’
Chris also sets his clients a programme of weight and resistance training to maintain and build muscle.
His diet plan begins with a 14-day period of abstinence from processed carbohydrates, such as sugary foods, bread and pasta. Instead of these he advises an intake of protein, fresh vegetables and seed oils.