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5 steps to starting a weight loss transformation – your new body starts here

Dina's Transformation week 1 MAIN weight-loss transformation

‘Help me lose weight!’ were the exact words Dina Hinar spoke when she begged Healthista to get her on a body transformation. Now she’s embarking on a 10 week weight-loss transformation with top trainer Terry Fairclough and his Your Body Programme – follow her journey every Tuesday

Hello Healthista readers, my name is Dina and I am about to embark on a 10 week weight-loss transformation and I am going to be sharing the entire journey with you. Are you as excited (and nervous) as I am?

Why am I doing this transformation I hear you ask? Like so many others, I have struggled with my weight since I was a teenager and I have been on more weight loss diets than I can count on both hands.

In the last two years, my weight gain has been so rapid, I’ve started to worry that there is no way out

The story goes something like this: I would do well on these diets for a short while but annoyingly they never seemed to turn into a lifestyle change. That’s because what all of these diets had in common was a restriction, which involved me having to give up something for good in order to maintain my weight loss.

Feeling resentful, frustrated, angry and quite simply bored of restricting myself, I would give up and end up back at square one – it’s been a repetitive and vicious cycle that I just can’t seem to break.

Dina six years ago weight-loss transformation
Dina seven years ago

In the last two years, my weight gain has been so rapid, I’ve started to worry that there is no way out. I wanted to get fit and healthy before my 40th birthday, and that is in four years’ time.

I also have two nephews who I adore, I want to be active for them and be able to have the energy to play with them. Plus, it would be amazing if I were able to get into some of my dresses from seven years ago that are now two sizes too small.

I know I can do it this time, my mind is focused and I truly believe I am ready to make the necessary lifestyle changes for my health and body.

So there’s my motivation – to get fit before 40. Now all I need is a great programme and an understanding trainer who will provide me with the expertise and willpower, so I can really make a healthy difference.

I have been searching for a weight loss programme that wouldn’t just be easy to maintain in the long-run but also one that I would enjoy and not end up resenting.

I work in the same office as the Healthista girls and after going to them for weight -loss advice they told me about Terry Faiclough and Luisa Valenti and their amazing, Your Body Programme.

Founder Terry is a personal trainer and nutritional therapist after being a chef for ten years and co-founder Luisa is also a personal trainer after a previous career as a dancer.

Terry is also a celeb trainer – but he doesn’t dish the dirt or name names on which celebs he trains…

What stood out to me the most was their approach to fitness, it wasn’t like anything I had seen or tried before – people need to train and eat differently depending on their body types.

When I previously trained at the gym, I never knew if I was doing the right thing or making the most out of my workouts. But Your Body Programme teaches you how to train effectively for your body type.

Oh and they also don’t tell you what you should or shouldn’t eat. Instead, the programme teaches you how to make the right nutrition choices that are best for your body type.

Time for the hard part – the before pictures and measurements. Here goes – this is me before I started my 10 week transformation.

DINA BEFORE weight-loss transformation
Dina before starting her 10 week transformation
Weight (kg) 120
Chest (centimetres) 118
Waist (centimetres) 115
Hips (centimetres) 141
Total weight-loss N/A


I am SO excited to start – bring on the journey and bring on the results I know I can achieve, that will be based on actual science and not miracles…

5 steps to starting a weight-loss transformation

#1 Learn about your body type

So as I mentioned, before I throw myself into this transformation, it turns out different body types need different exercise plans and different nutrition plans – I thought exercise was exercise and a healthy diet was a healthy diet.

Your Body Programme focuses on individual body types. They provide a personalised programme, with exercises and a nutrition plan that matches your specific body type for the best weight loss results.

Click here to see what body type best describes you.

endomorph weight-loss transformation
Endomorph body type

But back to me – according to Terry I am an Endomorph. An Endomorph often has a smooth, round appearance and can sometimes be described as plump or big-boned.

Female Endomorphs have very feminine bodies; they look full figured, curvaceous and are sometimes pear shaped with wider hips than shoulders. Endomorphs also have medium to large bone structures with thick joints and their limbs can often appear short.

Famous endomorph bodies include Marilyn Monroe and Serena Williams.

Famous body types weight-loss transformation
Serena Williams (Left), Marilyn Monroe (Right)

Terry explained that, endomorphs struggle to lose fat as they have a slower metabolism. Also, due to their susceptibility to fat storing, when they don’t train correctly the muscle can be hidden under a layer of fat, causing them to appear as if they have little muscle definition.

Female Endomorphs have very feminine bodies; they look full figured, curvaceous and are sometimes pear shaped

This does not mean an Endomorph cannot look defined though says Terry, with the right training regime and nutrition plan, muscle definition is totally achievable.

Endomorphs have predominantly fast twitch muscle fibre, this means that they excel at powerful explosive sports rather than endurance training – that totally means I won’t have to go for long runs – thank goodness.

Food and diet wise, Terry said endomorphs do not tolerate carbohydrates well and will need to be strict with their nutrition to reduce their body fat.

I am used to eating more carbs than any other nutrient, but according to Terry, my programme will involve less carbs, but more protein and veggies than I am used to eating – what my body type needs, my body type will get.

#2 Track your calories on an app

Next transformation step, time to tackle my diet. For the first week of my transformation, Terry asked me to carry on eating as I usually would, and to record what I eat on the phone app, MyFitnessPal.

MyFitnessPal is the ultimate calorie and macro tracking app that everyone seems to have used or at least heard of. This was to get an idea of the sort of calories, nutrients and food my body is used to consuming on a daily basis.

The app showed me that I was consuming around 2,500 calories a day

Before even looking into what sort of food I need to be eating I firstly need to recognise what the right amount of food looks like on a plate.

By using MyFitnessPal you can see exactly how much you are consuming – if you’re honest with logging your food there is no escaping, it reveals in great detail exactly what you are consuming from calories, to fat content, to macronutrients.

By using a food tracker for the first week I was starting to gauge what the right calorie and macronutrient ratio looked like in food terms. The app showed me that I was consuming around 2,500 calories a day, with most of my calories being consumed as carbohydrates.

These carbohydrates would come from foods such as bread as it’s quick and easy and rice as I come from a middle eastern culture, so it’s always been my go-to food choice.

carbs dina transformation weight-loss transformation
This MyFitnessPal screen shot shows how a high percentage of my calories comes from carbohydrates

Another reason Terry wanted me to track what I would normally eat in a day, was so that he could lessen my daily calorie intake to create a calorie deficit, but not so significantly that it would be too much of a shock to my body.

The last thing we wanted to do was shock my body from going from 2,500 calories to 1,500 calories. My body would go into starvation mode which from a metabolic point of view would have messed up my metabolism by slowing it down significantly.

After seeing what I ate for one week Terry said my calories for the next few weeks needed to be reduced to 2,000 calories a day. This was determined after looking at my height, weight, age and activity level.

Terry said my calories for the next few weeks needed to be reduced to 2,000 calories a day

Terry explained that the body is always going to find a way to prevent itself from losing weight. That’s why we need to lose weight gradually and slowly so that we can trick the body into thinking that this amount of calories is the new norm.

Here’s the clincher – no sugar (not that I eat a lot anyway), no processed foods including sweets, less dairy and no confectionery, so that’s chocolate and baked goods. Just lots of veggies, lots of protein and heaps of water – tune in next week to get a better insight into exactly what I will be eating during my transformation.

For now though, if you are going to be following this journey with me, work out your calories and acros using this online calculater, download MyFitnessPal onto your phone and track your calories, then make sure you are sticking to the calories that the Your Body Programme calculator has suggested for you.

#3 Figure out your workout schedule

Next step to focus on was my training schedule, and this is how it’s going to be over the next four weeks: resistance training session number one will be with Terry on Monday evenings, resistance training session number two will be with Luisa on Friday evenings and then I will be doing two to three cardio sessions myself as and when I can fit them in.

workout schedule month 1 weight-loss transformation
My training schedule for the first four weeks

That seems straightforward enough, but after not much exercise for much too long I think that may just be easier said than done. I needed to sit down and work out just how I was going to fit all of this exercise into my already busy schedule.

Unfortunately I just do not have time to workout in the mornings, and what I mean by not having time is I struggle to wake up early, I always have and I think I always will – I’m a night owl, what can I say?

So that left the evenings, I feel far more awake in the evenings so it made sense that this is when I should be doing my cardio and resistance workouts.

Here is my schedule that I plan to stick to:

Monday Resistance training with Terry
Tuesday Cardio
Wednesday Rest
Thursday Cardio
Friday Resistance training with Luisa
Saturday Cardio or Rest
Sunday Cardio or Rest


Does this schedule seem doable? Or does it seem like I am going to have my work cut out? Hmmmm I guess we will find out…

#4 Complete at least two cardio sessions a week – and don’t take more than one consecutive day off

Generally Endomorphs have a slower metabolism (annoying, much), which makes it harder to lose fat. Therefore the majority of my exercise plan consists of cardio training rather than resistance training – hence the two to three cardio sessions compared to just two resistance sessions.

My cardio sessions will be in the form of high intensity interval training, also known as HIIT training. Terry informs me that this is to help increase the output of my mitochondria – these are the powerhouses in our cells where calories are burned to produce and provide us with energy. The better the output of your mitochondria, the more fat you burn.

to keep my metabolism firing and therefore burning more calories, I can’t have more than one consecutive day off

High intensity training will also have the effect of increasing my metabolism, which will result in me burning more calories throughout the day and whilst I sleep.

Terry also explained that I need to keep up the frequency of my training sessions, especially the cardio, so that I keep my metabolism up and firing and therefore burning more calories, that means having no more than one consecutive day off.

dina workout weight-loss transformation
Here’s me warming up before a workout – it was seriously sweaty business

‘Muscle is biologically active,’ explains Terry, ‘but if it isn’t being used and you have a sedentary lifestyle, then unfortunately your slow metabolism will override your muscle mass.

‘By being more active and keeping up with your cardio sessions your muscles will be working more frequently, and will act as the engine you need to burn more calories and boost your metabolism’.

So I need to make sure I am sticking to my cardio sessions in order to keep my muscles firing on all cylinders and therefore lose weight. If, like me your body type is an endomorph, why not try to follow my training schedule with me?

I will be explaining more about exactly what sort of cardio sessions are beneficial in a few weeks time – so stay tuned.

#5 Be as active as possible – do 250 steps an hour during the day

So with all that said, it seems clear that the aim is to boost my metabolism and keep my muscles working by training frequently and not having more than one consecutive day off.

What will also keep my metabolism and muscles ‘up and at em’ is keeping as active as possible during the day. This can be done by going for a lunch time walk, getting up from my desk and moving around as much as possible, taking the stairs instead of a lift and choosing to walk rather than always rely on public transport.

ideally I need to be doing 10,000 steps a day to make the most of my fat burning potential

I usually do around six to eight thousand steps per day, but ideally I need to be doing 10,000 steps a day to make the most of my fat burning potential.

So, I am setting myself a goal, I am going to make sure I am getting up from my desk every 50 minutes to do at least 250 steps – that could literally be a walk around the office and back to my desk. Hopefully this way I will be able to increase my step count without distracting myself too much from my work.

Workouts of the week:

Super Set Three (that’s the name of the workout by the way) consists of three blocks of three exercises – hence the name…

Remember to keep the weights heavy and challenging to elicit metabolic response.

  • Perform 15 reps of the first three exercises back to back, this constitutes a set.
  • Complete three sets in total (with a one minute rest in between each set), this completes a block.
  • Rest for three minutes in between each block, there are three blocks in total.

This will take you around 40 minutes. Don’t forget to warm up for five minutes, and cool down and stretch for five minutes after your workout.

Set 1 Exercise Reps Sets Weight used in kg Notes:
1 Lunge with Dumbbells 15 3 / Keep pelvis slightly tucked under so you do not over arch the back.
2 Crunch 15 3 / Keep a slight gap under the chin
3 Hamstring Curl on Swiss Ball 15 3 / Do not allow the hips to lower.


Rest for three minutes

Set 2 Exercise Reps Sets Weight used in kg Notes:
1 Ankle Touches 15 3 / /
2 Squat with medicine ball 15 3 / Make sure your knees track inline with your toes.
3 Press up on bar 15 3 /  

Engage your core and keep your body straight.



Rest for three minutes

Set 3 Exercise Reps Sets KG/Tempo Notes:
1 Step up onto box with dumbbells 15 3 / Lower leg under control maintaining a neutral spine.
2 Lat pull down 15 3 / Keep the chest lifted and core engaged.
3 Ice skaters 15 3 / The movement should be continuous and fast pace.


Workout of the week:

Six different exercises, 45 seconds each exercise with 15 seconds rest between each exercise. This I did four times.

Squat jumps 45, seconds. Rest, 15 seconds,

Push ups, 45 seconds. Rest, 15 seconds,

Kettlebell deadlifts, 45 seconds. Rest, 15 seconds,

Mountain climbers, 45 seconds. Rest, 15 seconds,

Alternating lunges, 45 seconds. Rest, 15 seconds,

Sit ups, 45 seconds. Rest, 2 minutes.

Repeat three more times.

Come back every week to read Dina’s week by week diary of her weight loss transformation with Terry and Luisa from Your Body Programme, with tips and advice from the experts. 

Luisa and TerryYour Body Programme was founded by Terry Fairclough and Luisa Valenti.

The idea came about after Terry and Luisa saw other personal trainers regularly offering the same generic plan to every client, regardless of gender, goal or body type.

Terry and Luisa are passionate about the need to train everyone as an individual to achieve maximum results, and therefore don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach.

Relevant Healthista Content:

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