Our bodyologist blogger brings you the brand new products, classes and trends you body needs now
1. DIET PIE
Anyone who reads my blog knows that pie is my diet downfall so when Pieminister announced they were bringing out lower calorie pies, I virtually snapped their arms off for a taster. I was not disappointed. There are three in the range – chickalito – chicken and ham, light as a feta – feta with butternut squash and, kooky chook – chicken, sweet potato and coconut – and they all weigh in at less than 440 calories (25 percent less than normal). Okay, they’ve done it by doing away with the pie lid and replacing it with a mix of crumbly topping and seeds, but that means they’re still packed with filling and have thick pastry sides. Even my partner was impressed. Find them now at Ocado, £3.90 each.
2. GOURMET DIETING
We’ve had London restaurant Sam’s catering to 5:2 eaters with its 500 cal menu; The Balcon at London’s Sofitel’s St James launched its De-light calorie counted menu and now, slimming gets swish with a gourmet diet cookery book. Eat Well and Stay Slim: The Essential Cuisine Minceur, £25.00 (Frances Lincoln, launched March 6th) is the new low calorie recipe collection from three-starred Michelin chef Michel Guerard. Okay, so the portions are more French than American, but still with over 140 recipes – many measuring less than 240 calories each – you could have a starter and a main without thinking twice! Put down the cardboard crackers and whip up some Mushroom Tarts with Asparagus Tips (165 cals).
3. PIMP YOUR PROTEIN SHAKE
I normally start my mornings with a protein shake – whey powder, water and a tablespoon of Total Greek yogurt, but for the last few days there’s been additions. I’m playing with the new Bioglan range of Superfoods by Matt Dawson (from Holland & Barrett). Sachets of nutrient-rich sprinkles designed to go on smoothies, salads or in yogurts (for just an extra 30-40 calories). I however wondered what happens if you put them in protein powder! Fave so far has been the Chia & Flaxseed, £15.99 on which makes breakfast so thick you can stand a spoon in it. Spirulina, £14.99, was a bit muddy without extra banana. But what happened when I tried the Beetroot, £12.99? Check it out at healthehelen.wordpress.com later this week.
4. HIP EXERCISE
You wait all year for some seriously cool exercise classes – and two come along at once. First up website-based That Girl by London trainers Charli Cohen and Christina Howells – thatgirlondon.com. Offering two online workouts for £15 or four workouts (plus nutrition advice) for £35 it’s easy to follow but tough to do. And then there’s Psycle. Completely addictive, this new London indoor cycling class is like dancing on a bike. You match the revolutions of your pedals to the beat of the music, there’s flashing lights, waving arms and a bit of whooping. I literally finished my second class thinking ‘I want to do it again – right now.’ Psyclelondon.com. See full reviews at healthehelen.wordpress.com.
5. ELECTRIC PHYSIOS
Nothing like an injury to derail the exercise part of your weight loss efforts – but the hot new trends in tracking are gadgets aiming to stop that happening. Out this month are Sensoria Fitness socks which monitor cadence, foot strike and weight distribution revealing if the way you run puts you at injury risk (see more at sensoriafitness.com) Also coming in the Summer is Moov, a wearable tracker that doesn’t just measure steps it offers advice on your stride length, footfall or even how well you’re holding that downward dog. I’m already a bit scared at how bossy ‘she’ sounds. I’d definitely pick my feet up if she told me to! Finally, if you prefer your analysis with a human touch, check out the new Lifescore test at 37 Degrees gym in Tower Bridge, London. It uses gadgets to measure everything from your gait to your centre of gravity revealing weak spots that put you at injury risk (free to members, £199 for non members, see more at thirtysevendegrees.co.uk) . It also reveals terrifying things about your body fat levels too.
6 TEMPTATION TIME
It’s no wonder losing weight is so hard to do – according to new research from Birmingham University, the average dieter faces 11 major tests of temptation a week – and give in to about fifty percent. Alcohol was one of the biggest temptations as was eating with friends consuming chips. You’re also more likely to cave in the evenings than mornings. If none of this is news to you and you feel you need a psychological boost, the best book on willpower I’ve read is Maximum Willpower by Stanford University Professor Kelly McGonigal, (Macmillan Publishing). Check it out.
7. PEANUT BUTTER (not as you know it)
For some reason I’m going through an apple phase right now. I don’t normally eat apples but it started when I was trying the 5:2 diet (I’m the only person alive it didn’t work for) and wanted something fruity but filling. Now I’ve dumped the diet I’ve moved on to dipping slices of apple into things – like hummus (nicer than your might think) and my current obsession The Wild Peanut’s new Fiery Chilli Peanut butter. It’s got a real kick to it. Check out it, and their other five fusion flavours (cinnamon is also really good) at thewildpeanut.co.uk or amazon.co.uk when they start selling next week. Top tip: buy the £3.00 6x45ml mini sample jars – they’re just a tiny bit too small to get a teaspoon in properly which, if you tend to go a bit overboard on peanut butter as I do limits how much you can eat.
8. HEART RATE TRAINING
Yes, I know it’s been around for ages, but it’s having a bit of a moment right now. For starters Fitness First have just launched their first BEAT Concept gym in London’s Charing Cross (fitnessfirst.co.uk). Read Healthista’s review here. Everyone in the class is rigged up to a heart rate monitor and aims to meet a specific training rate- for example Move Better sees you reaching a steady 65 per cent while HIIT Pro takes you up to 90 per cent. Speedflex (tried late last year by editor Anna) also judges how hard you’re working heart rate. And watch out for a heap of heartrate measuring headphones (from brands like LG and possibly Apple) coming onto the market soon. Yes that’s right, they take your pulse via the inner ear and feedback how hard you’re working accordingly.
Healthista’s Bodyologist Helen Foster blogs daily on all things health, fitness and diet related. Follow her @healthehelen.
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