Eat Right update
It's time to check in with our two Eat Right competition winners. Emma Chaplin has made a fantastic start, losing a stone in just over a month. 'I've had some ups and downs,' she says, 'but despite the tricky bits - largely down to PMS giving me the appetite of a semi-starved bear - I have stuck to the programme. Small amounts of treats along with trying to eat enough of the right stuff not to get hungry seems to be working.' Trainee midwife Aine Gallagher isn't far behind, having lost 10lb. 'My motivation is high, because the plan is working,' she says. 'It's been a case of applying a different set of rules. Old rules = eat whatever I fancied whenever I fancied. New rules = eat three well-proportioned meals a day and a small snack. I haven't been hungry, or felt deprived - that's been the biggest surprise.' She's struggling to schedule in 'proper' exercise, but has incorporated more activity into her daily routine. 'Leaving for college a bit earlier and walking from the station to work makes a great start to my day,' she says. 'I'm looking forward to becoming fitter, stronger and leaner.'
American women have had Curves for a long time. And, no, I'm not talking about their ever-expanding figures, but about a countrywide health club network with a unique approach to fitness and weight loss - and more franchises than KFC. Now Curves is gaining ground in the UK, with more than 100 centres here already. In a non-glam, mirror-free environment, women work out for 30 minutes on a special circuit that combines resistance and cardio exercise. The equipment is set out in a circle, with an instructor in the middle to keep an eye on technique and offer motivation. There aren't specific class times, so you can drop in whenever suits you - the target is three sessions a week. If you want a no-nonsense, low-cost workout and don't mind forgoing the fluffy towels and Cardio Theater, it's definitely worth checking out curves.com to see if a centre is open or planned in your area.
Sweden's top sportswear brand, Craft, has launched in the UK, and although the clothing was originally designed to keep pilots warm at freezing altitudes, the new Craft Pro Cool collection is perfect for summer training. I like the sleeveless tanktop, which comes in a baby-soft Coolmax Extreme fabric or an even cooler (thermally speaking) mesh version, to enhance ventilation and breathability. The design is classic rather than quirky, but the technical fabrics and clever construction will keep you cool and sweat-free during strenuous outdoor activity (and no, picnics do not count). If, heaven forbid, you do perspire just a little, you can wash Pro Cool gear at 60C without reducing it to a size that would fit only Barbie; 01753 866 989 for stockists.