Health

Thursday 28 August 2014

Eating right is at least 60pc of weight loss battle

A rounded programme is best way to get results for the whole body

I have lost one stone recently, but no matter what I do, or how much weight I lose, I still have very heavy thighs. I know you always say that you can't spot reduce, but is there anything I can do to help reduce the size of my thighs? They have always been the bane of my life, even when I weighed 9 stone in my twenties!

Karl says: That's a really good question. You certainly can't pick one area of the body to reduce but there are certain tips I can give you to reduce the size of your thighs.

The first is that your exercise programme should work all the body parts, a mixture of resistance and cardiovascular workouts and some passive exercises such as yoga and pilates movements.

A rounded programme like this is the way to get the best results generally, for your whole body. Now in terms of your legs, you need to do exercises that will work all the muscle groups, not just the bigger ones like the quads.

For example, side leg raises to the front, side and rear will all help as they work different muscle groups.

Changing your squats and lunges to half squats/lunges and adding in wide foot squats. Different angles and ranges of movement will make a big difference by comparison with anything you have tried before.

In my opinion, avoid adding weight to your leg sessions, change the angles and ranges of movement first, and from there add weight if needs be .

Then don't forget your diet, because food is at least 60pc of any results.

All the training in the world won't out-train a bad diet. Aim to reduce your sugars, your starchy carbs and increase your lean protein intake. Aim to have lean protein with every meal and plenty of water during the day too.

I think these changes should help you to see a big difference in your training and in the shape and tone in your legs.

 

After illness, I want to get the weight back on

Question: I am 5"7 and weighed 9st 7lb. I have been this weight for years. Recently, this dropped to just under 9st. I had an issue with my thyroid.

I now want to get the weight back on. I'm aiming for 10st. I have limited weights in the house but also want to eat the right foods to gain the weight.

Karl says: Now that your thyroid has been assessed, I would imagine that you have a fast metabolic rate. This basically means that your body burns up calories faster than normal, making it hard to gain weight.

The good news is that it is generally easy to solve, the bad news is that it involves a lot of eating! Ideally, you should be eating every two to three hours, healthy wholegrain carbs and proteins.

You should be aiming for at least two grams per kilo body weight of protein, so at least 120 grams a day. A chicken breast is around 30, so the equivalent of four chicken breasts a day.

Protein is the key nutrient for gaining lean tissue, so if you are struggling for time then I would recommend a protein shake too, but only if you are struggling for time to get enough in.

In terms of exercises, I would recommend keeping your reps to 10-12, with three-to-five sets, and simple compound-based exercises, such as bench press, military press, bent over rows, squats, lunges, bicep curls.

These are foundation exercises, training the large muscle groups and will help you get the best gains possible too.

So eat well, work hard and weigh yourself on a weekly bases and you should see your weight rise gradually.

I would be happy if you gained around a pound a week or so, this is slow and sustainable, and you will have to be patient to get the results you want.

  • Email your questions to karlhenry@independent.ie

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