Get healthy, fit and fabulous: The time is NOW
Karl Henry tells you how to make lifestyle changes that last
Personal trainer to the stars Karl Henry introduces the 30-day Beach Body Plan, devised especially for 'Irish Independent' readers. Forget fad diets – it's time to make lifestyle changes that will last
We all know the feeling: you have booked the holiday, checked out the hotel and weather forecast, then realised that in a few weeks you will be strutting your stuff on the beach – full body in view.
This often leads to one of two decisions: stay as you are, or panic and try to lose weight before you board the plane.
If you choose the latter, you will end up combing the bookshelves for this year's quick-fix diet and embark on a drastic eating plan – and the likelihood is that you won't stay the distance.
Sound familiar? Well, fear not, I have created a 30-day Beach Body Plan to help you get in the best shape possible for your holiday, and beyond. All of your meals and exercise sessions are laid out for you, day by day, making the plan easy to follow.
Each week, I will give you six delicious recipes that even the most basic of chefs will be able to master. Combine this with the weekly shopping lists and you have a plan that takes care of everything.
The good news is that this isn't a quick-fix fad diet solution; it is based on my years of experience of working with clients and getting results.
The food plan is based on a low-GI concept, which is to do with your body's blood-sugar reaction to certain foods. Foods that raise your blood sugar rapidly are called high-GI foods and these cause you to put on weight.
So, over the 30 days, you will replace white carbohydrates with brown. This alone will help you achieve a flatter stomach, as white carbs cause dramatic bloating.
Apart from that, the plan is full of healthy, everyday foods. You eat all the food groups and yet you lose weight. Sounds too easy, doesn't it?
What if I was to tell you that you can even have one treat day a week to eat whatever you want? This helps you to make lifelong changes as you aren't trying to cut out everything.
Not only will this help you to stay on track for longer, it will also help you to speed up your metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories).
The higher this rate, the more calories you burn on a daily basis.
Remember, all the exercise in the world won't get you results unless your diet is tailored, so follow the food plan as best you can and you will see incredible results. You can expect to lose anything from seven to 14lbs over the four weeks, depending on your starting weight and fitness levels.
What's more, you will realise that this is something you can keep up in the long run.
For the first time, you won't have a big weight rebound because you aren't starving your body of the nutrients it needs.
In week one, you will have three exercise sessions, all involving simple resistance exercises as well as cardiovascular sessions, such as walking.
Each week, I will give you three new exercises and increase the intensity of the cardio sessions, gradually making things a little harder.
I will show you exactly how to do the exercises by photograph, text and video and make it seem so easy that you will wonder why you haven't done them before.
The mixture of resistance exercises and cardio will help to increase your lean muscle mass and lower your body fat. You can expect a flatter stomach, more toned arms and legs and an overall better body shape for both men and women.
Your clothes will feel looser and more comfortable, and you will feel motivated and energised, as, for the first time in a long while, you will be truly healthy.
I have been lucky enough to see incredible results with my clients over the years. I know that they will stay healthy in the long run as I haven't put them on pure-protein eating plans or liquid diets.
The low-GI way of eating is healthy and will help you to lose weight. The treat day makes it realistic and manageable. The exercise is gradual and safe, never pushing you to the point at which you are out of breath.
This is what I stand for; this is why I am passionate about what I do. Long-term health and well-being is what life should be about.
If you want single-figure body fat, this plan isn't for you. But if you want to look and feel good on the beach this summer – and in Ireland next winter – then I promise you that my 30-day Beach Body Plan will help you do that.
Don't believe me? Well, take the 30-day test and let me know what changes it makes to your life.
I'll be answering questions via live chats at independent.ie throughout the 30-day period.
Karl Henry's 30-Day Beach Body Plan starts in the 'Irish Independent' today and runs until Friday, May 24. Additional content, including videos and live chats, will be added to independent.ie throughout the week. You can get a headstart by preparing your food for the week with the Week 1 shopping plan.