Want a regime that actually does what it promises? Anna Magee hand-picks the best strategies for diet, fitness and overall va-va-voom in 2013
Lack of time is most people’s biggest barrier to sticking with exercise. But if you do it right, you can get results quicker. ‘Exercising at a high intensity in intervals- known as HIIT- for only 15 minutes can give you the same benefits as a 30-minute session,’ says Dr John Babraj, co-author of The High Intensity Workout. ‘The secret is to go as fast and hard as you can during the high-intensity periods, then rest, or continue at a very slow pace, to recover.’
Fly off the handle easily? Try Pause Button Therapy (PBT) to visualise the likely results of your actions as if you were watching a film. PBT is used in anger management, but it can be applied to any habitual behaviour such as reaching for a drink or cigarette as a way to cope when you feel angry or upset.
‘Chunking’ is a favourite word of self-help gurus and the secret behind successful people. ‘It is the process of breaking down large things into small components,’ says psychologist Wendy Jago, author of How To Manage your Mammoth: The Procrastinator’s Guide To Getting Things Done. ‘Identify one thing you want to fulfil in 2013 and write a list of all the steps you need to make it happen. Each time you achieve one, it’ll encourage you to continue.’
The diet trend on everyone’s lips is Alternate Day Fasting (ADF), aka Intermittent Fasting. ADF requires two days of eating less than normal- not nothing at all- and eating normally the rest of the time. A study discovered it led to weight loss and helped lower cholesterol. Dr Marilyn Glenville advices: ‘The secret is to stick to 600-700 calories on your ‘fast’ days, opting for high protein and nutrient-rich vegetables rather than sugar or carbohydrate foods. Never eat fewer calories than this as it could slow your metabolism or lead to missing out on nutrients.’
When it comes to eating, most of us focus on the ‘what’ but it’s often the ‘why’ we should think about. According to nutritionist Zoe Harcombe who says: ‘Write down everything you eat for a week, including how you felt just before, and you’ll soon spot patterns.’ Becoming aware of your emotional connections to food is often the first crucial step to breaking the patterns.
A new 3D camera, currently only available at selected dermatologists, can photograph the planes of your face and identify where it’s losing volume, which starts at around 30 years old. Dr Michael Prager explains: ‘The subtleties in volume that a 3D camera picks up means that applying Botox has become a much more exact science, leading to more subtle results than ever.’
To optimise fertility, we should eat a healthy diet, but now, excitingly, experts know more about exactly what changes makethe biggest difference to your baby-making potenital (and his). Dr Glenville says: ‘Eating a diet high in antioxidents- found in dark green and pruple vegetables and fruit- can change the the count and mobility of sperm. Women going through IVF who ate more protein and fewer carbs had higher pregnancy rates than those who ate refined carbohydrates. This simple change in diet appeared to increase pregnancy rates after IVF from 17 per cent to a massive 83 per cent.