Celebrity Fitness: Bid farewell to your midlife ‘moobs’ and paunch with these tips from top trainer

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Celebrity Fitness: Bid farewell to your midlife ‘moobs’ and paunch with these tips from top trainer

Celebrity Fitness:

Look in the mirror and what do you see? From late 30s onwards it’s not unusual for men to be confronted with a thickening waistline, “moobs” and a paunch.

Battling middle-aged spread and decreasing fitness levels are the main concerns of many of my celebrity and high-flying clients.

Yet my promise to them – and to you – is that it doesn’t have to be that way.

I’ve been working as a personal trainer for 25 years and in that time there has been a dramatic shift in attitudes towards fitness and ageing.

Reaching your mid-40s once meant hanging up your trainers, but today it likely means investing in a new pair and working towards a new fitness goal.

I know from experience that not only is it possible to maintain your fitness level as you get older, but to improve it too.

So what are you waiting for?

Celebrity Fitness:
To improve your lifestyle you need dedication and self-care

How to stay motivated

  1. Who do you want to be? Instead of trying to answer the question “who am I?”, think about “who am I becoming?”. Decide who you need to be and grow into that persona.

     
  2. Prioritise yourself. Too many people fail to do this. You deserve nothing but the best and have the power to be unstoppable. Make sure you nourish yourself, support yourself with sleep and empower yourself in the process.

     
  3. Be realistic. A huge goal can seem unattainable so keep focused by challenging yourself with small goals. With a series of small victories, your confidence and motivation can be heightened for months on end.

You are what you eat

Celebrity Fitness:
Eating well right through the week will pay dividends

Your diet not only influences what you weigh but your overall health and vitality too.

Eating nutritious, hormone-boosting foods will not only ensure you feed your body what it needs but you won’t feel hungry either.

Lose fat, build muscle

This can be achieved by eating a lean balanced diet based on high-quality protein, such as meat and fish, and low-GI carbs.

Your daily diet should include lots of green vegetables, including kale, broccoli and watercress, which are rich in antioxidant vitamins.

As well as this, eat plenty of foods that are rich in vitamin K, a natural testosterone booster such as brussels sprouts, spinach and prunes.

Don’t forget fibre

Fibre is a crucial part of our diet that most people don’t get enough of. It feeds the healthy bacteria in the gut and is key to better digestion. Experts recommend 30g a day but on average men in the UK only have 20g a day. So increase your intake by packing your diet with high-fibre foods, for example nuts, beans, pulses and wholegrains.

Fast forward

Fasting is good for weight loss, boosts hormone production and gives your digestive system a rest. I recommend 16:8 fasting two days a week.

This gentle form of intermittent fasting means you fast for 16 hours and have an eating window of eight hours, during which you consume 700-800 calories.

Most people find it easiest to fast overnight – for example, stopping eating at 4pm and having breakfast at 8am the next morning. A fasting day could include:

Breakfast: Porridge made with 2tbsp oats and a handful of berries.

Lunch: 150g chicken, mixed

salad made with 80g lettuce, 100g kale or spinach and 100g of two other

raw vegetables, chopped or grated.

Dinner: 150g white fish, mixed salad, as above.

Make sure you drink two litres of water each day when you’re fasting.

And remember, successful fasting involves planning ahead and not cheating – it does work but only if you give it 100%.

Gift of the GABA

Celebrity Fitness:
A positive state of mind can come from your diet or through supplements

GABA is a neurotransmitter that dampens nerve activity in the brain and promotes deep relaxation.

You can take a supplement but you can also increase levels by eating foods rich in glutamate, which will naturally boost GABA production.

Eggs and poultry, cheese, ripe tomatoes and mushrooms are all good sources. Fermented foods are also good as they contain beneficial bacteria that increase GABA production.

Fast track to fitness

True fitness is the balance of strength, mobility, endurance, stamina and stability.

Forget lengthy cardio sessions and hardcore HIIT workouts – both can take their toll when you’re in your 40s and 50s and even lead to injury.

Instead, follow the advice below, but remember to consult your GP before starting a new exercise or diet plan.

Warm up and stretch

Celebrity Fitness:
Stretching is an essential part of any workout routine

Before you start any workout, make sure you warm up to activate the muscles you’re about to use. After a workout, take the time to stretch properly.

Stretching your muscles when they are warm will not only improve flexibility but enhance your recovery process too. Even on the days you’re not working out, doing some gentle stretches will help with your mobility and posture.

Weight and see

Focus on weight training, which builds muscle, strengthens bones and improves physique by priming the body to produce more testosterone and HGH.

Make sure the weights you are using are heavy enough – too light won’t stimulate HGH production.

When lifting weights, I tell my clients to focus on:

Power: When you lift a weight, there are positive and negative parts of the

movement. The positive part is what moves the weight when you push, pull or lift it.

The negative is when you return the weight to its start position. For example, in a bench press, the positive part is when you push the bar up and the negative is when you lower the bar back to your chest. Focus on the positive aspect of each lift and think power.

Pace: The speed of each lift is important too. The positive aspect of a lift should take half the time of the negative aspect.

This explosion of power means you will see fast results in terms of muscle, bone and hormone benefits.

Love to lunge

Squats and lunges are great examples of compound moves – exercises that involve large muscle groups working together to create one big movement.

They are a vital part of any exercise routine because they elevate the heart rate, burn calories, improve muscle coordination and increase mobility.

Don’t overtrain

Long sessions of traditional cardio can accelerate ageing. Repeatedly pushing your body to the extreme by training for marathons or other endurance feats can put it under more stress that it can handle.

And this can interfere with the production of testosterone.

All about hormones

As men get older their hormone levels drop, which affects health, wellbeing and fitness.

Men lose testosterone at 1.5-2% a year after the age of 30 and, at the same time, the production of human growth hormone (HGH) – which boosts protein production, helps the body burn fat and regulates blood sugar levels – slows down too.

The good news is that exercise and diet can stem hormonal decline – as long as you follow the right approach.

Supercharge your sleep

Celebrity Fitness:
Changing how you sleep is a surprisingly important part of elevating your fitness

Recovery is often overlooked in a fitness regime but it’s hugely important, particularly once you’re over 40. And the best recovery time is when you sleep.

When you consider the fact that sleep is something we spend a third of our life doing, we should be really good at it.

Yet we are getting less sleep than ever. Here are my top tops that’ll help you sleep better.

Drink green tea

Green tea contains an amino acid that increases levels of happy hormones serotonin and dopamine and reduces mental and physical stress.

However, it does contain caffeine so if you are susceptible to its effects, you should avoid it before bedtime.

Detox your bedroom

Make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep. Banish smartphones and tablets to prevent the blue light they emit keeping you up.

Make sure the room is quiet and dark and the right temperature for sleep – between 16-18C is considered optimum.

  • Extracted by Mernie Gilmore from Matt Roberts’ Younger, Fitter, Stronger: The Revolutionary 8-week Fitness Plan for Men, (Bloomsbury Sport, £16.99), which is published on April 18

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