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Celebrity trainer reveals how to lose up to half a STONE by Christmas

After months of comfort eating and drinking, many people are no doubt finding themselves in worse shape than they were in at the start of the year.

The Covid pandemic unravelled good intentions and wreaked havoc on fitness regimes as gyms closed and sports equipment sold out up and down the country. 

But fitness and nutrition coach Matt Lindsay says there is still time to undo the lockdown weight gain. 

Training celebrities including Daisy Lowe, Pixie Lott and Lauren Pope at London’s Roar gyms, Matt specialises in body transformations – helping people get in shape in as little as eight weeks.

And he tells FEMAIL how we can all lose at least half a stone before 2020 finally draws to a close thanks to some simple tweaks to our daily routines – including big breakfasts full of protein, leaner evening meals and lots of movement.

Matt Lindsay at 75kg

Before and after: Matt Lindsay at 89kg (left) and at 75kg (right) after following his own healthy eating and exercise plan. He lost 14kg in 16 weeks 

Daisy Lowe

Matt’s celebrity clientele includes model Daisy Lowe (pictured during a Roar Fitness workout), who has been working out with him since the end of the first lockdown

Matt says: ‘You can of course lose a lot of weight in a short period of time – but it would have a massive rebound effect afterwards. 

RECIPES: How to fuel your body with good food AND lose weight 

Celebrity trainer reveals how to lose up to half a STONE by Christmas

Here are some delicious meal ideas that you could make in minutes, using fresh and healthy ingredients, and on a budget. These meals are ideal for batch cooking, and for busy people on the go. 

Total calories for the day: 1,550  

Big breakfast: Two-egg omelette 

2 large eggs 

2 rashers of back bacon

1/2 medium avocado

100g asparagus roots 

Fry Light Olive Oil Spray 

Celebrity trainer reveals how to lose up to half a STONE by Christmas

Method:

1. Cook the eggs any way; scrambled, poached or boiled are the healthiest methods

2. Grill or shallow-fry the bacon, using olive oil spray – which is only one calorie per spray  

3. Slice an avocado, remove the stone and scoop out one half 

4. Lightly coat the asparagus spears with olive oil spray, season with salt and pepper and grill on a high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened

Lunch: Chicken box

1 Grilled chicken breast 

100-150g Chopped mushrooms

Tilda Microwave Lime and Coriander Basmati Rice 

Large handful of spinach 

Celebrity trainer reveals how to lose up to half a STONE by Christmas

Method: 

1. Season the chicken breast with lemon juice, rosemary, parsley, garlic and paprika and a squeeze of lemon

2. Grill under a high heat for around 10 minutes 

3. Dry-fry the mushrooms for around 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add a garlic powder, Himalayan salt or a little paprika to the mushrooms if you want them to have more flavour

4. To heat the rice, squeeze the pouch and tear the top corner open to 2cm. Heat upright in microwave on full power for 2 minutes (800W). Tear open, tip out and fluff with a fork before serving. 

5. Serve the chicken, mushrooms and rice on a bed of fresh spinach leaves – which can be wilted down with the mushrooms, if you prefer 

Snack: Oat energy booster

Celebrity trainer reveals how to lose up to half a STONE by Christmas

Heat 50g oats with 200ml unsweetened almond milk in a pan on the hob for around five minutes. Top with sweet cinnamon or a teaspoon of protein powder of your favourite flavour 

Dinner: Sumptuous Sea bass

2 Sea bass fillets 

50g of low fat hummus

2-3 Spring onions 

100-150g Mixed peppers 

Large handful of mixed leaves

Dinner: Sea bass served with mixed peppers, salad leaves and hummus

Dinner: Sea bass served with mixed peppers, salad leaves and hummus 

Method: 

1. Steam the sea bass fillets for around five minutes, adding a squeeze of lemon

2. Wash and chop the onions, peppers, and mixed leaves

3. Serve with hummus and enjoy!  

‘But in terms of what you can lose safely realistically in three weeks, someone can lose half a stone – it’s totally achievable. 

‘People respond differently but generally in the first three weeks of living healthier, the average person will lose 2-3kilos – around half a stone.

‘If you follow the following basic principles, you will lose weight.’ 

Start the day with protein and fats to keep your energy steady

‘A great way to kick start your plan is to eat a substantial breakfast filled with protein and healthy fats; eggs, bacon, avocado, protein pancakes, lean meats, fish like salmon or mackerel or natural yoghurt with almonds. 

‘If you haven’t eaten since evening, you’ll go catabolic – meaning your muscle will be used as fuel. If you’re in a calorie deficit, you don’t want to use muscle. 

‘Every kilo of muscle you hold is worth 50 calories of energy a day so to maintain that muscle mass, you need to eat. 

‘It’s about your blood sugar levels – you don’t want lots of peaks and troughs.

‘You don’t want big highs and lows because that’ll make your energy go up and down. 

‘You need to keep your energy steady so fats are good for stable, slow insulin release when you wake up. 

‘A lot of scientific studies show that having a higher carbohydrate breakfast results in having higher levels of cravings for sugars and carby foods as the day goes on – the bigger the high, the bigger the dip. 

‘You want everything level through the day.’ 

Have carbs at lunchtime when you’re training

‘Ideally you want some carbs in the middle of the day. 

‘Our bodies have limited carb storage so we to use them, optimally around training time when you’re very active, or the middle of the day because you have the rest of day to walk it off. 

‘Healthy sources of carbohydrates to have with your lunch include brown rice, sweet potato,  quinoa, couscous, butternut squash or oats.’

Pick a leaner meal for the evening so it’s easier to digest before bed

‘The evening should be a leaner meal. Generally, arguments do differ but the rationale of Roar Fitness is that you want something easier to digest before bed. 

‘You don’t want to have a high fatty meal or something that is a challenge on your digestive system when you go to bed because your body has to break that down, which will affect your sleep and digestion. 

‘Having a carb-heavy dinner could help some people sleep – it all depends on your lifestyle.’

Movement and the gym: Get counting those steps 

‘Honestly, before we even get to the gym, movement is enormous. 

‘I work with people in the City and when I ask them how much they move, on average it’s around 2-3,000 steps a day. 

‘I think this applies to around half of the population. Walking 1,000 steps burns 50 calories. 

‘If you are not walking and moving enough, good luck meeting a calorie deficit. 

‘You are fighting a battle – it doesn’t matter what training you do.  If you don’t move enough, you won’t lose weight. 

‘When it comes to the gym, weight training changes your body composition. 

‘If you want to change the way your body looks – not just a skinnier version of yourself – that’s where the weight training comes in. 

‘The average person working out a couple of times a week should stick to full-body sessions to cover all bases. 

‘Keep the body balanced by working upper body, lower, and core.

‘A typical gym session should begin with compound movements – which use multiple muscles. 

‘Start with the technically-difficult moves at the beginning of workouts because they’re the hardest – so squats, dead-lifts, something dynamic like a lunge. 

‘Then at the end of your workout, do the weights machines as your technique falters because you’re tired. 

‘The machine takes the technique out of it and makes the end of the session easier.’

Hydration

‘We should all aim to drink two-three litres of water a day. 

‘Not only is it great for your skin and overall health, it aids weight loss. 

‘There are a million reasons why your body functions better when you’re hydrated, but your saliva is also your first line of oral defence against germs/infection; which right now is important to keep your immune system top notch.’ 

Accountability

‘Being accountable for your result can make a massive impact on it. 

‘It helps you really invest in a fitness and diet plan. 

‘Having someone to share your journey with – an accountability buddy – is really helpful.

‘Send your weight, pictures or measurements to a friend every week, as a way of being accountable. If you gain weight, you have to send it to them. 

‘Having accountability is massive when it comes to weight change – it might make you stop and think before you reach for the ice cream. ‘

From left: Roar founder Sarah Lindsay and brother Matt, with model, presenter and writer Jack Guinness, and Sky Sports and Talksport presenter Laura Woods

From left: Roar founder Sarah Lindsay and brother Matt, with model, presenter and writer Jack Guinness, and Sky Sports and Talksport presenter Laura Woods 

Tips for staying on track 

Be organised

Know what you are going to eat for the day. When we have the right foods prepared and in front of us it’s much easier to follow and make healthy choices. 

If you eat spontaneously it’s very hard and stressful to track your calories as well as having to make food decisions when hungry (which is never a good idea as you will likely pick something quick, easy and convenient rather than something which is in line with your goals!). 

Stay active

Track your step count and make every step count! Every 1,000 steps burns around 50 calories. 

If you typically took 10,000 steps a day (500 kcal of movement) pre-lockdown and you end up only moving 1,000 steps a day when stuck at home (only 50kcal a day movement) you will struggle to lose weight. 

Moving enough is a sustainable habit to keep you on track to drop body fat even when gyms aren’t open…you will just need to work a bit harder than normal to get them in but persevere, it’s totally worth it! 

Create your environment

Make convenience food inconvenient. Don’t have a cupboard full of biscuits, a fridge full of wine, and a freezer full of ice cream when trying to lose weight. 

If your home environment is full of temptation and you’re home 24/7 you are inevitably going to eat it. 

Eating convenience foods is easier than cooking, so don’t have them nearby. 

If it’s more hassle to go to the shops to buy it in a moment of stress you will find you will more likely decide against it and be much more consistent on staying on your food plan. 

Stay off the booze

Alcohol makes dieting hard! Problems from drinking include poorer quality of sleep, worse diet adherence, heightened anxiety, and increased hunger. 

And if you’re hungover, it’s hard to exercise or function well. So if you plan to stay on track I’d shelve the booze for now! 

Focus on consistency over perfection

Dieting during lockdown – or the weeks after – is difficult so if it’s not 100%, it shouldn’t then be an all-or-nothing attitude. 

Accept that if you do stray off your diet the key is to not panic or feel guilty but simply make your next meal back on plan. 

Remember you are the amalgamation of your most consistent habits. 

So don’t eat perfectly for a week followed by recklessly for a week if you want to see positive results. 

Matt adds: ‘A lot of the transformations depends on people’s starting positions, but it is totally doable. 

‘A 75kg female in a moderate condition losing nine kilos – a stone and a half – is absolutely realistic in 12 weeks, I work with clients doing that all the time. 

‘You have to focus on the training, the movement, work on your hydration and gut health. 

‘I don’t believe in a macros approach because there is too much emphasis on eating everything. 

‘What were doing is trying to get people healthier – moving more, eating enough of the right stuff. 

‘If you eat enough high volume, moderate calories you won’t need to eat rubbish. 

‘This gives you steadier blood sugars, making you less prone to hunger and eating rubbish. 

‘It’s so much easier to adhere to a diet where the volume of the meals can be much higher.

‘It’s also about eating for function, not emotions. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to taste nice. 

‘But you have to look at food; whats its purpose, how does it serve you?

‘If you eat well, your mood is better, your energy is better, your sleep is better – if you look at it like that, food can be a gift.

‘You can eat destructively if you like, it’s gratifying in a moment but after that will come bad skin, spots, your mood dips, your energy slumps. No one makes good food decision when they’re hungry. 

‘If you look after your health, your body responds. 

‘Naturally we go for convenience and it can be slightly inconvenient being healthy but if you get into a groove with it, you can feel better for it. 

‘With a lot of clients I ask, what is their motive behind doing something like a Roar Fitness plan? 

‘It normally stems back to; I need to take care of myself again. 

‘In lockdown people were unable to see family and friends; they got depressed, got out of good routines, and stopped looking after themselves.’

He adds: ‘2020 has been a year of significant stress, change, disruption, and uncertainty. 

‘This really challenged a lot of peoples’ relationship with food. During lockdown many people turned to food and alcohol for comfort, which is totally understandable; but this also had a domino effect on other behaviours. 

‘Many people also moved less because they weren’t commuting to work, nor did they have gym access.

‘As a nation, our health both mentally and physically took a hit. 

‘But despite self-isolation and colder nights, with a few simple steps these next few weeks can be about self-care.  

‘Staying on a diet requires routine, organisation and creating the right environment.

‘A diet’s purpose should always be centred around optimal health but if you follow my advice, you can stay on track with your diet and healthy habits as we move out of lockdown and edge towards Christmas.’

  • For more information about Roar Fitness plans and transformations, email [email protected] 
16 week transformation: Celebrity trainer Matt's own transformation from January - mid April

16 week transformation: Celebrity trainer Matt’s own transformation from January – mid April 

Training celebrities including Daisy Lowe, Pixie Lott and Lauren Pope at London's Roar Fitness gyms

Training celebrities including Daisy Lowe, Pixie Lott and Lauren Pope at London’s Roar Fitness gyms

Pixie weights: Sarah with the pop singer

Pixie Lott and Sarah after a training session

Pixie Lott has been working with Sarah Lindsay at Roar Fitness for a number of years

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