Page 1

26 #















161026_TREK_BESTFIT-MAG_FP_ad_V2.indd 1

26/10/2016 4:12 pm



Quite how we’ve reached this time of year already is beyond all of us at BESTFIT


towers, but here we are… ready to attack the festive season.


Our role is to help you stay as healthy as


possible, but it would be foolish of us to ask you to avoid all the temptations coming your way in the next few weeks. There

Nick Judd

will be Christmas drinks. There will be chocolate selection boxes. There will be double helpings on Christmas Day. Don’t fight them.


Mark Betteridge

The key when it comes to a successful yuletide






moderation. We’ve got all the advice you


need to train and eat as well as you can, whether it’s by making some cheeky tweaks to your festive menu, or enhancing your training to counteract the gluttony.

CONTRIBUTORS Matt Allen, Ben Coomber, Andrew Cooper, Jess Davies, Charlayne Everhart, Zainah Kahn, Dr Emma Kirke

But Christmas, while a celebratory time of year for most of us, can also be stressful for others. So, from tips on how to nail your shopping – and reduce your spending in the process – to reducing your stress and overall anxiety, we’ve hopefully got your back. Hopefully you’ll strike gold when it comes to our 12 days’ of Christmas giveaway, too! We’ve got 12 awesome prizes up for grabs, so get involved and be lucky. Want more? How about an exclusive interview with Chris Pratt? Hey, if he can lose the belly and become an adonis, then you can too. Here, he tells us how he did it. You’ll also find an SAS workout to keep you on your toes, plus the definitive Christmas gift guide. And heck, if you can’t find a Christmas jumper you like from our selection, then we’ve failed you! Have a great Christmas break. See you on the other side.

C.Ostm Distn, Mark Laws, Nick Moore, Karen Anne Overton, Kurtis Stacey


0113 322 4400

BESTFIT is published in the UK by Compelling Media. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. While every endeavour has been made to maintain accuracy in the magazine, BESTFIT can take no responsibility for errors. All opinions expressed are the opinions of the writer expressing them, where stated.


Get freedom from glasses from the UK’s no.1 most trusted eye care specialist group*

£300 off laser eye surgery

Book your FREE consultation today. Book your FREE consultation at our specialist eye hospitals, call us on 0800 652 5778 or visit • Guaranteed fixed price, whatever your prescription • Free initial consultation with no deposit required • Specialist eye hospitals dedicated only to eye care

Terms apply. Offer ends 31/12/16. No cash alternative available. Cannot be used in conjuntion with any other offer. For full T&Cs visit *Source: Trustpilot.

Currently starring in

Passengers at a cinema near you, the Hollywood star reveals how he went from flab to fab.


Fitness fibbers, anxiety crushers and DIY health checks, it’s our latest health and fitness news from around the world.




Get your hands on the latest gear. Upgrade your life with our help!


A range of healthy recipes and simple swaps to have you eating well.



Life can be stressful. Here, our expert tries to solves some of your mind conundrums.

Hit the bike and the rower for huge gains in the gym. Check out our punishing workout…



Fancy winning one of 12 redonculous festive prizes? Step right up…

All the products you need to nail your festive shopping nice and early.


Don’t suffer in silence. Rugby League star Stevie Ward says it’s good to talk, as we attempt to tackle anxiety and depression..


Christmas jumpers, plus the best in men’s and women’s fashion.



Seen C4’s SAS Who Dares Wins? Reckon you could step up to the challenge? Go on then! We call your bluff with this challenging workout.

Save yourself a load of wedge with our exclusive codes.


There’s no better time to train or take part than winter. Get outside and win while everyone else is kicking back.


The former Pussycat Doll on staying fit after life on stage.

FITNESS FIBBERS For those of you skipping out on your workouts and using poor excuses to do so, we’re on to you. A recent study involving 1,018 British gym goers found that a whopping 58% lie about heading to the gym, with those in Bristol, Liverpool and Glasgow gymmers topping the scales for most likely to fib. The study also found that the younger generation, those between 18-24, were much more likely to twist the truth about their gym attendance; 48% of the younger ones confessed to doing so, as opposed to just 9% of those aged 55 and over. When asked to give reasons, it seemed lack of sleep was used more often that any others, while a small minority cited ‘no headphones’ as an adequate excuse to pass on the gym. We understand that winter is fast approaching, but summer bods aren’t built over night. Time to lose those excuses.


Brits ditch gym plans at least once a week



HOW TO EASE ANXIETY Most of us know what its like having stress and anxiety become part of the daily routine, but it seems that women might be more affected than men. During the summer, Cambridge University found that females are almost twice as likely to suffer from anxiety than guys. New research from Young Women’s Trust supports this, and also suggests that young women are feeling the weight of work, housing and finance issues, as well as a dip in confidence. In a bid to help improve moods, doctors suggest eating foods rich in tryptophan, a substance that allows the body to produce the happy hormone, serotonin, found in foods like eggs and oats. Omega-3 also tops the board as the anxiety-tackling ingredient, putting oily fish high on the grocery list. Finally, it seems the outdoors is also a great mood improver never mind the wet British weather; fresh air each day should help you feel a little brighter.

blamed the weather on their skipped workout

42% 26% 53%

pointed to a forgotten gym kit

blamed an overcrowded gym

women avoid the gym, as opposed to 47% of men


confessed to wasting money on their membership, by not going enough



OUTSTANDING OATS Often the unsung hero of breakfast time, the almighty oat packs a great deal of health benefits. Last month was National Cholesterol Month, and researchers were paying attention to the many positive qualities of this versatile food. Packed full of fibre, porridge is a perfect way to lower cholesterol naturally. As a source of slowreleasing energy, without any hidden sugars, this delicious morning meal is also great at stabilising your energy levels until lunchtime, to prevent those mid-morning snack hunts. As a whole grain its also full of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, iron, zinc and vitamin B1. This means they do a great job in helping to support the immune system and the body’s energy production. What more could you ask of from a breakfast grain? It’s certainly one of our favourites.

THE MAGIC OF MAGNESIUM It may seem impossible to keep on top of every vitamin intake that will benefit your health, but theres certainly one that a lot of us may be deficient in... ...the very same one that could cause major issues if ignored. Magnesium is a powerful supplement that can prevent diabetes and poor heart health, but is also a great way to tackle insomnia and migraines. Having been proven to reduce inflammation in the body, its a great way to relieve muscle tension and spasms, and can also boost your body’s energy production. This is especially true for the energy within your muscles; weaker


muscles have been directly linked to magnesium deficiency,

Some of you reading these pages will have been lucky enough to receive a free TREK Bar with your issue. Our street teams were busy handing out samples of the delicious Peanut Power energy bar, which contains dates, soya protein crunchies, fruit juice concentrate, peanut butter and more, all squished together to make one awesome snack. Made using natural ingredients for lasting energy, rather than sugar-laden energy gels, the TREK bar is a filling and nourishing bar using only wholefood ingredients.

itself. So how do we stock up on this nutrient? Pumpkin seeds,

The vegan-friendly Peanut Power bar packs in 10g of protein and is gluten, wheat and dairy free. It has no added sugar or syrups, meaning you’ll avoid the sugar crash you get with other bars, and it counts as one of your five a day. It’s cold pressed and made in Britain too. Local goodness! The Peanut Butter TREK Bar is available from various stores and health-food outlets.

as it enables energy creation within the cells of the muscle buckwheat, almonds, spinach, broccoli and dark chocolate should all give a good magnesium boost.


THE HEALTHIEST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD Ever wondered why Nordics are so happy, or why

DIY HEALTH CHECKS We’ve all heard the stories and statistics telling us of deaths by preventable diseases; far too many of us Brits are suffering from severe health problems that can be avoided. Throw in a struggling health system, and you can start to understand why some are looking to take their health into their own hands. Cue health start-up Thriva who have launched a new DIY home health kit called Baseline. These finger-prick blood tests offer a wealth of data for your body that you can track, manage and work on to improve

Singaporeans have flawless skin? It would seem it’s

if neccessary. The test allows you to monitor

all down to the health of the countries themselves,

your liver function through enzyme checks;

having been ranked in the top five of the healthiest countries in the world. Coming up trumps is

your cholesterol to prevent developing heart disease; your body’s iron levels to prevent iron deficiency anaemia; and your Vitamin

Iceland, whose strict environmental regulations

D levels, as deficiency in this is common.

and geographical isolation result in the purest food.

Understanding that we still value a GP

With fish taking centre stage of the Icelandic diet, Omega-3 and its hunger-curbing benefits help keep

opinion, Baseline results come complete with doc recommendations. Sounds like the start of a health revolution.

these people healthy. Singapore also features on the list, at number two. Spices such as ginger feature prominently in their local cuisine, giving them glossy hair and radiant skin. In at number five is our very own, would you believe. Us Brits seem to be keen on seasonal produce, making our winter stash

HEALTH-SEEKING GRADUATES University is usually a time when we pile on a few pounds, from those boozed-up nights out and lazy takeaways. This might be

nutrient-packed and our summer plates full of

part of the reason that graduates today are

hydration. Not too shabby, we think!

looking for a healthier workplace to settle into once the degree is in the bag. Findings from a recent study conducted by the British Army show that only 13% of recent grads in new jobs feel that their organisation is taking an active interest in their health and fitness. The study - which interviewed 1,001 employed UK adults who graduated in the past five years - informs the ‘With Heart With Mind Officer Recruitment’ campaign, touring UK universities to encourage students to think about their fitness and life goals post-graduation. Granted, it’s not surprising that a typical office job might not promote the best in health. Nonetheless, the graduates of today are increasingly eager to get more from their job than the health risks associated with sedentary working.


helPing YoU BacK to FitneSS Hip pain? Tennis elbow? Golfers knee? At BMI The Park Hospital in Nottingham we want to help you get back to what you love best. We offer: n Treatments for hips, knees, shoulders, wrists, elbows, backs, feet and ankles. n Consultant surgeons with proven expertise in their field n A dedicated onsite imaging suite including CT and MRI n Enhanced recovery programmes that include specialist physiotherapy treatment n Flexible payment options with a BMI Card at 0% interest for the first 12 months* n Fixed price packages for patients wishing to pay for themselves so there are no worries about unexpected bills For further information or to book an appointment contact 0808 101 0337 or visit

Serious about health. Passionate about care. *Terms and conditions apply. 0% interest for 12 months then 0.79% per month, representative 9.9% APR variable. Up to £20,000 available (subject to status). Monthly repayment 5% of balance or £25 whichever is greater or balance if lower than £25.

4383 0313 MKT ADV / CL07.2016

Whether wrangling velociraptors in Jurassic World or saving the universe in Guardians of the Galaxy, actor Chris Pratt needs to stay film-star-fit. Here are his top training secrets, writes Karen Anne Overton.

When Chris Pratt first appeared on the hit US comedy Parks and Recreation, as the overweight and workshy Andy Dwyer, no one could have predicted that in a matter of years he would be one of Hollywood’s leading action stars. And it transpires that among those disbelievers was the man himself. “I had to change my whole way of thinking. I had gotten into a frame of mind where I saw my character as someone who would just let himself go and party,” reveals the 37-year-old. “I had got used to the idea of making a living as an actor by playing the fat friend who makes you laugh. That works for some roles, but you begin to realise how many parts you will never be able to get because you’re out of shape. But at some point I saw that if I wanted to have a serious career and play serious characters, I needed to get into shape and look after my body.” To say his career got ‘serious’ is an understatement, but it wasn’t until after several auditions – which Pratt describes as ‘humbling’ – where he was told he was simply too fat for the roles. Serendipitously, his biggest career break came via a dubious Instagram selfie in his underpants that he posted while training for Zero Dark Thirty. “I’d lost 70 pounds and my older brother Cully persuaded me to do it,” says Pratt. “It was embarrassing but without it, who knows…” The selfie piqued the interest of Marvel, who thought Pratt would be perfect for the lead in upcoming space fantasy Guardians of the Galaxy. After several screen tests he became frustrated with the process, but a lucky break saw him summoned at short notice to the Marvel office. “They held up the selfie from Zero Dark Thirty and said, ‘You’re too fat for Star-Lord. How long will it take you to look like this?’ They gave me five-and-a-half months. I did what I had to do!” he laughs. Embarking on a strict regime, Pratt committed himself fully and lost 60 pounds in six months. He combined a carefully calculated diet plan from nutritionist Phil Goglia with an intense training regimen designed by personal trainer Duffy Gaver, and adopted the mindset of a warrior. With a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve – lean with muscle, and better overall fitness – it became easier for Gaver to adapt the fitness plan accordingly. The first two months focused on bodybuilding workouts, the second a combination of bodybuilding and conditioning and finally, two months of hard conditioning – cardio circuits, mountain biking, swimming, etc. “It was very important to lose that weight and get fit,” Pratt says, beginning to expose a sliver of vulnerability. “I was eating very badly and it was having a very bad effect on my overall health. I gave this impression of being the happy fat guy when underneath I was very depressed and unhappy about my appearance. I had no energy and sometimes I felt helpless about my situation. “But getting fit has been the key to getting better roles and also just feeling better in general. Once I started getting better scripts and I started playing in big films, I just saw how important it was to stay in shape, go to the gym, eat healthily, and change my lifestyle.” Having said in the past that his weight gain was thanks to his wife, actress Anna Faris, and her ‘fantastic home cooking’, Pratt has joked that she preferred him back then as he was a ‘great pet fat guy’. For Pratt, though, there is no going back. “I’ve had to work very hard and maintain a good training regimen for the last few years

and I have no intention of ever letting myself slide again,” he says. “I’m eating good food, I’ve cut back on drinking, and I have a different mindset now. It’s a matter of having discipline and knowing how much better you feel and the impression you create when you’re physically fit. It would also be hell to have to lose that weight again. I never want to go back to being the fat guy!” Yet with all this monster success, the pressure is on Pratt to keep off the weight for good, as long as he hopes to keep going after the types of roles he’s being offered now. Does he ever get the urge to throw caution to the wind and pig out? “Yeah, I don’t think so,” he says, firmly. “I like feeling this way. The roles have opened up.” Refreshingly, for Pratt it’s not all about massaging his ego. “I’ve a four-year-old son, Jack, at home, and I’d like to be able to retire and spend time with my family,” he says. “But it’s the sad reality of realising that trying to tighten it up and look as good as I possibly can for the next few years is the best way for me to achieve the type of success I need to live my dream, getting out of Hollywood, taking my son and wife and living in the country somewhere.” This ambitious ideal could explain Pratt’s schedule of back-to-back blockbusters. Fresh off his turn in Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven remake, which saw him play as one of the star-studded cowboy troop, he will appear in Passengers – a futuristic thriller in which he gets up close and personal with Jennifer Lawrence in outer space; then next year comes the much-anticipated Guardians sequel, for which he will need to be in prime Star-Lord shape. From feebly fat to fighting fit, Pratt has set out his stall as a role model for whom getting in shape has literally opened doors in a business where it’s notoriously difficult to reinvent yourself. For anyone who misses ‘fat Andy’, you’ll have to go back to Parks and Rec. Now, it seems, it’s all about winning his race to retire.

“I had gotten used to the idea of making a living as an actor by playing the fat friend who makes you laugh.”

Get StarLord fit: Peter Quill needed to be pretty nifty for darting about the galaxy and the way he achieved that is through Speed Training – a combination of speed strength, applying maximum force at high velocities and speed conditioning, where you maintain running speed for about seven seconds or longer. Speed training gives you the ability to power-up fast and slow down without injury. Warm up with a series of butt kicks, high knees, reverse lunge hip stretch, Frankensteins and power skips, followed by 10 reps of the following: Spider-Man steps (10 each side), wall swings (saggital and lateral), T pushups and cook hip lifts. Finish up with a series of eight stair sprints with 20-second rest and a rotation of either 10 squats, jump-ups and burpees in between.

Get Zero Dark abs: To get Pratt’s Navy Seal core strength, do three sets of plank for 60 seconds, three sets of 12 hanging leg raises, three 60-second side planks and three sets of 12 toes to bar, which must be done slowly. Come on Marine!

Dinowrangling strength: Unfortunately, Pratt was unable to wrestle real dinosaurs in preparation for Jurassic World, so he had to settle for three or four hours a day of consistent hard graft. Workouts included P90X, running, swimming, boxing and kickboxing, and he even completed a triathlon.


Apparently, the average American will consume 4,500 calories at Thanksgiving, according to new research from the Calorie Control Council. The organisation found that the turkey dinner alone can contain 3,000 calories. The additional 1,500 calories can be blamed on snacks such as dips, chips and boozy beverages consumed before, during and after the main meal. In addition to this, there’s usually a whopping 229 grams of fat in the meal alone.

CLOVE AND PEAR SLOW-COOKED HAM Place the ham joint in a slow cooker, push cloves into the meat

In comparison, our standard Christmas dinner is reasonably healthy. Consider the main component, Turkey, a rich source of protein and when skinless it is low in fat, with the white meat having less fat than the dark meat. Turkey is a fabulous source of vitamin B6 and niacin for energy production. There is also some evidence to suggest that regular turkey consumption can help lower cholesterol and stabilise insulin levels. Perhaps, most importantly, the meat contains tryptophan, an amino acid that produces serotonin and plays an important role in boosting the immune system. It is also a source of selenium, which supports the thyroid hormone and your metabolic system. However, the meat can be high in sodium and large amounts of tryptophan can make you sleepy. Is this the reason for the obligatory post-Christmas crash? Ensure you’re getting the best turkey, perhaps by buying from a local source where the turkeys have been raised organically and are subsequently less likely to contain pesticides and herbicides. If you’re marinating the turkey, place it in the fridge once ready, as it is very sensitive to heat. When kept in a fridge it will be fine for approximately two days, if it is precooked you can safely keep it for about four days.

(sharp end first). Sprinkle mixed all spice onto the fat, which will become the crackling. Slice two pears in half and place around the joint. Drizzle 3 dessert spoons of local honey over the joint. Pop 2 or 3 cinnamon sticks into the pot and cook on low for 8 hours.

CIDER-GLAZED ROOT VEGETABLES WITH CINNAMON WALNUTS I love my roast veg and at Christmas it’s a tradition I definitely keep. I used carrots, parsnips, turnip and sweet potato. Chop them however you prefer. For the glaze, I used Walden Farm apple butter, Sweet Bird sugar-free toffee apple syrup and cinnamon. Blend 1 tsp cinnamon with 4 pumps of the syrup and 1 tbsp of apple butter. Pour this over the vegetables and sprinkle walnuts on top

The remaining components of roast veg and potatoes (I usually switch to white sweet potato and leave the skins on!) are full of nutritional benefits, providing you roast them in a little coconut oil, avocado oil or a fat that can be used at high temperatures. How many times have you stood at the supermarket checkout and gawped at the trolley loads some people purchase for the festive period? Do we over purchase for fear of running out of food, or perhaps not having enough choice? Are we ingrained with this behaviour pattern, living on leftovers for the next three or four days? Ironically, the shops are usually only closed for one day, and in our multi-cultural society it is not unlikely that you could find a shop open on Christmas day itself.

of the veg before roasting. Roast for 45 minutes on 180 degrees.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH HORSERADISH CREAM Split your Brussels sprouts in half and place in a wok. Pour 1/2 a cup of coconut milk into the wok. Add 2 dessert spoons of horseradish and 3 tsps of grated creamed coconut. Simmer until the Brussels start to soften and the sauce begins to reduce.

So how can we avoid adding the pounds or perhaps making the Christmas menu work for us?



PROTEIN NO BAKE CHRISTMAS CAKE This is multi-allergy-friendly plus protein enhanced. It also requires no cooking at all. In your food processor, add 3/4 cup linseeds and 3/4 cup flaxseeds, ¼ cup cocoa nibs, 1/4 cup goji berries and ¼ cup date syrup. Add protein powder if you wish, I used vegan chocolate protein for a richer flavour. You could use any you chose. Then the Christmas element is added; 1 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp all spice, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp cinnamon powder. Blend together. Line a metal loaf tin with cling film. Spoon the mix into the tin and press down firmly. Fold the excess cling film over the mix and place in the freezer for 2 hours minimum. Lift out and keep in the fridge until you need some. Slice and enjoy with a coffee.

FESTIVE FANCIES MINCE PIES Multi-allergy friendly. In your food processor place ¼ cup stevia,


4 cups almond flour, 1/3 cup almond milk. Blend together. Unlike


normal pastry you shouldn’t try to roll this out. Take some of the mix

Nuts are fabulous, and a great source of good fats. However, they can yield high calorie values. Lidl have some amazing flavours in their Deluxe range, including almond nuts flavoured with chilli, wasabi, and salted caramel. Almonds have a better nutritional value than peanuts, for example. If you buy flavoured nuts and snacks, be aware of the ingredients and look for hidden sugars.

(again not too sloppy but slightly sticky) and press into your pie moulds evenly. Cook for 5 mins on 180 degrees. In your Nutri Ninja place 1/4 cup cranberries, 1/4 cup sultanas, 1/4 cup pitted dates, 3 shots of egg nog sugar free Sweet Bird syrup, 1 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp all spice, 1 tsp cinnamon. Blend together and then spoon equal amounts into the pies and place back in the oven for a further 10 minutes.

TRUFFLES Protein truffles. Nutri Ninja at its best. Two scoops of vegan chocolate or caramel protein, 1/4 cup organic unsweetened Kaizen cacao powder, 6 pumps of cranberry sugar free Sweet Bird syrup, 1/4 cup cocoa nibs, 1/4 cup linseed, 1/4 cup Alpro unsweetened almond milk. Blend in the Nutri bullet. It should be a stiff mixture with a slight sticky nature. Take a tsp of the mix and roll it between your palms to make a ball. Pour some Kaizen cacao powder into a dish and roll the protein ball in the powder until coated thoroughly. Place each ball in a mini paper sweet case.

WINTER SPICED POACHED PEARS Peel your pears and place in the slow cooker. Place 4 cinnamon sticks in the slow cooker with a little fruit juice, I used organic unsweetened apple juice. Slice 1 orange and add to the juice. Pop in 3 mulled spice teabags for easy. Cook for a minimum of 6 hours on low.

PROTEIN PUMPKIN PIE (MULTI ALLERGY FRIENDLY) In your food processor place 1/4 cup stevia, 4 cups almond flour, 1/3 cup almond milk. Blend together. Unlike normal pastry you shouldn’t try to roll this out. Take some of the mix (again not too sloppy but slightly sticky) and press into your pie moulds evenly. Cook for 15 minutes on 180 degrees. In a bowl mix 1 jar of pumpkin puree, 3 tsps of Steenbergs pumpkin pie spice blend, add 2 scoops of vanilla protein. Add 4 melted leaves of gelatine to help it set. Spoon the pumpkin mix onto the shortbread pastry. Leave it to set in the fridge. For the topping you need 1 cup of either Coyo or Fage Total Greek yoghurt and mix with 2 shots of tasted marshmallow sugar free Sweet Bird syrup. Spoon the mix onto the pumpkin and then sprinkle a little of the pumpkin spice for decoration.

CRISPS Crisps are unavoidable at Christmas. However, I am happy to tell you there are some great products that give you that crisp sensation without the fats and starch that you may be trying so furtively to avoid. Two chicks were featured in a previous issue edition and continue to be one of our favourites. Since then we have found amazing Kale crisps from Marks and Spencers, Eat Real’s Quinoa chips, which are super delicious, Udis Ancient Grains crisps, and Tescos’ Cofresh Indian snack range, which includes crunchy lentils and chickpeas. All of these yield a better nutritional package than your standard potato crisp.

MAKE YOUR OWN You use any vegetables, but here is a recipe for sweet potato crisps. They are really easy and I have made them in a variety of flavour combinations, including Spanish smoked paprika, chilli flakes, garlic and chilli, oregano and mixed spices, lemon and pepper, chives (and you could sprinkle on some cheese!), and Fenugreek. The trick to making these work best is slicing them very thinly, if you can do this with a knife that’s great. I find that very tricky, so I prefer to use a mandolin slicer, but be very careful as they are fantastically sharp. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees. Lightly spray the roasting tray with avocado oil. Place your sliced sweet potato on the tray, do not let them over lap or they won’t crisp properly. Sprinkle your choice of flavouring on and cook them for 10 minutes, turn with tongs and sprinkle more flavouring. Cook for a further 10 minutes, or until crisp.

SWEET TREATS After Eight Mints are always present and associated with Christmas, but what exactly are they made of? In just 2 mints, 17g weight, there are only 73Kcal, 2.2g fat, but 12.7g carb… of which 11.5g are sugars. There is very little protein or fibre. Is there an alternative? You won’t be able to replicate this exact flavour, but I have found The Protein Works Protein makes an alternate which has 2g sugar and 10g protein with 97Kcal per large truffle. MuscleFood have their own version, which is a peanut praline truffle that yields 70Kcal, 2.9g protein, 1.9g carbs of which 0.4g is sugar. Not as high in protein, but certainly lower in sugar. You could always make your own truffles…

MAKE YOUR OWN You’ll need 2 scoops Genetic Supplements Chocolate vegan protein, 1/4 cup Kaixen Living Raw Cacao powder, 6 pumps Chocolate TRKD sugar free syrup, 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs, 1/4 cup linseed from GrapeTree & 1/4 cup Alpro unsweetened almond milk. Blend together until well mixed and sticky. Roll out 1 large tsp of mix into a nice sized ball between your palms. Dip in cacao powder, dessicated coconut, almond flour or even chia seeds. Place into a paper case and refrigerate. I also add coffee, but you can add whatever takes your fancy. If making your own treats seems like your idea of fun and you want to get your family involved there are some fantastic festive recipes on my website. You could also try following @SpamellaB, @DeliciousDuo, @TheUrbanKitchen and @TheKitchenShed on social media. They all have some lovely treats on offer.





Finding totally awesome present ideas so you don’t have to. Thank us later.



1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Jekyll & Hyde Zulu Henna Phone Case £49 Powerbeats3 Wireless headphones £169.95


Clinique Great Skin For Him £39


Sanctuary The Let Go Days of Christmas Advent Calendar £25.00 Diesel Bad aftershave £53.50 GymTote Dalton Holdall £190


Holistic Silk Massaging Slippers £75 Amazon Fire HD 8 £89.99 Lenco L-175 Direct Drive Glass Turntable £249.99 Pusher Mini Ciak Clock £19.64 Harmony Elite £279.99



12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21.

12. L’oreal Men Expert Barber Shop Collection Gift Set £24.99 Kodak Pixpro 360 4K Camera £349,99 Sony LSPX-S1 Glass Sound speaker £24.99 Lush Merry Christmas Gift Set £19.95



Philips Avance Collection Masticating Juicer £250 Monkey Shoulder Gift Set £28.00 Remington Curl Revolution £89.99 Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow palette £38.50


Playstation VR £349.00 Silver Peacock Embroidered Yoga Rug Mat £210





21. 19.

22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30.

Georgio Armani Si Le Parfum £115



Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer £299 TomTom Adventurer £269.99 Sony SRS-X11 - Portable Wireless Speaker with Bluetooth £46


Bourbon Scented Candle £12 Vivomove £139.99 TRX Home Suspension Training Kit £149.00 Braun Series 3 £99


GHD platinum® Styler Premium Gift Set £175




30. 29.

For life outside the gym

For working out in the gym, the park, or in the comfort of your home, our professional gym equipment helps you make the most out of your life. Twenty four seven. Find out more, visit

GET ON YER BIKE AND HIT THE ROWER, WE’VE GOT THE PERFECT WORKOUT TO BLAST YOUR WHOLE BODY. How many of us walk into the gym without giving a second thought to using an exercise bike or rowing machine? The fact is, most of us are so concerned with using free weights and weights machines that we forget the benefits cardio apparatus can bring. Thankfully, we’ve enlisted the help of the Body Sculpture ( team to help you utilize both bike and rower. Body Sculpture is one of the world’s leading fitness specialists who continue to develop innovative products… and this workout, just for you!

THE WORKOUT Repeat the following circuit 3-4 times and rest for 3 minutes in between each set. Try not to lose more than 10 per cent of distance with each set, but don’t go easy first time round. That’s cheating!

01. GOBLET SQUAT 20 REPS Stand in the starting position by holding a full bottle of water close to your chest. Squat down through your legs, keeping your back straight, until your hamstrings are as close to your calves as is comfortable. Keep your chest and head up and your back straight. At the bottom of the squat, pause, then push through your legs to return to the standing position.

02. MAX DISTANCE ON BIKE IN 30 SECS First ensure you are seated comfortably having adjusted the seat and handlebar position to fir you perfectly. Mount the bike and clip your feet into the pedals. Remember, you are looking to clock the maximum distance possible in 30 seconds.

ROUND 1 Remain seated, increase resistance to halfway (set at 5). Lean forwards placing your hands on the handlebars and your forearms on the pads. Drive the pedals round, ensuring you engage the full leg to turn the pedals, accelerating them as fast as you can go. Maintain your breathing throughout: don’t hold your breath as you push through the exercise. After 30 seconds, press the punch brake to bring the flywheel to a stop and dismount.

ROUND 2 Stand up on the pedals and go as fast as you can in standing position with the resistance on high. Grip firmly, leaning into the handlebars to drive through your back and down your legs, making sure you engage your core (tuck in your tummy button), and fully engage the whole leg, from glutes, through the thighs, down through the calves and right into the ankle. Keep your head steady, so flex the legs and don’t be tempted to bob up and down. Maintain your breathing throughout: don’t hold your breath as you push through the exercise. After 30 seconds, press the Punch Brake to bring the flywheel to a stop and dismount.

03. ALTERNATE LUNGE 20 STEPS Start in a standing position with your arms crossed over in front of you. Step forward with one foot, lower into a lunge with the knee of your back leg finishing just above the floor. Keep your back straight and your core tight. Push through the front leg to drive yourself back to a standing position. Repeat with the other leg.

04. MAX NUMBER OF ROWS IN 30 SECS For the Magnetic Easi-Store Rower, ensure you are seated and your feet secured in the footplates using the Velcro straps. With the tension set to the highest setting (8), grip the handle in both hands. Slide forwards on the seat, bending the knees and your arms out straight. When your elbows just pass your bent knees, this is the ideal position to start the rowing action. Press with the legs first and as your legs extend, start to bend your arms pulling the handle into your chest. Accelerate the movement of the handle throughout the exercise. Reverse the action on the recovery, ensuring you return to the start position each time. Perform as many correct rows as you can in 30 seconds, ensuring you maintain correct form throughout.

05. HIP THRUST TO TWIST CRUNCHES 20 REPS Lay on your back with your knees bent. Engage your core by pressing your tummy button down into the floor. Push up into a hip thrust, balancing your arms to your side, finishing with a final thrust to raise the hips high while keeping your back straight. Lower to the floor. Now perform a crunch and twist to one side, then the other, and return to the start position. That’s one rep. Repeat as many times as you can in 30 seconds.

THE EQUIPMENT The Body Sculpture Pro Racing Studio Bike is ideal for a serious cardiovascular workout in the comfort of your own home. Built around a substantial steel chassis, the Pro Racing Studio Bike features a 13kg flywheel, adjustable tension control, Punch Brake and multi-position adjustable seating and handlebars. The bike offers great exercise ideal for cardio development as well as building strength in the legs, back, core and arms. It can be used for enhancing endurance, power and delivery. The Body Sculpture Magnetic Easi-Store Rower is a lightweight and compact home-use rowing machine. It has a super smooth rowing action that comes from an adjustable 2-stage magnetic resistance system, combined with aluminium slide and seat gliding on cast PU wheels. The Rower is Easi-Store - just stand it up and out of the way when it’s not in use. Perfect for exercise enthusiasts as well as those looking to avoid injury from activities such as running to still keep fit.

ABOUT BODY SCULPTURE Body Sculpture is dedicated to delivering the highest standards in quality, value and performance – helping you keep your body in shape and in control. Established in 1965, they have a dedicated UK team devoted to the development of sports culture, and who are specialists in the design and manufacture of fitness equipment and accessories. Visit: for more information




BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM With everyone coughing and spluttering, it’s hard to avoid the dreaded lurgy, particularly when you’re partying hard. So, give both your immune system and energy levels a boost by reaching for the citrus fruits. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections. Add some oranges, grapefruit or lemons to your daily habits. Broccoli is good, and packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as numerous antioxidants. Add garlic for their immune-boosting properties, a result of a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, including allicin. And swap your typical brew for a green tea, which is packed with antioxidants including flavonoids and epigallocatechin gallate.

DO A GOOD DEED According to, 80,000 children will wake up homeless in Britain this Christmas. Many will spend Christmas morning in an emergency bed and breakfast or hostel, often cramped into one room with their whole family and with limited cooking, laundry and bathroom facilities. Shelter will be providing support throughout Christmas to families all over the country — but they need help. Why not donate the money you’d spend on a night out to someone who really needs it. Or better still, find a festive way to raise money among your work colleagues or friends.

SECRET SANTA LIKE A BOSS Let’s face it; finding anything half decent for £5 or £10 is a challenge for people you know, let alone people you don’t. So, whether you buying for friends or family, or colleagues – maybe you drew the short straw and got your boss – then listen up. Whatever you do, don’t exceed the amount. No-one will thank you for it, and those who stuck to the limit may even begrudge you for not doing so. Secondly, never buy a random gift. If you don’t know someone, ask somebody who does. It’s no fun getting a bottle of wine if you’re teetotal, for example. If you’re really stuck, vouchers are the least offensive thing you can buy, and useful. If you feel that’s a cop-out, be creative. Pictures in frames or other handmade ideas can work a treat. It’s the thought that counts, right?

WORK OUT WHILE YOUR SHOPPING The internets has reduced the need to visit the high street, but if you do have to take the plunge, with or without your other half, make it worth your while. Take the stairs, not the lift or escalator, for those extra steps. Carry the bags for your better half, too and add some biceps curls while they’re not looking (i.e. when they’re trying clothes on, or paying). Friend in the changing room? Try a wall sit instead of sitting down. In the queue yourself? Do some cheeky calf raises or butt clenchers. Winning!

DETOX, RETOX AND START ALL OVER Fancy a detox before, during or after Christmas? Blighty has plenty of spas to choose from, but why not try a specific detox centre to boost your health and happiness? Vital Detox (, Somerset, enables you to rest mind and body and help you cleanse and rejuvenate, and all set against stunning countryside. Fancy a change of scenery instead? Head to Lombardy and re-energise at Ti Sana ( Here, you can discover the secret of a good night’s sleep in your digital detox suite, and then tailor the rest of your stay depending on whether you want to lose weight, relax or energise. Eat well, benefit from spa treatments and yoga classes and recalibrate your sleeping patterns and stress levels, and with Lake Como on your doorstep. Bliss.

SWAP YOUR MIXER If you plan on releasing your inner Tom Cruise and serving cocktails this Christmas, then consider swapping your mixer for reduced sugars. Rather than lemonade, soda, a sweetened mixer or fruit juice, try sparkling water instead, with some lemon or lime squeezed in. Try this low-sugar margarita recipe from well-being expert Calgary Avansino: wet the rim of your cocktail glass with water and dip it into a plate of salt. Next, combine 1 shot of tequila with 3tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice, 1/4 tsp orange extract, stevia and ice. Shake it all up in a cocktail mixer until combined. Add 2tbsp Highland Spring sparkling water and serve with a slice of lime

GO FOR A DIP There’s more to Christmas morning than unwrapping pairs of socks. Many people around the nation go for a dip. “I guess people feel more compelled to do it at this time of year because of the festive spirit,” explains Lynne Roper, Outdoor Swimming Society. “It’s a case of stripping off and doing it wherever you happen to be. It’s a recurring Christmas theme.”

HAPPY FEET When looking for shoes for your Christmas party, make sure you find a heel that fits under the heel bone and not at the back of the foot. That’s the advice of Podiatrist Jake Heath, who says the position of the heel, rather than the style or the thickness, is key. “If the heel of the shoe is too far back on the foot it will make you unbalanced and your feet will hurt,” he says. “No one wants to fall over as they enter the Christmas party.” Wise words, y’all.

NEEDLE WORK Christmas tree needles. Try eating them instead. Yep, you heard. Danish restaurant Noma, considered one of the best in the world, is known to serve freeze-dried pine needles. Even the bark is said to have medicinal uses. Only one way to find out!

BAG A BARGAIN Christmas doesn’t have to be expensive. If you can, try and spread the cost. Leaving it until the last minute is not only stressful, it means you have to fork out from one pay cheque. Start grabbing stuff as and when you see it, and spread the cost accordingly. Also, look for cashback deals and voucher codes, where stores enable you to earn or save money every time you shop in store or online. is a good place to start. If you can’t find any discounts online, sign up to a store or brand’s newsletter, or better still ask their social media accounts directly. They’re more willing to share than you think!

STOP, COLLABORATE AND LISTEN As you may have read elsewhere in this issue, Christmas can be an anxious and stressful time. Take a small window of your day to meditate, and it won’t be. According to the makers of Headspace, a free app that helps you meditate once every day for just ten minutes, the act of meditation can have a huge positive effect on stress, with 90% of people with clinical levels of anxiety enjoying significant reductions. According to neuroscientists, meditation helps your brain reshape itself and reboots the nervous system. Try it, you’ll be to stressing less and loving more:

UPGRADE YOUR CHRISTMAS DINNER Swap the following ingredients. Eat and be merry, says Shona Wilkinson, Superfood UK nutritionist.

OUT: CHRISTMAS PUDDING IN: CLEMENTINE SORBET “Christmas puddings are full of sugar, as they are made with dried fruit. The pudding mixture also calls for sugar to be added. Swapping it for clementine sorbet reduces the sugar intake and the calories.”

OUT: PIGS IN BLANKETS IN: PARMA HAM AND ASPARAGUS “Pigs in blankets are sausages wrapped in bacon generally fried, making their fat content quite high. The fibre content of the asparagus helps support healthy digestion, which can help avoid the dreading post-dinner bloat!”

OUT: MINCE PIES IN: PAVLOVA One mince pie can have up to 20g of sugar! Adding Irish cream to your mince pies only increases the calories. “A pavlova with fresh fruit and a little bit of cream helps to reduce the levels of sugar.”


SHIFT YOUR HANGOVER We know there’s little point telling you to watch what you drink. We all have the best intentions, but it’s party season and many of us have a prolonged break from work. However, we do have some tips you may thanks us for…

PREVENTION: Those who tell you ‘eating’s cheating’ are insane. However, it’s not always easy to chow down before a sesh, so snack on fat or protein-rich foods, like cheese, nuts, or meat. This will keep the pyloric valve closed longer and slow the alcohol’s progress to your system. Also, try and take on a big glass of water with a multi-vitamin either before you go out or before you hit the hay.

CURE: Back in the day, Europeans would eat eel and bitter almonds to ease their recovery. Now, all you need is to stay hydrated, think coconut water instead of, or as well as, normal water. Ginger tea will also help. Food wise, grab a banana for the potassium and electrolytes, and tuck into some eggs to mop up any leftover toxins.

SKIN WINS Exercising outside or burning the candle at both ends can wreak havoc with your skin. Worry not. All you need is fruit and water. “You should drink about 2l of water everyday,” says Lyudmyla Nagirnyak, manager of K Spa, awarded ‘Best Spa in London’ at the Good Spa Guide Awards 2015. “It gives you a radiant, healthier, younger looking complexion by keeping your skin hydrated from the inside. Vitamins also help. Either stock up on citrus fruits such as oranges and kiwi, or apply the miracle vitamin directly to your face.”

EXERCISE INDOORS Wet? Snowing? Both? Bring your workout indoors. For a fully functioning ‘gym’ at home you need little more than a kettlebell and a suspension trainer, and both are inexpensive. You can even perform some exercises using your garden bench, or other pieces of furniture around the home. Performing exercises in pairs or in a circuit is the most efficient way of completing your workout. It also keeps your heart rate elevated so you’ll get a cardio benefit too. Pick moves that work the largest muscle groups, such as the thighs, back and chest. Better still, try and smash through a high-intensity resistance workout on Christmas Day morning. This will improve your insulin sensitivity and prime your muscles to receive the nutrients you’ll eat during the big lunch. Too hardcore? Follow a yoga instruction video on YouTube. There really is no excuse!

ENTER AN EVENT IN THE NEW YEAR The best way to avoid bulking up over Christmas is to enter an event that will provide the motivation you need to train during the festive period. Fear of failure, or the desire to reach a certain goal, is all you need when temptations take over.

IRON INJECTION Christmas can be hectic, particularly if you a) have to visit friends and family in a variety of locations or b) have children. However, a simple dietary upgrade could provide more energy. “Eating lean red meat in this busy period can boost iron levels and combat tiredness and fatigue,” explains Dr Emma Derbyshire, Nutritionist at the Meat Advisory Panel.

GRAB A BREW Stress, long commutes, and office air-conditioning and heating can all increase water loss in the build up to Christmas, even when you don’t feel particularly sweaty. “The brain represents only 2% of the body’s weight, but gets 20% of blood circulation. That means that dehydration affects the brain far earlier than the body, as the brain relies on a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients,” explains Dr Carrie Ruxton, Dietician at Tea Advisory Panel. “Maintain a steady supply of drinks, including tea. It naturally contains small amounts of caffeine and L-theanine, which boosts concentration.”

WATCH A CLASSIC The TV schedule can be hit and miss over Christmas, so keep an eye out for the festive film classics. Yep, it doesn’t have to be repeats of Only Fools and Horses, y’know.





DEPRESSION HAS LONG BEEN THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM, BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE. WITH CHRISTMAS A POTENTIALLY ANXIOUS TIME FOR MANY, SPORTS STARS SUCH AS STEVIE WARD ARE SHOWING THE WAY… STEVIE WARD, 23, IS A RUGBY LEAGUE PLAYER FOR LEEDS RHINOS. In 2014 he opened up about suffering from depression. He has since responded by launching his own online mental health magazine, Mantality, and has recovered his form on the pitch, winning an England call-up. “After my injury, I had a spell where I wasn’t playing well,” says Stevie Ward. “I struggled to cope – I wasn’t able to do what I enjoy most, and I wasn’t in a great place. I suffered. I had a lack of self value, of self esteem, and I wasn’t getting enjoyment from the usual things in life.” Ward is the sort of person that many might look at and think: “you’ve got it all – how can you be depressed?” A young, fit professional rugby league player for Leeds Rhinos, he was leading the kind of successful life that many people would aspire to. But delve into the world of mental health, and you soon realise that the modern tendency to equate success or fame with happiness is ridiculous – as the suicides of the likes of Robin Williams or Gary Speed perfectly illustrate. While circumstantial problems, life difficulties and anxieties about employment can trigger the condition – anyone can be afflicted with depression, whether they’re rich or poor, a superstar or a high-flying CEO, super fit or a couch potato. Sports people, in fact, can be especially vulnerable: Dame Kelly Holmes, Ian Thorpe, Stan Collymore, Freddie Flintoff, Victoria Pendleton, Neil Lennon and Marcus Trescothick are among those who’ve admitted to struggles. The quest for perfection can lead to selfcriticism; losses or injury can lead to a sense of failure; retirement can prompt emptiness. “Every choice I’d made in life was to be a rugby player – and I got my identity taken away from me for a while,” says Ward. Among the public meanwhile, one in four people in the UK experience a mental health

problem each year, according to Mind. Woman are marginally more susceptible (21% of women and 16% of men have reported suffering with depression) – although worrying data shows suicide is the biggest killer between men aged 20 to 45, and that 42% have considered taking their lives. This suggests that men often suffer in silence rather than report their woes. The ONS reported in September 2016 that depression levels have risen 1%, and some suggest that financial difficulties and relationship breakdowns caused by hard economic times could be to blame, as well as the ‘always on’ culture that has developed thanks to social networking. “It’s important to acknowledge that there’s no single cause, but factors such as lifestyle, stressful events like financial difficulties or a relationship breakdown could increase the likelihood of someone having problems,” says Nia Charpentier from the charity Rethink Mental Health. The festive season can often be especially difficult. Tiredness, family obligations, overspending, eating and drinking – as well as the general feeling that you’re being “forced” to have a good time, can all contribute to the Christmas blues. It isn’t helped by social media. “Everything looks perfect on Instagram, doesn’t it?” says Ward. “You can be putting forward a front, something you’re not, and it’s easy to think everyone else is having a great life online. But everyone has struggles.” So what to do if you find yourself suffering? Just as depression and anxiety manifest themselves in different ways, there are no hard rules. Medication may work well for one person, but might make another feel worse. The first step should always be talking: seeing your GP, who you can speak to confidentially, is wise. They won’t always point you towards medication: the health service can also provide talk therapy and other options.

Helplines are also a great way to find guidance. The single reason that more men commit suicide – according to Jane Powell, the CEO of the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – is that women feel less stigma when it comes to discussing mental issues. “Men often don’t feel like they have permission to look for help,” she claims. For both genders, however, this problem needs to be addressed. The simple act of chatting – whether it’s a friend or relative, or a helpline like the Samaritans, CALM, Anxiety UK, Mind, Sane and Rethink Mental Illness. “You have to talk,” says Ward. “I had a good rapport with my doctor, so that’s the way I went, but find what works for you.” There are many other routes that can be investigated, too. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help change patterns of negative thinking, while targeted exercise can provide feel-good endorphins and a distraction from problems. As for Christmas itself, managing expectations are key. Don’t get obsessed with what Christmas holidays ‘should’ be like. Give yourself a break and don’t force yourself to do anything you don’t fancy. Take time to stay in touch with your support network if you’re feeling down, and do something different if you can’t face a “traditional” celebration. Many find that volunteering helps: helping out at a soup kitchen or foodbank can put personal issues in perspective. The good news is that with the right mixture of help, most depressed or anxious people can find their way back to feeling healthy again. Don’t suffer in silence.

ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SAID TO ME… FOLLOW US TO WIN COOL STUFF FOR FREE! Feast your eyes on the biggest giveaway in magazine history! Probably... Yep, tis the season to be…. Lucky. We’ve teamed up with some of our favourite brands to assemble a ridiculous giveaway in time for Christmas. In the 12 days of Christmas, starting from December 25, we’ll be giving you the chance to win one of 12 awesome fit-tastic presents. To be in with a chance of winning, simply head to our social media channels and keep an eye out for our daily giveaway in the run up to the big day. Follow, engage and win. It’s our biggest giveaway yet, so don’t miss out. And tell your friends…






visit for the big reveal! Urban Ears Headphones


We have 5 x Cord Free headphones that can be used up to 14 hours on Bluetooth. The headband and ear cushions are removable and can be put in the washing machine to keep them sweat free. We also have 5 x in-ear headphones. These workout earbuds provide the perfect fit with their EarClick technology and a double clip that keeps everything in place.

Three winners will each receive 1 x Maximuscle 500g pouch of BCAA Apple and Pear or BCAA Grapefruit, and 1 x Maximuscle 2.5kg pouch of Whey Protein Concentrate Chocolate.

Hurom Juicer One BESTFIT reader will win the Hurom HU 700 Premium Slow Juicer Burgundy Red worth £299. The HU is biggest selling vertical juicer in the world will help you use your juicer to its fullest.


JORDAN SANDBAG Fancy winning a set of sandbags? The Jordan Sandbag Xtreme is a versatile and reliable bit of kit; tried and tested thoroughly by the toughest obstacle races and fitness professionals. Could be yours…

1 x polar m600 sports watch

Skandika Nemo Rower One winner will walk away with a Skandika Nemo Rower worth £700, and experience the closest thing to genuine rowing without even stepping on the water. It could be you!

We’ve also got 1 x Polar M600 Sports Watch – worth £265 – up for grabs. The water-resistant sports watch powered by Android Wear features Polar’s proprietary optical heart rate technology and provides wrist-based heart rate measurement via a 6-LED solution.


follow our social channels to see our last six prizes!




? bestfitmagazine

Kimberly Wyatt was part of one of the biggest girl bands in the world. Now, she’s fitter than ever. Here, she tells BESTFIT how she stays in shape‌

THE PUSSYCAT GIRLS WERE EXTREMELY FIT… STRONG, POWERFUL, FLEXIBLE AND NIMBLE. REACHING THAT LEVEL OF FITNESS MUST HAVE BEEN REALLY HARD WORK! I always saw it as a job, and my ethos in life is that you get out of it what you put in. Yes, it was tough, but it was also amazing. Being in a group of girls meant that I had a gang of ‘sisters’ around me at all times so we all helped each other, especially in the gym. Training together was a real incentive.

DANCING IS HARDER THAN PEOPLE THINK, PARTICULARLY WHEN YOU HAVE TO SING AS WELL… HOW DID YOU FIND IT? Our choreography was fantastic and our performances were worked out so that we could breathe as well as sing, with big dance breaks throughout. As is everything worth the struggle… it was tough.

YOU STILL DANCE… WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE MOVES FOR KILLER ABS? I will always dance. In fact, I have just built my own dance studio, which I cant wait to get in and use everyday. For killer abs, it’s all about repetition, consistency and trying new things to make sure you get results. Calisthenics training has been instrumental in waking up core muscles and building even better strength throughout.

WERE YOU KEEN ON KEEPING FIT WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP, OR WAS IT BECOMING A PUSSYCAT DOLL THAT MADE YOUR MORE AWARE OF THE NEED TO BE FIT? I have been dancing from the age of 7, so fitness has always been a way of life, and still is.

DID YOU ENJOY THE TRAINING? WERE ANY OF THE GIRLS LAZIER THAN OTHERS? OR WAS THERE ANYTHING YOU HATED DOING? We all worked out together, so we enjoyed it and the hours of dance rehearsals kept us all in shape. As the serious dancer of the group, my training was crucial to make certain I nailed every move and held every leg tilt without fail. The only thing I ever hated was not doing my very best. I’m a bit of a perfectionist in that regard and the drive to reach my potential each night on stage kept me driven to keep pushing harder.

IS IT HARD MAINTAINING YOUR BODY WITHOUT THE EXERCISE REGIME YOU WOULD HAVE HAD AS A POP STAR, AND AS YOU GET OLDER? I have had a child, so your body changes anyway, but your training changes too – I now don’t have the time for hours in the gym, so I make the time I have count and do HITT training and calisthenics… maximum effort with maximum results, I love it.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU TRAIN NOW? I try to dance or train at least three times a week but I am very active with my family. We swim together, train, walk the dogs, dance, and do calisthenics together. I always get excited to have opportunities to perform because it means I have a goal and the dance obsession to do my best on stage kicks in and the fitness levels increase. Four to six hours of dance a day is certain to get me in my best shape!

IS CALISTHENICS RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW TONED YOU ARE? It’s dancing and calisthenics – I train alongside my husband where possible and we support each other. Dancing and jogging keeps my

cardio up, while yoga and calisthenics help build and tone the entire body. But it’s never about what I look like, rather what I feel like and what I can achieve.

DO YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND ENJOY WORKING OUT TOGETHER? It’s nice having a date in the gym rooting each other on, it’s probably the best thing for us as a married couple! Train together, stay together, is our motto. My family is my life. Max and I are a team and we support each other’s need for fitness. Nap times are essential for workouts and getting our baby girl involved makes it fun for all of us. She’s already hanging on the rings, doing push ups, and dancing with us. She thinks it’s playtime, which is exactly what we hoped!

YOU’VE DONE A TRIATHLON TOO. DID YOU HAVE TO ALTER YOUR APPROACH WHEN IT CAME TO YOUR TRAINING? AND WILL YOU DO ANOTHER? I swam outdoors, rode my bike and ran – it was very tough, especially swimming in freezing water with such a buoyant wetsuit. I don’t know if I will do another, but never say never!


WHAT ROLE DOES GEN P PLAY IN YOUR LIFESTYLE AND HOW DO YOU INCORPORATE THE RANGE INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE? I have a very busy schedule with family, work and keeping fit so GEN P helps me get the protein I need after training or when I’m rushing around. I usually have a 3-Way Blend shake in the morning and a Protein Milk after my training sessions.

HOW IMPORTANT IS EATING HEALTHILY TO YOU? AND HOW EASY WAS IT TO EAT WELL WHEN YOU WERE ON TOUR… YOUR MEAL TIMES MUST HAVE BEEN HUGELY OUT OF SYNC? While on tour it was very difficult to eat healthy! Luckily the show was such a huge workout that we could get away with lack of dietary support. I ate lots of fruit, veg, and peanut butter and jelly

sandwiches. Finding a good meal at every hotel was almost impossible, so a club sandwich was a consistent go-to and I’d remove the bread. Now, I keep GEN P bars in my bag for a quick protein fix on the move. I also love the Strawberry Punch milk, so I’ll have one straight after my workout if I haven’t got time to make up a shake.

DID YOU EVER STILL FEEL UNDER ANY PRESSURE, BEING IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY, TO LOOK A CERTAIN WAY? Always! If I had acted on the pressures I would probably have had a nose job, lip injections, a boob job, laser treatments, botox, and spend most of my life in the gym and eating tiny meals made of air. But I love my life, I’m proud of who I am and I do my best to take a stand against those pressures. Fitness for me isn’t about what I look like; it’s about what I can achieve, what I can do, and how I feel. Fitness is the best anti-depressant when all those pressures start taking over! It’s a weekly battle to be confident enough to just be me.

DO YOU HAVE ANY DIETARY WEAK SPOTS? I love chocolate, so the GEN P Chocolate Caramel bars are my saviour when my sweet-tooth kicks in; a guilt-free chocolate bar!

MUSIC HAS AND IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR LIFE… SO WHAT DO YOU LISTEN TO WHEN EXERCISING? Twenty One Pilots, Ed Sheeran, Agnes Obel, Cinematic Orchestra, Hudson Mohawk, Robyn, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Lou Reed… the list goes on! I love all sorts of music.

YOU WERE BACK IN SHAPE WITHIN A COUPLE OF MONTHS OF GIVING BIRTH. HOW DID YOU DO THAT? I listened to my body and only went as hard as it would allow. I did a lot of Pilates – yoga-inspired movement with bands, and I firmly believe that staying active through the pregnancy was crucial. It takes time for the abs separation from growing a big tummy to come back together, and it’s imperative not to push too hard. Pelvic Floor exercise is the best new knowledge I learned throughout.


I’m a flexible dancer and Hot Yoga warms up the muscles and allows me to stretch through easily while building core and inner muscles and squeezing out all the toxins of the organs. But most importantly, it helps me let go of mental anguish. The psoas muscle is the muscle of the soul and hot yoga helps me focus on this and relieve anxieties and stresses.




A Special Forces soldier requires several key attributes if they’re to succeed during operations. Desire, concentration and attention to detail is key, as is an ability to see the bigger picture. Getting bogged down by frustrating mistakes or obstacles – a sentry position that wasn’t picked up by intelligence, for example – is only going to hinder a mission. Understanding the endgame is vital. Strength and stamina are important tools, too. An SAS or SBS soldier has to be “Battle Ready” if they’re to survive in the heat

of the battle; maintaining fitness when fighting abroad is vital to long-term success, but working out can be tricky, especially as time is limited and exercise gear is often left behind to make room for weapons, ammo and medical supplies. The following routine is designed for keeping an elite soldier in shape when time is short. Named the Battle Ready Forward Operating Base routine, it works with body weight and easily available resources, such as kettle bells (or a rucksack filled with weights). Do 10 reps of each exercise and repeat the list five times. Try to do the workout at least three times a week and watch as your times improve. Or, if you want to mix it up a little, crush as many rounds as you can in 15 minutes. Remember: being “Battle Ready” for all types of physical scenarios - both in military and civilian life – requires preparation. Because we don’t always get to decide where the battle is.







REPEAT 5 X THROUGH FOR TIME For more routines like the Forward Operating Base, plus loads of tips on motivation, inspiration, nutrition and much more visit Or pick up a copy of SAS: Who Dares Wins – Leadership Secrets From The Special Forces (Headline, £16.99) from all good bookshops.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR Ollie joined the Royal Marine Commandos at 18 and served in Northern Ireland and Iraq. In 1994 Ollie completed SAS selection and joined the Special Boat Service (SBS) where he served globally on operations.



Price: £30


Price: £30


Price: £45


Price: £14.99


Price: £30




1. DOUBLE-BREASTED COAT IN WOOL WITH WAXED FABRIC PATCHES This double-breasted coat in wool cloth comes with patches in a technical waxed fabric in a monochromatic pattern. The height of cool.


2. DENIM SHIRT WITH FAUX LEATHER ACCENTS Fix up and look sharp with this loose-fitting long-sleeve denim shirt with faux leather patch pocket.




Who doesn’t love a pair of skinny jeans.With a retro feel and used effect, these feature black stretch denim and leather logo on the back.



4. BROOKS BROTHERS BOW TIE Unleash your inner Leonardo di Caprio with this bow tie, crafted from pure American-grown Supima® cotton.



5. BROOKS BROTHERS BRACES And if you’re rocking the bow tie, you’ll need these pure silk suspenders. Convertible calfskin leather paddles with metal clips.




6. BURTON SKINNY FIT JACQUARD TROUSERS These skinny fit suit trousers come half lined and fully finished, with a smart tailoring crease through the centre.


7. BURTON SKINNY FIT JACQUARD TUXEDO JACKET Part of Burton’s prom evening-wear package, this deep purple tuxedo has a luxurious dobby texture, perfect for the Christmas party season.


8. BURTON SHIRT The perfect addition to any workwear wardrobe, this slim-fit textured shirt has tonal buttons, contrast trims and single cuff.



9. NEXT BROGUE CHELSEA BOOTS An absolute wardrobe essential: the classic tan, leather, Chelsea boot.


10. NEXT DERBY SHOES Upgrade your shoe game with these suede, black, derby shoes.




1. 2.

1. LIPSY LOVE MICHELLE KEEGAN LACE CAMI BODYCON CORSET DRESS Up your game in this Lipsy Love Michelle Keegan corset dress, featuring sultry design features and flirty sweetheart neckline for an attractive glaze.


2. NEW LOOK PARISIAN BLACK LACE OVERLAY MIDI DRESS Keep it classy at every party this season in this lace midi dress. Pair with black block heel ankle straps shoes for the perfect finish.


3. OFFICE NATIVE FLUFF DETAIL HEELS NUDE PATENT Block-heeled sandal featuring a quirky fluff detail on the front strap, patent upper and buckle fastening.





Pimp your accessories thanks to this big gold pouch. Leather and textured for a touch of class.




Show off your simple yet sophisticated style with the Perspect Clutch. The gold plated shoulder strap will project elegance anywhere you go.




Make an entrance in this party-ready midi. In a heavily embellished sequin gold, it comes with an all-over large disc design.


7. TOPSHOP RITA TWO-PART SKINNY SANDALS Step out in style with these two-part sandals. With skinny straps and a matching heel, they add instant chic to any outfit.



8. V BY VERY CHARLOTTE STRAPPY BLOCK HEEL SANDALS With a chic cross strap design and cute tie back detail, they’re finished with a chunky block heel to help you dance the night away!


9. V BY VERY TASSEL CLUTCH BAG The catwalk’s love affair with all things fringed is given a fresh new twist with this tassel clutch bag from V by Very.





fROM sARAH fAVE! ’s L O t s BRi


SO THE FINAL PUSH UNTIL CHRISTMAS IS UPON US‌. This to many of us signals the beginning of the over-indulgent festive season. I find the best way to get through this whilst still having fun and indulging in drinking and eating is to adapt some healthy habits...

It is all about balance and supplementing the naughty stuff with some goodness. My first bit of advice would be to make sure you keep up with your fitness routine and, if anything, step it up to combat the extra calories. Make sure you get some good nutrition in your diet, as it is also the season for getting a cold! I have written up a few of my juice/smoothie recipes that should help you keep energy levels up and good levels of vitamins to keep you full of energy and vitality. If you haven’t got a juicer or blender then put one on your Christmas list! The new year is the time to start some healthy habits and juicing is a perfect way to start. So for those of you who have put your juicer/blender at the back of your cupboard or are sceptical as to why to start juicing/smoothie making, then here are my reasons to get it out and start it up.

1. quick fix It is the perfect way to pack in all your greens, hearty veg and fruits into a glass before an indulgent party, giving you a guilt-free dinner.

2. shots (the healthy kind) You can make amazing health shots consisting of ginger, lemon and apple. You can even even bulk juice your ginger and lemon and freeze in ice cube trays for when you need a quick healthy start in the winter. Simply pop it in a mug, add water, and you’re off.

3. healthy cocktails Yes, they exist and they are amazing! A freshly juiced Bloody Mary or Daiquiri are awesome over the festive season. You can also make a fresh juiced mulled wine mix.

RECIPES 1. thai green Here is the perfect green juice to keep you warm through the festive season. I came up with the recipe as I love Thai food. Feel free to load it with chilli and ginger to your taste... personally, I like it spicy. It’s also great after the gym, as pineapple is the perfect post-workout fruit. 2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled, 1 lime peeled, a handful of coriander, 1 head of pak choi, 1/4 of a pineapple, peeled and cored, 2 pears, 1/4 of a cucumber. Wash all your ingredients and peel where instructed. Juice them one by one in the order they’re listed and serve chilled or enjoy over ice. JUICEMAN FACT: Add a slice of lemongrass and a slice of chilli for extra Thai vibes.

2. TRIPLE CHOC CHIP This one is for all the workout warriors out there. Indulge in this smoothie to help aid recovery and keep energy levels up! It’s a great way to start the day as it’s packed with all the right ingredients to boost energy. I also love it pre or post-workout. 1 banana frozen, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1 tsp chlorella, 500ml coconut water, almond milk, water, 1 tablespoon cacao powder, 1 tsp cacao nibs, pinch cinnamon, 1 portion chocolate Protein and 2 medjool dates pitted. Combine all ingredients and add a cup of ice in a blender and blend until smooth. JUICEMAN TIP: Top with hemp seeds, goji berries and cacao nibs.

4. protein boost Post-workout super smoothies will provide your body with the necessary nutrients to aid recovery and ease fatigue. Protein is key for muscle growth and also aiding hair and skin. Get your protein shake in pre-noon to aid cell regeneration and hair growth.

If you haven’t got a juicer or blender then put one on your Christmas list!

Juiceman is available to buy via or at

JUICEMAN FACT: Cacao is the number one source of magnesium of any food on the planet. Raw cacao is packed with antioxidants. It helps regulate blood pressure and boosts the immune system.

3. FLU FIGHTER This is one of my favourite shots and is great when your feeling run down. Feel free to add some echinacea and also play with the ginger content. Also, with ginger, you can peel it for a cleaner taste or leave the skin on and give it a scrub. 1 orange peeled living the inner pith, handful of raspberries, 3-inch piece of ginger, 10 drops echinacea and pinch of cayenne or slice of hot red chilli. Juice all the ingredients in order and then add the spices and echinacea. Give a good stir before serving in shot glasses. Put the rest in a clean jar and have later. You can also add to water like a cordial.


WE HAVE SEEN SO MANY BIG DJ’S EMERGE FROM THE NETHERLANDS. ALONGSIDE YOU, THERE’S TIËSTO, HARDWELL, MARTIN GARRIX, AFROJACK TO NAME A FEW. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE DUTCH SCENE THAT SEEMS TO PRODUCE SO MANY TALENTED ARTISTS? It’s because so many great producers and DJs have come from the Netherlands before, it makes the next generation feel like anything is possible. Especially now with like you say, Martin Garrix coming up so young and also crossing over into the pop world, it’s a big inspiration for newer artists. But before Martin, there was Robbert (Hardwell) and before him there was Tiësto. Dance music is such a large part of Dutch culture.

WITH THIS IN MIND, WHAT DO YOU THINK IT TAKES TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL DJ/PRODUCER? To have a vision of what you want to do and what music you want to make. Then, you can start crafting the path you want to take. You don’t need a lot of money or a lot of fancy equipment; having a passion is more important.

IN THE PAST YOU’VE RELEASED MUSIC ON HARDWELL’S LABEL BUT NOW YOU’VE LAUNCHED YOUR OWN. WHAT MADE YOU START FONK RECORDINGS, AND HOW IS IT DIFFERENT TO OTHER LABELS? I still make progressive music like I released on Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings, but I also love a groovier sound on the dancefloor, which is what I wanted to release on Fonk Recordings. You know, that has really become the whole identity of the label, keeping a level of funk on the releases that still sounds big on the dancefloor. I also signed a lot of new talents when we were starting to launch, some of the younger artists we signed played their first gig at our sold out ADE event last month. To give them that platform was amazing for everyone.

WHAT DO YOU THINK THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR EDM AND HOW DO YOU SEE IT PROGRESSING? I don’t think we can label everything strictly EDM anymore. The original “EDM scene” has developed so much into progressive, tropical house and hard style. For example, trap and bass is becoming extremely popular in America. Electronic music has progressed a lot in the past five years and I think we’ll see that again in the next five, with a lot more experimentation.

YOU TURN 31 THIS MONTH (HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM BESTFIT!) ANY BIG PLANS TO CELEBRATE? Haha, thanks! I’m about to kick-off a mini US headline tour and I’ll be in Miami on my actual birthday, playing at LIV – always fun to party there, they take it to the next level! Excited to party with my US fans and drink a beer!

YOU’RE ON TOUR IN JAPAN AT THE MOMENT; HOW’S THE FOOD OUT THERE? DO YOU TRY AND STICK TO A HEALTHY DIET? It was so much fun, we played a sold-out show in Osaka! The food is great, I had some amazing sashimi, which was fresh and healthy, but if I want to try something new in a new culture that isn’t the best for me, I have to live a little!

WE’VE HEARD FROM SO MANY TOURING ARTISTS HOW HARD IT CAN BE TO KEEP FIT ON THE ROAD. WHAT IS YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE LIKE? My tour manager and I try to keep fit by doing gym sessions in the hotel before the shows and eating healthily when we can. The Jagermiester we drink probably isn’t that good for us, but I believe if you look after yourself, especially on the road, you can have some things in moderation.

CAN YOU GIVE US FIVE TOP TRACKS TO MOTIVATE A WORK OUT? 1) Eric Prydz - Call One Me 2) Reel2Reel - I Like to move it 3) ID - Move (Fonk) 4) Dannic - Blaze 5) Jane XØ & Dannic - Undone

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN 2017? A lot of new music (high-energy funky stuff to keep you motivated on winter workouts!) and I’ll also be putting a lot of focus into Fonk, keeping up the momentum from the past year. I’m also working on some exciting projects and collaborations that I can’t quite tell you about – I’ll reveal all soon!






REALITY For years, girls have been telling us that size doesn’t matter, but there are still a number of people who ignore this advice. To be fair to them, modern popular culture hasn’t done much to debunk this myth, subliminally exposing us to larger-than-life characters such as Hulk, Thor and Thing to name but a few. But for those of us who are not blessed with, or haven’t earned, bulging biceps and barrel chests there is no reason to panic. The important point here is that size and strength are two completely different things, obtained in different ways. When you are a newbie to the gym it may be possible to put on size and develop strength at the same time…but this phenomenon will soon come to a fork in the road and you will have to decide which way to turn. Do you want to get bigger? Or, do you want to get better at stuff? Strength is going to be beneficial to every single person throughout every minute of every day – affecting everything from your posture to your ability to go about your daily lives. I know which one I think is more important to concentrate on, but I won’t let my bias steer you away from wanting to mindlessly get bigger…I will however just mention that the girls are 100% correct – size does NOT matter when it comes to performance. But it’s up to you which goal you choose to pursue of course!

5 TIPS REGARDING SIZE VS STRENGTH 1 – SETS/REPS FOR SIZE: The total volume of work per exercise will be somewhere between 24 and 48 repetitions (3 sets of 8 up to 4 sets of 12)* FOR STRENGTH: The total volume of work per exercise will be somewhere between 5 and 25 repetitions (5 sets of 1 up to 5 sets of 5)* *NB These numbers are basic guidelines, NOT set in stone, multiple other set/rep combinations are available.

2 – EFFORT FOR SIZE: Hypertrophy is most likely to be achieved around 50-80% of your 1 repetition max (1RM). FOR STRENGTH: Need to be working closer to your 1 repetition max – at least 80% of 1RM and above.

3 – REST FOR SIZE: Time in between sets is an important consideration. Depending on the experience and ability of the lifter a two-minute rest should give the ideal amount of time to keep effort levels in the desired range. FOR STRENGTH: Heavier loads are far more neurologically demanding which means the Central Nervous System requires more rest than muscle tissue – somewhere between 3 and 5-minutes rest will be ideal.

4 – ASSISTANCE EXERCISES FOR SIZE: These follow your heavier barbell lifts and should be done with a little more volume and a little less rest. 3-5 exercises, 3-5 sets of 10 with a 90 -second rest is great for getting the job done, according to Todd Bumgardner. FOR STRENGTH: Much different to the advice for building size and should target any weak points in technique. If the volume isn’t reduced then you can easily overload the CNS and hamper progress. Try reducing loads to 70-80% 1RM and reduce to 2-4 exercises.

5 – BENEFITS FOR SIZE: Bigger muscles and tighter t-shirts. FOR STRENGTH: Improves bone health, develops better mechanics, improves your posture, makes everyday life easier to cope with, increases balance and co-ordination, reduces risk for a number of medical conditions, increases energy levels, improves sleep habits, enhanced athletic performance and anti-depressant properties etc etc etc.




TAKING THE ANXIETY OUT OF XMAS XMAS IS A TIME TO EAT, DRINK AND BE MARY… OR IS THAT MERRY? EITHER WAY IT’S OFTEN A TIME OF GREAT CONFUSION AND ANXIETY FOR THE DEDICATED DIETER. How can you stay on course with the temptation of all those mince pies, chocolate selection boxes and Christmas parties? Let me give you some practical advice on how to enjoy the festive season without ruining all your good intentions.

ARE YOU COMMITTED? If you have clearly defined your goals and the emotional reasons behind those goals, and you’re doing it for all the right reasons and are happy doing so, then it will be a lot easier to be a little more disciplined than your less health conscious friends and colleagues. At the end of the day, if your need for cake is greater than your need for optimal health and fitness the cake is going to win every time. That doesn’t mean you have to avoid the cake every time, just be sensible, that’s what discipline is all about.

BE FLEXIBLE I’m not a fan of heavily restrictive diets and if you are following a diet that bans certain foods, quite often carb-based foods, then you are going to have a tough time over Christmas. Yet if you understand that weight loss is about 24-hour energy balance and know how many calories a-day you need to be hitting in order to achieve your sustainable weight loss goals then factoring in a couple of hundred kcals a day to have something a little naughty is far more sustainable. Over Christmas, why not relax this a little more. After-all, it’s only really three days. So, you could reduce your calories slightly over the previous four days and then allow yourself a few extra calories per day for cake, port and mince pies.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PARTIES? So Christmas is only three days, but the build-up is much longer. There will be tempting treats in all the shops. People will bring mince pies and chocolates into work. And then there are the parties.... This is where it’s important to apply a little control. It’s easy to over-indulge on alcohol, but you don’t have to drink yourself into oblivion. Have water breaks between drinks, choose low-calorie mixers if you have spirits, be aware that a typical glass of wine these days is about half a bottle and those calories DO count, even if it’s vodka. If there’s food involved you don’t have to avoid it, don’t panic. Enjoy it but make sensible choices and create a buffer by eating a little less early in the day or for a few days leading up to the party. Maybe schedule a big training session earlier in that day. Just don’t do that thing where you feel guilty about indulging and then starve yourself the day after.

HOW ABOUT THE BIG DAY? Christmas Day comes around once a year and, for many, it’s a time to celebrate relationships, family and togetherness. A big part of that is the food. I LOVE Christmas Day and in particular the food. Again, try and discipline yourself just a little bit: don’t pile the plate quite so high, don’t snack on chocolates, nuts or cheese in between each meal and, again, have some water between drinks. But, more importantly than worrying about your diet is enjoying the day. Have fun, enjoy the company of your family and enjoy the food, it’s only one day and even though it’s likely that you’ll eat double the normal amount of food you’re eating, activity will quickly return to normal and so too will your weight.

Connect with Ben on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram. For everything else visit:

Enjoy Two Chicks Liquid Egg White 0% fat 0% cholesterol 70% fewer calories than whole eggs High in protein 15 free range egg whites per carton Pasteurised Cheaper than separating eggs

Omelettes and scrambled eggs Quiches, frittatas and pancakes Desserts Protein shakes

30/06/2013 30/9/2017.





I’m struggling to finance Christmas this year. I’m already putting gifts on a credit card I can’t afford to pay off. Any advice?

Christmas is an expensive time for most of us. Many people rely on

There are many others in the same situation and I am confident that

borrowed finance to see themselves through this time, which can

your loved ones will be able to empathise with your circumstances.

ease the stress of stretched finances temporarily.

I’m certain that they would prefer to know your reality than to learn you had been increasing your debts to give them more extravagant

However, the pressures that come with repayment are inevitable

gifts. Feeling disappointed or guilty is natural in your situation but

and are likely to create further stresses in the New Year. I note you

give yourself a break and remember that Christmas is not all about

mention putting presents on a credit card, which you cannot afford

money! Use your time to create valuable memories with people who

to pay off.

are meaningful in your life.

I admire your honesty in admitting this and this tells me you are able

If there are children involved, perhaps involving them in making

to foresee financial difficulties post-Christmas. With reference to the

handmade decorations for the home and Christmas tree would be a

honesty you have shown, my advice would be to remain honest with

good idea, as well as handmade Christmas cards, so you can share

those you feel you should be buying for and explain that money is

the experience together and have some fun and save money at the

tight this year, which has meant you have not been able to spend as

same time.

much as you would have liked.



I’m recently single and struggling to adapt to life on my own. I generally feel a

4. Avoid sugar – although a quick burst of energy can be achieved from a boost in

bit lost, like I’ve forgotten how to be on my own again. What can I do?

sugar levels, the results are short lived. Regularly eating small snacks, such as fruit

Relationships can both give and take a lot from us. We become familiar with having another person to share our lives with, someone who can share our happy experiences with us, and support us during the times we might not feel our strongest. Being in a relationship often involves negotiation, compromise, sacrifice and working towards mutual understandings. We learn to live our lives with constant awareness of another being that we see as part of us. When relationships end, we can experience a huge sense of loss, as you have

and natural yoghurt, can give us natural energy with better health benefits. 5. Aromatherapy oils – natural oils are also brilliant for boosting energy and it’s as easy as just taking a few deep inhalations which immediately combat fatigue. Citrus oils such as lemon and neroli are great for stimulating energy, as are eucalyptus and orange; powerful scents for feeling instantly refreshed by boosting blood flow to the brain.

mentioned in your question, and this is completely normal. In a sense, there *has been* a real loss; the detachment from a significant connection which gave meaning to our identity. It is completely natural that it takes time to adjust back to single life. There will be a wide range of emotions you will experience as you reflect on the ending of your relationship; these may include sadness, loneliness, and uncertainty and possibly even guilt, anger and regret. It is important to allow yourself to feel these emotions, despite them being



I find myself increasingly addicted to my Phone, and am finding it harder to switch off as a result. I’m checking Facebook and stuff in bed, on the loo... my brain has no downtime. Do I have a problem?

uncomfortable, as they form an important part of your healing process that

I hear your concerns about having an addiction. Sometimes applying such a label

follows the experience of loss. My advice would be for you to take time to

can be more damaging than accepting that there may be an issue to address.

reconnect with who you are, and who you were before the relationship. Often

Addictions carry a lot of stigma and we become fixated on ‘having a problem’

when one thing is missing from our lives, the feelings of emptiness and

rather than understanding what our experience is.

fulfilment cause us to believe that we have lost everything, when in fact, there is a greatness of hope and possibility for the future when we are one single force.

It may be useful to try and understand what is driving you to be with your phone

Spend time with yourself to define all your positive attributes and qualities,

an excessive amount. Often, it is that we seek distraction from our immediate

all the things you are proud of, the things and people you really love and that

surroundings such as daily activities, work and relationships. Ask yourself how

give you energy. Draw upon these facts when you feel low and make time to

happy you are in your present circumstances, in the here-and-now. If there are

spend time with those you care about, use your support network (trusted friends

things you would like to be associated with, use the opportunity to indulge more

and family) to give you strength and make time to enjoy everything you have a

in what is at-hand so you are able to enjoy and value the experience. Many of us

passion for. Time will heal and aid you to feel better with a strong sense of who

are guilty of being on our phones a lot of the time and unfortunately, we miss out

you are and what is most important to you.

on a lot of the detail, colour and texture of life. I would check-in with the activities you use your phone for the most. I note you mention Facebook. If social media is



I have two young kids and so sleep comes at a premium these days. You get used to the deprivation to some extent, but recently I’ve found I’ve been getting more stressed with things than usual? Any tips for coping with prolonged tiredness? Sleep is very important for all of us. It rebalances our energy levels and allows our bodies to recover from the busy lives we lead. When we are deprived of sleep, we will naturally feel more irritable and low, as we do not have sufficient levels of emotional, mental or physical energy to keep up with the demands of the day. Children themselves demand a great deal of attention and care with the levels of dependency they have for us adults. If it is difficult to get enough sleep with your little ones around, use these quick tips to recharge your energy tank:

a main culprit, make time to go out and meet people instead so you can chat in person rather than on the phone. If it is to keep up with what others are doing, use your time to enrich the quality of your life personally by doing what you enjoy. Focusing on others a lot of the time can detract us from our own aspirations and interests, which can reduce self-esteem and desire for personal growth. Also, if you are concerned about your time on the phone, create no-phone-zones in your life such as the first 30 minutes of the day. Use this time to focus on the day ahead and visualise what you plan to achieve. In contrast, use the last 30 minutes of the day to relax, meditate, read a book or even get an extra half-an-hour sleep! Using your phone before bed stimulates your brain meaning it will spoil the quality of your sleep. Take control and live a more meaningful and rich life, which is not dictated by your phone! I’m certain that relationships with others will improve when you have more of their attention, too.

1. Drink more water – dehydration can leave us feeling more tired than we actually

contented mum after you have recharged.

Zainah Khan is the Lead Psychotherapist and Managing Director of Chakra Corporate Mental Strength Ltd and oversees training for a number of large corporate businesses in Leeds. The aim is to increase resilience to stress and mental health challenges in the workplace, as well as offering personal therapy.

3. Go outside – fresh air and exercise are brilliant for rebalancing our energy levels,

More information can be found at

are. Have a bottle handy and drink throughout the day to perk you your energy. 2. Take 5 – having a power nap doesn’t make you a bad mum, even if you have to pop the kids in front of the telly for a short while. They will get a much happier and

and the best bit is you can take the children with you and let them have a run around, too.

HEART OF THE WOLDS CYCLE SPORTIVE If you’re planning out next year’s cycle calendar, make sure to add in Yorkshire’s best. The Heart of the Wold’s Cycle Sportive, being held on 23 April 2017, offers something for riders across all experience levels, with spectacular scenery to soak in along the way. This event offers three different routes; The Langtoft Loop is the shortest of them at 37km, designed for fitness families and newbie cyclists. You’ll be taken through Kilham, and Langtoft before tackling the route’s major climb, testing stamina and offering incredible views from the top. Middle of the road is The Classic at 100km, with cyclists facing severe climbs and descents just past Sledmere, before heading on through Thixendale and Millington - this one offers a challenge for

riders of most abilities. The longest route on offer is The Challenge at 134km, doing exactly as it says by offering 1,200 metres of climbing alongside a regular series of ascents and descents. After completing the route of both the Langtoft Loop and the Classic, you’ll head on for an extra 50km through Warter, North Dalton and Sledmere. All cyclists can expect a hearty meal on return, with teas and coffees beforehand. Full timing facilities will be provided for all those keeping track of their progress. This is definitely one to include in next year’s cycle diary.




The guys behind Dirt Run are back again, offering a great yet grubby way to start off 2017.

Calling all northern night owls and cult run enthusiasts, the UK’s biggest night race is happening again, along the Scottish Borders.


The New Year’s Day Dirt Run, held in conjunction with The National Trust, Heart of England Forest and The Forestry Commission, promises stunning scenery, family-friendly fun and a little charitable giving to top it all off.


The Mighty Deerstalker, from the organisers of the infamous Rat Race, will be taking place on 11 March 2017 at Innerleithen, and promises to be one almighty challenge.

Showing off Worcestershire’s finest landscaping, and giving history buffs something to enjoy, the event will be held at the grounds of Croome Court, designed by architect Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Those looking to join in for the mud fest can choose between a 5k or 10k route, while the younger ones can sign up for the Junior Race of 2.8km. Runners can expect neatly landscaped gardens – with its bridges and tunnels – and the mixed terrain of the parklands. Kicking off at 9am, competitors will receive finish line goodies and a medal once they’ve completed the course. There’s also category prizes on offer, including Terne Valley Brewery real ale - exactly what’s needed after a morning run!

Spanning 10km, competitors will be sent across rivers, through forests and over a couple of mountains as they delve into the low temperatures of a March evening. Choose between the ‘Half Stalker’ or - for those looking to prove their worth - the ‘Full Stalker’, keeping in mind that you’ll have the plenty of chance to bail on the Full half way through. After the race, the fun is enhanced with the Mighty Beerstalker Party, held in a giant heated tent on site. Expect delicious grub, strong ales, tune-busting bands and the possibility for a little crowdsurfing, as you celebrate your wins. Camping is available on site, and access to the party is included with every entry. Camping tickets include a free bacon roll and pint the morning after – no better way to wake.

The event will also be raising funds for St Richards Hospice; £1 from every entry fee will be sent to the charity, with additional opportunity to donate given when booking. The grounds will be fully accessible to all those attending, including the cafe, shop and playground. An awesome way to see in the new year with the family.

If all of that is just not enough, entry will also include a free Tech Tee, Rat Rag, medal, finisher photo and full electronic timing access for those looking to beat a personal record. The course itself will be fully marked, with a live MC to keep you going. We couldn’t think of a better way to spend an evening.




GLOW IN THE PARK SATURDAY 8 APRIL 2017, WINDSOR The ultimate neon fun run is happening in Windsor, featuring the Foam Zone, UV Paint Blast Zone and Time Tunnel. Welcoming those of all ages and abilities, to dance, run or walk through all six of the glow zones after the sun goes down. Bright clothing encouraged.


EAST COAST TRIATHLON 22/23 APRIL 2017 A weekend-long triathlon featuring a 250-metre pool swim, a 3km run along the promenade and a 16km cycle along the sea front. Expect brilliant scenery along the Great Yarmouth coast, chip-timing and finisher medals.


AVON VALLEY RAILWAY RACE SATURDAY 4 FEBRUARY 2017 A 10km and 4km multi-terrain route along the Bristol-to-Bath Railway Path. Expect wooded trails, spectacular countryside and views of the Bath Skyline. Suitable for runners of all abilities and perfect for fitness-enthusiastic families.


THE ONER ULTRA TRAIL RUN 8-9 APRIL 2017 A serious challenge for all those taking part, this event offers 82 miles of trail running along the world famous Jurassic coastline in Dorset. With over 10,000ft of ascent and a strict 24-hour time limit, you’ll have a mighty task on hand with this one.


SaT 10th December / Sun 8th January / Sunday 12th February

10km Winter Race Series



£16 £45

Start time: 9:30am

Even now, there are still parts of my body I hate to look at but I don’t think


anyone is ever completely satisfied with their physique. The most important piece of advice I can give you is trial and error. No matter how many forums, columns and magazines you read or YouTube videos you watch, 90% of the time you will not get the same results as someone else. Your body is unique to you and your body will react differently to certain exercises and supplements than others will. I’m not saying don’t read or watch training videos because there will be exercises and supplements that are perfect for you, but it is all about trying different exercises, testing out different supplements and eating a certain way to suit your body type. For instance, over the past four years, I must have tried hundreds of different exercise


routines, spent an absolute fortune on supplements and for the first two

My transformation began in 2012. I have always had the

as food is my only enjoyment. I don’t drink or smoke, so my guilty pleasure

knowledge of fitness and nutrition from my college days,

has always been food... and lots of it! Don’t get me wrong, I knew exactly

but knowing stuff and physically doing something are

what to eat, but I just never did it. Everything changed for me when I came

two completely different things. Having any knowledge of

across a company called Pro Gains – they basically make all the food for

health and fitness is a great tool, but there are things you

you based on your individual needs and deliver it to your door ready to eat

can’t learn in a classroom, like how it feels to do hours

(you can find their recipe’s via there website in my other column). Now my

of training, heavy lifting, cardiovascular exercise, low

diet consists of four meals a day for five days a week with balanced protein,

carbohydrate diets, high protein diets, eating 4-5 times a

carbohydrates and vegetables, and then I tend to eat what I want at the

day, no chocolate... and so on. I’m already tired just thinking

weekend. Especially Sundays! I found this keeps my cravings at bay and

about it! I decided to start training properly in 2012 when I

motivates me to be healthier in the week.

years my body barely changed! Until I found what works for me. Now, my workouts tend to be moderate to heavy, with 8-10 slow repetitions, 5 sets for each exercise, 4-6 exercises for the larger muscle groups and 3 for smaller muscle groups and with a 3-5k run every other day. I alter my workouts every two months by super setting or training on different days (this shocks the muscles) and it also depends if I’m training for a specific fitness event. I train 5 days a week with Saturday and Sunday off. When it comes to healthy eating, it has always been a huge challenge for me

joined a local bodybuilding gym (Doug’s Gym). I remember the first time I went, I was terrified to even walk through

Everyone has bought something from Holland & Barrett at one point, feeling

the door. The sign on the door said: “Doug’s gym, the school

like that magic tub of protein and tablets are going to solve all our problems, yet

of Gladiators” and I knew I was no Spartacus. But I also

we all found out the expensive way that it didn’t! After years of testing different

knew that if I wanted to change my body then I had to step in

supplements I have found the ones that definitely work for me include:

that gym and, to this day, I can honestly say it was the best decision I have ever made.

• Creatine Monohydrate & Maximuscle weigh protein isolate from Maxi Nutrition for strength and faster recovery.

I have always been body conscious. I used to hate my body so much I couldn’t even explain it to you. I was too

• Maxi Nutrition Max ZMA (zinc to maintain normal testosterone levels,

embarrassed to take my top off and participate in sports

magnesium to increase protein synthesis and vitamin b6 to support protein

like swimming.

metabolism). They also aid in a better night’s sleep. • A pre-workout supplement I like to use regularly is Performance Cherry from Health Span Elite. They also have a great range of vitamins. It has only been the last year and a half that I’ve noticed some real changes in my physique, it may be because I’m now 26 and fully matured but I strongly believe it is all down to trial and error, testing out my workouts, finding a diet that works for me and taking supplements that actually work. So take that first step and get in the gym! With Christmas fast approaching, now is the perfect time to get a head start on 2017. Scrap New Years resolutions and begin to learn about your body now - change your health, your life and your physique.













BESTFIT Magazine - Issue 26 Health, Fitness, Lifestyle, Celebrity, Sports, Nutrition, Food, Recipes  
BESTFIT Magazine - Issue 26 Health, Fitness, Lifestyle, Celebrity, Sports, Nutrition, Food, Recipes  

Our Christmas edition packs a pretty mean punch. Aimed to help you survive the season with nutrition, fitness, life and fashion advice, we'v...