Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Butt camp

A week and a half into beachcamp and I'm really seeing results, my clothes are looser and for the first time in quite a few years my weight is under 8 stone (I'm only 5ft 1) - all cause for celebration. Best of all I haven't felt hungry or deprived the whole time, well with the exception some bacon sarnie envy last weekend!

The key to effective and painless weight loss really is in changing the quality of what you eat, rather than obsessing on the quantity. Eating healthful foods and following your appetite is really a whole lot easier and more enjoyable than counting calories, carbs or grams of fat and being hungry half the time.

However this method does rely heavily on cutting out the bad stuff - and for the duration of Beachcamp this means no sugar, dairy or meat.

If this is something you're struggling with and you need a motivator then getting your butt beach ready should be it - as well as contributing to weight gain these three foods are also major contributors to cellulite. So if you want to lose the orange peel effect it's time to drop the bacon sarnies and café lattes.

Cellulite is much more common in women but is also seen in some males. It is caused by a particular formation of fat so excess fat stores make it worse but water retention is also a major factor, so even if you're not overweight you can have it. This is why cutting down on toxins and allergens can help reduce cellulite, as can lymphatic drainage massage such as endermology, which drains fluid away from the cells. This can be expensive but there's no need to fork out - you can use a body brush at home to create the same effect or if, like me, you don't enjoy that particular sensation you can easily give your thigh region a quick massage each day when you moisturize. Apply firm pressure and massage in strokes up the leg towards the heart. And remember exercise also encourages lymphatic drainage as the muscles squeeze the lymph vessels moving the fluid around the body.

But there's more than just tackling cellulite when it comes to getting the perfect posterior. Unless you've inherited a naturally great shape, which some lucky people do, you'll need to put in a consistent effort in the gym to get a butt like JLo in time for the summer.

An effective programme combines weights twice a week (lunges and squats) with cycling or the stairmaster, also twice a week.

Cycling is great for shaping the bum and thighs, but you don't have to take up spinning to see results. Interval training on a bike at the gym (see will give you a resistance and cardio workout in just 20 minutes. Equally cycling to work, particularly on a heavy Boris bike, will give your thighs and glutes a good workout, especially if cycling uphill.

For those without access to a bike at work or home, the Tracey Anderson mat workout dvds have comprehensice sections of butt toning exercises, however be warned these can get a tad repetitive!

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