Weight Loss

How to do burpees

How to do it: Lower down into a squat and step or jump back to plank position. Lower down and bring your hips and chest to the ground. Push back up to plank, bring your feet forward (either stepping or jumping) and jump up.


Beginner: Instead of jumping, step back and step forward. Complete 10 reps.
Experienced: Complete 15 reps.


*Weight-loss results will vary and are down to your individual circumstances and the amount of weight you have to lose.

7 weight-loss mantras for men

Are you trying to lose weight but finding it hard to stay motivated? When that resolve slips, remember these 7 key weight-loss mantras

1. You’re taking positive steps to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.
2. You’re reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and many cancers.
3. Eating well and looking after your body gives you the energy to do more with your life.
4. You’ll wake up energised and ready to face the day – instead of pressing snooze.
5. You’ll feel confident and happy with your body when you’re on the beach or out with friends and family (no more embarrassing beer belly).
6. You’ll feel super fit, get back into sport and enjoy exercise again.
7. Exercising and eating well will reduce the strain on your joints and make you stronger.

DIETARY FIBRE IS FOUND in plant foods such as cereals, pulses, fruits and vegetables.

DIETARY FIBRE IS FOUND in plant foods such as cereals, pulses, fruits and vegetables. Until recently, it was thought to be completely indigestible, but we now know that some fibre can be broken down in the large intestine by gut bacteria. For the best health benefits, eat a variety of fibre-rich foods each day. There are two main types of fibre:

Soluble fibre

This is found in good amounts in fruit, veg, oats, barley and pulses such as beans, lentils and peas. It forms a gel in the intestine that’s thought to slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, especially glucose.

This means it helps to keep blood sugar levels steady, preventing dips that can leave you reaching for sugary snacks. A certain type of soluble fibre called beta-glucan, found in good amounts in oats, binds with cholesterol and prevents it being reabsorbed into the bloodstream, lowering the risk of heart disease.

Insoluble fibre

This tends to be found in larger amounts in cereal grains. Wholemeal flour and bread, wholegrain breakfast cereals, brown rice and wholemeal pasta are all good sources. This type of fibre is vital for a healthy digestive system – it’s been linked to helping to prevent bowel complaints, from constipation to cancer – as it assists the smooth passage of food through the body.

Easy weight-loss goals for men

Need to lose weight? It helps to focus on achievable goals and simple steps

Get started on your weight loss journey with these practical suggestions from our team of health experts…

Get motivated

‘Write down three negative things you want to move away from, and three positives you want to move closer to,’ says writer Andrew Shanahan, author of Man v Fat, the Weight Loss Manual. ‘Negatives may be a doctor warning you about your weight, being too big to go on rides at theme parks or not being able to walk up stairs without wheezing. Positives could include being able to play with your children, looking good in clothes or joining a running club. Keep these motivations with you as a daily reminder of where you were and where you want to be,’ he says. Keep them in your wallet, or load them on your phone and set them to pop up each day.

Track your progress

‘Seeing the progress you’re making can be incredibly motivating,’ says Andrew. ‘There’s nothing like seeing the numbers on the scales dropping and realising your hard work is paying off.’ It’s also useful in case your progress slows down or plateaus, as looking back at your tracking information can help you identify where you’re going wrong.

‘You’ll also have a blueprint of those weeks where the things you did worked really well, to replicate for future success,’ says Andrew. You could use a notepad, an online diary or one of the many tracker apps available. ‘And don’t forget to take some “before” photographs – let it all hang out,’ he says. ‘You may not think you’ll ever want to look back at them, but they’ll be a vivid reminder of where you were – and where you don’t want to end up again!’

Divide your plate

HFG nutrition consultant Juliette Kellow recommends making sure a third of your plate is filled with vegetables or salad, a third with starchy foods (potato, pasta, rice and other grains), and the rest with a mixture of protein-rich foods (lean meat, chicken, eggs, fish, beans or tofu) and low-fat dairy products. ‘Choose wholemeal pasta and brown rice, and experiment with other tasty grains such as bulgur wheat, quinoa and spelt.’ Chances are you’ll find yourself making your meat and potato/pasta portions smaller than normal and filling the space on your plate with veg or salad. ‘All those nutrient-rich veg will make you feel energised and full,’ says Juliette.

Choose wisely

‘When eating out, make better choices,’ says HFG nutritionist Amanda Ursell. ‘Go for nutritious meal options that will satisfy you and give you energy, such as chicken and salad on wholegrain bread. Buying traditional, chip-heavy pub food or a takeaway, with all their unhealthy fats and salt, will only make you feel sluggish.’

Take baby steps

For successful, long-term change, don’t put pressure on yourself with unattainable ambitions – make them smaller and more realistic. For example, if you like your tea with two sugars, start by dropping down to one spoonful, then half, to give your taste buds time to adjust to a less sweet drink before cutting it out altogether.

Eat ‘clean’ and avoid packets

This isn’t a blanket rule, but it’s a good one to follow as often as you can. ‘If you avoid eating too many pre-packed foods, you’ll cut out a lot of sugary, fatty treats such as biscuits, crisps and ready meals,’ says Juliette. ‘The closer food is to its natural state, the more nutritious and less calorific it tends to be.’

Cut back a little

Regular drinkers of either alcohol or fizzy pop can quickly score health benefits and weight-loss wins by cutting down their intake, advises Juliette. ‘Aim to halve your alcohol and soft drink consumption and you’ll soon be ready to tighten up a notch or two on your belt. Even if you cut out just three pints of lager or a bottle of wine a week, you could save up to 500kcal.’

‘Booze, along with stress, is one of the main fat contributors in men,’ agrees Andrew. He suggests you either go cold turkey, drink only a couple of times a week, or learn to have alcohol in healthy moderation. Go to downyourdrink.org.uk for support. You’ll also find easy drinks swaps, a guide to alcohol units and a handy drinks tracking app at nhs.uk/change4life.

Give meat a break

A good way to cut calories and saturated fat, up your vegetable intake and help the planet is to take the Meat Free Mondays pledge. In 2010, a study carried out by Oxford University’s department of public health found that eating meat no more than three times a week could prevent 31,000 deaths from heart disease, 9,000 from cancer and 5,000 from stroke, as well as save the NHS £1.2 billion each year. Find meat-free inspiration by searching our vegetarian recipes.

Face up to stress

‘Long-term exposure to stress does terrible things to our weight and health,’ says Andrew. ‘The adrenal glands produce more cortisol, which is largely responsible for blood pressure regulation and insulin release, so it dictates how quickly we break down fat and carbohydrates.’ If you’re feeling stressed, Andrew advises, as well as looking to reduce or remove the source of stress, you can help your body to cope through exercise, good nutrition, meditation and better sleep, and recruit help in the form of a doctor, partner, friends, therapist or support group.

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The nutritional lowdown


Bright yellow rapeseed crops are now widely grown in UK fields. The oil is extracted from the seeds of the rapeseed plant to produce a golden oil.

The nutritional lowdown

Rapeseed oil contains the least saturated fat of all oils – and that’s good, as current advice confirms a diet high in saturated fat is linked to poorer heart health. It has less monounsaturated fat than olive oil, but a bigger proportion of polyunsaturated fat, which helps to lower LDL cholesterol. Plus, rapeseed oil contains considerably more vitamin E than olive oil – a tablespoon provides a fifth of our daily need for this powerful antioxidant. It’s also a good choice for cooking as its high smoke point allows it to retain its nutrition credentials.


Rapeseed oil. It’s lower in saturated fat, higher in vitamin E and has a higher smoke point, making it the better choice for cooking. However, it doesn’t have the polyphenols that extra-virgin olive oil contains. Opt for rapeseed oil for cooking and olive oil for drizzling, but use both sparingly as they’re high in calories.

Steer clear of temptation

Check which of these eating styles seem familiar, then read our experts’ advice on developing healthier habits. If you fit into more than one category (after all, our relationship with food is complex), you may need to consider a mix of strategies.


1 Environmental eaters

You may be perfectly content and not feel hungry at all, but you indulge freely when food is at hand. The legacy of our caveman genes drives us all to eat this way – it was a survival mechanism in a world where the food supply was often uncertain. But in the modern, western world, we’re surrounded by temptation, so environmental eating works against us. Think of the chocolate at the checkout, the biscuit jar in the office kitchen, or the nibbles on offer at parties. In situations like these, there’s an automatic hand-to-mouth action that’s not so healthy.

Professor Brian Wansink is renowned for his award-winning research into eating behaviour. In 2006, as director of New York’s Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, he conducted a study on how environmental factors can influence why we eat. When Brian put lollies in clear and opaque bowls on office workers’ desks, the workers ate more lollies from the clear bowls. Hardly surprising, you may think, but they still ate more lollies from the clear bowls even when they were further away than the lollies in the opaque bowls.

Unfortunately, our society has made unhealthy food so accessible that environmental eaters are at risk of harm from excessive weight gain.

Make your environment work for you

Professor Brian Wansink is renowned for his award-winning research into eating behaviour. In 2006, as director of New York’s Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, he conducted a study on how environmental factors can influence why we eat. When Brian put lollies in clear and opaque bowls on office workers’ desks, the workers ate more lollies from the clear bowls. Hardly surprising, you may think, but they still ate more lollies from the clear bowls even when they were further away than the lollies in the opaque bowls.

Easy portion size guide

Know your portion sizes and take the guesswork out of losing weight with this handy guide

Simply print out a copy or two and leave one on your fridge and one in your purse or wallet.


portion card 2


portion card 2


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