The Programme, week 4: Sheila Thompson

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The Independent Online

Sheila: This week has been tough but compensated by a loss in weight at last.

Sheila: This week has been tough but compensated by a loss in weight at last. Cutting down on carbohydrates is not as difficult as I thought it would be. The protein I have added to my diet – sardines, salmon – is taken with a mixed salad at lunchtime. My evening meal is lighter and uses eggs and nuts for protein.I have been able to increase the speed of my morning walks from 50 minutes to 44 for three miles over the last three weeks. However, increasing the reps from 15 to 20 has been tough.

Matt Lovell, nutritionist: Sheila has lost 2lb on her starting weight. Her body fat yesterday was 29.5 per cent. A reduction in carb consumption can leave energy levels lower than normal, especially if you are not eating lots of fibrous carbohydrates, moderate amounts of essential fats and protein at regular intervals throughout the day as well as drinking plenty of water. The lower energy usually only lasts for three days, followed by renewed vigour. Sheila can expect her progress to accelerate now all elements are in place.

Raphael Brandon, trainer: Sheila's cardiovascular sessions are going well. So, this week we have added a new type of cardio workout in the gym: 20 minutes of steady cycling on the gym bike but every fifth minute Sheila has to sprint flat out. She will burn a few more calories and force the heart to work a little harder. These sessions are great for your fitness levels, and induce what is known as a "post-exercise burn", where your metabolic rate is higher than normal for a few hours after the workout.

Aerobic – six times a week

Power walk 40min

Strength – three times a week

Press-ups 2x10
Dips 2x10
Lunges 3x20
Squats 3x20
Ab crunch 3x20
Back raise 3x20
Dumb-bell curls 3x20
Dumb-bell press 3x12
Dumb-bell rows 2x10

Flexibility – every day

Hamstring stretch 30sec hold
Gluteal stretch 30sec hold
Quad stretch 30sec hold
Calf stretch 30sec hold
Back stretch 30sec hold

Core – every day

Ab hollowing Lie on back: 10 breaths in, 10 breaths out, drawing in belly button
Side-lying leg raises 2x30sec each leg