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Here’s how you can eat chips and chocolate and still look good

By Gabrielle Fagan

Boasting enviable figures, Alesha Dixon and Karren Brady reveal their health and diet secrets to help you get in shape in 2013.

Alesha Dixon

ITV's Britain's Got Talent judge, (35) is a creative director for LA Fitness

What’s your advice for 2013 health and fitness?

I always say to my friends, ‘Just imagine your body is like a car — you wouldn't put the wrong fuel in it because then it wouldn't run properly. So give your body the right healthy ingredients and it will be more efficient and healthy'.

That doesn't mean slaving away at being skinny. Women look womanly when they have curves and I think if you try to connect to your body and understand what it needs, you'll have a good chance of feeling and looking good.

Some of the biggest goals I've achieved — winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2007 (below), taking part in a charity climb of Mount Kilimanjaro — have made me realise that fitness is a two-way street. Yes, you have to put in a massive effort sometimes, but the rewards you reap can be out of this world.

What’s your New Year health resolution?

To be consistent with my health regime. This year I'm determined to be disciplined and maintain my fitness levels and avoid those dips and dives and silly mental battles with myself about getting out there for a run or a workout.

What’s your fitness routine?

I train with a personal trainer, Janet Malinowska, twice a week. She keeps it fun and interesting by challenging me to a different combination of cardio and body conditioning each time.

One session might be leg work, with lunges and squats, and time on the running machine or bike, and the next session will concentrate on the arms. Avoiding boredom is key!

I love going for a jog for 20 minutes outdoors. Once a week I'll do cardio work on my own and I walk my four dogs regularly.

What’s your diet?

Breakfast: eggs, boiled or poached, and rye toast and half a grapefruit. I drink hot water with fresh lemon juice.

Lunch: I have fish such as salmon fillet or sea bass with spinach or green beans. I snack on nuts and apples, and drink water or green tea throughout the day.

Dinner: Fish with vegetables mixed with quinoa and chillies, which are great for speeding up the metabolism.

If I go out for a meal and I fancy bread, pasta or rice, I have them. My motto is, ‘Make peace with the treats'.

If you give in to temptation, mine is chocolate, have it, enjoy it, and don't beat yourself up about it, then get back on track. I limit alcohol to a couple of glasses of wine on an evening out.

How do you look after your wellbeing?

It's all too easy to get bogged down by negative thoughts and like most people I occasionally have times of low moods.

Exercise probably helps me more than anything in maintaining a positive mindset as it keeps me focused. I've also had reiki and crystal healing in the past.

What do you struggle with health-wise?

Sleep. I'd be lying if I said sleep comes easily to me. I've always found it hard to switch off and I have to distract myself by listening to music, watching a favourite TV programme or reading a book to help me drift off. But once I am asleep, I'm dead to the world.

What are your hopes for 2013?

I can't wait for another series of Britain's Got Talent, but I don't believe another dog will win! Let's face it, it would have to be a very special canine to match Pudsey.

I'm also hoping to bring out a new album in the summer, but there's no date set. It's wonderful to be writing and making music again, it's the thing I'm most passionate about and I'd love to go on tour again.

Karren Bardy

Football boss (43), assists Lord Sugar on BBC's The |Apprentice and is vice-chairman of West Ham United

What’s your advice for 2013 health and fitness?

It's easy as you get older to allow the portions of food you eat to get larger or at least stay the same, even though you may not be taking the same amount of exercise. I think it's important to take a fresh look at what you eat and be honest with yourself about how much you're eating and what you're eating. Writing down what you eat in a day can be very revealing.

What’s your New Year health resolution?

Regularly at the beginning of every year, I've promised myself I'd shape up and end up looking like Elle Macpherson!

So I'm thrilled to already start this year 9lbs lighter, so that I can fit into a smaller dress size and I am back into my skinny jeans.

It's thanks to Diet Chef, which delivers healthy meals in a hamper so you can eat around 1,200 calories to 1,500 a day but not feel hungry and still burn calories.

I started it in September and my resolution is to stay on it for the time being.

What’s your fitness routine?

I'm always running around. I'm juggling four jobs and family life in Birmingham with my husband, Paul Peschisolido, and our children, Sophia (17) and Paolo (15).

That makes it difficult for me to have a fitness routine. I fit in exercise when I can, but that can include running up and down a pitch supporting my son when he's playing in a rugby match or rushing through an airport trying to catch a flight. I think it all counts.

What’s your diet?

The new diet has reintroduced me to breakfast, which I've skipped for years. Now I've found that eating one of the Diet Chef muesli bars and having a skinny cappuccino in the morning stops lethal snacking before lunchtime!

I realise my weaknesses — mayonnaise, cheese, chips and canapes at parties — have to be very occasional treats.

How do you look after your wellbeing?

I'm not a naturally stress-prone person. I take things in my stride.

I love work and it's a big part of my life and, of course, I love my family.

Enjoying time with my husband and children and being a wife and mum, as opposed to ‘Karren Brady the businesswoman', is the way I recharge.

What do you struggle with health-wise?

Nothing. I'm really lucky in that I'm very healthy. I had brain surgery for an aneurysm six years ago. It made me realise life is short. It put things into perspective.

What are your hopes for 2013?

It's going to be really busy with West Ham being named the preferred choice to move into the Olympic Stadium.

On the family side, my daughter will be taking A-levels and learning to drive this year, so that will be challenging for me as a mum!

Belfast Telegraph


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