Dr Michael Mosley on the benefits of exercise

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Weight loss is not easy, especially when there is a plethora of information online detailing the different ways to slim down. For Jo, 40, from London, hiring a personal trainer kick-started her transformation.

With the help of Peter from Pmac Fitness, Jo became more aware of her diet, adding healthier ingredients to her meals.

She also trained with Peter, doing a mixture of cardio, weights, and boxing.

Jo decided to lose weight when she was in her thirties and saw a photo of herself.

She said: “Over a period of about 10 years I’d been piling on the weight without really noticing it, until I saw a picture of myself and I thought, ‘god that’s me’. I wasn’t happy with it.

“I felt that something had to change.

“I also had a few stomach issues and a few problems, and I think it had to do with a bit too much indulgence over that 10-year period.”

Jo’s mental health, including her confidence and self-esteem, was also impacted by her weight gain, which motivated her to do something about it.

“It got to the point where I was like, ‘if I don’t make a change now, it’s probably never going to happen’, the 40-year-old said.

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“My confidence had also hit quite a low point and I needed something to bring that back – as well as something to bring back my fitness and my stamina.”

Jo’s weight loss journey began in October 2017 after she visited a retreat just outside London and spoke to women who had recently lost weight.

Feeling inspired, Jo returned to London and googled “top 10 personal trainers in London, and Peter from Pmac Fitness was one of them”.

Jo added: “I just called him and it went from there.”

At the time, Jo paid for a weight loss package with Pmac Fitness which consisted of exercise and meal plans designed with beginner slimmers in mind.

“I would see him [Peter] four times a week for an hour and we’d go to Primrose Hill and train in the outside gym, and we’d also go to an indoor gym,” Jo explained.

“He’d also monitor my food to help me – I wasn’t on a diet or anything, but we were in contact every day to see what I was eating.

“He was very good and attentive, and it was very much both of us doing it together. I felt very much supported.”

From October 2017 to June 2018, with a break in the middle for Christmas, Jo lost a total of 20kg, or three stone.

Jo managed to maintain her ideal weight on her own by continuing to exercise and eat healthily.

Having put a little weight back on during lockdown, she saw Peter again, and is now back to her target weight.

She told Express.co.uk that she now weighs around 56kg, but was 74kg at her heaviest.

The 40-year-old’s diet consists of “really generous meals but lots of sweet potatoes, chicken, eggs, grains, lots of quinoa, lots of big salads”.

“I’m not very restrictive but unfortunately I can’t eat fish as I’m allergic to it,” Jo added.

“I still have lattes – soya lattes – and I have snack bars.

“But what I do avoid is cheddar cheese – that was my main vice.

“I also eat less crisps and less pizzas.”

As for alcohol, Jo used to drink about four times a week, but she has now “cut it down to two days out of seven”.

Speaking about how she feels now she has lost weight and has remained at a healthy weight, Jo added: “What it gives me is lots of energy. I always had lots of problems sleeping, but now I get much better sleep.

“Maybe that’s because of all the exercise and the healthy food.”

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