Guest Trainer: Anya Lahiri

Anya Lahiri solves our diet dilemmas

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Midweek events and working late can disrupt a healthy eating regime. Anya Lahiri from Barry's Bootcamp (who put the ELLE Running Club through our paces on Wednesday) says you can be a social butterfly and treat your body like a temple. Here's how:

Dilemma: I have three events on after work this week, how can I attend without ruining my diet with high calorie canapés and alcohol?

Anya: The best way around this is to opt out of the alcohol two out of the three nights (or at least one!). Make healthy choices when you do drink, stick to champagne or red wine. Try to book in a pre-work exercise class for the next morning to get you back on track the next day, resume healthy eating and avoid 'hangover grazing'.

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Dilemma: I've been working late recently and find I get home at 9pm and feel ravenous. Should I just hop straight into bed to avoid eating late?

Anya: Definitely not! Your metabolism in is like a furnace that needs regular feeding. Always have a healthy snack to hand in work (nuts, fruit, or best of all a protein shake) and do eat a light dinner when you get in – avoid carbs but skipping meals altogether is not good for you, plus you'll probably wake up starving and spend the day catching up on your hunger!

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Dilemma: So, how do I get lean if I'm eating more regularly?

Anya: Its all about eating the right things. I'm a firm believer that diets are counter-productive and a healthy attitude to food reaps far better rewards. Include more protein and good fats to keep you feeling full and if you want to drop a few pounds, have a carb curfew at 6pm.

Dilemma: Should I eat before exercising? I've heard good things about 'fasted cardio'?

Anya: This varies from person to person. Personally, I need something grainy before exercising to feel energetic and get the most out of my workout, but fasted cardio does help you burn fat. If you're going down this route make sure you are fully hydrated before working out and have a protein shake straight after to feed your muscles and rebalance your sugar levels.

Dilemma: Great, is there anything else you'd recommend I do to get fit and healthy?

Anya: Weights! It’s a massive misconception that you will wind up looking like a female body builder from lifting weights; women don't produce enough testosterone to get really built. Lifting weights will tone and shape your body so you'll be more Brazilian beach goddess than body building hulk. Best of all, the more muscle you have the more calories your body will burn – so you look great and can eat more. It's win-win really.

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