Weight loss experts have revealed the healthy meals and exercises that can help you shed the pounds in a matter of weeks – even when gyms are closed.
UK-based Joe Warner, the former editorial director of Men’s Fitness magazine, and Jon Lipsey are the co-founders of NewBodyPlan.com, an online hub which helps clients find ‘transformation plans’ that are tailored to their needs.
The pair have helped more than 10,000 people around the world, including the four men pictured below, who all transformed their physiques over the last lockdown in 12 weeks or less.
Now Jon and Joe have shared taster diet plans and exercise routines exclusively with FEMAIL in the hope of helping men who feel sluggish and want to use this time stuck indoors to kickstart a new way of life.
LOST 1st 1lb IN 12 WEEKS: David Clark, 39 from London, wanted to transform his figure before his 40th birthday. He was given a tailored meal plan that suited his vegan diet. He also started a four x a week exercise plan lifting weights, with sessions lasting no longer than 45 minutes
LOST 13lbs IN SIX WEEKS: Ben Lloyd, 33, from County Durham, revealed how he lost weight and cured tummy trouble that had plagued him for years by following the ‘Six Week Shred’ plan
While the programmes work for both men and women, the ones below are targeted more towards male body types and nutritional requirements.
‘At the end of last year so many men emailed me or messaged me on social media distraught at how much weight they’d gained over the course of 2020,’ said Joe.
‘Most had started the first lockdown last March with the best intention of exercising more and eating better at home to use lockdown to shift some weight and get into shape, but almost all of them failed, and had gained weight instead.
‘The one problem that kept coming up, over and over again, was that most people simply don’t know what to do to lose weight effectively – and it’s for the even simpler reason that they don’t have a smart or sustainable plan to follow. And that’s why so many people are starting 2021 heavier and unhappier than ever before.’
Jon continued: ‘The reality is that losing weight needn’t be a hugely complex or difficult, but people over-complicate it because they’re never confident in what they’re doing, or they’re confused by so much conflicting and contradictory advice.
LOST 10lbs OF FAT IN 12 WEEKS: Seb Deal, 32 from Ilford in Essex, exercised four times per week and swapped greasy takeaways for homemade burgers and curries
‘And that’s why most people’s New Year’s resolutions end in abject failure before January is over. Anyone can lose weight but it all must start with your moving your body more and keeping a closer eye on what you’re eating.
‘And the best way to do that is to follow a simple, smart and sustainable exercise and eating plan.
‘Do that for just one week and you’re already well on your way to the body you want.’
Here, an example of the diet and exercise plans that can help you kickstart your fitness journey…
LOST 12lbs OF FAT IN 8 WEEKS: Nick Morrison, 40 from Braintree in Essex wanted to lose fat, specifically his ‘beer belly and love handles’ and build bigger and more defined muscles
The No-Kit, Fat-Loss Workout
15 minutes, no equipment
Why do it: This no-equipment-needed fat-burning session can be done by anyone, anywhere and at anytime – and it only takes 15 minutes to torch a ton of calories! It will work all your major muscle groups to burn fat and tone muscles in a fast, fun and effective way, and you’ll feel on top of the world for getting your heart rate up and a good sweat on thanks to those feel-good endorphin hormones.
How to do it: Do the following six moves in order to complete one circuit or round.
- In Round 1 do each move for 10 seconds, then rest for 60 seconds after the sixth move.
- In Round 2 do each move for 20 seconds, then rest for 60 seconds.
- In Round 3 do each move for 30 seconds, then rest for 60 seconds.
- In Round 4 do each move for 20 seconds, rest 60 seconds
- In Round 5 do each move for 10 seconds to complete the workout
Try and do more repetitions of each exercise in Round 4 than in Round 2 (both rounds are 20 seconds per move), and in Round 5 than in Round 1 (both rounds are 10 seconds per move).
Stand tall with your chest up, abs engaged and arms straight by your sides. Bend your knees to squat down as low as you can, either keeping your arms by your sides or raising them up to shoulder height. Push through your heels to stand back up.
2: Squat jump
Stand tall with your chest up, abs engaged and arms straight by your sides. Bend your knees to squat down and swing your arms backwards. Push through your heels to straighten your legs and jump powerfully off the floor. Land on both feet and go straight into the next rep.
Get on all fours with your legs and arms straight, your hands under your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to heels. Raise your hips and brace your core to keep your entire body stable. Bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the floor. Go as low as you can, then press back up to return to the start. Make the move easier by resting your knees on the floor.
4: Plank shoulder tap
Start in the press-up position with your abs engaged, hips raised and body in a straight line from head to heels. Without letting your hips sag, lift your left hand up and touch your right shoulder then return it to the ground, then lift your right hand and touch your left shoulder then return it back down. Keep repeating this movement.
5: Plank jack
Get into position, supporting yourself on your forearms with your elbows underneath your shoulders. Engage your abs, then raise your hips so that your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Without letting your hips sag, jump both feet out to the sides as wide as you can, then jump them back in. Keep repeating this movement.
6: Mountain climbers
Get in the press-up position with your arms and legs straight and your wrists directly under your shoulders. Without letting your hips sag, draw your left knee up towards your left elbow. Straighten your left leg, then repeat, bringing your right knee towards your right elbow, then back out again. Keep your abs engaged throughout and keep the reps fast but controlled.
Dumbbell Fat-Loss Workout
20 minutes, dumbbells required
Why do it: This 20-minute home dumbbell workout is the perfect session to burn the maximum number calories in minimum time because it works all your major muscle groups in quick succession. That will get your heart rate up and a good sweat on so you’ll burn more fat, and best of all you’ll end the workout will a buzz of feel-good endorphins to look and feel great!
How to do it: Do the following six moves in order. Do 10 reps of the first move, rest for five seconds, then do 10 reps of the second move, and so on, until you’ve done all 10 reps of the sixth move. That’s one circuit. Rest for 2 minutes, then repeat the circuit. Do 3-5 circuits in total – and that’s it: your fat-loss workout is in the bag!
1: Dumbbell goblet squat
Stand tall holding a dumbbell in both hands at chest height. Keep your chin and chest up, and brace your core. Bend at the knees and push your bum backwards to squat down until your thighs are at least parallel to the ground. Push down through your heels to stand back up. That’s one rep.
2: Dumbbell shoulder press
Stand tall holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height with palms facing forward. Keep your chest up, core tight and back straight, then press the weights overhead until your arms are straight. Slowly return the weights back down to the start position. That’s one rep.
3: Dumbbell lunge
Stand tall holding a dumbbell in each hand by your sides. With your chest up, core tight and back straight, take a big step forward with your left leg and bend your knees to lunge down. Push back off your left foot to return to the start position. That’s one rep. Repeat the movement, alternating your leading leg with each rep.
4: Dumbbell bent-over row
Stand tall holding a dumbbell in each hand. Hinge forwards from the hips by pushing your bum backwards to lean forwards, and keep your back straight. Row the dumbbells up to the sides of your torso then slowly lower the weights back down under your arms are straight. That’s one rep.
5: Dumbbell biceps curl
Stand tall holding a dumbbell in each hand. Curl the dumbbells up to shoulder height, ensuring your elbows stay against your side. Then lower the dumbbells back down until your arms are straight. That’s one rep.
6: Dumbbell overhead triceps extension
Stand tall holding a dumbbell in both hands above your head with straight arms. Lower the weight back down and behind your head, keeping your elbows pointing at the ceiling, then raise it back up to the top. That’s one rep
Fat loss meal plan
Daily Total: Calories: 1830, Protein: 116g, Carbs: 135g, Fat: 96g
Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs and Avocado on Toast
Calories: 427, Protein: 17.6g, Carbs: 23.3g, Fat: 30.9g
2 eggs, 1/2 avocado, 5 cherry tomatoes, 1 slice wholewheat bread
Lunch: Chicken Caesar Salad
Calories: 502, Protein: 43.6g, Carbs: 6.8g, Fat: 32.9g
100g chicken breast, 2 anchovies, 1 boiled egg, lettuce, 1tsp dijon mustard, 1tbsp light mayonnaise, 50g greek yogurt, 5g grated Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, rapeseed oil
Soft boil an egg before shelling and quartering it and setting it to one side. Cut the chicken into strips, lightly cover with rapeseed oil, season and place under a medium grill for ten 10-12 minutes, turning halfway through. Meanwhile, chuck all of the ingredients for the sauce (mustard, lemon juice, chopped anchovies, natural yogurt, low-fat mayo, rapeseed oil and parmesan) into a bowl and stir until they’re all nicely mixed together. Chop the lettuce, add the chicken and quartered egg and then add the sauce.
Afternoon snack: Apple slices with Peanut Butter
Calories: 166, Protein: 4.4g, Carbs: 22.2g, Fat: 8.3g
1 medium apple sliced, dipped in 2tbsp peanut butter
Dinner: Lamb Kebabs
Calories: 587, Protein: 39.2, Carbs: 56.5g, Fat: 23.8g
150g diced lamb, 125g mushrooms, 125g green pepper, 125g courgette, small onion, 1 clove garlic, 50g brown rice, 15ml mint sauce, rapeseed oil, lemon juice, dried rosemary and thyme, salt and pepper
Dice the lamb, chop the mushroom, pepper, onion and courgette and place it all in a mixing bowl. Finely slice the garlic and add it to the mix. Add the mint sauce, lemon juice, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper to the mix, stir it all together and cover with clingfilm. Allow the mix to marinade for 20 minutes before creating the kebabs using metal skewers. Place the kebabs on a baking tray and evenly pour over the remaining marinade mix. Grill the kebabs for five minutes before turning and cooking for a further five minutes. Serve the kebabs on brown rice.
Dessert: Greek Yogurt and Frozen Banana Slices
Calories: 149, Protein: 11.1g, Carbs: 26.6g, Fat: 0.7g
100g low-fat Greek yogurt, 1 small banana
Slice one small banana and store it in the freezer in a freezer bag. Take it out of the freezer and let it sit for a few minutes before adding to the yogurt.