Personal programmes By following these tailored diet and fitness programmes, which are based on expert advice, you can improve and protect your physical and mental health.
Boost your energy by getting active and setting calorie targets.
Read an explanation of what to expect in programme two of your healthy living plan. Expert, week-by-week advice will help you become more active, burn calories and tone your body.
This week's challenge is to find out how much fat is in the food you buy and how you can reduce your intake. The ideas below should get you started.
A good daily target is to keep fat intake below 100g for men and 75g for women. If you're trying to lose weight, your target should be 70g for men and 55g for women.
Problems with fat
There are nine calories in every gram of fat - more than twice as many as in the equivalent amount of protein or carbohydrate. That's why cutting down on high-fat foods is the first step to a healthier diet.
A diet high in saturated fat - the type found in animal produce - is also one of the leading factors in heart disease, the number one cause of premature death in the UK. Saturated fat can block the arteries that carry blood away from the heart, leading to high blood pressure and heart attacks.
How to eat low fat
If you're used to eating high-fat food on most days, it's time to swap these for lower fat and starchy alternatives. Try the following suggestions, aiming to do as many as possible this week, but making them all part of your routine in the long-term:
Use a low-fat spread instead of butter or margarine.
Eat fewer meat pies, cheesy dishes and sausages, and choose lean meat instead.
Grill, bake and dry-fry (use a low heat and a non-stick pan).
Don't add oil or butter to vegetables and potatoes.
Make tomato-based sauces, not creamy ones. Try this grilled tomato sauce.
Use granules to make gravy instead of fat from the meat.
Have a couple of meat-free days a week and experiment with vegetarian dishes. For example, lentil and spinach stew, spinach and chickpea curry or nut loaf.
Reduce the portion size of meat to about 75g and fill up on vegetables and starchy foods, such as potatoes, rice, pasta, bread or couscous.
Remove visible fat from meat, eat fish at least once a week, choose low-fat milk and yoghurt, and keep cheese as an occasional treat.
Welcome to your first weekly exercise challenge and the start of a fitter, healthier lifestyle.
The golden rule for any successful exercise programme is gradual progression. If you try to do too much too soon you may lose steam and risk injury. This programme enables you to build up your activity level slowly, so the process of getting fitter is enjoyable, safe and, above all, sustainable.
Walkers enjoy many of the benefits that people who engage in far more vigorous activities experience. They also have a lower risk of injury, a higher level of adherence and far more opportunities to fit their activity into a busy day.
This week, your challenge is to do two ten-minute walks on five days of the week.
Finding time to walk
Try one walk in the morning and one in the evening. Where possible, combine these walks with another activity. That way walking will quickly become part of your daily routine.
Try the following:
Make walking a part of your journey to work. Park or get off the bus, tube or train further from your destination and walk the rest of the way.
Walk your children to school or nursery.
Before you get into the car or on public transport, ask yourself if you could walk instead.
Walk during your lunch break - buy your sandwich from a shop further away, for example.
Socialise and walk - go for a stroll with a friend.
How to do it
Walking is the simplest, most natural form of human movement. You don't need any specific training or specialist equipment, apart from supportive shoes.
At this stage, it doesn't matter how fast or slow you walk, or whether you have to stop to catch your breath. Simply set out for five minutes, turn around and walk back.
It's up to you whether you walk on five consecutive days (for example, weekdays) or divide the walks up throughout the week.
Your week could look like this:
|2 x 10-
||2 x 10-
||2 x 10-
||2 x 10-
||2 x 10-
By the end of this week, you'll have covered somewhere between 5km and 10.5km (3.5 miles and 6.5 miles), depending on your pace, and will have burned as many as 650 calories.
The second part of the first week's challenge relates to posture. Having good posture not only allows you to get the most out of exercise, it also helps prevent back problems and makes you look slimmer.
Do the standing tall exercise every day this week.
1.Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Ensure your weight is distributed evenly between the front and back of your feet. Pull up through the arches of your feet and ensure all your toes are in contact with the ground. Pull up through your legs, but don't make your knees rigid.
2.Keeping your hips square, lengthen through your spine and gently draw your belly button towards your back. Relax your shoulders and open your chest by turning your palms to face your thighs.
3.Keep your neck long, with your chin slightly retracted, and allow your head to sit squarely on top of your spine. Ensure your buttocks are firm but not clenched. Breathe freely as you hold for ten seconds.
Over the week, gradually increase the hold to 30 seconds. At first, you may find the position uncomfortable, because your joints and muscles are used to a less-than-perfect posture. But with practice it should start to feel more natural.