We’ve teamed up with celebrity personal trainer Kelly Du Buisson, to bring you a clever plan that’ll help you burn fat and tone your body. Try it for a week and you’ll see a difference; continue for a month and you’ll be ready for the ‘big reveal’.
The exercise plan combines 20-minute circuit sessions (which you can do at home) and gentle cardio. We’ve also included some diet tips to make this programme extra effective.
Spend 30 seconds on each exercise (do as many sets as you can in the time). Don’t rest for more than a minute in between. Always warm up first and finish with gentle stretching.
Plié squats – Good for: hips, inner thighs and bottom.
- Stand with legs wide apart and toes turned out.
- Squat as low as you can, keeping knees in line with toes, then push up off the heels, jumping up to the ceiling.
- Land softly and sit back into a squat.
Inchworm – Good for: full body, especially tummy.
- Standing tall, bend your knees and put your hands in front of you on the floor. Walk your hands forwards until your body is in a straight line. Hold this position for 10 seconds.
- Walk your feet back to your hands one at a time, then spring up to the ceiling, feet off the floor. Repeat.
Lateral arm knee lifts – Good for: core, bottom, tummy, shoulders and back
- With your arms out to the side, keeping your neck long, lift alternate knees as high as you can for 30 seconds.
Plank push-ups – Good for: core, shoulders, triceps and chest.
- In a plank position, either on your hands and toes or on your knees, hold your body steady, then lower one arm at a time, resting on your elbow and forearm.
- Next, push back onto your hands, one arm at a time. Repeat.
Curtsy lunge into side kick – Good for: bottom, core and thighs
- Holding light weights, step your right leg behind you, bending both knees in a lunge.
- Now push off the front leg to return to start position and kick the right leg out in a side leg lift.
- Switch legs after 15 seconds.
V sit and twist – Good for: tummy, waist and lower back.
- Sit on a mat with your knees bent.
- Hold a small weight with both hands in front of you.
- Lean back, pulling your navel into your spine.
- Rotate your arms to the right, twisting your upper body. Return to the centre and then rotate to the left. Repeat.
The diet plan
There’s no need to count kilojoules, but:
- avoid processed and sugary foods, as well as beige foods (e.g., pastry, batter, potatoes and bread). Keep these to a minimum and definitely don’t eat them after 5pm.
- incorporate lean protein (such as chicken, fish, pulses and low-fat dairy) and lots of fruit and vegetables in every meal.
- Swap all white carbs for whole-grain carbs (like brown rice and granary bread).
- Eat every few hours to keep your metabolic rate high.
- Drink at least 6–8 glasses of water a day and avoid alcohol, as it encourages fat storage around the abdomen.
Tackle your breakfast habits. Sugary cereals are out – it’s time to get your oats. Porridge is low in kilojoules and helps you feel satisfied for longer. Other breakfasts to try: wholewheat toast with reduced-fat spread, jam and a tub of fat-free Greek yoghurt; or a whole-wheat muffin with a boiled egg and a banana.
Greek yoghurt is difficult to find in South Africa, but fat-free plain yoghurt will work just as well.
Serve your porridge with a topping of blueberries or strawberries and a spoonful of natural yoghurt for extra health benefits. Drink a glass of cold water half an hour before your evening meal to boost your metabolism and to partially fill you up.
For lunch: try a chicken sandwich with wholewheat bread, spread with half a ripe avocado instead of butter or mayo – it contains healthy mono-unsaturated fats which encourage ‘bad’ fat burning.
Other lunches to try: Tomato, low-fat mozzarella and basil salad with a wholewheat pita; a baked potato with low-fat cottage cheese, spring onion and red pepper.
Start the day with a cup of hot water with a squeeze of lemon. ‘Lemon is a natural antioxidant and will flush out any toxins, aid digestion and its natural pectin fibre aids weight loss, too.’ says Kelly. You could also go green by swapping your normal brew for green tea.
‘Two thirds of your plate should be filled with plant-based foods,’ says Kelly. ‘Spinach, cabbage and kale, combined with lean proteins, are literally flat-tummy foods and keep the fat-burning hormones surging in the body.’
For dinner: try a homemade vegetable and tinned lentil curry, served with spinach and brown rice; or chicken stuffed with low-fat soft cheese, served with kale and ratatouille; or poached salmon on a bed of cabbage with a baked potato and herb-scented steamed vegetables.
‘Try body-brushing every night to get rid of cellulite and make your thighs look smoother and firmer,’ suggests Kelly. ‘Before you get out of the shower, turn the tap to cold for the last 10 seconds and run it onto the back of your neck. A study found that, in cold temperatures, brown-fat activity increased – burning kilojoules from white fat (body fat) to generate heat.’
Tip for the day: ‘Use today to treat yourself – within reason,’ says Kelly.
The exercise plan
- Day 1 – 20 minutes of circuits
- Day 2 – 30-minute walk or 20-minute jog
- Day 3 – 20 minutes of circuits
- Day 4 – 30-minute walk or 20-minute jog
- Day 5 – 20 minutes of circuits
- Day 6 – 30-minute walk or 20-minute jog
- Day 7 – Cheat Day!
These techniques keep your metabolism guessing and prevent fat-burning from slowing. But don’t just sit there! A leisurely weekend walk is a good idea, followed by a good night’s sleep – fat-burning hormones are produced as we sleep.