SHAPING UP: Three key foundations for losing weight

There are three key foundations for losing weight - that you probably never thought about.

Tuesday, 24th January 2017, 5:10 pm
Mark Scott shows the difference the boot camp programme made for him.

One of my boot camp clients, Mark Scott, recently lost over two stone in three months and a measure of five inches smaller around his waist.

I wanted to share with you the three things that gave him the foundations for being so successful and how he was able to stay focused for so long.

Courgetti spaghetti with bacon, roasted red pepper and feta cheese.

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You probably never thought about these things, but they are vital to successful weight loss. Or any fitness goal, for that matter.

Mark started my 90-Day Boot Camp Programme back in October with a goal of losing two stone in three months before his skiing holiday in January.

There’s not many people who start ‘diets’ and stick to them for three months.

And, what’s more impressive is that he had big birthday and Christmas celebrations in between and he still smashed his target.

Courgetti spaghetti with bacon, roasted red pepper and feta cheese.

How did he do it?

Mark got three things absolutely spot on from the start. He built good foundations for his success by doing three things.

1 – He didn’t start a ‘diet’

He learned how to fit healthy eating into his everyday lifestyle. He found out how to cook quick, easy and nutritious meals that helped him lose weight, but also gave him energy throughout the day.

The healthy food made him more alert at work and more motivated to exercise.

A diet is something with an end date, it’s something that you can’t maintain as part of your everyday lifestyle.

Shake diets and low calorie diets are impractical, and sometimes dangerous to maintain for a long time. You lose weight in the beginning, but when you finish the diet your calorie intake increases, quickly followed by your weight!

Mark switched his mind-set from ‘diet’ to ‘healthy eating’.

2 – He chose a programme that he would enjoy and hold him accountable

Losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight, it takes a sustained effort over months.

When you choose a workout programme, it needs to hold you accountable. It needs to be fun, it needs to keep you motivated.

The programme needs to stimulate you and keep you going back for more. The energy should be infectious.

If it doesn’t do those things, you will get bored and quit very quickly. So, choose your programme carefully.

You’ve got to ask yourself: When I’m feeling tired after work, is there someone there to encourage me not to sit on the couch all night? Are there other people there to inspire me when I’m feeling low? Is there anyone to help me with meal plans? Can I speak to someone on the phone if I need help?

You can’t change your lifestyle without the close support and help from others. Which leads me nicely onto number three.

3 – He surrounded himself with like-minded people and built a support network

It wasn’t just me who helped him during the three months. The other boot camp members played a massive part too.

They encourage each other. They bounce ideas off each other. They help people get back on track after they’ve had a ‘bad day’. They become friends. They form relationships.

That’s what happens when you’re surrounded by other people who are working towards the same goals. It creates a friendly, supportive atmosphere.

It’s so important that you’re not alone on your journey. Make sure there are supportive people around you.

That’s it! Three simple things.

Make sure the programme provides those three vital things, if you want to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.


Courgetti spaghetti with bacon, roasted red pepper and feta cheese

I knocked this up for my lunch during the week, but you could also have it for a quick dinner too. It only takes 10 minutes from start to finish.

Serves 1:

1 tub courgetti spaghetti

2 rashers lean bacon

1/4 red chilli

1 garlic clove

1tbsp crumbled feta cheese

1 roasted red pepper, sliced.

Grill the bacon until cooked through. While he bacon is cooking, fry the garlic and chilli in olive oil for a minute. Then add the red pepper and spaghetti to the pan. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the spaghetti is heated through.

Remove from the pan and serve in a bowl. When the bacon is cooked, cut into small pieces and place on top. Then sprinkle the feta cheese on top.


45-second hiit core workout

This workout targets your core. It’s really important to work on your core strength, it helps in all aspects of fitness.

45 seconds PLANK JACKS

15 seconds rest

45 seconds CROSSOVERS

15 seconds rest

45 seconds LEG RAISES

15 seconds rest

45 seconds PLANK GET UPS

15 seconds rest

45 seconds T-PLANK

15 seconds rest


60 seconds rest

Do another three rounds so that you complete four rounds in total.

Go to to see a full demo from myself and the boot campers doing this workout.


Your Trainer: Graham Low, owner of East Coast Fitness, is an award winning personal trainer based in Seaham. The ex-professional footballer was nominated for the Small Business of the Year and Leisure Awards at the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards last year. Graham won the Leisure Award at the North East Hotels Association Awards while working as gym manager at Seaham Hall in 2012. For personal training, boot camps, small group training and online programmes email [email protected] or visit