Dominique Lloyd-Walter (former England squash international) works as a personal trainer in and around Surrey
Dominique Lloyd-Walter (former England squash international) works as a personal trainer in and around Surrey

Newsletter number thirteen

Hi everyone,Personal Training in Weybridge, Surrey

Hope you are all keeping well. Another week passes and so it is time for your Friday morning health and fitness newsletter. With adverts now on the television for the festive season, it is a reminder that there will be lots of upcoming social events. Use this as an incentive to make sure you can wear the party wear of your choice by taking regular exercise and eating sensibly. Christmas is a time when a few pounds can creep on anyway, so maintaining your exercise routine or starting one will pay dividends!

Have a great weekend!

Why is belly fat so bad?

The list of health risks tied to being overweight or obese seems to increase every year....along with the nation's waist line! Whilst losing weight can be challenging, there are new, compelling reasons to try to shed those extra pounds, especially if they are around your middle.

Scientists used to believe fat was a relatively passive was simply stored energy, but recent research suggests that fat cells are biologically active. They secrete dozens of hormones and other chemicals that affect nearly every organ system in the body. When your weight is normal, these hormones and chemicals actually keep you healthy. They dampen your appetite after a meal, burn stored fat, regulate insulin and protect against diabetes. However when you are overweight, you have more fat cells than a normal sized person and the cells are bigger. These super sized fat cells release more hormones and chemicals than your body needs, especially if they constitute belly fat (also known as visceral fat). This flood of chemicals can take a toll on your health, increasing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and even cancer. The brain can also be affected by excess weight around the middle with research showing a decline in memory and language and it can also contribute towards dementia and asthma.

If you have a lot of subcutaneous fat on your belly, the kind you can pinch, chances are that there is a lot of visceral fat underneath. The good news is that belly fat responds especially well to dieting and aerobic exercise and once you start to lose it, many of the harmful effects of those extra fat cells can be reversed, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Look to eat less, but eat well. Eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruit as well as lean protein. Look at food labels and avoid trans fats and saturated fats choosing polyunsaturated fats instead. Eat whole grains where possible, avoiding refined white pasta and white bread and limit your intake of processed foods and those loaded with sugar. Women should aim to get lots of calcium as research showed the more calcium they consumed, the less visceral fat they gained.

In addition to eating well, aim to exercise everyday. Incorporate some form of aerobic walking, jogging, running, biking or an aerobic exercise class into your daily routine. Make sure you do at least 30 minutes per day.

Quitting smoking (if you do) will be a massive advantage as in addition to all the other health risks, smoking causes you to store more fat in your belly.

Reducing the amount of stress in your life would also prove advantageous as the stress hormone cortisol is associated with visceral fat increase.

Last but not least is sleep. A five year study showed that adults who slept less than five hours per night or more than eight hours gained more visceral fat.



Struggling to find the motivation to get back into your exercise routine? If so, try and start at the shallow end and simply look to incorporate some form of easy exercise into your day. This could include a 20 minute easy walk or a 20 minute bike ride. Make yourself a promise you will find a window in your day where you can say you have got that 20 minutes under your belt. Set yourself a challenge where you aim to do this everyday for two weeks without fail and see if it makes you feel better and encourages you to do more. Keeping a daily record in a note book of what you have done is also a good idea.

This week I read the following quote which rings so true....

"Lack of exercise destroys the good condition of every human being. While movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it."



Weight loss

MYTH : Drinking water helps you to lose weight

FACT : Water does not cause you to lose weight, but it does keep you hydrated and might help you snack less. Water is essential for good health and well being and sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Next time you want to reach for that snack, test yourself by drinking half a pint of water first and then see if the desire is still there.


Nutrition tip

Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can lead to improvements in strength and endurance by enhancing aerobic metabolism (a critical energy system for all types of activities). Oily fish such as rainbow trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, salmon, tuna are all good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Cod liver oil, flaxseed oil, rape seed oil, walnuts, pumpkin seeds are also good sources. The benefits of consuming the above in your diet are as follows,

* Improved delivery of oxygen and nutrients to cells because of reduced blood viscosity

* Enhanced aerobic metabolism

* Increased energy levels and stamina

* Increased exercise duration and intensity

* Improved release of growth hormone in response to sleep and exercise, improving recovery

* Reduction of inflammation caused by over-training, assisting injury healing


Calorie information

Be cautious when choosing your lunchtime sandwich at EAT restaurant. A ham and Brie baguette contains a massive 798 calories! A ham and mustard sandwich (also from EAT) contains 381 calories, allowing you more flexibility when making food choices for the rest of the day. Choose wisely and accordingly! A highly active day will justify those extra calories, but to prevent gaining those extra pounds, it is important to keep your calories to the recommended daily allowance, (2000 for women and 2500 for men).


Motivational quote

"Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person's physical, emotional and mental states."

Carol Welsh


Fun quote

"Sweat is the cologne of accomplishment."

Heywood Hale Brown


Star client of the week

This week star client goes to Katy Smith. I had a session with Katy earlier this week where she did her best ever running lap time. As always, she displayed guts and determination to achieve the challenge I had set her and although she found it extremely hard work, it was nice to see a smile on her face at the end. Well done Katy!

Katy star








So much good advice there

So much good advice there Dom, you certainly research it well and I do heed what you say. Still not sold on the water intake though, I try, but it is very difficult after years of not partaking! x

Great stuff Dom, really

Great stuff Dom, really interesting! Lucky number 13. Chris N