Your New Year's resolutions are set: You're ready to lose those extra pounds, but you need help. The luxury of a personal trainer would be great, but Christmas shopping has temporarily busted the bank. Don't despair: Matt Roberts, personal trainer to the likes of Sandra Bullock and Sting, is ready to lend a hand. Matt Roberts' Fat Loss Plan promises a leaner, fitter body in eight weeks, offering a day-by-day personalized diet and exercise program in an easy-to-follow workbook format. Roberts' program is accessible; you don't need any fancy gym equipment, stylish exercise togs or exotic food items to get started.

This practical, positive approach begins with an initial fitness assessment and goal-setting session. Roberts introduces the workout regimen, a gradually paced, balanced method of cardio-aerobic activity, resistance training and stretching. Then, it's on to what and how to eat. The author advocates an "80 percent/20 percent" eating strategy: The majority of foods you eat should be healthy; the rest can be foods that are your favorites. "Food," says Roberts, "should be a joyful experience, and not the enemy. The perfect diet should let us savor food without ever leaving us feeling guilty." The diet plan favors an abundance of low glycemic (low carbohydrate), more alkaline foods for daily intake, highlighting fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Recipes for each day's meals are included, though for additional, more varied menu planning there are comprehensive food lists, ranked from low-to-high carbohydrate content.

Roberts does a fine job of establishing his supportive, cohesive presence throughout the book with motivational chats and tips (each chapter opens with a pep talk). You'll feel like he's right there with you, applauding as you successfully reach your fitness goals. Alison Hood is a freelance writer based in San Rafael, California.

comments powered by Disqus