The weight is over…thanks to AFitterMe!
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The weight is over…thanks to AFitterMe!

 Deborah Cicurel speaks to Darren Glenister about the sustainable lifestyle plan helping people achieve their food and fitness goals

Deborah is a freelance journalist

If your New Year resolution to become healthier seems a million years ago, and life feels far too hectic to make any fitness-related overhauls, you might benefit from the advice of someone who can help you achieve your goals – and the support of a like-minded group to keep you going.

Afitterme is a 12-week lifestyle plan that aims to make manageable changes in your eating and exercise patterns without the unrealistic expectations that make so many people give up on their lifestyle changes.

Set up by fitness expert and ex-army physical training instructor Darren      Glenister, the course involves an initial meeting and weigh-in with Darren and his team of experts in Bushey, who create a bespoke plan based on your needs, desires and challenges.

Participants are then put into a group, where they communicate daily via a Messenger app about their meals, their accomplishments and any struggles along the way.

“Many diet programmes and food plans are unsustainable with peopleʼs busy lifestyles, so I needed to do something that was sustainable,” Darren explains.

“I wanted to create a plan that could fit into everybodyʼs lifestyle, where you didn’t require a gym and it all could be done from home.”

Darren believes the support not just of his team, but of people going through similar lifestyle shakeups, helps people make long-lasting changes to their lifestyles, exercise and health routines.

“We group people together on Messenger, where they are given daily information and put in different food ideas and plans, but never tell them what to eat.  That’s their decision based on our parameters.

“We set them targets and goals for three, six, nine and twelve weeks and they tick our boxes on a daily basis to achieve the goals we set them.

“Through daily monitoring, motivation, group chat and inspirational people working on the same aims, the group tends to motivate itself after a period of time. We have a system that works, because they are self-motivated.”

As well as helping people with healthier eating, Darren provides an exercise plan, advising them to do a 30-minute routine, five days a week, either at the gym or, for busy office workers, from home.

Darren believes a key part of the course is educating people about their bodies, what they really need to do to burn fat and choosing foods wisely and efficiently. Thatʼs how he has helped clients burn up to seven stone and keep the weight off.

“On any other course we looked at, whether it be Atkins, Weight Watchers, 5:2, Slimming World and so on, there is no learning part of the course,” Darren explains.

“Youʼre told ʻeat this, eat thatʼ, and thereʼs no learning, hence why we get this yo-yo dieter effect.

“On Afitterme, we don’t believe in yo-yo dieting – given the ability to learn and understand what you are trying to achieve there’s no such thing.

“The learning is key to sustainability in the long run.”

Darren believes in helping people make informed choices about food, rather than forcing them to stick to rigid diet plans.

“I worked in north London as a trainer for the past 20 years and I have written many diet plans,” he explains.

“Part of the reason for creating Afitterme was because meal plans don’t work. If you’ve done any diet before, four or five weeks in you’re bored and the food choices are those of the trainers or the programs.

“Youʼve had the same breakfasts, lunches and evening meals, so what we try to develop is an understanding of what food to eat, when to eat these foods and when you are going to burn them off.

“We believe if you understand your food, then you will be able to achieve your own meal plans.”

He says his clients love the fact they donʼt have to cut out any particular ingredients or food groups. Its all about balance.

“Thereʼs nothing you canʼt eat on this programme,” Darren adds.

“If you like sticky toffee pudding and ice cream, if you want to drink that wine, we will advise you about making the right changes, without cutting out your favourites.”

He adds: “I have achieved better results  from clients in the past three years than I ever did at freelance personal training.

“I believe this is down to client accountability combined with the correct program, which results in a really sustainable lifestyle change.”