Matchbox Magazine’s New Year Review

Matchbox Magazine’s Ella Montclare is challenged to a five-day diet & lifestyle change and reviews The Pure Package programme.

Treatment of the month: The Lifestyle Overhaul

Can the average Joe survive an A-list fitness regime? We challenge our beauty writer (Ella Montclare) to a five-day diet and lifestyle change worthy of the top celebrities…

Madonna, Beyonce and Cheryl Cole have a lot to answer for. Having been bombarded with pap shorts of their perfectly toned physiques, I am determined to turn around my lifestyle for 2011. I have taken a two-pronged attack, enrolling in a five-day exercise challenge at Notting Hill’s swanky BodyWorksWest health club and – in case I’m too exhausted after all the bicep curls to shop and cook – signed up for home delivery diet The Pure Package.

They are delivering their Brain Balance diet, which combines protein, complex carbohydrate and essential fat in each meal to boost IQ, improve mood and sharpen the memory. On the first day of my challenge, a chic glossy black cooler bag from Pure Package is waiting on my doorstep – so far, so good. Having been converned I’d go hungry this week, it looks encouragingly large. I tuck into a delicious breakfast of fresh mango, yoghurt and granola muesli and look over what is to follow: a mid-morning snack of kiwi fruit and pumpkin seeds and a lunch of sesame beef with baby potatoes and shiitake salad. For an afternoon snack, I am allowed carrot and pistachio cake and for dinner I will be sitting down to sea bass tagine with herbed couscous, courgettes, carrots and baby corn. If this is a diet, then sign me up for life.

At BodyWorksWest, personal trainer Mat is waiting for me with some green rope and red boxing gloves. Mat has advised a bespoke training programme. BodyWorksWest devise their programmes according to each individual’s personal fitness goals so I have requested fun and varied exercises. Let’s face it, exercise can be remarkably boring – I don’t care how many endorphins you are promised, I am sure I get the same eupohoric feeling from scoffing a tub of Ben & Jerry’s. Mat has me skip the rope in front of a mirror, just to remind me how many jiggly bits I’ve acquired since the last time I did this (as a schoolgirl). It’s good fun and starts a week-long process that usually begins with twenty mintues of cardio spread across different machines, such as the bike, cross trainer, boxing, skipping or ball games, and then on to a series of light weights and exercises such as squats to hone a lean and toned physique rather than bulk up.

Fast-forward five days and I haev lost two pounds, I feel energised, my skin is radiant and there is already a marked improvement in my body shape. I confess that sometimes I felt tired adn more in teh mood for a night in front of the TV than circuit training, but having my appointments with mat mentally motivated me and after training I felt physically and psychologically great.

Of course, it has beeen helped by The Pure Package, which is the kind of delivery diet that makes losing weight a treat. I was astonished how easy and enjoyable they made it to cut down on fats, sugar, salt, bread, and dairy. While I didn’t quite morph into Einstein, I did feel mentally sharper and, instead of my usual afternoon slump, I felt revived all day.

It’s a fantastic way to start the new decade – I lost some weight and Mat’s training programme produced the kind of endorphins that would make me put aside my Ben & Jerry’s. Well, almost.